Patricia Will’s delight in her job stems from being on the other side of the senior housing industry — as a consumer. “I reached a point in time back in the early ’90s while I was active as a developer building healthcare facilities, and I became a consumer for long-term care as a caregiver for my mother-in-law. I became interested in the dearth of quality places that I saw to fulfill the needs that she had,” Patricia said. “It struck me that there was an opportunity to create not just buildings, but buildings and a company that would represent someplace where I would have wanted to have her, and where I would want to be.” That experience is essentially what sparked Will to found a seniors housing company with BelmontCorp.
The company develops and operates each of its seniors housing communities, called Belmont Villages. “We create wonderful buildings but really the building is only the beginning of our business,” Patricia said. “It’s what goes on inside that makes our product.”
Patricia’s enthusiasm has expanded into every Belmont Village with the programs she has created for the residents, including the Center for Learning program, which uses a state-of-the-art computer center at every Village. Every resident receives a free e-mail address and training on how to use the Internet. “This is probably my favorite program because what we’ve been able to do for seniors who are relatively immobile is open up the whole world via the Internet,” Patricia said. “We have fabulous stories of residents who have tracked down old World War II buddies.”
Belmont also offers special programs for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and Patricia is currently working on an agility and mobility physical program called Life Enhancement. She makes it a point to visit all the communities at least once a quarter. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn from our senior population,” she said. “My business is great fun.” Patricia has served as a trustee for several charitable institutions, and currently is on the executive board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Houston. She received an MBA with distinction from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from Reed College in Portland, Ore.