Montgomery Place names new chief financial officer

Montgomery Place CFO Art Carr (left) with HR Director John Rurka. -Gary Middendorf

Art Carr has been chosen as the new chief financial officer for Montgomery Place, announced Deborah Hart, chief executive officer of the life plan community located at 5550 S. Shore Drive.

“We are fortunate to have a man of Art’s extensive experience in finance and senior living join our leadership team,” Hart said “Like his colleagues here, Art puts people first. He also brings the perspective of an independent consultant who has helped many senior living and healthcare organizations improve cost-containment practices and efficiencies.”

“My entire career as a CPA has been in the field of senior living. Unlike some accountants, I consider myself a senior living professional first,” said Carr.

“His approach fits our vision goals. We are confident Art enhances our ability to excel, to work smarter and to achieve our full potential in serving residents,” added Hart, who also is a certified public accountant and has served as CFO of senior living communities. “He supports our ability to continue to grow.”

Before joining Montgomery Place, Carr was president of Progressive Retirement Group, a management and consulting firm specializing in the senior living field headquartered in Franklin, Tenn. For the last 13 years, Carr helped independent and assisted living communities, both not-for-profit and for-profit clients, achieve high occupancy rates, cut costs, increase revenues and implement appealing lifestyle programs. Among his firm’s clients were BrightStar Care, Holiday Retirement and Retirement Housing Foundation.

As a senior financial executive, Carr also has nurtured the vitality of senior healthcare firms and home care providers including MaxLife Health, GerAssist, Inc. and AmCare Management Services. Previously Carr served as executive vice president for a post-acute healthcare network provider in an urban setting for Geriatric & Medical Companies, Inc. in Philadelphia.

Carr recently moved to South Shore Drive in Hyde Park. “Hyde Park reminds me of Richmond, Virginia,” he said, recalling the area where his mother lived. “The gracious buildings here feel like my grandparent’s duplex. So much of the architecture is from the 1920s. It’s beautiful.”

Carr may be new to Hyde Park, but he is already deeply in tune with Montgomery Place. “Seventy percent of our residents are independent living residents,” he said. “We’re a community of dynamic, diverse, educated, engaged and self-directed individuals who share such a variety of interests. I must say, of all the places I’ve ever worked, I have never encountered such an appealing group of people.”

In addition to enhancing the business side of Montgomery Place, Carr wants to change people’s views about if living in a life plan community is right for them.
“The recession of 2008 worried a lot of people and caused them to put retirement community living out of their minds,” he said, “but the impact for many was less negative than they may realize. It’s important for people to revisit this possibility and to open their minds.”
Carr quickly listed some of the advantages of living at Montgomery Place:
1. Opportunities to spend time with so many interesting people
2. Meals prepared by an executive chef
3. Safety and security
4. Increased opportunities for educational, physical and social activities
5. Housekeeping services
6. Easy access to doctors’ appointments, shopping and Chicago attractions
7. Apartments with full kitchens and great lake views

“Most people who move to life plan communities like Montgomery Place regret not having come sooner because it’s very freeing,” Carr said. “We hope to convince them now’s the best time to start enjoying.”