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Cross-Pollination for Solving Problems in the Senior Living Industry

Multi-Discipline Expertise Key to “Solutions Advisors Group” Growing Success

Recruiting and retaining qualified staff, increasing competition in senior housing, and non-traditional players bringing in new options and products are just a few of the problems challenging the senior living industry now and in the future. Focusing on solving problems and creating solutions has brought Solutions Advisors Group continued expansion and success. The roots of SAG began when majority founders Kristin Kutac Ward and Lauren Messmer employed their 40 years of senior living experience to form Solutions Advisors in 2009. Through a strategy of product diversification, alliances and acquisitions, the firm evolved to become Solutions Advisors Group (SAG) by mid-2018.

Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, with creative offices in Richmond, Virginia, SAG is the umbrella company for its three divisions. Solvere Living is the operations division, Solutions Advisors is the marketing, advertising and sales division and Trilogy is the strategic planning and consulting division. SAG employs more than 300 staff, with 35 clients across 15 states, with much of its growth coming in the last three years.

“We have been steadily expanding our service and expertise, along with cultivating relationships and agreements with development partners,” said Solutions Advisors Group President and CEO Kristin Kutac Ward. “We’ve grown largely by following our core principles of creating solutions to solve problems, a model augmented by cross-pollination of input and expertise from our divisions, which provides our clients and community owners with thought leadership from a broad-based platform. We think it’s becoming clear that the old one-size-fits-all model that was the norm before the great recession is being replaced by a multi-discipline and multi-channel model. Our diversified approach offers vital intel that helps us keep our finger on the pulse of the industry.”

SAG’s Solvere division expanded from five communities under operations contracts in 2017 to 12 currently with two more breaking ground before year’s end. Offering unique and engaging programming in all levels of care to include independent and assisted living as well as active adult and memory care has been crucial for maintaining and increasing occupancy. “Our proprietary programs and wellness philosophies Salus™ and Valeo™   have significantly enhanced quality of life and care for residents,” Ward said. “Salus, Latin for well-being, is a holistic approach that focuses on each resident’s potential to achieve his or her personal goals through engagement and connection. Valeo, Latin for to thrive, focuses specifically on wellness initiatives for those with memory impairments and incorporates components that examine residents’ social, intellectual, spiritual, and physical well-being.”

Solvere recently launched a pilot program in Florida and New Jersey to establish partnerships between Solvere communities and local farms to provide fresh and organic products to residents. SAG’s Solutions Advisors division provides in-house branding and lead generations for Solvere communities.

“The value of using Solutions Advisors’ creative services for Solvere-operated communities and consulting clients at both for-profit and non-profit communities provides cost-effective and creative initiatives, along with well-researched methods,” said Lauren Messmer, COO of SAG. 

This year Solvere was retained to operate Aspire at Carriage Hill in Henrico, Virginia, slated to open in May, 2019. The developer is Arlington, Virginia-based Bonaventure Realty Group. “Bonaventure was founded on a simple concept – our success is not as much about properties as it is about people,” said Bonaventure CEO Dwight Dunton, III. “Solvere places their focus on the resident and associate experience, and keeps this at the forefront of every choice and decision they make. This shared value cemented our partnership, and we are thrilled that Aspire is the first of many future projects with Solvere.”

Consultants at the company’s Solutions Advisors division average 20 years of experience and are supported by its in-house advertising agency, delivering a broad range of high-tech creative services, branding, digital marketing, positioning and lead generation. Augmented by the Trilogy Consulting division’s strategic planning, primary and secondary market research, the inter-division collaboration informs and delivers extensive feedback to best negotiate the changing senior living industry landscape. Trilogy also offers succession planning, executive search, governance, leadership coaching and executive coaching.

“Having all the expertise under one umbrella helps us guide clients to success in a changing senior living market,” Ward says. “With growing numbers of non-traditional players, there are more options and competition. You have to be quickly adaptive, which requires accurate research, analysis and action to provide new services and products to hit an increasingly moving target. The new organizations coming in bring the opportunity for us to look at new approaches and be more creative and innovative. We learn from everything we do and innovate across the board for both non-profit and for profit clients, unique equity communities, active adult and traditional senior housing. We examine all the needs of an organization, identify and prioritize what will have the most beneficial impact and align with the client’s objectives. Rapid deployment of resources from across the divisions enables us to help meet challenges and solve problems now, three years from now, and for the long-term.”

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