Welcome to the June edition of Leadership Spotlight! In this entry, we sit down with our new Chief Human Resources and Inclusion Officer, Wendy Dowd, as she walks us through her career journey and goals as she steps into her new role with Trilogy.

Welcome to the team! If you’ve seen any of our other blogs, we like to start by asking you a little bit about yourself. Are you from Kentucky originally? 

Happy to be here! I am not originally from Kentucky – I grew up in a military family, so we were always moving around. We settled in Green Bay, Wisconsin after my dad retired from the service, and didn’t move to Louisville until 2008. My entire family lives here now and we couldn’t be happier!

Tell us about your family!

Well, I’m celebrating 30 years with my wonderful husband Mike, with whom we share three amazing children – Keenan, Lindsay, Natalie and our adorable granddaughter Quinn.  It’s a busy life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What did your career look like before Trilogy?

Let’s see – I started as a recruiter for US Medical Search, seeking out nurse practitioners, PA’s and doctors across the country. Following that role, I spent some time in pharmaceutical sales for Adams Labs, and led the learning organization for Manpower North America.

I then joined Humana, where I worked for 12 years in a variety of roles – starting out as a Human Resource Business Partner for Small Business and Individual Insurance, Provider Network and Clinical in Green Bay, WI.  18 months later, I moved to Humana’s headquarters which brought us to the wonderful city of Louisville where I led enterprise HR initiatives (Engagement, Succession, Leadership Development, Well-being, and Organization Development) and Consumer/Provider Experience (Culture Transformation, Human Centered Design, Communications and Strategy).

After Humana, I joined Guardian Life Insurance Co. (headquartered in New York City) to help build their Consumer and Digital capabilities across the enterprise. I then became the Chief Talent and Experience Officer, where I led Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Learning &Development and DEI, focused on developing great leaders to elevate the employee experience to co-create an exceptional, effortless consumer experience.

Wow! So what about Trilogy caught your eye?

Three things – first the purpose of helping seniors live long, vital lives, aligned with the mission and values.

Secondly, the culture. I’m committed to creating inclusive cultures that help individuals achieve their full potential and honor the diverse communities we serve.

Finally, the growth strategy. When Trilogy grows, employees have opportunities to grow as well – which helps us serve more residents, communities, and families. Senior living will continue to grow as generations shift and age, so it’s an exciting time to be part of an important moment in the industry’s history. 

Mentorships and apprenticeships programs are vital to our employee experience. Do you have any mentors that left an impact on you?

So many! I’ve been blessed to have known so many amazing people that believed in me – but Ray Vigil, the Chief Learning Officer at Humana, certainly sits high on that list. He was a wonderful mentor – but looking back, he was even more of an advocate. He always pushed for me to take on more, even when I felt like I hadn’t proved that I could. The respect I had for him pushed me to never let him down. I still call him for all kinds of things – even helping me through my recent career move. He reminded me to seek out the opportunity where I’d be the happiest – and that’s when I knew that Trilogy was the right spot.

Looking ahead to the next five years, how do you see our HR and employee experience evolving?

Companies who focus on the human experience, by combining both customer and employee experience, are the ones who will uniquely differentiate themselves and win in the marketplace.

Working in senior living isn’t just a job – it’s a calling. The most impactful engagement story we can tell is how caring for a resident has fulfilled the life of a teammate. On the flip side, our residents can tell a story that’s equally as impactful about how a team member has changed their life for the better.  At the end of the day, we’re all humans looking for that connection.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly – when things get tough, what fills your cup?

Doing good work, making a positive impact while having fun together!

To learn more about our employee and resident experience, follow Trilogy on Facebook