You What?

Craig Kollen, Regional Vice President of Operations, American Senior Communities
Jan 6, 2023
Jeffrey Crane
You What?

Do you have a nickname? When I was young my dad and his friends called me Tiger. That was before Tiger Woods, so not a golfing reference.

Describe yourself in three words. Husband, father, leader.

In what city did you grow up? Colorado Springs, Colorado.

What book has had the greatest impact on you? I am not a book reader. I like history and current events (newspaper, Time magazine – actual paper, not digital!)

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut. I was in the young astronaut program at school.

What famous person would you most like to meet? Any of the U.S. Presidents.

What is your favorite part of your job? Leading and growing people, especially new leaders.

What do you actually do at your job? First and foremost its all about leading, growing and empowering people. I make sure the buildings in my region are performing up to expectations, (quality outcomes, staffing, budgets, census, customer service) coordinate services to achieve these outcomes (building leadership, regional team support, home office support) and ultimately make decisions that ensure we keep on track from an operational standpoint. 

What do you love most about Fort Wayne? I love the fact that it’s a little-big-city or maybe a big-little-city. It’s a great size town that is big enough to have things like Costco and Ruth’s Chris, but small enough that we don’t have traffic! I love the revitalization of the downtown area. It has been fun to watch it grow. I also love that it is a great city to raise a family.

What was your first job? I was a zamboni driver!

What is your greatest accomplishment? Being a great husband and father. Hopefully my wife and kids agree!

Who is your hero? My dad. He had an amazing career and was a great husband and father. 

What is your dream job? IndyCar driver. I love racing.

What is your biggest pet peeve? People that aren’t on time and are unprepared for meetings. 

Do you have a motto you live by? If so, what is it? I will steal one from our CEO. “Early is on time, on time is late.”

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to cast as you? Tom Hanks is probably my favorite actor, but he would never take that job. That would be a very boring movie! 

Who would you like to see perform in concert? A couple on my concert bucket list that I haven’t see yet are Pearl Jam or The Cure.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Since we are talking bucket list, I would like to ski the Alps. Winter is here so I’m thinking snow.

If you could solve one major problem, what would it be? The labor shortage! It is the start and finish of my day, every day.

Where will you go on your next vacation? Florida in the spring for my son’s senior year high school spring break.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Get in school! I took a gap year after high school and chased a hockey dream, but a mentor of mine told me to get back in school. It was a great decision. 

Name one person who has inspired you in your life. My dad. He had a great career and was still able to be a great husband and father. I want that same balance.  

What gets you excited and driven to achieve? Our industry is extremely challenging with limited reimbursement and is very labor intensive, but finding and developing great people that can take care of our seniors and people in need — that is very rewarding. 

What would you choose as your last meal? Surf and turf.

If you had a time machine, where and to what time period would you travel? I love history, so the WWII time period, American Revolution time period or maybe even Ancient Rome.

If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing? Mentoring or teaching. I like to develop people.

If you could know the answer to one of life’s mysteries, which mystery would you choose? Who shot J.R.?

What is the first movie you ever saw in a theater? Star Wars. I think I was 7 years old.

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