Patricia Will (MBA 1980) is cofounder and president of Belmont Village Senior Living, which operates 25 retirement communities in the southwestern and midwestern United States. In this video, she talks about how she came to found a company that now employs more than 3,000 staff.
“When I first got out of Harvard Business School, I became a real estate developer with a specialty on medical campuses. Almost simultaneously, my mother-in-law developed what we know today to be early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and I found myself caught between my day job on medical campuses, caring for my children and raising a family, and becoming a caregiver to an aged parent.
“Through that process I began to look at what was available in the marketplace for the aged who had cognitive disorders like dementia, but also the aged in general, and I found that there was no availability or services in any place that I would want to be.
“Ultimately I bought the first piece of land to create a best-in-class senior-housing community about a mile from the Texas Medical Center. We looked for companies to buy and/or manage our community. We couldn’t find anyone that fit the bill for a variety of reasons, so I moved from real estate mode to operating mode, and we launched from scratch—blank sheet of paper—an operating company. Today that company is operating in eight states; we are under construction in Mexico City. We have about 3,000 employees and close to 5,000 seniors that we take care of.”
(Published February 2016)
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