Canyon Ranch CEO Joins Sunrise Senior Living Board

Luxury wellness and lifestyle brand Canyon Ranch is once again in the senior housing mix, with the Tuesday announcement of the company’s CEO being named to the Sunrise Senior Living Board of Directors.

Canyon Ranch CEO Jeff Kuster was installed on the board as Julie Dobson, who has been on the board since 2018, was named board chairperson following the retirement of Jeff Lozon.

The appointment of Kuster and Dobson is in line with the company’s vision to promote a greater understanding and integration of wellness in senior living, according to Sunrise CEO Jack Callison.

“Looking forward to our next 40 years, Sunrise seeks to inspire a new, preferred way of life that celebrates ongoing purposeful living, proactive wellness, and a sense of community for each resident who chooses to call Sunrise home,” he said in a news release regarding the announcement. “Jeff’s proven track record of creating curated experiences for consumers across multiple brands and industries, coupled with his deep experience in integrating hospitality with wellness, make him uniquely qualified to help Sunrise continue innovating to foster positive aging and proactive well-being.”

Kuster was previously group president of Ralph Lauren North America and held other executive positions at Cornerstone Brands, Fruit of the Loom and VF Corporation. Kuster said in the news release he was “honored” to join the Sunrise board.

“Throughout my entire career, I have worked to understand how brands can best understand the wants, needs and desires of consumers and design lifestyle products that give them meaning and purpose. I look forward to working with the talented Sunrise team as they continue to positively impact the lives of senior adults and their families throughout North America,” Kuster said in the news release.

Sunrise operates more than 270 communities in North America, with the board appointment coming as senior living providers look to offer more holistic approaches to resident care.

And Canyon Ranch has been in the conversation as this wellness trend has taken hold. In 2019, Canyon Ranch announced its intentions to enter the senior living market, perhaps through a partnership with an existing operator. While plans did not ultimately materialize, developer Hines and operator Watermark hoped for a Canyon Ranch partnership.

And Watermark hired former Canyon Ranch leader Aras Erekul to spearhead its “precision wellness” approach, although Erekul has since left Watermark.

The deepening relationship between Sunrise and Canyon Ranch also comes as Sunrise is at an inflection point, with new leadership executive having taken steps to pivot the organization in certain ways, including by exiting the UK and forging a new management agreement with Ventas (NYSE: VTR ). With her appointment, Dobson said in the news release Sunrise has an “incredibly bright future with outsized growth opportunities.”

“We are committed to continued investment in our highly scalable operating platform, and to strategically building out our proprietary development pipeline, a proven source of differentiated growth for our business,” she added.

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