If there’s a recurrent term for how people describe new National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care CEO, Brian Jurutka, it’s curiosity.
“His curiosity and desire to learn is something I’ve seen and others have commented on,” notes Robert G. Kramer, NIC co-founder and strategic advisor, who stepped down as CEO in June.
Jurutka likes to “dig up and understand things,” adds former comScore colleague Marina Klusas.
“He’s very dedicated in terms of setting his mind to something. He embraces something and goes all in,” she says.
Jurutka’s journey began in Germany, where he spent most of his life as the only child of a Korean-American U.S. Army soldier and German mother. His grandmother, 95, still lives in Germany and he visits whenever possible.
Originally, Jurutka, 46, planned on heading to the Air Force after finishing high school in Heidelberg, but his lack of 20/20 vision led him instead to the Naval Academy. After graduation, he headed to the submarine USS Kentucky.
“It was a fantastic experience,” he recalls. “The great thing about the military is you build relationships quickly. You are on a submarine for 100 days with 20 to 25 other people and your spouse or your family is back with everyone else. We have many of those relationships to this very day.” It also allowed him to learn “about the formative power of data,” he says.
He completed his MBA in 2000 while on a shore tour, leaving the Navy shortly afterward. He and his wife, Ally, whom he had met though a friend in the Naval Academy, decided military life often was at odds with family considerations. They now have two sons, 15-year-old Ben and 7-year-old Nate, along with a Labradoodle named Duke.
After five years at Capital One as an analyst, he moved to comScore in 2005, where he was Klusas’ direct manager.
“He’s a person who could operate on practically no sleep,” she recalls, remembering how he would take a red-eye flight and power through a day of meetings. “I’m an energetic person, but I’ve never known someone who gave me a run for my own money like that.”
Klusas suspects that his background on a submarine not only helped him as a leader, but “gave him a skill for adaptability.”
But the amount of traveling wore on him, he said, and when the NIC opportunity opened up in 2015, he decided it was time to move on.
Kramer says that while the two have different styles, they are “complementary to each other.”
“Brian is ideally suited in terms of his strengths and passions to take NIC to the next level over the next 10 to 15 years,” he says. “He’s also a fun guy to be with, which is important relationally.”
Jurutka and his family continue to live in northern Virginia for the time being, with him commuting to NIC’s Annapolis, MD, headquarters. He maximizes his hour-long commute by listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Some favorites include The Moth radio hour and books such as “Crucial Accountability,” which tackles best business practices, and “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi, M.D., a memoir. When time allows, he also enjoys traveling overseas with his family and golfing.
Jurutka says one aspect of seniors housing that he’s been impressed with is that it “oversamples and skews toward good people.”
“It’s an industry about helping people, and full of people who want to do the right thing,” he says. “The mission of NIC is the greater good. I’m here for the long haul.”