As Seen on McKnight’s Senior Living
ASHA is recognizing Patricia Will, founder and CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living, for being an innovative force in the senior housing sector ever since she launched her company in 1997, a time of rapid expansion in the industry.
Will built her business after earning an MBA at Harvard Business School. “At the time she enrolled, she admittedly didn’t know a debit from a credit or how to read a financial statement,” according to ASHA. “And she says she certainly hadn’t thought much about leadership. She later described the experience at Harvard as ‘life-changing.’ ”
Will said she set out to fill a void in the assisted living space by combining the best practices of gerontology, hospitality and architecture to create a high-end product, the cornerstone of which is programming designed to enrich residents’ lives.
That mission led to the development of Belmont Village West University, which opened in Houston in 1998. Today, Belmont Village has 31 operating communities, and the company continues to develop new projects, with three communities slated to open in 2022 in California and Florida.
In addition to its U.S. communities, Belmont Village brought U.S.– style senior living to Mexico. The company opened a high-rise project in 2017 in Mexico City. At the time, the city of 21 million people had virtually no senior living.
Will is chairman emeritus of ASHA and is on the board and Public Policy Committee of the California Assisted Living Association, the board of the Texas Assisted Living Association and the Executive Advisory Board for Argentum. She also serves on the boards of the University of Southern California–Davis School of Gerontology and the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Longevity.
This year’s honorees were chosen by the Senior Living Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which is chaired by former ASHA Chairman Larry Cohen, CEO of Trustwell Living. Committee members included Lois Bowers of McKnight’s Senior Living, Steve Monroe, Matt Valley and John Yedinak.