Cindy Kent headshot
Cindy Kent

Brentwood, TN-based Brookdale Senior Living, the country’s largest senior living provider, has created a new position of executive vice president and president of senior living and has hired Cindy R. Kent to fill the role, the company announced Tuesday.

Kent will join the company in early January, Brookdale said. She will report to President and CEO Lucinda “Cindy” Baier.

“Her strategic insights and operational leadership experience will contribute greatly as we navigate our path forward within the evolving healthcare landscape,” Baier said in the announcement.

Kent has more than 25 years of experience across a variety of roles and segments of the healthcare industry, according to a profile on the website of Best Buy, where she is a board member helping the company with its “Best Buy 2020: Building the New Blue” growth strategy, which includes an emphasis on creating a health and wellness business.

Most recently, Kent was president and general manager of 3M’s infection prevention division and a member of the company’s executive conference. She left the position last year after having been with the company for five years.

Kent also previously worked at medical device maker Medtronic from 2007 to 2013. During that time, she held executive leadership roles, including vice president and general manager. Her career also includes work in various marketing, human resources, sales and engineering roles at pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. from 1991 to 2007.

Kent also is an advisory board member for Ruby, a Nashville, TN-based company that has developed a tool meant to help families safeguard the finances of loved ones living with dementia.

She has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and management sciences from Northwestern University and an MBA in marketing and a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University.

Some other high-level hires for Brookdale this year include Diane Johnson May, executive vice president of human resources; Anna-Gene O’Neal, division president – healthcare services (hired in June as division vice president – BHS Hospice); Rick Wigginton, senior vice president of sales; and Chris Bayham, chief information officer.