Inside These Walls
LOOKING AT THE BIg PIctuRE
Now the concrete has been poured
and framing has begun. For the first
time, the Elk Grove site is looking like
the home of a future senior residence.
As many as 30 or 40 framers work the
50,000-square-foot slab at any given
time. They’re laying out the base footprint and building up from there.
Lakin keeps a vigilant watch over the
efforts of prime contractor Sundt, who
in turn bears primary responsibility for
the dicey business of making sure all
the pieces fit together. “It’s all dimen-
sion-critical. You’ve got to translate all
those dimensions off the drawing, and
all that layout has to be very precise,”
Stephen Kennery may be vice president of culinary
services at Carlton Senior Living, but that doesn’t mean
he is consigned to the kitchens. In the past several years
Kennery’s creative approach to senior living has won the
attention of Carlton higher-ups and elevated him to an
unofficial role as director of special projects.
Kennery first raised his head when he noticed
that the company might be overpaying on its natural
gas contracts. His efforts saved the company
$20,000 a year. He likewise negotiated better rates
with Safeway’s pharmacy operations—no small
achievement since Carlton dispenses some 2. 9
million doses annually.
His successes got him tapped as master of
schedules for the Elk Grove construction project,
coordinating timelines among a range of players.
Before he would take on the job, though, Kennery had
a frank talk with company executives.
“I said that I would have to have absolute authority
here. I can’t be going to other vice presidents and
saying, ‘This is what I need,’ and have them say
no,” he says. “We’re dealing with lot of different
personalities and different egos, and I couldn’t
risk being stonewalled or having somebody put
something on a back burner when I have a date with
Hardly a wilting lily, Kennery hasn’t been afraid to
flex that authority. “I give early deadlines, knowing
that I really don’t need it until a few days later. I’ll ask
for it [by] November 10 when I know I don’t need it
until November 15,” he says. “Sometimes it is just a
matter of being a pain in the neck.”