Community//

Female Disruptors: Lauren Zimmerman-Cook has shaken up the assisted living industry

The more I read about Walt Disney, the more I appreciate his leadership style. He called everyone by their first name, understanding that the core experience of Disneyland is to experience joy, starting with his staff. His exceptional attention to detail and personalized approach is inspiring. I like the combination of a leader who isn’t […]


The more I read about Walt Disney, the more I appreciate his leadership style. He called everyone by their first name, understanding that the core experience of Disneyland is to experience joy, starting with his staff. His exceptional attention to detail and personalized approach is inspiring. I like the combination of a leader who isn’t so full of themselves, who can be a regular person.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Zimmerman-Cook, CEO of AEC Living. Lauren has 20+ years of experience in the senior care industry. Her second-generation, family-owned company AEC Living has developed home health services and a Medicare-approved rehabilitation agency as well as some of the most innovative and top-rated senior living, skilled nursing, and assisted living communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Although I grew up in a senior living community, watching my parents do their jobs at AEC Living, it didn’t occur to me that I’d become CEO of the company. But, there’s no place I’d rather be.

After graduating with a Master in Accounting degree from the University of Texas, I came back to work for my parents to pay back my loans. I worked very long hours, but found I was so much happier than people I knew who were working similar positions in different companies.

I found joy in interacting with our senior residents throughout the day. Little things, such as having coffee, taking a walk and having meaningful conversations, which can be life-changing for aging adults, gave me pure joy in doing my job. I was also able to maintain work-life balance while pursuing my passion for accounting.

After working at AEC Living for two years, I took an internship at ExxonMobil and got a law degree. I found myself missing the holistic aspect of working in a caregiving space and the residents who touched my life. I realized then that the human aspect of any job is just as important as financial stability, so I returned to AEC Living.

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share how they made an impact?

My mother Darnell instilled in me the importance of community early on. As former head nurse, she cultivated morale and a sense of friendship between residents and staff. These are values that I’ve taken to heart as a business leader.

I’m particularly active now with Girls Inc. of Alameda, a group of girls and women who might not be C-suite executives, but are all very strong and accomplished in their own ways. The goal of Girls Inc., to raise the next generation of strong women, directly complements my own goal of advancing fellow women in business.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The more I read about Walt Disney, the more I appreciate his leadership style. He called everyone by their first name, understanding that the core experience of Disneyland is to experience joy, starting with his staff. His exceptional attention to detail and personalized approach is inspiring. I like the combination of a leader who isn’t so full of themselves, who can be a regular person.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

To be successful, you need to build a great team and have a support system.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-zimmerman-cook-4aaa8133

AEC Living’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/aecliving

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Wisdom//

The Key to Aging Without Apology or Regret

by Roger A. Reid
Community//

Elders love social connectivity

by Lisa M Cini
Community//

Michael Manganiello: “All patients — and therefore, all of us — are ‘authorities’ in healthcare”

by Christina D. Warner, MBA

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.