Editor’s note: As part of the 40th anniversary of McKnight’s, McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are recognizing 40 notable newsmakers. Each week, the brands will highlight a new, high-profile leader from the past four decades. Previously published installments of the series are posted here.

David Banks helped grow Beverly Enterprises into a nursing home titan of epic proportions.

But before the firm became an industry giant, Banks’ role with the firm began with Stephens Inc., an Arkansas-based private investment banking that acquired Beverly in 1977 with expansion plans in mind. Two years later, Banks took over as president. He added CEO to his duties in 1989.

Beverly Enterprises experienced significant expansion. In the early 1970s, the organization had fewer than 50 nursing homes, and at the time of the acquisition by Stephens, it had fewer than 200 facilities. By the mid 1980s, Beverly’s portfolio included more than 1,100 communities across 45 states and Canada. 

But the growth didn’t stop there. By the early 1990s, Beverly topped 1,300 facilities and reportedly held 7% of the market. Banks’ role at Beverly also grew even more after he was named chairman of the company’s board in 1990. 

He helped navigate the company through rough fiscal waters by enacting several cost-cutting measures. One such move — the divestiture of more than 200 facilities by 1991 — helped the firm earn a profit after three years of consecutive losses. Banks retired from Beverly in 2001.

The organization’s annual revenue also eventually skyrocketed from more than $150 million to $3 billion, and the company expanded into pharmacy, home health and therapy as well. 

“David was a fair and compassionate man, and he understood the nursing home business from a quality standpoint,” Bobby Stephens, an executive who worked with Banks at Beverly, said following his death in late 2013.

“But his biggest trait was financial. He was able to use that (finance) knowledge and really grow the company,” he added.

After spurning an investment group takeover and putting itself up for auction, Beverly was sold to Pearl Senior Care in 2006 and changed its name to Golden Gate National Senior Care, best known in long-term care circles as Golden Living holdings.