By Steve Moran
Recently my good friend and occasional contributor to Senior Housing Forum, Denise Boudreau-Scott, founder of Drive, recently interviewed Faith Ott, the founder of Sage Age Strategies, a Senior Housing Forum sponsor and premier sponsor of Empower Our Women in Senior Living initiative. They discussed Faith’s journey to being the head of one of the largest senior living branding, marketing, sales, and strategy firms in the country.
You can listen to the entire interview at the bottom of this article.
Here are highlights of what she had to say:
In the Beginning
“I have always been an old soul, I guess is the best way to put it. Ever since I was a young child, I found myself spending time with my grandparents. My great grandparents always had this passion for seniors and the knowledge that they bring and the experiences that they can share.”
From her very earliest years, she knew that she wanted to be in this industry and had a strong strategy, marketing, and business background.
Her very first client was a hospital, which led to meeting a man who was developing nursing homes all over the state. Now, 38 years and hundreds of clients later, she and Sage Age are at the top of their game. Ultimately she and her team are driven by a passion to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their senior living clients.
Being a Women in the Senior Living Business
“I think the journey was different because of who I am as a person . . . I tend to think that as a woman we bring a certain passion and a certain emotional connection more than many men.”
She was very clear that she was not saying men don’t do this, but rather that it is perhaps more inborn in women than men. She feels strongly that you must have both heart and passion to really be successful in the senior living space. She also feels that it is often easier for women or at least for her to build relationships with clients and seniors more easily.
An Easier Journey as a Woman
“It was easier because I could be me . . . I didn't have to be as tough; I didn't have to be as strong. When I started more than 35 years ago there were fewer women trying to move companies like Sage Age forward.”
I Always Believed . . .
“I always believed that I could do anything. This was actually something my father instilled . . . that you can be anything you want if you go for it.”
Faith never really felt that being a woman was a setback, rather that it provided many advantages. She understands that much of that comes from within. Her dream is to help other women not get bogged down in gender issues, while at the same time acknowledging that gender is a real issue in society and many organizations.
“The more confident you are, the more you believe that you can accomplish your goals, the more successful you will be. You surround yourself with the right kind of people.”
Faith’s goal in supporting and being a part of Empower is to help women in the senior living space understand that for women to grow and accomplish their goals it needs to come from inside and her commitment is to help other women see this and believe this.
You can listen to the entire interview HERE (audio only).