Robert G. Kramer, the entrepreneurial thought leader who created a forum for investors in long-term care and revolutionized the use of data in the space, has been chosen as the 2023 Career Achievement Award honoree as part of the inaugural McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards.
A co-founder, past president / CEO and current strategic adviser to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, Kramer now serves as a virtual ambassador at-large in the long-term care continuum. He also is the co-founder of Nexus Insights, a think tank with the goal of promoting a transformation in attitudes about age and models for aging well.
The Maryland native has given his all to creating better aging environments over the past four decades.
“For more than 35 years, Bob has been a transformational figure in the seniors housing and care field,” McKnight’s Vice President and Editorial Director John O’Connor said in announcing Kramer as the McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards’ top honoree. “He is universally recognized as one of our deep thinkers and innovators. His vision, creativity and wisdom have helped this sector move forward in ways that have helped us all. We are honored to recognize a true original.”
The Ivy League graduate heads a list of 31 Pinnacle Awards honorees who will be feted at a gala ceremony March 7 at the Ivy Room in Chicago.
A full list of winners, spanning the skilled nursing, senior living and home care professions, can be found at the McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards website. The program honors industry veterans who are setting standards, driving change and providing guidance to others in their field.
Directly after graduating Harvard University with a degree in political theory, Kramer set off to Oxford University to study theology. He subsequently earned a master’s degree in divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and preached to full houses for two years before deciding a change was in order. Eventually, he wound up in politics and was elected to the Maryland General Assembly for four years.
Many saw it as a natural progression, given his family tree. His father served in the Eisenhower administration as an assistant attorney general, and his grandfather was both a speechwriter for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and assistant secretary to the treasury.
But yet more detours were in store once Kramer became more familiar with senior housing and care. In 1991, he and three colleagues founded NIC, which has become the pre-eminent group for connecting capital seekers and capital providers in long-term care. As its top executive, Kramer led the drive to establish research and data engines so the field could emulate other successful real estate- and care-related sectors.
“This career award is incredibly fitting for Bob Kramer. He is clearly one of the giants of our field,” said current NIC President and CEO Ray Braun, a former president of Health Care REIT (now Welltower). “We are indebted to Bob for his vision for NIC and his industry leadership. He has impacted thousands. I’m glad to have known him for so many years, and worked beside him, first as an NIC board member and then board chair.”
In 2020, Kramer formally unveiled Nexus Insights, an idea he had been formulating for years. He describes it as a think tank to help leaders in the senior living and skilled nursing sectors, and beyond, emerge from COVID-era conditions to more successfully create environments for better aging.
A frequent contributor to McKnight’s websites, podcasts, publications and other programs, Kramer is a much sought-after speaker who regularly participates in professional and mainstream conferences and symposia throughout the US and abroad.
For more information about the McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards, tickets to the dinner and awards ceremony, and other information, visit the program website, mcknightspinnacleawards.com.