Discovery Senior Living has tapped Hilary Bullard to be president of its new Morada Senior Living brand.
Bullard comes from Denver-based real estate investment trust Healthpeak (NYSE: PEAK), where she was vice president, senior housing asset management. Prior to that, she was an executive director with JPMorgan Chase, overseeing senior housing and multifamily assets.
The more she learned about senior living, the more she was drawn to the industry, Bullard told Senior Housing News. She appreciates that it blends the business of real estate with the mission of bringing families peace of mind.
At Chase and Healthpeak, she worked with many operators — including Bonita Springs, Florida-based Discovery — and was able to observe best practices as well as approaches that did not yield the best results. She looks forward to applying those lessons with Morada, as she shifts to the operations side of the industry.
“I’m not asking the questions anymore but answering the questions that ownership poses and being directly involved in operations at the community,” she told SHN.
Bullard will play a key role in driving a new strategic direction for Discovery. The company is launching regional sub-brands, with Morada as the first. Morada Senior Living is based in Dallas and encompasses 16 properties that Discovery and non-traded REIT White Oak recently acquired from Healthpeak, which is largely exiting the senior living sector.
Discovery aims to create regional operators that have the freedom and focus to closely manage communities, while leveraging the resources and efficiencies of the larger organization. Overall, Discovery’s portfolio includes more than 70 properties, and the company is among the 10 largest senior living providers in the United States by unit count.
“There’s a huge engine here in Bonita Springs and the regional brand concept will allow us to leverage that engine,” Bullard said.
She is currently onboarding at Discovery’s Florida headquarters, after which she will relocate to Dallas and embark on a two-week tour of the portfolio. Her top priority is to connect with leadership at the community level.
“There are communities that previously were managed by three different management companies, and now we’re under one management and one brand, and we have to build that culture together,” she said.
Bullard holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, is a Naval Academy graduate and served on active and reserve duty. She shares an armed services background with Discovery CEO Richard Hutchinson, who served in the Gulf War.