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Message From Gardant CEO – April 2023




From the Desk of the CEO, Rod Burkett

Twenty-four years ago, I cofounded Gardant Management Solutions with a former business colleague, Blair Minton. Our goal was to increase accessibility and affordability in the assisted living sector, and we had a fairly simple, straightforward business plan. As we discussed the formation of the company, Blair stated that he would find the investors and make it ‘big’, and my role was to develop the management platform and make it ‘work’. After decades of investing blood, sweat and tears into this mission, as of April 1, I will be transitioning from CEO to Board Chairman and turning over the reins of day to day management to my successor.

My successor is actually a Co-Presidency scenario in which our current Chief Operating Officer, Julie Simpkins, and current Chief Financial Officer, Greg Echols, are collaborating together in shifting up into this new shared position. I envision that this action will provide our company and our hundreds of employees with continuity and forward momentum, along with a new energy they will bring to this movement.

We have grown to be the 10th largest management company nationally in the assisted living industry, while serving rural, suburban, and urban communities. While we have realized both successes and challenges over the years, there are a few recent events that have illustrated how far we have come from our humble beginnings. As of 2022, over 85% of the 60 communities in our portfolio have been designated as Bronze or Silver Award winners in the national prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Quality Awards Program. In addition, over a third of our assisted living communities were designated as “Best in Market” in the inaugural year for the assisted living sector to be included in US News and Word Report’s national survey, and just last month our portfolio was designated as “A Great Place To Work” by the international organization, A Great Place To Work Institute.

I have a great comfort level and confidence in Julie and Greg stepping up to further lead the company in their new positions, and I look forward to my continued engagement with them as Chairman. I have long cherished a quote by the former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, that I think sums it up nicely: “When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible!” I have witnessed for many years Julie and Greg’s passion and commitment to our mission and to the thousands of lives that our collective work has positively impacted. I want to express my sincere thanks to them and the thousands of other teammates over the years who have brought our mission to life on a daily basis.


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1 thought on “Message From Gardant CEO – April 2023”

  1. My brother and I toured the facility today in search of a new home for our parents. Mom needs memory care and dad needs independent living and can no longer live in the home they shared for most of their marriage. While their individual needs are vastly different they wanted to live out their remaining years near each other. Your facility offers everything they need, and more, at an affordable price. We are in discussions with our family and hope to make this their new home very soon. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking a dilapidated old building and making it beautiful and useful again.

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