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Former Merrill Gardens President Eskenazy Named CEO of Cogir USA

Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin David Eskenazy, former president of Merrill Gardens, has been named CEO of Cogir USA, efficient instantly. Eskenazy takes…

By Staff , in Senior Living , at November 19, 2021

David Eskenazy, former president of Merrill Gardens, has been named CEO of Cogir USA, efficient instantly.

Eskenazy takes on this position as Cogir USA expands, having not too long ago added 5 buildings previously operated by Dawn Senior Residing, with additional administration agreements and improvement plans within the works.

After departing Merrill Gardens in 2019, Eskenazy joined Cogir USA as chairman of the board, whereas former Aegis CFO Wally Jossart grew to become president. Jossart will stay as president going ahead, and likewise provides the title of chief working officer.

Cogir USA is the U.S. administration firm of main Canadian senior housing developer and operator Cogir Actual Property. The Montreal-based firm, led by CEO Mathieu Duguay, has a diversified portfolio that features about 40 non-public residences for older adults in Canada.

The corporate made its U.S. debut by taking over administration of 12 former Brookdale Senior Residing (NYSE: BKD) communities within the San Francisco and Seattle areas. These communities are owned by Welltower (NYSE: WELL), which had an present relationship with Cogir.

Eskenazy meant the chairman place to be a part-time position, however “he has invested himself utterly in Cogir for the reason that starting,” Duguay stated in a memo asserting the management appointment.

Duguay additionally famous that Eskenazy and Jossart have made an efficient crew, and have a “chemistry stage nearly as good because it will get.” Eskenazy and Jossart previously have been colleagues at Aegis Residing, the place Eskenazy served as president and Jossart was CFO.

Their chemistry was examined early on at Cogir USA, because the Covid-19 pandemic emerged simply months after the corporate was fashioned. Whereas navigating the pandemic was tough, one silver lining was that it introduced the crew collectively shortly, Eskenazy advised Senior Housing Information in an interview earlier this 12 months on the Argentum convention in Phoenix.

“It acquired us in a short time acclimated to who the managers have been within the buildings,” he stated.

Whereas pandemic-related challenges persist, Cogir USA is now on a footing to pursue extra progress, together with by taking over the previous Dawn communities. Three are within the Seattle space and two are in California.

All the buildings now are owned by Welltower, however 4 have been previously within the Aegis portfolio, so Eskenazy and Jossart are aware of them.

Cogir USA can be pursuing different administration agreements and likewise has ground-up developments within the works, Eskenazy advised SHN.

On the event entrance, Cogir USA is aiming to create density by constructing a number of communities in a selected market, or pursuing development in areas the place the corporate already operates, Eskenazy stated.

And he’s wanting ahead to drawing on classes and finest practices from Cogir’s Canadian operations within the design of the brand new communities. As an example, Cogir has had success in putting the exercise director’s workplace close to the entrance of the constructing relatively than the manager director or gross sales workplace, as is a standard apply. Eskenazy is also contemplating versatile house that can be utilized for numerous companies that come into the constructing on a rotating foundation, from well being care suppliers to accountants to property planning attorneys.

In his prior roles, Eskenazy has been a proponent of technology-driven operations, and brings that experience to Cogir USA as nicely. Particularly, he highlighted the significance of enterprise intelligence, notably given the escalating prices of labor.

“To be nice at labor, it’s essential to see what you’re doing,” he stated. “You’ll want to see the influence of the place your {dollars} are going and the way you’re spending these {dollars} to be very environment friendly. That’s true at the moment, greater than ever.”

His give attention to information aligns Eskenazy with Welltower, which has constructed a robust information analytics platform to assist inform group operations.

“We each, for my part, play our playing cards face-up,” Eskenazy stated of Cogir USA and Welltower.

Going ahead, he seems to be ahead to asserting “thrilling” partnerships associated to approaching tasks, and is bullish on the way forward for senior residing despite the labor headwinds and uncertainty concerning the tempo of occupancy and margin restoration.

“I feel we’ve discovered a resiliency in our trade,” he stated.

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