Maplewood Senior Living President & CEO Greg Smith
Greg Smith

Maplewood Senior Living and Inspīr President and CEO Gregory “Greg” Smith passed away “suddenly and unexpectedly” on Friday, the company announced Sunday on LinkedIn. He was 54, a company representative told McKnight’s Senior Living.

“Mr. Smith was a true visionary and industry leader, credited with transforming the future of senior living,” the company said in a press release published on its website.

With a background in real estate development and hospitality, Smith founded Westport, CT-based Maplewood and its Inspīr brand, with the first Maplewood community, Maplewood at Danbury, in Danbury, CT, opening in 2006.

“Greg was a true inspiration to all of us,” Maplewood Chief Investment Officer Tom Gaston said. “We are all very grateful to him for his fearless leadership, vision and steadfast commitment to helping to change the promise and potential of our later years.”

Maplewood now has 16 senior living communities across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. Inspīr, which focuses on upscale offerings in metropolitan areas, has a location in Manhattan with one under construction in Washington, DC.

“Greg’s impact on the industry and his team was extraordinary,” Omega Healthcare Investors CEO Taylor Pickett said. The Hunt Valley, MD-based real estate investment trust contains the Maplewood portfolio.

Smith, Pickett continued, “had bold ideas and a collaborative spirit, which helped him attract a winning team and made us proud to partner with Maplewood. We are all grateful for the many contributions he made to establish Maplewood Senior Living as an industry-leading company. We have every confidence that his team will continue his legacy and are looking forward to our continued strong relationship.”

A native of Massachusetts, Smith studied marketing and finance at Bentley University, Waltham, MA. He was chairman of the Ability Beyond Board of Directors, was a long-standing member on the Alzheimer’s Association New York City Chapter Board of Directors and supported many projects and campaigns across Nuvance Health, including the establishment of the Andrew Cruz Endowed Chair in Palliative Care in memory of his cousin, among other civic and philanthropic efforts.

“Greg’s passion was infectious and drove all of us to push the boundaries of what was possible,” Maplewood Chief Operating Officer Shane Herlet said. “We are proud to carry on his legacy and continue our work to deliver best-in-class senior living options. On behalf of our leadership team, employees and investment partners, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

According to an online obituary, Smith is survived by his mother and father, Sandra and Robert; his twin brother, Christopher; his sister, Hollee Chontos; his fiancée, Carine Bonnist; his children, Hunter, Hayden, Cruz, John Robert, Bella, Sage and Dakota; and additional relatives.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Ability Beyond, the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Andrew Cruz Endowed Chair for Palliative Care at Nuvance Health.

A Mass for Smith will be held April 15 at 10 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, CT, immediately followed by a celebration of his life at Shorehaven Golf Club in Norwalk, CT.