Hear from us: A Q&A with CEO Penny McIntyre

Sunrise Senior Living  |  January 2, 2014

We recently sat down with new Sunrise CEO, Penny McIntyre, about her own caregiving experience, what she brings to the Sunrise family and what she’s looking forward to in the New Year.

What was your first impression of a Sunrise community?
When I visited my first community, what struck me right away was the home-like environment filled with happiness. I saw a team who truly cared about their residents and were committed to bringing them joy.  I knew in that instance that Sunrise was special, and that this was a place I wanted to be a part of.
While you were a caregiver to your father, what was the greatest lesson that you learned from that experience?
As I watched my father suffer through Alzheimer’s disease, I learned very quickly the impact quality care could make on families who were faced with the challenges that caregiving brings. I saw up close and personal what family members go through to support their loved ones and recognized that there had to be a better option.

What do you think will be different about working in the senior care industry?
While my background is not in senior living or healthcare, all of my experience has involved understanding what the customer wants and helping to design products and brands that meet their needs.   At Sunrise, I’ll work hard to learn more about our residents and families to help make sure we are fulfilling their promises now as well as looking at ways to innovate in the future.  

What makes Sunrise unique in the senior care industry?
Sunrise has an incredibly strong and lasting mission to champion quality of life that drives every team member in the organization.  We know the importance of not only providing superlative care, but also making sure that all the little things that bring our residents joy happen as they should every single day.  We have been the leader and innovator, and my goal is for us to once again take on the challenge of leadership in this incredibly important part of life.

How would you describe your leadership style?
My teams know that I have a saying – say, do, deliver and repeat – and I really believe that is the key to success.  You must know your goals, work to meet them with results, and then ensure consistency in the product.  As a leader, I help my team work through this process while always keeping the customer first and foremost in our minds.  

What’s your resolution(s) for the new year?
Find balance in family, health, community and business. At Sunrise, we’ll push to keep learning and striving to be better than we were yesterday.

What was your first job?

Working in retail.

What do you like to do for fun?
Spend time with my family and live an active lifestyle. My guilty pleasure is reading mystery novels.

What’s your favorite book?

Guns, Germs, and Steel – it is about how the environment influenced history.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
I remind myself that I’m always learning – successes, mistakes, and questions are all a part of that process. You can’t expect to achieve if you don’t try.