Ms. Lias-Booker was appointed to our Board on March 1, 2022.
A seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, Ava Lias-Booker serves in a number of leadership roles at McGuireWoods LLP, a leading international law firm.
She is Chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, a member of its Diversity Action Council, and part of the firm’s seven-member Associates Committee. A partner in the firm’s Baltimore office, Ava leads the Baltimore litigation practice with three decades of first-chair trial experience representing businesses from a broad range of industries in complex commercial and civil litigation. She served as co-lead counsel to a multinational oil and gas corporation that successfully argued for the reversal of jury verdicts awarding plaintiffs more than $1.5 billion in compensatory and punitive damages before Maryland’s highest appellate court. She has successfully defended financial institutions in a myriad of cases at the trial and appellate levels, including a multimillion-dollar claim involving alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and a more than $50 million check fraud matter. Ava’s dedication to providing excellent client service is matched by her passion for mentoring young lawyers and serving the legal and civic communities of Baltimore, the state, and the nation.
She serves as a member of the board of directors of the University of Maryland Saint Joseph’s Medical Center and sits on the boards of visitors of Duke University School of Law and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (emeritus). She is a former member of the boards of directors for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Open Society Institute. Ms. Lias-Booker also serves as chair of the Magistrate Judges’ Merit Selection Panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and was a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Appellate Judicial Nominating Committee. She frequently speaks on litigation, leadership, and diversity issues.
Mr. Thomas is our President and Chief Executive Officer and serves on our Board and is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee. Mr. Thomas has been the Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of our organization since July 2013.
Mr. Thomas was the Executive Vice President-Medical Facilities Group for Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL, formerly known as Health Care REIT Inc.) from January 2009 to July 2012. Prior to Welltower, Mr. Thomas served as President, Chief Development Officer and Business Counsel of Cirrus Health from August 2005 to December 2008, where he led efforts to acquire and manage four hospitals and an endoscopy center, as well as efforts to develop other outpatient care facilities. From October 2000 to July 2005, he served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas. As General Counsel for Baylor Health Care System, he was responsible for legal and government affairs. Mr. Thomas has been recognized for his team’s advocacy work on Texas H.B. 3 and Proposition 12, the 2003 Texas legislative and constitutional amendment efforts to increase patient access to physicians and care through reforms to Texas’ medical malpractice laws. He was also co-founder and chairman of the Coalition for Affordable and Reliable Healthcare, a national coalition to reform medical malpractice laws through federal legislation. Mr. Thomas has testified before the Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, all related to health care policy. From April 1997 to October 2000, he served as General Counsel and Secretary for Unity Health System, a five-hospital division of the Sisters of Mercy Health System in St. Louis, MO, where he oversaw legal affairs for the health care delivery system and its operating subsidiaries.
Mr. Thomas was a member of the Board of Directors of Education Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) from 2016 to 2018, at which time EDR was sold to a private company. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Jacksonville State University Foundation and the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation.
Mr. Thomas began his career as a tax lawyer at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy in New York, NY in 1990, and was elected a partner at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons) in April 1997. Mr. Thomas received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and his B.S. in Economics from Jacksonville State University, where he was a scholarship letterman on the football team and was a member of the Academic All-Conference Team. Mr. Thomas graduated with Distinction and Special Honors in Economics.
Governor Thompson was appointed to our Board in connection with our initial public offering (“IPO”) in July 2013 and is the non-executive chairman of our Board and a member of the compensation committee, nominating and corporate governance committee, and the finance and investment committee.
Governor Thompson is currently serving as the University of Wisconsin System interim President. Governor Thompson is the former United States Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, serving from 2001 to 2005, and a four-term Governor of Wisconsin. Following his terms in public office, Governor Thompson built, and continues to build, on his efforts as HHS Secretary and Governor to develop innovative solutions to the health care challenges facing American families, businesses, communities, states, and the nation. These efforts focus on improving the use of information technology in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices; promoting healthier lifestyles; strengthening and modernizing Medicare and Medicaid; and expanding the use of medical diplomacy around the world.
From 2005 until 2009, Governor Thompson served as a senior advisor at the consulting firm Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and was the founding independent chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, which researches and develops solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing health care and public health-related challenges. From 2005 to early 2012, Governor Thompson served as a senior partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Governor Thompson served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Logistics Health, Inc. from January 2007 to May 2011, and served as President from February 2005 to January 2011. Governor Thompson served on the Board of Directors of Centene Corporation from 2005 to 2022.
Governor Thompson currently serves on the Board of Directors of United Therapeutics Corporation (since 2010) and TherapeuticsMD, Inc. (since 2012). Governor Thompson was formerly a director of C.R. Bard, Inc., Cytori Therapeutics, Inc., Cancer Genetics, Inc., CareView Communications, Inc., and Tyme Technologies, Inc. Governor Thompson received his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mr. Weiss was appointed to our Board in connection with our IPO in July 2013 and is Chairman of the finance and investment committee and a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee.
Mr. Weiss retired as a partner from the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP in June 2008, where he served as managing partner of the firm’s Washington D.C. office and as a member of the firm’s management committee. Mr. Weiss concentrated his law practice in health care finance, representing hospital systems, medical practice groups, and investment banks. Mr. Weiss served for over 30 years on the boards of directors of Advocate Aurora Health and predecessor companies, including terms as finance committee chair and board chair of Aurora Health Care and Milwaukee Psychiatric Hospital until 2021. He also served on the board of trustees and as board chair of Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C. Mr. Weiss has also been a trustee of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
In addition to his work in health care, Mr. Weiss worked in the sports industry, where he represented the Washington Nationals in connection with its baseball stadium in Washington, D.C., the Green Bay Packers in the renovation of Lambeau Field, the Milwaukee Brewers in the development and financing of Miller Park, and Major League Baseball in the financing of ballparks in San Diego and Miami.
Mr. Weiss graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School (magna cum laude, 1971), where he was Order of the Coif and on the editorial board of the Wisconsin Law Review, and has a business degree from Northwestern University (B.S.B.A., with distinction, 1968). Mr. Weiss is a board member and audit committee chair of Ascendium Education Group, a retired member of The Economic Club of Washington D.C., a former board member and the general campaign chair for the United Way of the National Capital Area, and a former member of the board of trustees and executive committee of the Greater Washington Board of Trade.
Dr. Ebinger was appointed to our Board in connection with our IPO in July 2013 and is a member of the compensation committee and the finance and investment committee.
Dr. Ebinger was a practicing internist with Advocate Aurora Health Care, now one of the 10 largest not-for-profit integrated health systems in the nation with 28 hospitals, 8,300 physicians, and approximately $9.4 billion annual revenue, from 2008 through 2021. Dr. Ebinger served as the inaugural President of the Medical Staff at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin, from 2010 through 2013. Dr. Ebinger served as a Medical Director for the Ozaukee Region of the Aurora Advanced Healthcare Division from 2012 through 2014. Dr. Ebinger was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Aurora Medical Group upon its formation in 2008 and served as the inaugural President of the Aurora Greater Milwaukee North Market Management Committee from 2014 through 2017.
Prior to joining Aurora Health Care in 2008, Dr. Ebinger was a shareholder of Advanced Healthcare, the largest independent physician practice group in Southeastern Wisconsin with 250 physicians, and served on its Board of Directors for 12 years. In 2008, Dr. Ebinger helped Advance Healthcare arrange a strategic hospital affiliation with Aurora Health Care to create Aurora Advanced Health Care.
Dr. Ebinger graduated from Cornell College and the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Ebinger completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medical at the University of Michigan, is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and is a member of the American College of Physicians.
Mr. Black was appointed to our Board in connection with our IPO in July 2013 and is the Chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee and a member of the finance and investment committee.
Mr. Black founded On-Target Supplies & Logistics, Ltd. (“On-Target”), a regional logistics management firm that provides outsourced services to a diverse set of companies, in 1982. On-Target’s services include a broad range of supply chain functions. As Chairman of the company, Mr. Black’s responsibilities include the development of its executive management team and corporate strategy. On-Target’s affiliate companies are TreCo Investments and READYTOWORK®, a workforce training and development company.
Mr. Black’s professional and community experience over the years has included serving in leadership positions with several civic and educational institutions, including Baylor Scott and White Health, one of the leading health care delivery systems in the country, where he has served as a trustee for over 25 years. Mr. Black is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Baylor Health Care System. Mr. Black also serves as the inaugural chairman of the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center Board. He is also a sponsoring trustee of the BSWH Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute.
Mr. Black also has served as Chairman of the boards of Dallas Regional Chamber BSWH, PrimeSource, and the Dallas Housing Authority. Mr. Black’s college and university board experience include the St. Louis University Board of Trustees, Baylor University Regent, Texas Southern University Regent, and Paul Quinn College Regent.
Mr. Black received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and earned an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
Mr. Baumgartner was appointed to our Board in connection with our IPO in July 2013 and is the Chairman of the audit committee.
From 2009 to 2020, Mr. Baumgartner served as the Chief Investment & Risk Officer and a Senior Managing Director of The Ziegler Companies, Inc. (“Ziegler”). During his tenure, he was responsible for the review of certain transactions underwritten by the firm for hospitals, senior living entities, and charter schools, totaling approximately $3 billion annually. In addition, Mr. Baumgartner oversaw Ziegler’s proprietary investments, private equity funds, and general business risks.
Prior to assuming his position in 2009, Mr. Baumgartner worked as an investment banker at Ziegler beginning in 1984. Over the next 25 years, he completed more than 150 public debt offerings in excess of $5 billion for hospital systems, clinics and senior living facilities across the country. During that time, Mr. Baumgartner’s investment banking activities included mergers, acquisitions, and financial advisory work as well as tax-exempt and taxable financings on a fixed variable or blended interest rate basis. Mr. Baumgartner also worked on numerous strategic advisory transactions for health care providers involved in merging, acquiring, or partnering with other health care entities.
Mr. Baumgartner was a registered representative and registered principal of Ziegler. In 2021, Mr. Baumgartner was named to the board of the Marshfield Clinic Health System. He earned a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Notre Dame.
Mr. Anderson was appointed to our Board in connection with our IPO in July 2013 and is the Chairman of the compensation committee and is a member of the audit committee.
Mr. Anderson resigned as a partner from the law firm McDermott Will & Emery in February 2008. He served as Senior Counsel to the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (the “Chamber”) from 1997 until 2016. While a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, Mr. Anderson served as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the Chamber. Mr. Anderson also oversaw the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy legal arm of the Chamber; the Institute for Legal Reform, a Chamber affiliate dedicated to restoring fairness, efficiency, and consistency to the U.S. civil justice system; and the Chamber’s Office of General Counsel.
Mr. Anderson has been involved in national political affairs since 1972, including managing a number of Republican conventions and serving as Counsel to the Reagan-Bush Campaign in 1980. Mr. Anderson has received a number of Presidential appointments, including the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations and the Presidential Commission on Personnel Interchange, and chaired the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Energy Resources in 1981.
Mr. Anderson previously served on the Board of Directors of two public companies, CB Richard Ellis, a national real estate company, where he chaired the audit committee for a number of years, and Aegis Communications Group, where he chaired a number of board committees, including the audit committee.
Mr. Anderson graduated from Westmont College, where he was a Small College All-American basketball player, and received his law degree from Willamette University, where he was a member of the Law Review.
Ms. Kessler was appointed to our Board on January 1, 2018, and is a member of the audit committee.
Ms. Kessler was promoted to Co-President in May 2020 and is also the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of LTC Properties, Inc. (NYSE: LTC), positions she has held since 2007. Ms. Kessler previously served as EVP of LTC from 2007 to May 2020. She has been with LTC as a member of the senior management team since 2000, when she joined as Vice President, Controller. Ms. Kessler oversees all aspects of finance, accounting, corporate reporting, tax, and risk management, and is also responsible for LTC’s capital markets and key stakeholder engagement activities. She has over 25 years of real estate experience and has demonstrated expertise in developing, leading, and executing capital markets and financial planning and analysis activities. LTC is a real estate investment trust that invests in senior housing and post-acute/skilled nursing properties primarily through sale-leaseback transactions, mortgage financing, and structured finance solutions, including mezzanine lending.
Prior to joining LTC, Ms. Kessler served as the Corporate Controller for a privately held commercial and multifamily real estate developer. She was also the Director of Financial Reporting for Irvine Apartment Communities, a publicly-traded multifamily REIT, and Assistant Controller of the Inland Empire division of KB Home, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded homebuilders.
She began her career as a certified public accountant in the real estate group at Ernst & Young LLP. Ms. Kessler also serves on the board and as a member of the real estate committee of the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Foundation. Providence Tarzana Medical Center is a 249-bed hospital serving the San Fernando Valley, a joint venture between Providence St. Joseph Health, a national not-for-profit health system comprised of 50 hospitals and 829 clinics throughout the western part of the United States, and Cedars-Sinai Health System.
Ms. Kessler graduated with honors earning her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Irvine where she was the Vice President of Student Services.