The USA’s Most Innovative Business Leaders 2015
Senior Star Management Company are a family-owned sheltered community management firm specialising in providing professional, tailored care for their residents. Chief Operations Officer and Senior Vice President Anja Rogers talks us through the firm’s high quality services and gives us a fascinating
Senior Star owns and operates 14 senior living communities in six states; providing care and services to more than 2,100 residents and employing more than 1,200 associates in independent living, assisted living, memory support and nursing care settings. In addition the firm also owns and operates a senior housing management company.
My role within the company revolves around bringing our Senior Star vision to life by helping to ensure that company culture, sales processes and marketing efforts are best in class and establishing our strategic operational plans. In conjunction with the executive leadership team, I work to define Senior Star’s long-term business goals. I am also passionate about assisting in the company’s growth and development initiatives.
The firm’s philosophy, which I always ensure permeates throughout the firm, is simple: do what is right. Do what is right for those we serve our residents and their families as well those we partner with to meet their needs, our associates, our corporate partners and finally what is right to ensure Senior Star’s business success. This simple credo helps to define our corporate mission, values and goals and it drives us toward excellence in everything we do.
Leadership in any capacity is a vast responsibility that I believe requires the ability to translate a corporate vision into achievable actions that lead to desired results. Our associates take appropriate actions that are based on our values and deliver desired results because of a several factors, starting with our focus on servant leadership.
When leaders throughout our company act as a servant first and leader second, they inspire those around them to conduct their business the same way. Inspiring others is also done through helping each associate see their personal value within our organization. I subscribe to the concepts of the Oz Principle; each leader, each associate is accountable for our results and success.
At Senior Star, we have also created a culture that embraces “coaching.” My ability to effectively coach others in a manner that both drives results and leaves my fellow associates feeling respected and motivated to excel is critical. And this concept applies to everyone in the Senior Star family. We coach up, down and horizontally. In fact, we view it as the responsibility of each associate to pro-actively coach others. Those who are successful in this area typically become leaders within our organization.
As such, we expect excellence from our associates and that necessitates a willingness to take risks, continually improve and to innovate.
This is particularly vital in our business because the senior housing business goes beyond bricks, mortar and general real estate.
The people we serve have paved our way in society, they are our heroes and our parents and deserve the best services and care that we can provide in an environment that helps them feel comfortable, secure and at home. Their families, who place their loved ones in our hands, should have the utmost confidence in the individuals and the organization whose purpose is to help meet their needs.
To ensure this we have made customer service the cornerstone of our business. We serve our customers by listening. We do it through caring, preparation and training, alongside efficient and responsible action.
In addition, we partner associates who share this vision, so that we are able to do everything we can to make a positive difference in our customers’ lives.
The Senior Star brand of customer service is about helping our residents feel at home, and each individual defines “feeling at home” differently. Providing a community that is responsive to the individual through customer service and innovation defines the Senior Star difference.
The primary challenges we have found that impacts on the seniors housing industry are similar to those found in most industries, finding and establishing appropriate financing partnerships, market and economic condition changes and competition for quality associates.
Despite encountering these challenges, Senior Star has enjoyed measured, successful growth as indicated by its 13% average annual increase in gross income since 2005 and our core communities have a margin currently in excess of 40%.
The culture of accountability coupled with a clear focus on financial management and results drives this success. Having associates who share our vision and goals and the metrics and tools that provide us with the timely data to effectively manage those outcomes are also key to our success.
These associates are particularly vital to our firm’s growth because the senior housing industry is constantly evolving and therefore we need to keep ourselves up to date with the latest developments. The industry is evolving to meet the ever changing needs and demands of the people we serve, in response to improving health care and due to technologies that improve and change the way health care is delivered.
Selection criteria for new associates are clearly defined and include shared values. Orientation includes an initial introduction to the requirements and expectations within Senior Star’s culture. Ongoing development and training also are provided throughout the span of an associate’s employment with our company.
However, remaining focused on the needs and desires of our residents and family members is our path forward. Over the years we’ve found that the answers too many questions are right in front of us, in the words and actions of Senior Star residents and family members. Our success comes from taking the time to truly understanding their needs and desires and then figuring out the best way to surpass their expectations. This process is a natural method of keeping us in the forefront of our industry.
Alongside this, Senior Star embraces innovative approaches to caring for residents. We have developed or selected resident services and programming that we believe give us significant advantages over our competitors. Some programs are specific to a certain level of care (independent living, assisted living or memory support) and others are suitable for all residents.
Senior Star also embodies the good corporate citizen. Associates are strongly encouraged to become involved with their favorite causes in their local communities – efforts which the company supports financially.
Company-wide, Senior Star focuses fundraising and giving efforts in three main areas: support of the Alzheimer’s Association, the United Way and through the American Seniors Housing Association’s (ASHA) Political Action Committee (PAC).
In 2015, Senior Star associates collectively raised over $550,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association, translating to one of the largest fundraising campaigns in the entire country.
As we move into the future we are keen to take the opportunity to expand our reach, and we constantly seek growth opportunities and partnerships. As a proven leader in the senior housing industry, we are poised and positioned for growth. Strategic planning in regard to asset management, growth and quality of human capital and financial management are critical to our ability to capitalize and to sustain our success.
In addition, we know from experience that opportunities exist to establish niches in the senior housing market. We’ve seen the industry respond to the needs of diverse populations in addition to the aging of the baby boomer generational cohort, and are looking in the future to branch out into further niche sectors.
Company: Senior Star Management Company
Name: Anja Rogers, Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Senior Vice President (SVP)
Web Address: www.seniorstar.com
Address: 1516 South Boston Avenue Tulsa, OK 74119-4019