John O’Connor

Ever feel like you’re really cranking it until some show-off makes you look like an amateur? Don’t feel too bad; we’ve all been there.

In fact, I’ve had to endure more than a few of those humbling moments lately, while cobbling together “McKnight’s 40 for 40” installments.

Take this week’s recipient, Robert G. Kramer. The guy saw an inefficiency in the market , namely that capital was hard to come by and harder to quantify. Most of us would shrug our shoulders and move on. He spent the better part of three decades making things better.

To get an idea of just how successful he was, you might want to attend next week’s National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care show in San Diego. There, you and thousands of your closest friends can be privy to the latest market data and insights. If you’re really feeling ambitious, maybe you can corner a banker or two and swing a super-duper business deal. Believe me, you won’t be the first to do it at an NIC event.

Previous McKnight’s 40 for 40 installments have featured Paul Klaassen, Elma Holder and Bruce Yarwood. Each recipient has done some amazing things in his or her own way. And there is a lot more from where that came from.

Am I writing this to pitch our McKnight’s 40 for 40 presentations? Well, maybe just a tad. But there happens to be a deeper message as well.

Each person here has devoted tremendous amounts of time, energy and commitment toward making this a better field. Directly or indirectly, the rest of us have benefitted from what they have done.

I realize this sector is far from perfect. But try to imagine how much more messed up things would be if they hadn’t come along.

So if you should happen to run into any of these folks any time soon, here’s my advice: Please take a moment to say thanks.

We are fortunate to have them among us.

John O’Connor is Editorial Director for McKnight’s