Aegis Living marks 20 years with big plans for the future

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"We were convinced there was a need and very excited about inventing a new choice for seniors," Dwayne Clark says of the founding of Aegis Living in 1997.
"We were convinced there was a need and very excited about inventing a new choice for seniors," Dwayne Clark says of the founding of Aegis Living in 1997.

Aegis Living is marking its 20-year anniversary this summer with a new headquarters, a forecast of physical and financial growth, and new recognition from Glassdoor.

The privately held company was founded by Dwayne Clark in 1997 in Redmond, WA. At that time, there were seven employees, but the company grew to 145 employees and opened its first community in Pleasant Hill, CA, in a year.

The company recently moved to a new headquarters in Bellevue, WA, and now operates 28 assisted living and memory care communities with approximately 2,000 residents and 2,200 employees in Washington, California and Nevada. Clark is CEO and chairman.

Aegis Living plans to open 10 new senior living communities over the next several years, creating approximately 800 jobs in the next four years, 300 of them within the next year.

The company also is forecasting double-digit annual revenue growth in the next five years, with an estimated $300 million in 2021.

Aegis Living is featured on a new Glassdoor list of 15 companies deemed to have excellent work-life balance and current hiring plans.

To make the Glassdoor list, companies must have received at least 30 work-life balance ratings above a four on a five-point scale, with five being the highest rating, from full- and part-time employees from July 17, 2016, to July 18 2017.

“Our culture encourages a work-life balance by providing a meaningful career that our employees are passionate about along with flexible schedules, unique appreciation programs and paid time off,” said Rick Karnofski, senior vice president of human resources at Aegis Living.

Those unique appreciation programs include a “Dream Big Lottery” during which all-expenses-paid vacations to surprise destinations are given away, “Appreciation Days” for time off, and discounts on massages, haircuts and prepared meals from community kitchens.

Competitive compensation and benefits also attract employees, Karnofski said. Compensation includes profit-sharing and bonuses, added Judy Meleliat, president of the company.

The new recognition from Glassdoor follows a December honor in which Aegis Living was named to Glassdoor's list of Best Places to Work for 2017, becoming the first senior living organization to make that list of large employers.

“At Aegis Living, we believe employees are at the heart of our success, and we treat them like family, as we want them to treat our residents like family,” Meleliat said. Aegis Living, she added, recruits from the hospitality and retail sectors and offers training and ongoing education.

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