NIC Notes

Insights in Seniors Housing & Care

By: Jason Zuccari  |  February 15, 2024

Industry Legacies: Parents Pass the Baton to the Next Generation

HeadshotA Conversation with Lynne and Andrew Katzmann

This article is the first in a series showcasing parent/child duos across the senior housing and care industry. My conversation with Lynne Katzmann of Juniper Communities and her son, Andrew Katzmann with Columbia Pacific, offers insights into why this is becoming a common trend.

Growing up, I thought I understood what my dad, Alan Zuccari, did for a living. Now, as a second-generation member of Hamilton Insurance Agency, I have gained a newfound appreciation for his career. Working with my father has given me the opportunity to absorb the industry’s history, including its successes and evolving challenges. I’ve learned what kept him motivated then and continues to do so now—through even the most complicated markets—is the end user. 

Our work, like that of the fellow professionals I highlight in this series, contributes to a larger ecosystem of caring for seniors. At the core of this industry is giving the generations before us the reverence and benefit of living a happy last chapter. Each of us feel a strong sense of responsibility to the mission of our individual companies and that of the greater community. 

From owners to operators, vendors to lenders, and everyone in between, we all know firsthand this is not a field for the faint of heart, yet people from my age group and the one upcoming don’t shy away. This interview series seeks to shed light on what keeps us all coming back and following in our parents’ footsteps.

7-2Lynne Katzmann is the founder and CEO of Juniper Communities, which invests in, develops, and manages senior living and long-term care communities. Juniper is the only woman-founded, owned and led business among the top 40 national assisted living companies. Its portfolio consists of 22 properties in three states and more than 1,600 employees.

Lynne was the first winner of the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the American Senior Housing Association’s Hall of Fame. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics. 

6Andrew Katzmann is Vice President at Columbia Pacific’s Real Estate Strategies division. He focuses on healthcare and senior housing sector investments. Previously, Andrew worked as an analyst for LTC Properties, a real estate investment trust centered on senior housing. Andrew holds a B.A. in economics from Tulane University.


Tell us about yourself and your work.

Lynne: I’ve been at Juniper for 35 years, but I started out in the senior care industry doing Medicare demonstrations and working in value-based care. I wrote a state health plan for Oregon, then went on to help run a public company that doubled its value in a couple of years, before it was sold and taken private. 

I have experience in operations, finance, and I’m a health policy wonk by training. Juniper is an owner/ operator with a committed group of angel investors who've been with us since inception. Our structure is unique compared to companies with outside capital that limits them to certain requirements—it has enabled us to innovate, which I’m passionate about. 

Andrew: Although I’ve been in proximity of Juniper my entire life, my professional career began in senior housing eight years ago. Out of college, I worked at LTC Properties in Southern California cutting my teeth on the capital, triple net side. A few years later, I transitioned to Columbia Pacific Advisors, which owns a number of senior housing establishments across the country. Being private equity focused, it’s a little bit different but still on the capital side. Instead of triple net, it's the REIT Investment Diversification and Empowerment Act which gives us more operational influence. Growing up around Juniper and being in and out of buildings with my mom gave me a pretty good viewpoint and taste for the complexities of operations. 


What do you see for the future of the senior care industry?

Lynne: I think it’s an extremely exciting time for the industry. While things have changed a lot in my 35 years, I envision more change happening at an accelerated pace. Why? Because I’m the next consumer, and I don’t want what we have today. If for no other reason, I want someone to develop something new and different so that I fall in love with the experience, yet again.

The demographics show huge growth and a massive untapped market. Right now, senior living is only 10-12% of the entire senior market so tremendous opportunity exists. But it requires us to look at things differently. I'm excited for the next generation to come in, learn, bring new ideas to the table, and most importantly, provide new energy. 


Andrew, what have you learned from Lynne? 

Andrew: Working in the same industry as a parent, especially one who’s built their own company from the ground up, has been a real privilege. Having her perspective through my professional career has been invaluable. I’ve learned so much from my mom, but it was really highlighted during COVID-19 and through the current debt environment. She was able to offer perspective from the people doing the work, day in and day out. I spend most of my time analyzing numbers and having broad conversations, so that boots-on-the-ground insight of what’s going on in the buildings sheds light on what pushing the census in a new environment really looks like.

As she mentioned, this is a very interesting time in senior housing. There is a lot of opportunity and so much to be gained, both financially and educationally. To change our reputation as an industry right now depends on how we move forward. I’m grateful to have my mom’s wealth of expertise on speed dial as we tackle new challenges.


What’s your advice to the next generation, Lynne?

Lynne: I think the key for the next generation will be rebranding senior living. We need fresh insight and updated messaging to reinforce how important the work we do is. How people think about senior living needs to change. It won’t necessarily change what we do on a daily basis, but it will alter how employees and consumers talk about it.

Most people associate our work with the final stage of life, which is not where they want to focus time and energy. They also think of us as caregivers. Through COVID, we were raked through the coals as part of that post-acute continuum. The industry has a lot to overcome in addition to societal issues with ageism, death, and dying. I think the biggest challenge and the greatest opportunity is to start thinking about how we evolve from the real estate model and that requires a major shift in how we brand ourselves as an industry.

The next generation will need to manage change. They’ll have to think differently, creatively, and be solution oriented. Most importantly, they’re going to need grit, passion, perseverance.


What’s your advice for the previous generation, Andrew?

Andrew: It’s an interesting question. I’m very proud of where I come from. Those who know my mother know she’s very forward thinking. One of my biggest takeaways from COVID is the old adage: ‘those who don’t study history, are doomed to repeat it.’ If you keep doing what you’re doing because you’ve made a lot of money or you’ve built a company that way, there’s not much room for future growth.

Changing the perception of the industry like Lynne mentioned is not going to happen if you just keep doing the same old thing. From where I sit, my advice is—you’ve done a good job in the past, but that’s not where we are now, so keep evolving. The same goes for our generation and those younger than us. 


How do you recommend we make the right calculated decisions as we move forward?

Lynne: We have more data than we had before. Better information equals better decisions. Additionally, it’s about evolution, not radical change. The only thing that needs to radically change is how we talk about who we are. 

Andrew: Everything we’re talking about—how both groups draw on the experience of one another and tap a desire to do something different and try something new. That’s where having a parent in the industry is very valuable.

You’re not always going to agree, and that’s the beauty of it. things We’ll always see things based on our knowledge. There’s no shortcut for experience. 


When it comes to talking about work, do you have boundaries so that it doesn’t always bleed into dinner table talk?

Andrew: We work a lot. Our jobs are very much a part of our lives, so the personal and the professional definitely bleed into one another. We never run out of things to talk about. Our conversations span the spectrum, from celebrating wins to troubleshooting challenges. I love it!

Lynne: I love it, too. It’s such a joy to have a multidimensional relationship with your child. Andrew understands what I do with my time. I understand what he does with his. How cool and rare is that? My father was an electrical engineer. I understood his work in a general sense, but I couldn’t connect with him about it in any meaningful way. This is just another way for us to relate. It’s fun, it’s great, and it’s enriching.

About Jason Zuccari

Jason Zuccari is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and healthcare industry leader. He is the Managing Director of Hamilton Insurance Agency, one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage firms, and frequently shares his business insights on Bloomberg, Forbes, Fast Company, Mashable, NBC and CNET. In Fall of 2022, Jason was appointed to the board of Hilarity For Charity (HFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to families impacted by Alzheimer's and brain health research, founded by Lauren Miller Rogen and actor/ comedian Seth Rogen. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Jason to serve on the board of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He has been recognized by Washington Life Magazine as one of Washington D.Cs most influential individuals under 40, and by DC Modern Luxury for his extensive philanthropic work. Jason attended West Virginia University where he was elected student body president and a member of the University Board of Governors. He also serves on the National Investment Centers (NIC) Future Leaders Council.

Connect with Jason Zuccari

Read More by Jason Zuccari