Ventas chairman and CEO Debra A. Cafaro was inducted into the American Seniors Housing Association’s (ASHA) Senior Living Hall of Fame on January 31, 2019, in recognition of her industry vision, innovation and foresight. Cafaro was honored alongside Sunrise Senior Living founder Paul Klaasen and National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care co-founder, the late Tony Mullen.
“It is a gift to have a career in an industry that provides such compelling business opportunity, supports such deep, strategic relationships with operators and delivers such an essential benefit for so many individuals and their families,” said Cafaro. “I am proud to accept this award on behalf of all my wonderful Ventas colleagues—all of whom are responsible for our success. They exemplify our Ventas drive for excellence, our responsibility to shareholders, our partnerships with care providers and our commitment to seniors.”
In stressing the importance that committed and high-quality care providers bring to the seniors housing industry, Cafaro also noted that she believes the industry will continue to grow and evolve and, in doing so, demonstrate the value it brings to seniors and their families.
Cafaro observed that only 15 percent of a nearly $300 billion dollar market is in the well-capitalized, long-term oriented hands of public REITs, while the 80+ population will increase by 60 percent to almost 20 million people in the decade ahead. She also noted that recent advances in the use of sophisticated technologies and data analytics enable improved marketing to and care of customers and she expects that vertical integration will increase as large payers and providers seek to integrate senior living in their business models to enhance the health and wellness of seniors.
Last year, Cafaro was named as one of the Top 100 Best Performing CEOs in the World by Harvard Business Review, her fifth consecutive year on the list. She has led Ventas for almost 20 years, having joined the company in 1999 and has expanding the healthcare real estate investment trust’s market capitalization to approximately $26 billion at its peak from $200 million at the beginning of her tenure.
Chicago-based Ventas owns more than 720 seniors housing assets located in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, that are home to 60,000+ residents. Its private pay portfolio of high-quality assets is located principally in high barrier-to-entry coastal markets, with both median home values and household incomes well above the national average. Ventas is strategically partnered with best-in-class care providers including Atria Senior Living and Sunrise Senior Living.