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Senior Living Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees

Washington, DC — The American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) announced the formation of the Senior Living Hall of Fame and welcomed the inaugural class of inductees during the association’s 2018 annual meeting in Orlando, FL.

The following inductees were honored: Granger Cobb, Bill Colson, Bill Kaplan, Jim Moore, Bill Sheriff and Stan Thurston.


Granger Cobb

During a 32-year span, Granger Cobb rose from executive director of an assisted living community to CEO of Emeritus Senior Living, the largest assisted living company in the nation, before spearheading a $2.8 billion merger with Brookdale. When Granger passed away following a battle with cancer at age of 55 in 2015, he was a member of Brookdale’s board of directors.

He began his senior living career shortly after graduating from UCLA, and five years later in 1989 founded a California-based assisted living company with his wife Tina, called Cobbco, Inc.

After Cobbco was acquired in 1998 by Summerville Senior Living, Granger served as the combined company’s president, CEO and director from 2000 to 2007. Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living merged with Summerville in 2007, and during Granger’s tenure as president and CEO of Emeritus, the company grew to more than 500 communities in 45 states with over 31,000 employees serving almost 54,000 residents.

Granger’s lifelong commitment to developing future industry professionals was recently recognized with the creation of the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living at Washington State University.

Bill Colson

Bill built an international enterprise over the course of 36 years with more than 300 independent living communities that ultimately sold for $6.5 billion.

Bill and his father founded what became Holiday Retirement Corp. in 1971. Based in Salem, OR, the Colson organization developed, constructed, acquired and managed a portfolio that eventually spanned the U.S., Canada, France and the United Kingdom.

Bill is widely recognized across the senior living profession as a visionary who saw the potential in building independent living apartments that featured food service, transportation and social activities long before others began to take notice.

He was one of the ASHA founders and played an instrumental role in ensuring the success of the American Seniors Housing Association.

Bill Kaplan

Senior living communities emphasizing independence, choice and gracious hospitality have been the hallmark of Senior Lifestyle since it was founded by Bill Kaplan in 1985. Chicago-based Senior Lifestyle created a broad strata of product lines over the years to serve the entire market, reaching across the high end to the affordable side. Senior Lifestyle communities are located in 22 states.

One of Bill’s most noteworthy achievements was partnering with the City of Chicago to develop Senior Suites, an affordable housing brand that provides income-qualified residents with quality apartment homes in neighborhoods throughout greater Chicago.

Unlike traditional affordable housing, Senior Suites includes daily resident programming, weekly local transportation, à la carte dining options, and a daily check-in service. Senior Suites serves over 2,000 seniors in 24 locations, each property financed with a combination of investments from the private sector through the sale of low-income tax credits coupled with assistance from local, state and federal resources.

Jim Moore

Over the course of 50+ years, Jim Moore has been engaged in virtually every facet of the seniors housing business.

His Fort Worth, TX-based Moore Diversified Services has provided several thousand consulting engagements including market feasibility studies, detailed financial pro forma analysis, strategic planning, operations analysis, and investment advisory services in more than 1,200 markets spanning the entire U.S.  In addition, Jim also conducted numerous international engagements in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Canada, Europe, Central America and Mexico.

With market intelligence from thousands of consumer and business focus groups and firsthand experience residing in hundreds of senior living communities, Jim is a widely recognized authority on the intricacies of successful development and operations.

He has been a mainstay on both the for-profit and not-for-profit sides of the seniors housing profession while serving national and regional organizations.

Bill Sheriff

After taking the reins of his family’s truck stop business at age 22, Bill expanded it and nine years later it was sold to the Ryder System’s new national network of truck stops. Bill stayed and under his leadership from 1975 to 1984, the Ryder division grew to become the largest chain of corporate-owned-and-operated truck stops in the country. Sohio acquired it in 1984.

He then made the transition to CEO of American Retirement Corporation (ARC), a seniors housing developer and operator in Nashville backed by the founders of Hospital Corporation of America.

Specializing in continuing care retirement communities, ARC went public in 1997. Nine years later, Brookdale Senior Living acquired ARC. With Bill moving over as CEO following the transaction, Brookdale became the nation’s largest operator of senior living communities. Throughout his tenure, he stressed the importance of an integrated continuum of services at Brookdale that included skilled nursing, home health care, rehab therapies, and hospice.

When Bill retired in 2012 after 28 years in the senior living business, he had assembled 647 communities in 35 states, with Brookdale operating independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities, as well as continuing care retirement communities.

Stan Thurston

Life Care Services, an LCS Company in Des Moines, IA, is best known for its extensive involvement in continuing care retirement communities, Life Care Services has partnered with over 140 communities serving more than 35,000 seniors. Over the course of nearly 30 years, Stan led the development division and oversaw the operations management division prior to becoming Life Care Services’ president and CEO in 1995. He retired in 2006.

One of his most noteworthy innovations was creating the 90 percent Refundable Entrance Fee Contract for continuing care retirement communities, which was a major breakthrough in exponentially expanding the market for potential residents. This also gave communities greater control over their capital structures, while residents benefited from more affordable monthly service fees.

And he was instrumental in working with ASHA to guide legislation that changed the tax code to protect entrance-fee CCRC residents from encountering negative tax consequences. Continuing care retirement communities for many years were traditionally the province of not-for-profit sponsors.  Stan, however, saw an opportunity to bring for-profit participants to the table. By collaborating with various legal and regulatory groups, he came up with a business model that mitigated risk and provided a going return for the eventual owner of a continuing care retirement community.

The Senior Living Hall of Fame Selection Committee will be chaired by Larry Cohen, CEO of Capital Senior Living and former ASHA chairman. Committee members are Lois Bowers of McKnight’s Senior Living, Steve Monroe of The SeniorCare Investor, Matt Valley of Seniors Housing Business, and John Yedinak of Senior Housing News.

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