In his own words: Five Star’s Jim Cox
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position:
Jim Cox: As executive director I’m responsible and accountable for the operations and lives of all those who live and work at Five Star Premier Residences of Reno, a senior living community that provides independent and assisted living services.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Cox: Just after 9/11, I had a career change and went from a background that had been primarily working in the operating room and diagnostic imaging. In November of 2001, I transitioned into this field and it’s truly been the best thing that happened. I love what I do.
NNBW: Is there anything new going on at your company or in the industry itself?
Cox: The Independent and Assisted Living component of senior living is always changing and looking to improve the delivery of care and service. At Five Star Premier Residences of Reno, we’ve just completed our $5.2 million dollar renovation which focused on a refresh of all the common areas as well as adding two new dining venues and a movie theater. At our new “Corner Café,” we feature Hub coffee, Rounds donuts, Dish scones and our own in-house salads, sandwiches and delicious soups.
Seniors today want to have amenities that are fresh and exciting as well as close to home. What better way than to have it all under one roof!
NNBW: What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Cox: People. Our residents are amazing. Their life histories and experiences enrich our lives daily. My staff is some of the best I’ve ever worked with and continue to deliver a high degree of service and compassion. Lastly, I enjoy the families who trust us, partner with us and remain our clients long after their loved ones’ residency changes.
NNBW: What is the most challenging part about your job?
Cox: In this industry, you recognize and respect that life is short and you need to live life to the fullest. Getting the time to do that can, at times, be a challenge.
NNBW: What advice would give anyone who wants to get into your profession?
Cox: First and foremost you have to love seniors. Secondly, you have to have passion for what you do. If you don’t have the passion to do what you love, then you need to keep looking for your perfect job. For me this is a great blend of business, hospitality and service.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Cox: I was a paperboy for a daily newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif.
NNBW: What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time away from work?
Cox: I love the outdoors and if I’m not fly fishing these great waters around here, I’m off road in my UTV with my lady by my side exploring Nevada! I also love live music.
NNBW: Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Cox: Akumal on the Yucatan peninsula.
NNBW: If you had one moment in time to cherish for the rest of your life either professionally or personally what would it be and why?
Cox: It would be to witness the cure for all cancers and/or Alzheimer’s disease. These are horrible diseases that need to be eradicated and eliminated.
NNBW: Last concert or sporting event attended?
Cox: I’m a Oakland Raiders fan with a hope and prayer that this is our year. Just like last year…and the year before that…and the 10 years before those.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming as a kid?
Cox: I loved the TV show M*A*S*H and wanted to be a combat medic, so I did. I served in the U.S. Army as a 91B.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Cox: Absolutely. Working is way overrated.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like about living/working here?
Cox: At the time I was living in Monterey, Calif., and the community I was at was just acquired and it was a good time to move along. This community happened to need an executive director and it’s been a great move. I’m very passionate about Reno and love the changes I’m seeing — not only with the technology sector but in the hospitality sector as well. It’s very exciting.
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Reno-based design firm MBA Architecture and Design is assisting on the $47 million Caesars Entertainment project in downtown Reno.