Benchmark Founder Tom Grape to be Honored with Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from Mass-ALA

May 02, 2019

Today, the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association (Mass-ALA) announced that Tom Grape, founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark, will be awarded the inaugural Mass-ALA Lifetime Achievement Award for his over 30 years of dedication to the assisted living industry in Massachusetts. The award will officially be presented at the organization’s annual Excellence Awards Dinner on May 14, 2019. The excellence awards are presented each year to individuals at every level of assisted living who have demonstrated their desire to make a positive difference in the lives of residents and who, in the view of their peers, stand out as role models in the industry. 

Grape has been a driving force behind the inception, stabilization and growth of assisted living throughout the Commonwealth. He has devoted his career to ensuring that seniors age well, no matter their geographic location or income. In 1997, Grape founded Benchmark, now one of the Northeast’s largest senior living providers with 58 communities in eight states. In 1993, Grape helped write the legislation for assisted living in Massachusetts, and he subsequently helped co-found a number of industry organizations, including Mass-ALA. In 2017, Grape was tapped by Governor Charlie Baker to serve on the first-ever Governor’s Council to Address Aging, and in 2018 he was appointed by Baker to participate in the Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative, a convening group of health care leaders across government, educational institutions, industry and public organizations.

“Tom has been instrumental in founding, shaping, and growing the assisted living industry in Massachusetts and nationwide, enriching the lives of seniors and creating an overwhelmingly positive economic impact,” said Brian Doherty, president & CEO of Mass-ALA. “He is widely recognized as one of the most influential executives in the industry today. Mass-ALA is proud to honor Tom’s many achievements and contributions with our first Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Grape is described by his colleagues as a “disruptor, change-maker and thought-leader for the entire assisted living industry.” Throughout his career, he has continually pushed senior living leaders to think outside the box to improve the aging experience for all seniors. Under his direction, Benchmark developed smart room technology to help residents stay connected to one another and family members and biometric safes to keep medication safe. It partnered with GE and the MIT AgeLab for the 2018 In Good Company Challenge to help drive aging innovation. Grape’s dedication has shaped the assisted living industry into what it is today, and he has helped set the high standard of care that all those in the assisted living industry strive toward every day. 

About Mass-ALA
The Massachusetts Assisted Living Association (Mass-ALA, formerly Mass-ALFA) is a non-profit association dedicated to professionally operated assisted living residences in Massachusetts that provide housing and services for individuals with varied needs and income levels. Established in 1990 as a state affiliate of Argentum (formerly ALFA), Mass-ALA has grown to hundreds of members, including assisted living providers and associated professionals. Mass-ALA serves as the voice of assisted living in Massachusetts, providing information and education and advocating on behalf of our members and the seniors they serve. Mass-ALA promotes a model of care which treats all residents with dignity, provides privacy and encourages independence and freedom of choice. 

Media Contact: 
Kirsten Lance
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