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  • January 28, 2020
    Senior Living Hall of Fame 2020 Inductees

    The American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) announces the Senior Living Hall of Fame’s 2019 class of inductees who will be inaugurated during the association’s 2020 annual meeting in Palm Desert, CA on January 23rd.
    The following inductees will be honored:

    • Lynne Katzmann, Ph.D., Juniper Communities
    • Alice and Emmett Koelsch, Koelsch Communities
    • Margaret Wylde, Ph.D., ProMatura Group

    The Senior Living Hall of Fame recognizes the visionaries who have distinguished themselves through uncommon foresight and ground-breaking innovation. These are industry leaders with an unwavering commitment to community lifestyles that enhance choice, independence, dignity and personalized service.

    Lynne Katzmann, Ph.D.

    • Founded senior living organization guided by the principles of corporate social entrepreneurship
    • Pioneered integrated care model to participate in capitated and risk-based reimbursement

    Lynne Katzmann founded Juniper Communities, which invests in, develops and operates senior living and long-term care communities at the age of thirty-two. Bringing with her no financial backing, a mere six year’s business experience and a PhD in economics, her mission was to improve the last years of life for seniors.

    Katzmann believed that a woman could and should lead this business where the customers—staff, residents and family caregivers—were predominantly women. Her goal was to make Juniper profitable for investors; and as a founder of the then nascent corporate social entrepreneurship movement, she would adhere to the double bottom line: doing well by doing good.

    Today, 31 years later, CEO Katzmann continues to actively lead Juniper, now with 22 properties in three states. Juniper is ranked #12 by Crain’s New York on its annual Top 50 ranking of woman-owned companies for the New York tri-state area.

    Juniper’s investors have enjoyed double digit annual returns while her residents, their families and Juniper Associates give the company high marks on annual customer satisfaction studies. Health-related metrics, such as low hospital readmissions, support Juniper achievements with hard data indicators.

    Juniper has developed and now shared a pioneering model of integrated care that will better position Juniper and other senior living operators to participate in capitated and risk-based reimbursement. Called Connect4Life, the program integrates with other services using a “high-tech/high-touch” communications protocol that transfers information through an electronic health record (EHR) and coordinates care through a human navigator.

    Lynne is now launching an operator-sponsored Medicare Advantage I-SNP, collaborating with Christian Living Communities, Englewood, CO, and Ohio Living, Columbus, OH. Under The Perennial Consortium banner, the group plans to go live with the network in 2021 and to expand via partnerships with additional operator stakeholders.

    Alice and Emmett Koelsch

    • Opened the Delaware Plaza in 1971, one of the first communities in the nation to provide “assisted living”
    • Laid the groundwork for three family-owned and operated senior living organizations: Koelsch Communities, Jerry Erwin Associates and Weatherly Inns, totaling over 100 communities nation-wide

    Emmett and Alice Koelsch risked it all on a shuttered nursing home in 1958. Guided by their family values and deeply held faith, they became innovators and leaders in the seniors housing industry.

    The Koelsch family story is one of classic American success. Emmett Koelsch started his life on a farm in Great Bend, KS, and moved to Longview, WA at 17-years-old where he worked various jobs as a milkman, construction worker, and horse logger.

    He met Alice at the St. Helen’s Inn, where she was waiting tables. They both started at Reynolds Metals, where Emmett was employed before and after his service during World War II. After 21 years and rising to a management position, Emmett left Reynolds Metals to pursue a new business: Seniors housing.

    Emmett and Alice Koelsch started their family business in 1958 with the acquisition of a nursing home in Kelso, WA that had 52 beds, all of them empty. They moved themselves and their five children into the basement of the nursing home and got to work, buying or building every nursing home in Cowlitz County over the next 10 years.

    In 1971, the couple had an idea: Provide care for those who could not live alone but did not require skilled nursing services. They built the Delaware Plaza in Longview, WA, providing meals, housekeeping and medication management for their residents, 10 years before the term “assisted living” was coined.

    Emmett and Alice built a highly respected senior living business over the next 25 years. When they retired, all five of their children followed in their footsteps, starting their own seniors housing businesses with the foundation that Emmett and Alice laid. These businesses now operate over 100 communities in 21 states. The Koelsch children have never lost the values instilled by Emmett and Alice: Courtesy, integrity and treating everyone with dignity and respect.

    Margaret Wylde, Ph.D.

    • Founded ProMatura Group in 1984, specializing in 55+ age-qualified research, planning and programming
    • Author of numerous research studies examining
    customer attributes and preferences

    Dr. Margaret Wylde started ProMatura Group in 1984 and since that time has conducted an extensive body of research that has significantly improved the collective understanding of the 55+ market.

    The numerous and noteworthy research studies she has led include: Prospective Independent Living Customers: Key Findings from a Study of Prospects and Hold Outs (2013); Unlocking the Mystery Behind Very Satisfied Customers: Make Them Feel at Home (2014); Senior Living Technology Report (2017); and People, Place, Programming: Quality of Life in Assisted Living (2019).

    In addition, Dr. Wylde has had a significant impact on community planning research that defines lifestyles, residences, amenities, services, payment plans, and pricing across North America, Europe and Australia.

    ProMatura’s age-qualified housing expertise spans empty nester (55+) housing, as well as independent living, assisted living, care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, continuing care retirement communities, and nursing care.

    ProMatura has collected data since 2003 for use by investors and developers of age-qualified, service-enriched housing and provides this to the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC), which uses the data to track key market trends quarterly.

  • January 28, 2020
    ASHA Elects New Executive Committee

    The American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) announces that its Executive Board has elected the following individuals to serve a two-year term as members of the Executive Committee:

    Douglas S. Schiffer of Allegro Senior Living (Chairman)

    Jerrold H. Frumm of Senior Lifestyle (Vice Chairman)

    Kathryn A. Sweeney of Blue Moon Capital Partners (Treasurer)

    Lynne Katzmann, Ph.D. of Juniper Communities (Secretary)

    Richard J. Hutchinson of Discovery Senior Living (Seniors Housing Political Action Committee Chair)

    David S. Schless of ASHA (President)

  • October 3, 2019
    2019 ASHA 50

    Click here for the 2019 ASHA 50, the definitive annual ranking of the nation’s largest 50 seniors housing real estate owners and operators.

    The five largest owners as of June 1, 2019 are: Welltower (72,881 units), Ventas Inc. (58,903 units), Brookdale (55,236 units), Boston Capital (29,987 units) and Seniors Housing Properties Trust (29,856 units). The largest five operators in the U.S. include: Brookdale (76,803 units), LCS (35,543 units) Holiday Retirement (31,313 units), Five Star Senior Living (29,450 units), and Sunrise Senior Living (27,800 units).

    The ASHA 50 has been produced annually since 1994, and is considered to be the authoritative source for market-rate senior living ownership and management.

  • February 18, 2019
    Senior Living Hall of Fame 2019 Inductees

    The American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) announces the Senior Living Hall of Fame’s 2019 class of inductees who will be inaugurated during the association’s 2019 annual meeting in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA on January 31st.
    The following inductees will be honored:

    • Debra A. Cafaro, Ventas, Inc.
    • Paul Klaassen, Sunrise Senior Living
    • Tony Mullen, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC)

    The Senior Living Hall of Fame recognizes the visionaries who have distinguished themselves through uncommon foresight and ground-breaking innovation. These are industry leaders with an unwavering commitment to community lifestyles that enhance choice, independence, dignity and personalized service.


    Debra Cafaro

    • CEO of a leading S&P 500 company
    • Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) owns approximately 1,200 seniors housing, health care and university-based research and innovation properties

    The trajectory of Debra A. Cafaro’s career is extraordinary. She has excelled by virtually any measure, with her ascent culminating in leading an S&P 500 company with a market capitalization reaching $26 billion at its peak.

    Seniors housing’s dynamic growth and emergence as a highly valued investment during her 19-year tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Ventas, Inc. are due in no small part to Cafaro’s vision and leadership. She saw early on that this burgeoning business was ripe for consolidation with the irrefutable, impending swing in demographics promising to power it forward. Investors took notice.

    Under her guidance, Ventas has amassed a diversified portfolio of approximately 1,200 senior living, university-based research and innovation, and health care properties spanning North America and the United Kingdom. The upside for Wall Street: a compound annual total shareholder return of 23 percent since January 2000.

    When Cafaro joined Ventas in 1999 after graduating with honors from Notre Dame, receiving her law degree cum laude from the University of Chicago and practicing real estate, finance and corporate law, the REIT had a market capitalization of only $200 million. Its principal tenant was Vencor, which operated primarily skilled nursing homes and long-term acute care hospitals.

    Under intense financial pressure Vencor eventually declared bankruptcy and reorganized later as Kindred Healthcare. But Cafaro deftly led Ventas through the aftermath of its tenant’s troubles and pushed ahead to diversify its holdings. She took on the additional role of Chairman of the Board in 2003.

    Ventas has made more than $30 billion in strategic investments since 2004. Today, it owns 727 seniors housing communities, just over half of its portfolio’s net operating income (NOI), in addition to medical office buildings, university-based research and innovation centers, post-acute care facilities and health systems.

    Throughout her tenure at Ventas, Cafaro has drawn widespread recognition and praise for delivering consistent growth and exercising prescient foresight.

    She was twice named one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes Magazine; a Top 50 Best-Performing CEOs in the World by Harvard Business Review every year since 2014; one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare five times by Modern Healthcare; and highlighted in The 70 Elite real estate executives who shaped the industry for the past 70 years by Real Estate Forum.

    Additionally, she was named as one of the Bankable 21 CEOs in the book Get Rich Carefully by CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer and as one of nine Game-Changers in commercial real estate since 2000 by Cafaro also was honored with the Industry Leadership Award by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT).

    She was named Chair of The Real Estate Roundtable in 2018, a public policy organization that brings together leaders of the nation’s top real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms to address key national policy issues relating to real estate. She is a member of the Business Council; serves on the executive committee of The Economic Club of Chicago and the Boards of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), the University of Chicago, Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Executives’ Club of Chicago, and World Business Chicago.

    Cafaro grew up in Pittsburgh, where she was an avid fan of the city’s professional sports. In 2016, she became an owner of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins and a member of its Management Committee, just in time to celebrate the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017.

    Paul Klaassen

    • Founded publicly traded assisted living leader
    • Built portfolio of 450 communities in four countries

    It all started in 1981 in an abandoned, former nursing home. This was where Paul and Terry Klaassen’s vision for what soon became known as assisted living got its start.

    Their foresight and incomparable innovation triggered a national movement.

    Investors took their cue from the Klaassens’ new addition to the senior living continuum, unleashing a flurry of assisted living development that gave seniors a novel approach to receiving care by rejecting institutionalization in favor of a more traditional, home-like setting with support services.

    Sunrise Senior Living, with its signature Victorian-style communities, eventually grew under Klaassen’s leadership to more than 450 communities in four countries with approximately 50,000 residents and 43,000 employees.

    After starting in the suburbs of northern Virginia and opening three communities in three years, Klaassen set his sights on becoming a growth company and achieving scale. This was when the Sunrise Victorian prototype was developed.

    His criteria: “It had to be built on three acres anywhere in the country. It had to be reproducible. It had to have timeless appeal.”

    Additional funding for his expansion plans came after private equity in the early 1990s secured a 25 percent interest in the company. Development jumped from two properties a year to 10 annually.

    Sunrise went public in 1996 and the development pace accelerated to 20 a year. When Klaassen stepped down as CEO in 2008, 30 properties were under construction.

    The inspiration behind Klaassen’s assisted living archetype came largely from his childhood experiences in the Netherlands, where elder care communities were called “verzorgingstehuizen”.
    He watched his grandparents flourish in one of these communities as they aged. They enjoyed the independence and dignity of doing all the things they had always done – shopping, cooking and personal hobbies – but had access to assistance when they needed it.

    Anthony Mullen

    • Co-founded NIC and pioneered NIC MAP Data Service
    • Led annual Advanced Sales and Marketing Summit

    Tony Mullen’s legacy in senior living stretches far and wide.

    He was a multi-faceted talent with a supreme grasp of data and analytics who poignantly and persuasively enumerated during the formative years of the industry why its investment returns were equal to and often superior to those of the traditional commercial property types.

    He had a deep, intricate understanding of the unique fundamentals, strategies and tactics that are absolutely essential to successfully marketing and selling the merits of a senior living community. By applying his insights, operators across the country saw their market penetration rates surge.

    And knowing that the future of senior living is inextricably tied to preparing tomorrow’s leaders for the multi-disciplinary demands of the business, he co-founded graduate level seniors housing and care programs at two universities.

    Mullen, who at age 61 passed away in 2018, was in the vanguard of identifying, collecting and disseminating the myriad seniors housing metrics that financial institutions and operators rely on to benchmark the industry’s performance.

    He was a co-founder in 1991 of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) and served as its first research director before chairing NIC’s research committee and then becoming a senior fellow. He was instrumental in creating the NIC MAP Data Service, which tracks senior living metrics in the largest metropolitan areas across the country.

    The State of Seniors Housing, the annual compendium founded by the American Seniors Housing Association that tracks the industry’s financial and operating performance, was another milestone where Mullen played a pivotal role in drilling deeper into communities’ data.

    His mastery of senior living transcended analytics. In 1996, he founded the annual Advanced Sales and Marketing Summit, where for 21 years he assembled the foremost experts in senior living who shared their best practices in sales conversions. The symposium built a well-earned reputation for challenging the industry’s status quo and traditional sales methodologies, while advancing thought-provoking, customer-centric selling skills.

    He leaves a lasting heritage that will be passed down to the future generations of senior living management, thanks to his role in co-founding the graduate-level seniors housing and care programs at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • February 17, 2019
    Larry Cohen Honored at 2018 Alzheimer’s Association Brain Ball

    Longtime Executive Board member and Former ASHA Chairman, Larry Cohen, was the National Honoree at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Brain Ball on May 4, 2018 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. Cohen is the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Senior Living Corporation.

    The Brain Ball is an annual Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser that debuted in 2014, and has honored ASHA members each year, including Mark Ordan of Sunrise Senior Living (now with Quality Care Properties); Debra Cafaro of Ventas; Thomas DeRosa of Welltower Inc.; Arnie Whitman of Formation Capital; and Larry Cohen of Capital Senior Living Corporation.

    ASHA President David Schless served on the Brain Ball Committee, and the American Seniors Housing Association is proud to sponsor this tremendous event.