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Morning Pointe Senior Living: The Founders’ Story

25 Years of Service

This year, Morning Pointe Senior Living marks 25 years of service. The two people who started it all in 1997 in Ooltewah, TN, are still leading the way – Co-Founders Greg Vital, president, and Franklin Farrow, CEO. 

“It’s a credit to Greg and Franklin. The relationship that they each have with one another, the complementary aspects of that relationship and the stability that it has provided to the organization,” explains Hugh Sharber, a partner at Miller & Martin PLLC and longtime business partner of Morning Pointe. 

It started with a clear plan: be the driver that connects skilled care operators to a new line of business – a better kind of assisted living wrapped in compassionate care and hospitality. 

“We had a vision of creating six initial buildings. We had several operators who wanted to complement their skilled nursing services,” explains Vital. “The dream of Independent Healthcare Properties (IHP) was born as a commitment to additional service and providing new opportunity of care and living for seniors,” says Vital. 

“I knew Greg and Franklin. I knew their work ethic, so coming on when the company was starting to grow was an opportunity,” explains Norma Cooper, Morning Pointe CFO for 17 years. 

With the growth, markets changed and so did the direction of the company – and Morning Pointe Senior Living was born. Greg and Franklin decided to be owners and operators. “We just refined our business plan and moved forward,” says Vital. 

Their first property as owners and operators was in Calhoun, GA. Their first community built from the ground up was Morning Pointe of Collegedale at Greenbriar Cove, TN. 

Suzanne Foster, Senior VP of Operations from 2006- 2014 was a key part of the company’s transformation. “I think being able to be a part of going from a number of acquisitions to exploring how to start building was just an incredible opportunity,” explains Foster. 

The man behind much of the construction since 2004 is Alan Cameron, owner of East Tennessee Specialty Builders. He has built most of the Morning Pointes seen today. 

Over the last 25 years, Morning Pointe Senior Living has continued to grow, adding one to two new communities a year in East and Middle TN, plus KY while increasing their focus on Alzheimer’s Memory Care and the Lantern Centers of Excellence. 

They expanded their services to include in-house therapy partners, Farm-to-Table, better technology and building design, plus more talented staff and a foundation that provides nursing scholarships and caregiver support programs. 

“I would honestly say it’s been about the team,” says Vital. “The success of Morning Pointe for 25 years is the 1,600 people who are out there every day delivering care.” 

“It’s been a good run and here’s to another 25 years of serving the greatest generation,” smiles Vital. 

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