The Morningside Group was founded in 1992 by three British gentlemen who had successfully developed hotels and strip malls overseas and decided to try their model here in the States. They named the company Morningside, which is a quaint town in Edinburg, Scotland and also home to the famous Morningside Clock. For their first American venture, they purchased a lot located in the historic district of Leesburg, Virginia with the intention of developing a strip mall. They quickly discovered that zoning prohibited this type of use and instead changed their focus to building an assisted living community – how hard could it be? Morningside House of Leesburg (Leesburg, VA) successfully opened its doors in October, 1993.
The Englishmen decided to grow the company and raised equity to develop four additional communities:
In the fall of 1999, massive overbuilding and overcapacity hit the assisted living industry, and the Morningside Group was impacted along with everyone else. As a result, new facility fill-up slowed dramatically throughout the country, competition became intense, and new construction slowed to a trickle. The industry’s focus, and that of Morningside, switched to operations and management. Kelly Mason was recruited from a national chain to join Morningside as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing in December of 1999, and charged with dramatically increasing occupancy and growing revenues.
In October, 2000, Morningside purchased Morningside House of Ellicott City (Ellicott City, MD), which had been constructed in May, 1999 by The CareMatrix Corporation. This acquisition gave Morningside a serious presence in the Baltimore/Washington market, with a consolidated portfolio of six upscale freestanding assisted living communities.
In July, 2001, Morningside’s Board of Directors decided the company needed a change in leadership and recognized the need to bring in a strong, seasoned management team to successfully operate and grow the company. Kelly Mason was promoted to President & Chief Executive Officer, Kim Norton was internally promoted to Chief Operating Officer, and together they methodically recruited top professionals in the fields of sales and marketing, resident care, activities, finance and human resources. This senior management “Dream Team” led a complete change in management philosophy, company culture and a complete restructuring of the company to position Morningside as the premier quality care and service provider in the Baltimore/Washington market. Morningside communities have an excellent reputation for providing superior care and customer service and enjoy strong word of mouth referrals from physicians, hospitals, healthcare professionals, state and local agencies, churches, and, most importantly, our residents and families.
In 2009, Kelly Mason and Kim Norton bought out the remaining investors and Morningside became one of the only women-owned and operated senior living companies in the nation. Today, Morningside is one of the most highly respected operators in the assisted living industry and celebrated for our unique company culture and longevity of staff. The senior management “Dream Team” routinely speaks at national conferences and industry symposiums, and are guest instructors at colleges and universities.