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. Find previously published installments of the series here.

Say “memory care” and the first company to come to mind for many industry professionals is Silverado. And when they think of Silverado, they think of Loren Shook, the man who co-founded the Irvine, CA-based provider in 1996 with Steve Winner after having spent 20 years at Community Psychiatric Centers, an international New York Stock Exchange company where he was president, CEO and a board member.

“When we founded Silverado in 1996, the vast majority of people with memory impairment were not being treated with the dignity and respect they deserved. We knew the world could do better,” Shook wrote in a guest column for McKnight’s Senior Living in 2017.

Today, the company has 20 memory care communities in six states — California, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin — along with hospice and, through a partnership with Home Care Assistance, home care. Shook holds the titles of president, CEO and chairman of the board.

Silverado’s first community opened in 1997. Since that time, Shook has been a leading voice conveying the benefits of specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, testifying before the Senate Special Committee on Aging when he was vice chairman of Argentum (then known as the Assisted Living Federation of American), writing two books about the company and its philosophy, which has been studied internationally, and serving as a speaker at national and international events.

Silverado was measuring clinical outcomes long before many other assisted living operators were doing so and has been a research partner of the National Institutes of Health and universities, serving as a training site for medical and healthcare professionals. Additionally, the company has been named a Great Place to Work and a Fortune Top Workplace.

Shook was chairman of the Argentum Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018 and remains active on the board as immediate past chair. He also has served the industry via boards of the American Seniors Housing Association, the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, and multiple universities and state associations. His contributions have earned him numerous accolades, with perhaps the most meaningful ones coming from the thousands of staff members, residents and family members whose lives have been improved over the years through their association with the company that began 24 years ago.