SAN ANTONIO — Argentum is making women a focal point of its 2019 Senior Living Executive Conference, which began here Monday.

The first day’s meeting schedule featured three educational sessions that were part of a “deep dive” on the topic of women in leadership. Featured speaker Sarah Thomas, the first female NFL referee, spoke about her experiences in a male-dominated field.

Argentum also has a new white paper, “The Path Forward: Impacting the Future of Women in Senior Living.”

Additionally, the organization announced that steering committee of its Women in Leadership initiative, which first was announced in October, has developed four pillars — education, support, celebration and measurement — to reach these goals:

  • Create and sustain a supportive community of current and future leaders.
  • Expand the industry’s female workforce.
  • Increase the number of women recruited and promoted to executive leadership and board positions.
  • Promote the senior living industry overall.

“The committee is looking to foster and empower women to move into more senior positions,” said Collette Gray, Women in Leadership committee chair, Integral Senior Living CEO and COO and Argentum Board of Directors member. “We are going to give them the tools to make those advances.”

The committee has more than two dozen members from the industry.

According to data cited by Argentum, women account for 80% of the senior living industry’s employees and 70% of those holding management jobs overall; women hold 56% of all U.S. management jobs. Also, Argentum said, at the CEO level, 17.5% of CEOs at the largest 115 senior living provider companies are women, whereas across the United States, the level of women CEOs is at 16%.

Board gains six new directors, sees four depart

In other annual meeting news, Argentum announced six new members of its board of directors whose terms began Monday.

The new directors:

  • Chris Cummings, senior vice president of asset management, Ventas,
  • Dan Guill, president and chief operating officer, Enlivant,
  • Sarabeth Hanson, president and CEO, Harbor Retirement Associates,
  • Joel Nelson, president and CEO, Life Care Services,
  • Katie Potter, president and CEO, Five Star Senior Living and
  • Charlie Trefzger, president and CEO, Affinity Living Group.

“We are so pleased to welcome these six new members to the board today,” Board Chairman Tim Buchanan, who is president and CEO of Legend Senior Living President, said in a statement. “Their extensive industry experience and insight will provide valuable direction as, collectively, we continue to focus on expanding workforce development opportunities, leading public policy conversations and improving quality outcomes across senior living.”

Four members of the Board of Directors also transitioned off the board after having served terms of three to 11 years:

  • Jack Callison, CEO, Enlivant (board service 2016 to 2019),
  • Ed Kenny, chairman, Life Care Services (2014 to 2019),
  • Bruce Mackey, former president and CEO of Five Star Senior Living (2008- to 2019) and
  • Robert Probst, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ventas (2016 to 2019).

Current director Kai Hsiao, CEO of Eclipse Senior Living, has assumed the officer’s role of treasurer, formerly held by Mackey.

“We truly appreciate the invaluable contributions made to the board and to the industry by Jack, Ed, Bruce, and Robert,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda said in a statement. “We thank them for their service and their continued commitment and dedication to advancing senior living.”

The meeting continues through Wednesday.