Patricia G. Will, founder and CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living, has been chosen as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner in the McKnight’s Women of Distinction program.
The award recognizes a woman leader who has made outstanding contributions in the area of senior living, skilled nursing or home care over the course of a lengthy career.
“Patricia’s service to the long-term care industry, inside and outside of her company, has earned the admiration and respect of her peers and is inspiring to future leaders,” said John O’Connor, editorial director of the McKnight’s family of business media brands, which include McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, focusing on skilled nursing; and McKnight’s Home Care. “We’re pleased to recognize those contributions this year.”
Will founded Houston-based Belmont Village in 1997 as a fully integrated owner, developer and operator of senior living communities. This year celebrating 25 years in business, the company is known for resident programming often brought to fruition via partnerships with leading research universities and healthcare institutions such as the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Baptist Health South Florida.
Belmont Village owns and operates 32 communities with a collective 5,000 units; an additional 1,000 units are under development. The company is a leader in major markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Austin, TX, and South Florida.
In addition to its U.S. communities, Belmont Village opened a high-rise project in 2017 in Mexico City. That same year, Belmont Village broke ground on its first project in downtown Chicago, already having a “semi-urban” community in Oak Park, IL, as well as U.S. urban locations in Berkeley and San Jose, CA. Those projects came at a time when opening communities in downtown urban locations was not as common as it is becoming today or is expected to become in the next several years.
Family leads to senior living
Immediately after earning an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, Will entered the commercial real estate industry with a focus on medical development. Along with life-long friend and business partner Walter Mischer Jr., she co-founded Mischer Healthcare Services in 1994, a company that went on to develop millions of square feet in medical real estate. In addition, the start-up sponsored multiple healthcare and wellness platforms.
Ultimately, a family matter — Will’s mother-in-law’s experience with dementia — sparked the creation of Belmont Village. With no options for care outside the home, she decided to create a community and a company.
Since founding Belmont Village, Will has been named as a trustee of numerous academic and charitable institutions, including the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California and the Center for Longevity at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a member of the Executive Advisory Board of Argentum, chairman emeritus of the American Seniors Housing Association board, serves on the advisory board of the Texas Assisted Living Association, and has been active on the board and committees of the California Assisted Living Association.
In 2018, Will was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. In 2021, she was inducted into the ASHA Senior Living Hall of Fame as well as the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor. McKnight’s also previously recognized her in 2020 as part of its “40 for 40” series featuring 40 newsworthy individuals in the 40th anniversary year of McKnight’s.
Other award winners for 2022
The McKnight’s Women of Distinction award inductees for 2022 in the Hall of Honor, Veteran VIP and Rising Stars categories previously were announced. The recipients of a new honor, the Spirit Award, will be announced next week.
Will and all of this year’s other honorees will be celebrated at a Thursday, May 12, ceremony in Chicago. That celebration will be followed the next morning by the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Forum, which will feature a trio of sessions through which participants can earn continuing education credits. Everyone is welcome to attend. Tickets and more details about the awards and forum, as well as a gallery of photos of this year’s honorees, are available at mcknightswomenofdistinction.com.
PointClickCare is the Diamond sponsor of this year’s event. OnShift and PharMerica are the Silver sponsors. Table sponsors include Gojo/Purell and Sound Physicians.