Phil Scalo uses lessons he learned from coaches in his younger days to form his leadership style.
In fact, he attributes much of his success in business to the values he learned playing youth sports in Lodi, NJ, and as a defensive back on the Rutgers football team in the late 1970s.
Even though he never played on a championship team, he is defined by those experiences.
“I was never the super athlete,” he recalls. “I always had to work a little bit harder. I wanted to work as hard as I could to get the best results, and now I see our staff do that every day. ”
Scalo comes from a long line of hardworking people. When he was 3, his family moved from Jersey City to Lodi, a little town in Bergen County. Their house was close enough to the Bendix factory so that if it snowed or the car broke down, his dad could still walk to his job in the aviation division. His sister, a nurse, still lives there, and Phil still drives an hour and a half from his home in Ortley Beach for a haircut or dental check up — because he went to high school with the barber and the dentist.
After he graduated from Rutgers, he married Marilyn, a Lodi girl who taught him to ski on their honeymoon in Aspen, CO. He fell in love with the sport, which became a family pastime they’ve enjoyed together for more than 40 years. They were thrilled when their son, Tim, took to the snow from a young age and joined a competitive downhill ski race team. The family started to spend their winters in Colorado, with Phil flying back East during the week, becoming a familiar fixture in the local airport.
Eventually, Tim raced for Colorado State University’s ski team and then settled in Denver with his wife, where he now works as a corporate commercial litigator, just like his father before him.
Phil and Marilyn recently bought their dream house in Steamboat Springs, where Marilyn rides horses and they both ski all winter. That’s where Phil keeps the football signed by his high school teammates. They might not have enjoyed a championship team that year, but it reminds him of the joy of the sport and the relationships he built with his teammates.
When he’s skiing — whether it’s on his favorite trails where he taught his son the sport or he’s heli-skiing at a remote mountain in British Columbia — he is intrigued by the idea of never knowing what to expect.
“Conditions change,” he notes. “The other day, we had a snow squall and it was a complete whiteout. I knew the trail, so I worked my way down.”
For Scalo, that’s a little bit like the long-term care industry. He remembers during the height of the pandemic, trusting his team to do their best and rise to the challenge, even though they couldn’t see what was in front of them.
“Just like in skiing, it’s never the same but in some ways, it is,” Scalo reflects. “We just follow the process we know, work hard and try to enjoy it.”
- 1975 Earns BA from Rutgers College
- 1978 Earns JD from Rutgers School of Law
- 1984 Opens Bartley Healthcare
- 1990-1994 Serves as director, executive vice president, secretary and chief legal officer of the US Division of Blenheim Group PLC
- 2000 Bartley Healthcare adds assisted living
- 2005 Named alternate delegate to the White House Conference on Aging
- 2008 Becomes board member of Healthcare Association of New Jersey
- 2016 Joins AHCA executive committee
- 2017 Receives President’s Award for Service at Felician University
- 2021 Named vice chairman, AHCA
- 2022 Joins Board of Trustees at Rutgers University