Recently, two legacy Brookdale CEOs, Bill Sheriff and Granger Cobb, were inducted into the American Seniors Housing Association’s (ASHA) new Senior Living Hall of Fame. The other members of the inaugural class of inductees included Bill Colson, Bill Kaplan, Jim Moore and Stan Thurston.
After taking the reins of his family’s truck stop business at age 22, Sheriff expanded it. Nine years later, it was sold to the Ryder System’s new national network of truck stops. Sheriff stayed, and under his leadership from 1975 to 1984, the Ryder division grew to become the largest chain of corporate-owned-and-operated truck stops in the country. Sohio acquired the company in 1984.
Sheriff then made the transition to CEO of American Retirement Corporation, a seniors housing developer and operator in Nashville, TN, that was backed by the founders of Hospital Corporation of America. Specializing in continuing care retirement communities (also known as life plan communities), ARC went public in 1997. Nine years later, Brookdale Senior Living acquired the company.
With Sheriff moving over as CEO following the transaction, Brookdale became the nation’s largest operator of senior living communities. “Throughout his tenure, he stressed the importance of an integrated continuum of services at Brookdale that included skilled nursing, home health care, rehab therapies and hospice,” ASHA said.
When Sheriff retired in 2012 after 28 years in the senior living business, the company had assembled 647 communities in 35 states, with Brookdale operating independent living, assisted living and memory care communities as well as CCRCs.
The late Cobb progressed from executive director of an assisted living community to CEO of Emeritus Senior Living, the largest assisted living company in the nation, before spearheading a $2.8 billion merger with Brookdale Senior Living in 2014. When the 55-year-old died in 2015 following a battle with cancer, he was a member of Brookdale’s board of directors.
Cobb began his senior living career not long after graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles. Just a few years later, in 1989, founded a California-based assisted living company, Cobbco, with his wife, Tina.
After Cobbco was acquired by Summerville Senior Living in 1998, he was the combined company’s president, CEO and director from 2000 to 2007. Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living merged with Summerville in 2007, and during Cobb’s tenure as president and CEO of Emeritus, the company grew to more than 500 communities in 45 states, with more than 31,000 employees serving almost 54,000 residents.
Cobb’s career-long commitment to developing future industry professionals was recognized last year with the creation of the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living at Washington State University.
Read about the others inducted into the Hall of Fame and full article HERE.