Tom MacDonald saw the need for a different kind of senior care community in the early 1980s while caring for his mother, Carolyn. At the time, there were few independent or assisted living options for active seniors who wanted a higher level of services and amenities. So Tom set out to create an environment where seniors could enjoy a wide variety of activities, fresh, healthy meals, and a caring, well-trained staff.
Drawing on his expertise as a real estate developer and general contractor, Tom designed the earliest communities himself, and in 1985 the company opened its first assisted living community in Pleasant Hill. In 1989, retired professor of dentistry Dr. Don Engle joined the company as a founding partner, adding valuable medical and business experience.