The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of senior housing, skilled nursing, home health and hospice care. To see this year’s future leaders, visit Future Leaders online.
Phil Lord, vice president of operations at Solera Senior Living, has been named a 2023 Future Leader by Senior Housing News.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
Lord sat down to speak with Senior Housing News about what drew him to the industry, how he has connected with residents in the communities he oversees and the changes that he is seeing come to the industry.
What drew you to this industry?
When I was a sophomore in college I was unsure of my true passion or career path. At the time, my mom was a Wellness Partnership Director for a senior living community in South Florida. She urged me to take a role serving in a senior living community in Tallahassee, Fla. to earn money while in school. Two weeks into the role I lost my grandfather. His influence in my life played a major role in the person and professional I am today. Saddened by my loss, I found comfort in the residents I interacted with daily. There was a piece of my grandfather’s wisdom in each of them. I knew from that moment on, I had found my purpose in this industry. I went to my advisor with a renewed sense of career aspirations and a month later found myself interning throughout various communities. That was 15 years ago although it feels like yesterday, the senior living industry is home!
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
Never forget what it takes to be successful at the community level. There is always adversity in a community that affects the day-to-day operation. When provided my first opportunity to support multiple communities I knew leadership was more than just providing direction, it was understanding the challenges each director is faced with daily. Providing the right leadership is experiencing firsthand each community director’s individual department challenges and supporting them through it.
What do you foresee as being different about the senior housing industry looking ahead to 2023?
There is no doubt that looking ahead for the future of our industry we are going to have to work to transform. Since 2019 our industry has been faced with a great amount of adversity. To succeed and rise above we will need to find creative solutions and adapt. At Solera we have done this already by piloting platforms to increase revenue through ancillary programs along with pioneering technology to support operating efficiencies. Also and most recently we have partnered with a Value Based Care provider to which I believe will become one of the most successful facets of our care model and success heading into the future.
In a word, how would you describe the future of senior housing?
What quality must all Future Leaders possess?
I think two extremely necessary qualities that are most important for the future of industry’s success are humbleness and dedication. We need to be humble to support residents, families, and staff from all different walks of life. We must have dedication for without this, we will not be able to overcome the adversities in an ever-evolving industry.