“When it comes to designing our memory care communities, we partner with the world’s leading Alzheimer’s experts,” says David Schonberg of Schonberg Care.
As a leader in cutting-edge memory care, Schonberg builds pioneering assisted living communities from the ground up. His plans to create two new communities per year over the next six years won him Best Strategy in his strategy class in the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education: Owner/President Management program.
Schonberg focused his culminating presentation for the program on his Design + Develop + Manage model. The core of his strategy is his Residents-First Goal & Vision, using person-centered care, innovative design, and efficient leadership to work toward creating not only livable spaces for people who have dementia, but a society that meets the needs of people who have dementia: A Dementia Capable Society.
Why this vision? “There are about five million Americans who have dementia right now,” Schonberg says. “That number is expected to grow to at least 13 million by 2050. I think the best way to help is to build communities around the best interests of the residents. Communities where staff consider it an honor to help. Where staff get to know someone and understand what their life was like—in order to make their life better now.”   
To meet this goal, Schonberg’s strategy, which he has been developing and refining for 11 years as an innovator, owner, and operator, involves paving new ground in areas such as development and construction, philosophy, staff, leadership, finance, and customer service. Training all staff in person-centered care skills, having a flat organizational structure that empowers frontline staff to make decisions, listening and adapting to the needs of residents and families, and seeking out partnerships with the best dementia experts in the world are among his tactics.
Another is this: “We say ‘Yes is the answer—what’s the question?’ to our residents’ families, which makes them our evangelists because we meet their standards. We have communities in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana, so it’s our nature to offer our Southern hospitality.”
Schonberg's analysis of his competitive advantage also details his unique Schonberg Neighborhood Design™, which groups residents with similar abilities into shared neighborhoods. This helps tailor care and activities to the individual’s best ability to function, which enables the person to maintain their abilities and independence for as long as possible. It benefits residents in all stages of dementia, enabling them to thrive throughout their lives.
Schonberg designed and continues to refine his winning strategy to help meet the needs of a growing population of vulnerable people who deserve the best care and support that we as family members, professionals, and a society can provide. At CPI, we’re proud to be one of David’s partners.
Congratulations, David, on having the best business strategy in your class, and for striving to be the best in class where it matters most—the real world of caring for our loved ones.
Keep an eye here on the CPI blog for more to come about David and his newest community, Beau Provence, set to open this summer.

Image credit: Beau Provence Facebook page.