Ari Weinberger, president of CRL Senior Living Communities

Ari Weinberger


CRL Senior Living Communities

Seven southeastern Wisconsin locations

Industry: Senior housing

Number of employees: 450

Family: Married to wife, Nancy, with four children.

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“Created a regional director of clinical services who is responsible for driving clinical programs. In her short tenure, we have created a diabetic program, falls prevention and assessment program and an incontinence program. We have also recruited for each community a medical director to help drive clinical quality. This is something not being done at any other assisted living community.”

What’s new at your company?
“In April we took over five communities in Wisconsin and Illinois. With these communities we have doubled the size of our company from a bed perspective.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We are actively looking to hire a director of life enrichment activities who will be responsible for driving programming across all communities.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“Economic environment and housing market. In order to help prospective residents deal with the current economic environment we have created a financial concierge position. The CRL financial concierge works with prospective and existing residents to help fund the cost of living at a CRL community. We have relationships with Elderlife Financial, Life Care Funding, and VA benefits.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“Nintendo Wii – every community is getting one. Only CRL has the CRL Cup, a Wii tournament played online between communities. We also use the Wii as a platform for intergenerational play between residents and children.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“At CRL, we create a therapeutic environment through innovation where our residents and colleagues thrive, not just survive.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Al Stubblefield, CEO of Baptist Healthcare System, and Seth Godin, internet marketing guru.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“From my father – in life, you have to have to learn to be tolerant of ignorance to truly become enlightened.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“Last month, as I was chauffeuring my two boys around town, I pointed at a sports car and told them how much I would love to have one like it someday. My 4-year-old responded, ‘Daddy, if you really want something, all you have to do is use your words.’ In the era of teleconferencing, webinars, blackberries, and cell phones, communication has become so much easier – while at the same time, complicating everything a little bit more. At CRL, we strive to make communication to be as simple as just using your words.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“‘Play ice hockey, run half-marathons for charity, chase after my children.”

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