Larry Minnix talks to press at LeadingAge's convention in Dallas

LeadingAge’s president and CEO of nearly 15 years, Larry Minnix, will retire by the end of 2015, the organization announced late Thursday.

Minnix assumed the top post at LeadingAge in December 2000, when the organization was still known as the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. Previously, he was the CEO of Wesley Woods Center in Atlanta.

During a decade and a half guiding LeadingAge, Minnix burnished his reputation as a soft-spoken but powerful voice on aging-related issues.

He helped reinvigorate and unify a diverse 6,000-member organization, while also championing upgrades for resident services, technology and applied research. But his greatest skill may have been an uncanny ability to get unlikely people working together.

As Minnix took his post, the field was reeling from an austere funding reduction program approved by Congress. The budget-balancing plan would lead to more than 1,000 skilled facilities seeking creditor protection. Shortly thereafter, both consumers and policymakers started calling for greater sector oversight. These demands served as a catalyst for the government’s Nursing Home Compare website, as well as a cornucopia of quality-driven initiatives.

More recently, he guided members as they dealt with changing federal and state reimbursement policies, as well as the field’s general migration away from traditional custodial care. Through it all, he helped increase the ranks of his organization, expanded services for members, and helped redefine the nature and scope of caring for the aged. 

The LeadingAge’s board will begin its search for a new CEO this month after securing a nationally known executive recruitment firm, according to chairman David Gehm. 

“Larry’s contributions to our field over the past 15 years have been significant. He is transitioning out of an organization that is well-positioned to serve our members and the field,” Gehm said in a statement. “While Larry will be greatly missed by all, we know that we will find an impressive leader to guide LeadingAge as we continue to focus on our critical mission of transforming the world of possibilities for aging.”

The LeadingAge statement said Minnix plans to leave on or before December 31, 2015.