Tom Grape founded Benchmark Senior Living in a two-room office in Wellesley, Mass., in 1997. He had long recognized the value of the consumer-centered approach to senior living, as well as the many health and social benefits that such a philosophy offered residents.
Prior to Benchmark, Tom worked for the real estate firm Spaulding & Slye. He then joined ADS Senior Housing to focus solely on senior housing and helped the company branch out from nursing homes to assisted living, forming ADS Group. As managing director, Tom helped ADS Group build more than a dozen communities in New England before the company was sold and Tom ventured out on his own to create Benchmark.
Tom not only decided to make senior living his life’s work but did so with a commitment to set the industry standard – to be the benchmark.
More than 20 years after opening its first community, Benchmark is a leader in senior housing in the Northeast, offering independent living, assisted living, memory care-assisted living, continuing care retirement communities and respite care options in 61 communities across seven states. The company is the largest provider of memory care in New England and has been at the forefront of this specialty throughout its history. Today, the company operates 10 communities dedicated to memory services and nearly all its communities offer personalized, needs-based memory care.
Benchmark has achieved more than $2.5 billion in assets under management and $500 million in revenue. Despite the dramatic growth, Tom’s focus has remained the same: Transforming Lives Through Human Connections. He and his team are committed to creating an exceptional living experience that not only includes high-quality care, beautiful surroundings and amenities, but strives each day to help residents feel fulfilled, dignified and respected.
This goal is not limited to the residents and communities under the Benchmark umbrella. Tom has been a constant advocate for all seniors and the assisted living industry. In 1994, along with Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services and now Governor Charlie Baker, Tom was instrumental in writing the legislation for assisted living in Massachusetts. Tom’s work on behalf of seniors and the assisted living industry have been recognized by numerous organizations.
Most recently, Tom received Mass-ALA’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 and, in 2020, he was recognized by Boston Real Estate Times for “Pioneering and Leading Senior Housing.”
Tom lives with his wife and daughter in Weston, Mass.
Pioneering Senior Living
Tom Grape’s influence on the sector includes:
- Founding board member and past chairman of Argentum, the national assisted living association
- Founder and past chairman, Massachusetts Assisted Living Association (Mass-ALA)
- Executive board member, American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA)
- Founding board member, Connecticut Assisted Living Facilities Association (CALA)
- Member, Owner/Operator Advisory Group and Strategic Planning Committee, National Investment Center (NIC) for the Senior Housing and Long-Term Care Industries
- Member of Gov. Baker’s first Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts
- Member of Gov. Baker’s Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative
Supporting the Community
Tom has been active on many community and organization boards, including:
- Past vice chairman, board of trustees, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
- Past board chair and chair emeritus, board of trustees, Ithaca College, his alma mater
- Served on the vestry and as chair of the building committee for Boston’s historic Trinity Church
- Past board chair, The Meadowbrook School of Weston, Mass.