“TCGIF Spotlight” was created as our platform to recognize and provide exposure to our friends, clients, colleagues and team members both professionally and personally with simple, fun, entertaining and thought-provoking questions.

david schless headshot
President & CEO, American Seniors Housing Association

David Schless

David has been serving as the president & CEO of the American Seniors Housing Association since its inception in 1991, after beginning his career at the National Association for Senior living Industries in 1989. In addition to ASHA, David serves as treasurer of the Seniors Housing Political Action Committee and was the co-author of the Affordable Seniors Housing Handbook. David serves on the advisory boards of the Institute for Healthy Futures at Cornell University and Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living at Washington State University and has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by both the University of Connecticut and the University of North Texas for his work on behalf of America’s seniors.

spotlight q&a
Can you share with us some key insights into the seniors housing industry that you've gained over your extensive career?
Seniors housing is first and foremost a people-driven business and, without fail, the most successful organizations in this business always understand the importance of their people. Both their associates and their residents and families. That is really where it all starts and ends, you need to build a culture that really cares about people.

What are some common misconceptions about seniors housing that you frequently encounter, and how do you address them?
I think many people fail to appreciate just how hard it is for a consumer to make the decision to move into seniors housing – despite the very real benefits of moving. We recently relaunched our Where You Live Matters (whereyoulivematters.org) consumer website and, among other things we hope to accomplish, we’re trying to use real resident/family videos from those who have made the move to try and help people who could clearly benefit from senior living, but are “stuck.”

As someone deeply involved in research, policy, and regulation in the seniors housing sector, what are some current trends or challenges you see shaping the industry's future?
On the policy side, the ASHA legislative team spends a lot of time on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress in both political parties talking about the significant pending impact of the aging baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1966). The U.S. will absolutely need to increase the pool of legal workers to care for this burgeoning population of older adults. It is a crisis that can be addressed with Congressional action, but the politics are of course complicated on both sides of the political spectrum. There are other related policy implications that will also be front and center for policymakers in the years ahead and unfortunately my sense is our policymakers have seriously underestimated the impact of these demographic shifts.

Your involvement with various organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association Vision Gala Committee and the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living, highlights a commitment to improving the lives of seniors. Can you tell us about some impactful initiatives or projects you've been a part of?
Bill and Bob Thomas (founders of Senior Star, based in Tulsa) have been extremely involved in ASHA since the early 1990s and they have had an enormous impact on me and ASHA over the years. They got involved in the Alzheimer’s Association in the 1990s at both the local and national level and they helped facilitate our deep relationship with the Alzheimer's Association which includes advocacy, best practices, and raising funds to find a cure for this horrible disease. I have personally gotten very involved in the local Alzheimer’s Association (National Capital Area) with their Vision Gala (formerly called the Brain Ball). This event has raised over $11 million for the Alzheimer’s Association since its inception and has honored some of our industry’s finest ambassadors including Paul Klaassen, Mark Ordan, Debra Cafaro, Thomas DeRosa, Arnold Whitman, Larry Cohen, and Doris-Ellie Sullivan most recently. ASHA has also actively encouraged our members to form teams to participate in their local community Walks to End Alzheimer's and our members have been amazing. ASHA members formed over 11,000 teams last year and collectively raised $4.8 million for the Alzheimer's Association. Since we started keeping track in 2012, ASHA members have raised over $48 million with their community walks alone, which I am enormously proud of.

I have also been fortunate to have been involved in the creation of the Institute for Healthy Futures at Cornell University (which ASHA was a founding member of). I have also been involved with the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living at Washington State University which is a fabulous program housed within the Carson School of Business. It is a program that is helping educate next-generation leaders and I’m very proud of what the Institute is doing. Granger Cobb was an incredible man who touched the lives of thousands of people in this business during his lifetime, including mine. This program has dozens of engaged volunteers and leaders and the faculty and students and everything about this program is a perfect way to remember Granger’s important legacy.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the seniors housing industry, and what lessons have been learned from navigating this unprecedented challenge?
The COVID pandemic had a significant impact on seniors housing in ways that were both negative and positive. On the positive side, I think the industry came together collectively like never before and I am incredibly proud of what the industry did to take care of its residents and families in the best way possible under unknown and horrible circumstances. We successfully advocated for Provider Relief Funds for one of the only sectors that did not bill Medicare or Medicaid directly, and while the funds were not enough, they helped many companies survive.
The industry learned how to better use technology and I believe these applications have helped improve the resident/family experience and improve operating efficiency which is so important in the inflationary period that has followed the pandemic. I also think the pandemic has helped senior living position itself as a more visible and important player in the broader health care ecosystem.

With the aging population, what innovations or advancements do you foresee in seniors housing design and technology to meet evolving needs?
I do think the boomers who have the resources will continue to want larger apartments with plenty of storage, and good natural light. They will want their buildings to be eco-friendly/sustainably designed, have smart technology integration, community-centric spaces, walking paths, fitness rooms, etc. We have completed a couple of recent studies with ProMatura (Boomers and the Future of Senior Living and Active Adult Living: Understanding Today’s Consumer) that are based on robust samples and provide a very good road map of what the consumer is looking for in terms of housing, services and amenities.

What advice would you give to individuals considering a career in the seniors housing sector, given your wealth of experience in the field?
Understanding business (management, marketing, finance, and accounting) is very helpful to someone who wants to work in seniors housing. You can get this in a business program, hospitality program, and in some of the healthcare management programs. And, to the extent you can be exposed to senior living in an academic program, all the better especially if the school will help facilitate paid internships. I’m a big proponent of meaningful internship opportunities as a benefit to both students and future employers.

As a Distinguished Alumnus of both the University of Connecticut and the University of North Texas, how have your educational experiences shaped your career trajectory and contributions to the seniors housing industry?
I have been honest about the fact that I was in the right place at the right time on several occasions. When I was at UConn as an undergraduate the school had a deep relationship with Traveler’s Insurance (Traveler’s Center on Aging) and I ended up being exposed to a number of aging courses and a career that I would not have otherwise known about. While at UConn, I also had opportunities to do internships at an excellent long-term care/rehabilitation facility and at a Section 202 senior housing community.
I was like a professional student coming out of UConn and went into what was then the best of the Masters Programs in long-term care in the U.S. at North Texas in Denton, TX. Here too, the school had an incredible faculty and network of alums across the country, many of whom provided amazing internships (which were part of the program requirements).
I ended up with an internship in Annapolis, MD at the National Association for Senior Living Industries (NASLI) which allowed me to meet people like Bill Kaplan, Bill Sheriff, Mary Leary, Tom Grape, Jim Stroud, Tony Mullen, Jim Moore, Chris Coates, Jim Eden, Jim Sherman, Susan Brecht, Margaret Wylde, and so many other incredible individuals. Thomas Fairchild was my advisor at North Texas, and I can never thank him enough for helping me get that internship at NASLI… I’m a big proponent of meaningful internship opportunities as a benefit to both students and future employers. I was fortunate enough to have meaningful internships at both the University of Connecticut as an undergraduate and at North Texas in graduate school.
TCGIF - Sarah Dorr
Senior Vice President/Managing Director – Capital Markets,
LCS Real Estate

Sarah Dorr

Utilizing her experience in mortgage loan/subordinate debt origination, portfolio loan sales and commercial real estate portfolio servicing, Sarah Dorr leads the strategic direction of the debt capitalization needs of the national platform of LCS Real Estate and the broader LCS organization. In her role, she is responsible for the oversight of all debt sourcing, servicing, and relationship management for LCS and the $2.0+ billion debt portfolio of LCS Real Estate, and in select situations to support the capital needs of the third-party clients of LCS Development and Life Care Services. Sarah serves as the main relationship manager with all debt partners of LCS Real Estate and the LCS Family of Companies. 

spotlight q&a
LCS is considered a seniors housing pioneer, how has the first 50 years shaped the organization and how do you see the next 50 years playing out?
For more than 50 years, the culture of LCS has been at the core of all we do and has helped shape how we have grown as an organization. We have a diversified portfolio of businesses to support those we serve and that is derived from our culture of serving the customer first and foremost, dealing with integrity and openness, maintaining a long-term perspective, being diligent and persevering, and realizing we are interconnected and interdependent as an organization and an industry. Our experienced team of senior living experts are uniquely positioned to serve the senior living industry by offering unparalleled support to any community, owner, or board needing management, repositioning, master planning, development, and group purchasing services – services which are available to all.
Currently, we have a renewed focus on business development as we, like many of us in senior living, prepare for the silver tsunami rapidly coming our way. To ensure we are meeting the evolving needs of this growing population, LCS will continue to focus culture, innovation, research, data and analytics to better understand and evolve the products and services we provide.

The industry has faced difficult challenges over the last 3-5 years with COVID, labor, supply, and now debt costs. LCS has continued to successfully navigate headwinds. Are you bullish over the next 3-5 years and how are you positioning for opportunities?
Offering a diverse portfolio of services from development, redevelopment, and master planning to group purchasing, in addition to a full suite of management services has helped us weather the challenges of the last few years. Throughout the pandemic, our group purchasing organization afforded us the ability to leverage scale to negotiate pricing and obtain critical resources. As we look to the next three to five years, LCS is leveraging data and research to prepare for opportunities, position our organization and those we serve for the future, and to ensure we are listening to the needs of our fast-growing consumer base.

What is the best part about living in Des Moines, IA?
As someone who was raised in rural Iowa, but had the opportunity to travel the globe, I can safely say Des Moines truly is an amazing place to work, live, and raise a family. A robust economy offering excellent employment opportunities, excellent amenities and the fact that everything is just a 15-minute drive away makes it a wonderful place to call home.

What is fundamental to LCS, as an organization, that many people wouldn’t know unless working for the Company?
Our commitment to investing in and giving back to the senior living industry is at the core of all we do. LCS employees and leaders are encouraged to serve across the industry, lending their expertise and mentorship to those shaping policy, aspiring to be future leaders, and partnering to better understand our future consumer’s needs. For example, I serve on the Board of the LCS Foundation, which was started by our former CEO, Ed Kenny. The LCS Foundation focuses on developing future leaders in the senior living profession, providing financial relief for employees during crisis situations, and supporting dementia care by partnering with associations like the Alzheimer’s Association to support critical research initiatives. There are countless opportunities at LCS to either be involved or to spread beyond our walls to make an impact on the residents, employees, and communities we serve.

How do you enjoy spending your time away from the business?
I am blessed to love what I do, but when not at work I am focused on being a wife, mother, daughter and friend. Our family loves hiking, visiting National Parks and MLB ballparks, hosting family and friends in our home, spending time in the Iowa Great Lakes and supporting our two children in their academic, athletic and musical pursuits.

Being in the capital markets for most of your career, talk about how important “relationships” are to achieving your financing objectives.
Achieving our financing objectives would not be possible without collaboration with numerous teams across LCS and throughout the seniors housing and capital markets industries. Personal relationships are a critical part of not only serving seniors in this business, but also in how we finance our communities and our business. These relationships have provided me with a better ability to achieve the financing goals of LCS and its partners in an effective and efficient manner. While real estate and seniors housing is, and always will be, a people businesses, it is the people I am honored to work with day after day that bring me the most professional joy.
Dustin Cosper and Cary Tremper
Head of Commercial Real Estate, Texas Capital

Dustin Cosper

Dustin Cosper is Managing Director, Head of Commercial Real Estate at Texas Capital. He is responsible for driving the execution of the firm’s commercial real estate strategy while working across lines of business to provide full-service solutions for clients. Dustin joined the Texas Capital Commercial Real Estate division in 2013.

spotlight q&a
When you have free time what do you most enjoy doing?
I enjoy traveling and wish I had more time for it. I also try to be outside as much as possible. When I’m not at the office you can typically find me playing golf, hiking or fishing. So, whenever I can travel somewhere and do all those things, it’s perfect. Additionally, I look for any opportunity to enjoy live music, an interest that most likely comes from the years I spent living in Austin, where I first joined Texas Capital.

Who would you say you looked up to most while growing up?
My grandfather, who was a true cowboy and product of the Great Depression. He was a man of few words and strong morals. He taught me everything I know about hard work and being a person who can be trusted to get the job done in the right way.

How did you end up getting into the banking industry?
I started my career at a community bank in Houston. This was during the 2007-2008 financial crisis, so I quickly went from doing deals, to negotiating sales to handling bankruptcies and liquidation strategies, and eventually helped liquidate the bank. This experience allowed me to learn the entire business from several perspectives: from capital management to compliance and reporting, diving deep into operations and regulatory obligations. By the end of my time with the bank, I gained a holistic understanding of the entire business.

What do you enjoy most about Commercial Real Estate?
Commercial real estate at its core is about the legacy of building something of value. You’re able to be a part of this greater idea to create and provide, from the retail centers in small suburbs to every city skyline in the world. Great commercial real estate projects connect us; Every developer, engineer, architect, construction worker and even the guy who signed your loan will point at the building every time they pass it and say, “I was a part of that.”

What sets Texas Capital apart from other financial services firms?
Texas Capital’s recent firm-wide transformation is a definite source of pride, and we continue to expand and develop in every sector. Texas Capital is big enough to meet all our clients’ needs across multiple platforms and still small enough to have meaningful relationships that go well beyond just doing deals. Texas Capital doesn’t want to be your loan officer; we want to be your most trusted and full-service financial services partner.

Texas Capital Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. We are headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and work with clients across the country. All services are subject to applicable laws, regulations and service terms. Member FDIC
CEO, Harbert South Bay Partners

Patrick McGonigle

Patrick joined South Bay in 2002 and is primarily responsible for debt and equity relationships including construction/acquisition financing. Patrick also oversees development projects on the west coast. Before joining South Bay, he was with Archon Group, a Goldman Sachs affiliate, working on commercial development and operating partner oversight. Patrick was born in New Jersey, but grew up in both Dallas and Fort Worth. Patrick received a BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University.

spotlight q&a

What is your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team is the Dallas Stars. I became a hockey fan going to minor league games in the late 70s with my father in Fort Worth. I also remember the day Team USA beat the USSR in 1980. The game was shown on tape delay. My dad asked me if I wanted to know who won. I said don’t tell me. I am glad I held out.

What is your most memorable game experience?
2006 was a quite a year for me. I went to the Rose Bowl to see Texas win the national championship over USC. I also attended the World Cup Final in Berlin between Italy and France. Italy won on penalty kicks.

What is one place in this world you will never tire out from visiting and/or living and why?
I am a beach person with a strong preference for southern California beaches. I have great memories and continue to make them with my son, Ben, whether it is playing catch with a baseball, football, or lacrosse ball on the beach.

What do you see as HSBP’s impact on the seniors housing industry?
I hope we continue to push the envelope of where seniors housing can go which began with our founder, Craig Spaulding. We were at the forefront of stand-alone memory care development in the late 1990s and early 2000s in partnership with JEA Senior Living. More recently, we developed large rental CCRC campuses in Texas with Integrated Senior Living. Today, we are pushing boundaries of luxury senior living in coastal gateway cities with Momentum Senior Living.

Describe why the HSB culture is so important to you.
A strong corporate culture significantly increases employee engagement and satisfaction. We are always striving for sociability (friendliness among co-workers) and solidarity (passion for common goals) with our team to instill a communal culture. The principles we live by are honesty, integrity and grace which provide a guiding light in all aspects of HSBP.