Mary Leary
Mary Leary

Editor’s Note: The McKnight’s Senior Living Daily Briefing and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Daily Update e-newsletters are profiling each of the McKnight’s 2019 Women of Distinction in July. For more coverage, visit the McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News websites and read the August print edition of McKnight’s Senior Living and July print edition of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Mary Leary
Mary Leary

For Mather LifeWays President and CEO Mary Leary, a career in senior living is more than a job. Working in this industry, she says, gives her a sense of purpose that is bigger than herself.

She joined Mather LifeWays in 2002, and since then, the number of older adults the organization serves has grown from 8,400 to more than 61,000, and its endowment has almost doubled.

Leary also founded and chairs Novare, a not-for-profit consortium of life plan community providers from non-competing markets across the country. In 2018, Novare represented 7,800 units, $486 million in revenue and $3.4 billion in assets.

She has served on numerous for-profit and not-for-profit industry boards, including executive officer positions with the American Seniors Housing Association and the National Association for Senior Living Industry Executives. She also has served on the executive committee of Encore Senior Living, a for-profit memory care provider.

Mary Leary receiving Hall of Honor award
Mary Leary, left, receives her award from Elizabeth Newman
of McKnights Long-Term Care News at a May 16 ceremony.
Photo: Social Snacks.

Currently, she serves on the executive board for ASHA; the Operator Advisory Board of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care; the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures Advisory Board; and the Board of Caring Communities, a reciprocal risk retention group.

Leary is “driven to help people age in the best way possible and inspires employees to do the same,” according to Paula Ledbetter, assistant vice president at Mather LifeWays. Leary encourages growth and upward movement within the organization, Ledbetter adds, by supporting the development of a year-long management developmental program that now is being replicated by other providers across the country.

McKnight’s Women of Distinction is a joint program of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program’s exclusive Platinum sponsor is PointClickCare.