Welltower appoints Shankh Mitra CEO as Thomas DeRosa steps down

Shankh Mitra headshot
Shankh Mitra

Shankh Mitra has been promoted to CEO of Welltower and will join the company’s board of directors effective immediately, the real estate investment trust announced late Monday.

Mitra, who has been serving as vice chair, chief operating officer and chief investment officer, succeeds Thomas J. DeRosa, who is stepping down as chairman and CEO after leading Welltower for more than six years.

“I am proud of our many accomplishments during my time as CEO and thankful to the board and the entire Welltower team for allowing me to pursue my vision. We have created something unique at Welltower, and as a result, have become the leading health and wellness real estate platform,” DeRosa said in a statement. “After careful thought and consideration of the company’s current position and opportunities ahead, the board and I have decided that now is the right time for me to hand the reins to Shankh. There is no executive better suited to lead Welltower at this critical juncture. Shankh and I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder over the last five years, and I have witnessed his strong leadership, relentless focus on organizational efficiency and unparalleled approach to capital allocation.”

Mitra joined the REIT in 2016 as senior vice president of finance and then became senior vice president of investments before being promoted in April to the roles of vice chair and COO with the intent that he ultimately would succeed DeRosa, according to Welltower. He will retain his CIO title and continue to lead Welltower’s data analytics-driven capital allocation and operator relationships.

“I am grateful to Tom for his mentorship and partnership, and I deeply appreciate the confidence and trust the board and my colleagues have placed in me,” Mitra said in a statement. “While COVID-19 has presented us with many challenges, the past six months have underscored Welltower’s core value proposition: to serve as a strategic, nimble and creative capital allocator by leveraging our operator relationships and data platform. We are encouraged by the relative stabilization of our operating performance and incredibly excited about the opportunity to deploy capital in attractive investment opportunities.”

Before joining Welltower, Mitra was portfolio manager, real estate securities, at Millennium Management. He also was a senior analyst at Citadel Investment Group and Fidelity Investments, and he began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mitra earned an MBA in applied value investing from Columbia Business School and holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from Jadavpur University. 

The REIT also announced that Kenneth J. Bacon, who has been serving as an independent director on the board since 2016, has been named chairman. In this role, Bacon will lead the board and partner with Mitra and the leadership team as they execute the company’s strategy to create long-term shareholder value.

Thurston Woods Village names Tim Stoll CEO

Tim Stoll has been hired as the new CEO of the Thurston Woods Village retirement community, Sturgis, MI, after an extensive search.

Stoll currently is executive director of the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging, Three Rivers, MI. He previously has served in various capacities in retirement communities and nursing homes.

Stoll will spend several days in December with outgoing CEO Theo Omo before taking over on Jan. 2. Omo, who has been CEO since 1997, announced her retirement in September. During Omo’s tenure, Thurston Woods Village grew into a multilevel senior health facility. 

Stoll is a graduate of Western Michigan University.

Watercrest Senior Living Group names Paige Hodgin executive director of assisted living, memory care community

Paige Hodgin hedshot
Paige Hodgin

Paige Hodgin has been named executive director of Watercrest Senior Living Group’s new Watercrest Fort Mill-Indian Land assisted living and memory care community in Lancaster, SC. It is the second senior living development project partnered between Watercrest Senior Living Group and Waypoint Residential.

Hodgin joins Watercrest with a degree in business administration and more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, small business management and healthcare. She is a certified dementia specialist and former chairperson for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Retirement Unlimited names Matt Winningham regional director of plant operations

Matt Winningham hedshot
Matt Winningham

Retirement Unlimited Inc., a Virginia family-owned and operated senior living community management company, named Matt Winningham as regional director of plant operations. Winningham is responsible for supervising the plant operation objectives of established communities, including the grounds, the provision of utilities, and restoration and renovation projects. He also oversees new construction, ensuring standards and regulations government the community meet safety, security and operations expectations.

Winningham, a U.S. Army veteran, has been with RUI for four years, holding multiple positions in plant operations and community project management. He obtained his administrator license and has provided support and coverage at multiple RUI communities as executive director.

RUI has 10 senior living communities throughout Virginia, offering independent living, assisted living and memory care.

Pleasant Acres names Janet Izydore administrator

Janet Izydore has been named administrator at Pleasant Acres Christian Haven, a 14-bed Christian assisted living facility in Fairmont, WV. The facility is operated with help of more than 30 area Churches of Christ.

Izydore has a history in the medical service industry through various roles.

National Church Residences names two to new Office of Employee Engagement

Danielle Willis hedshot
Danielle Willis

Ohio-based National Church Residences has named two people to its new Office of Employee Engagement.

Danielle Willis will lead the office as senior vice president of employee engagement and chief diversity officer. She formerly was senior vice president of human resources for NCR.

Julie Fox, formerly vice president of education, has been named vice president of engagement and leadership development of the office.

Julie Fox hedshot
Julie Fox

The office, a direct result of input from employees, a newly formed Anti-Racism Task Force and its board of directors, will develop policies and practices to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, servant leadership and career development. A dashboard will measure progress on management and leadership diversity, employee retention and referrals, career readiness and staff mobility. 

National Church Residences owns and operates 340 senior housing communities in 25 states and Puerto Rico.

Brookdale’s Erika Castile appointed to California Commission on Aging

Erika Castile hedshot
Erika Castile

Erika Castile, executive director of Brookdale Carmel Valley since 2018, has been named to the California Commission on Aging by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Castile is vice chair of the California Association of Health Facilities, San Diego, chapter, and a member of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living.

She earned a master’s degree in gerontology from San Diego State University.

Lancaster Pollard announces promotions on senior housing, healthcare team

Lancaster Pollard Mortgage Co., a division of ORIX Real Estate Capital, recently announced several promotions to expand its senior housing and healthcare production team.

Aaron Becker is the chief production officer and east team leader for the firm. Casey Moore, Doug Harper and Quintin Harris, also expanded their leadership roles, with Moore and Harper leading the West, and Harris leading the Midwest.

In the East, Michael Blackwell will be responsible for coverage in the Northeast market. In this role, he will pursue originating new business, as well as nurturing existing client relationships. Blackwell joined the firm as an associate 2016 and worked his way up to team leader before assuming his current role as vice president.

In the Midwest, Brad Granger, Kevin Laidlaw and Adam Walter joined the team.

Granger, director, leads the clinical risk group and its proprietary Five-Star Program analysis. Granger will be expanding his role to include origination efforts in addition to clinical and operational advisory services.

Laidlaw, a 13-year Lancaster Pollard veteran, was named a director in seniors and healthcare production and will be based in Chicago. Walter, vice president, also will expand his role to include origination efforts for clients in the Midwest.

In the Western region, Justin LeBell has joined the seniors housing and healthcare team as an assistant vice president and will be based in Utah.

KARE hires Steph Kolbo as chief growth officer

Steph Kolbo has been hired as chief growth officer of KARE, a digital labor marketplace for post-acute and senior care.

Kolbo will join KARE after a decade at NRC Health, a healthcare customer intelligence company. She led growth strategy for their post-acute care division, including senior living and care, and most recently helped lead customer strategy for health systems.

At KARE, Kolbo will help build customer and geographic growth while also helping to increase the KARE Hero pipeline by building alliances with nursing and vocational schools. 

Kolbo is joining KARE as it prepares for the next phase in its growth. After launching late in 2019, KARE expanded to several markets in Texas and Georgia and is looking to expand “significantly” over the next 18 months. 

Bluespire adds Sara Montalto to senior living team

Sara Montalto has been named vice president of the senior living team at Bluespire, a performance digital marketing agency based in Minneapolis.

Montalto has more than 17 years of experience in senior living on both the agency and client sides. Her focus will be on helping owners, developers and operators with in-depth market research on competitive pricing analysis, and developing recommendations to improve community marketability; lead sales and marketing assessment and identifying strategies to improve sales and marketing performance; developing residence mix and pricing and evaluating proposed floor plans for expansion and new communities; and conducting market analysis and consumer research to maximize consumer demand.

Montalto has an undergraduate degree in business administration and marketing from Rowan University and an MBA degree in marketing from La Salle University.