Tom Grape: A Senior Living Pioneer


Tom Grape

When Tom founded Benchmark Senior Living in a two-room office in Wellesley, Mass., he understood the significant health and social benefits his consumer-centered approach to senior living would provide people.

Nearly twenty-five years later, Benchmark is one of the largest senior housing companies in the country, with more than 60 communities that consistently receive industry-leading resident and family satisfaction scores.

Tom’s commitment to seniors has gone beyond those served by Benchmark. He has advocated for all seniors and helped pave the way for the industry both regionally and nationally.

He is a founding board member and former chair of Argentum, the national organization of senior living companies; an executive board member of the American Seniors Housing Association; and a member of the owner/operator advisory group and strategic planning committee for the National Investment Center (NIC) for the Senior Housing and Long-Term Care Industries.

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.

Such groundbreaking work was recognized in 2019 when Tom received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association (Mass-ALA).

Tom is a frequent speaker, panelist and author on topics related to development, workforce, programming and the importance of human connection in senior living.

Tom's other pioneering work and achievements:

  • Member of Gov. Baker’s first Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts
  • Member of Gov. Baker’s Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative
  • Founding board member, Connecticut Assisted Living Facilities Association (CALA)
  • Recognized by Boston Real Estate Times for “Pioneering and Leading Senior Housing”
  • Received the 2009 Young President’s Organization Corporate Social Responsibility Award for employee impact for establishment of One Company Fund.
  • Received 2013 Professional Achievement Award from his alma mater Ithaca College

Tom has also been active in 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;serving on the vestry and as chair of the building committee for Boston’s historic Trinity Church; and past board chair and trustee emeritus, The Meadowbrook School of Weston, Mass.

Tom lives with his wife in Weston, Mass. He has a daughter and two stepsons.

Consistent, Compassionate Corporate Leadership

Despite Benchmark’s rapid growth and sheer size, the company’s mission remained constant: Transforming Lives Through Human Connections.

Tom 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.

Tom frequently emphasizes to his executive team and associates across Benchmark the importance of the company’s values:

Called to Care
Being Called to Care means treating residents as beloved family members, sharing, and celebrating milestones — birthdays, anniversaries, and other special moments — as though they were our own.

Better Together
We know that doing the absolute best for our residents and their families is a team effort. Therefore, we value and tap into our different backgrounds, personalities and experiences to elevate the care we deliver.

Be the Benchmark
We are committed to not just setting the benchmark, but raising it, continuously asking ourselves how we can innovate, improve, and grow, as individuals and as a company.

Learn more about Benchmark’s Purpose and Values.

Promoting Teamwork, Recognition

Tom has always recognized that Benchmark’s associates are the backbone of the organization and is committed to creating a rewarding workplace that supports, empowers and recognizes them.

Whether it is Benchmark’s Annual Awards Gala that puts a spotlight on associates from across the company or the non-profit Benchmark One Company Fund that provides grants to associates in times of financial need, the company is focused on creating an environment that helps retain and attract people who share its passion for care and service.

In fact, Benchmark has been named a top workplace in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe for 13 straight years and is one of only two companies to be recognized all 13 years the award has been given.