April 11

Executive Leadership Team Promotions Announced

Gardant Management Solutions announced promotions for two members of the company’s executive leadership team.


JoEllen Bleavins, President

JoEllen Bleavins, who has served as the chief operating officer, is the new president. She will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Gardant portfolio. Bleavins’ experience as chief operating officer, vice president of operations and regional director have well-prepared her for one of the company’s top positions. Her evolving leadership role will help Gardant continue to carry out its mission and position the company for the future.

During her career with Gardant, Bleavins has led the opening or acquisition of more than 50 communities. She brings to her position 20 years of administrative experience in assisted living, supportive living and long-term care.

Bleavins holds both an MBA and BS in Nursing from Millikin University.

Julie Simpkins, Chief Operating Officer

Julie Simpkins, Chief Operating Officer

The role of chief operations officer will be filled by Julie Simpkins, Gardant’s Senior Vice President of Strategy & Business Development.

Simpkins has a wealth of multi-state operations and marketing experience, and she has played a valuable role as Gardant prepares for additional growth and expansion outside of Illinois. Simpkins’ broad healthcare and senior living management background, along with her engaging leadership style, will be a great asset as she transitions into her new role.

She earned her MBA from Trinity College and University and BA from Governors State University.

Rod Burkett will continue to serve as Gardant’s Chief Executive Officer. His focus will be on positioning Gardant as a leader in the assisted living industry, especially in the areas of affordability and accessibility. He will retain accountability for Gardant’s performance and continue his ambassador role with current and new partners, owners, investors, financing entities, regulators and trade associations.

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