headshot - Five Star Senior Living President and CEO Katherine "Katie" Potter

AlerisLife President and CEO Katie Potter

Newton, MA-based Five Star Senior Living, one of the country’s largest senior living companies, has changed its name to AlerisLife Inc. effective immediately, the company announced this morning along with plans to expand its offerings to include active adult management services and home care and concierge services.

A new chief customer officer and chief people officer with experience at well-known national brands also have been appointed.

The company’s common shares will trade on the Nasdaq stock market under a new ticker symbol, ALR, beginning tomorrow, but a new website, alerislife.com, is live now.

“With the name change to AlerisLife, we mark our expansion from primarily a senior living owner and operator to a more diversified and comprehensive partner, able to offer each of our customers choice-based services regardless of their residential location or age,” President and CEO Katie Potter said in a statement.

The Five Star Senior Living and Ageility brand names will continue to be used for AlerisLife’s repositioned senior living management services and rehabilitation / fitness services, respectively; their websites, fivestarseniorliving.com and ageility.com, remain active. New consumer-facing brands will be established in conjunction with the development of active adult management services and home care and concierge services. One of the brands will be Windsong Home Health, according to a presentation posted online.

“We continue to believe that the senior living industry is positioned for growth due to strong demand tailwinds in the 75 and older population, expected modest near-term residential supply growth and increasing industry optimism around a return to stabilized occupancy,” Potter continued. “Years before the pandemic, we began evolving our offerings and expanding our services to attract older adults seeking choice-based lifestyle services. We have already made great progress and look forward to further diversifying the company’s revenue streams, driving a shorter sales cycle, maximizing our share of customer spending, increasing pre-senior living touch points with customers and reducing turnover costs.”

Five Star was No. 5 on the most recent ASHA 50 list of largest senior living operators compiled by the American Seniors Housing Association. The company also was No. 5 on Argentum’s list of largest senior living operators, by both total units and operational resident capacity. Argentum listed Five Star as the country’s second largest operator of continuing care retirement communities, third largest provider of assisted living and fifth largest provider of independent living on its 2021 list, based on data current as of Dec. 31, 2020.

The company now has approximately 10,800 employees and operates 140 senior living communities with 19,999 units and approximately 15,900 senior living residents, as well as 222 clinics serving about 16,100 rehab and wellness customers, according to a presentation posted on the AlerisLife website.

New name signifies expansion plans, restructuring

Aleris means “to foster, nourish and develop” in Latin, according to the operator.

AlerisLife said that in addition to signifying the company’s intent to expand its services, the name change also reflects Five Star’s “significant organizational restructuring” over the past two years. Less than a year ago, in April, Five Star announced plans to exit the skilled nursing business completely and transition the management of 108 communities to other operators to focus on larger senior living communities as well as stand-alone active adult and independent living communities. In November, Diversified Healthcare Trust announced that it had completed the management transitions for 107 of the former Five Star communities in its portfolio, which now are managed by 10 regional operators. Five Star’s exit from skilled nursing is complete.

“AlerisLife expects to continue to announce new strategic relationships to further enrich its customer experience and position the company as a provider of a wide range of lifestyle services,” the company said in its announcement. AlerisLife noted Five Star’s recent expansion of its Ageility rehabilitation and fitness products, dining services collaboration with Compass Group, and partnership with Dispatch Health to bring acute care to residents who want it.

New chief customer officer, chief people officer named

The company also announced the appointment of Lauren C. Cody as chief customer officer and Michael S. Lopez as chief people officer.

“As we expand our services and customer base, their decades of experience at large, successful, brand name organizations will be invaluable to us,” Potter said. “We look forward to leveraging their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of our customers and employees.”

Cody brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in customer insight, customer experience and general management at multi-billion-dollar retail restaurant companies. Most recently, she was senior vice president, chief of staff and chief customer officer at Panera Bread Co., which operates 2,200 cafes across the United States.

Previously, for more than a decade, Cody held executive positions focused on consumers and business strategy at McDonalds Corp. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions with Burger King, Phelps Dodge and Zenith Electronics Corp.

Lopez has more than 20 years of experience leading people and talent strategies for large, multi-unit hospitality, retail and food service brands. He most recently was vice president of human resources for Royal Caribbean International, where he was responsible for a global workforce of 75,000 serving more than seven million international guests annually. Previously, Lopez held senior human resources positions with Gap Inc., Starbucks Coffee Co. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

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