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Atria Senior Living Names New CEO in Planned Leadership Transition

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Atria Senior Living CEO John Moore is stepping back from his duties as the company’s top leader, with CFO Holly Belter-Chesser filling his shoes as part of a planned leadership transition.

Moore is stepping down from his roles as chairman and CEO of the Louisville, Kentucky-based company, but he will remain a member and advisor on the company’s board during the transition. He is also still the company’s largest individual shareholder.

New CEO Belter-Chesser has worked in various positions at Atria over the last 15 years. Most recently she was the company’s CFO and chief administrative officer. She has “played a key role in driving Atria’s strategy and enhancing its scale and performance across the U.S. and Canada,” the company said.

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“It’s been a great place to grow up, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity of leading the company,” she told Senior Housing News.

The leadership transition was years in the making, Belter-Chesser added.

“We have an amazingly solid foundation in what’s been built over the last several years,” she said. “We get to … grow and make it even better going forward.”

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She noted that the company will name a new CFO “shortly.”

Atria CEO Holly Belter-Chesser

Moore said that working as the CEO of Atria “has been a privilege and the highlight of my career.”

“I am confident this is the right time and team to lead Atria into its next chapter as I step back into a director role,” Moore said in a statement about the transition. “While I will miss working with the team day-to-day, I am very excited to be handing the reins to Holly who is uniquely equipped to lead the company into a bright future. I can’t wait to watch Holly and her team drive the business forward.”

A new chapter at Atria

Belter-Chesser takes the reins amid a high rate of inquiry and tour volume in 2024, and now the company is “working hard to translate that into move-ins.”

“The full recovery of our industry is top priority for everyone, and it’s top priority for us, as well,” she said. “Getting back to pre-pandemic and fully recovered occupancy and NOI levels is what we’re very focused on.”

Atria Senior Living’s last big growth spurt came in 2021, when the company acquired the management services business of Holiday Retirement. The deal took place in conjunction with real estate investment trust (REIT) Welltower (NYSE: WELL) buying the 86 properties that Holiday owned and self-managed in a transaction valued at $1.58 billion.

Today, Atria has 340 communities. That includes nearly 200 communities in the company’s Holiday by Atria portfolio, which is undergoing a multi-year refresh and interior renovation push. In fact, the company just kicked off its 100th such project for the portfolio, according to Belter-Chesser.

That process has so far resulted in a “fresh new look to the Holiday buildings and provided an even more vibrant environment” for residents living there, she said.

As she steps into the CEO role, Belter-Chesser said she is also continuing the company’s long focus on technology.

Atria was behind the proprietary senior housing software company Glennis, which it later spun off in 2021. One year later, Glennis was among the companies acquired by private equity firm Rubicon Technology Partners and rebranded as Aline.

The company also was an early adopter of Amazon’s Alexa technology, and was among the first senior living providers that deployed Echo devices using the Alexa Smart Properties offering in 2021.

“We continue to make forward-thinking investments in technology with one of the largest senior housing pilots with Amazon and Alexa, and we continue to invest in and test different technologies to help serve our residents,” Belter-Chesser said.

As a leader, Belter-Chesser said she is detail- and people-oriented, and that she enjoys learning more about the company’s residents and employees. She is also both an adult daughter of a senior living resident as well as a mother, giving her a “different perspective” than some other executives.

“I know what it feels like to be part of our customer base,” she said.

Looking ahead, Belter-Chesser said she will also continue to travel to Atria communities and see them firsthand. In January alone, she visited 20 communities.

“I am going to get out to as many as I can fit in this year, and I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

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