“If it matters enough, you find a way!” That was Brookdale CEO Cindy Baier’s first comment as she was interviewed in a virtual breakout room at the 2020 Distinguished Performance Awards celebration, hosted by the Committee for Economic Development (CED) of The Conference Board. Baier was there to accept a Corporate Citizenship Award on behalf of Brookdale’s approximately 50 thousand associates.
In her formal remarks accepting the award, Baier said that one of the silver linings of 2020’s challenges has been that Brookdale demonstrated faith over fear. She stated that people who passionately believe in something can work together to overcome great obstacles. Baier said, “In response to this year’s challenges, Brookdale united around our mission. It was clear that our top priority was the health of our associates, our residents, and our patients.”
Once in the informal virtual breakout portion of the program, Baier was interviewed by Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman and CEO of the healthcare real estate investment trust Ventas. Cafaro has been recognized by the Harvard Business Review as being one of the best performing CEOs in the world. The two have had a good business relationship for several years now, and shared stories about how their relationship strengthened when Baier became CEO of Brookdale in early 2018. In response to Cafaro’s question on how Baier has been able to achieve significant accomplishments even through tough times, Baier said, “If you can just get smart people to work together to solve a problem, magic happens!”