Debra A. Cafaro is one of the world’s best-performing CEOs, according to Harvard Business Review. When she took over Ventas in 1999, it was a struggling real estate investment trust (REIT) worth $200 million. Today, the company’s market cap is $24 billion, it is a major player in healthcare real estate, and the total annual shareholder return has topped 25 percent since 2000 under Cafaro’s leadership.
It’s a corporate Cinderella story. Cafaro took many cues from her personal passion of professional sports: fostering a good sense of teamwork, getting the most from her employees, developing a winning streak and staying ahead of the competition. Even losing – however painful – offered valuable lessons.
Cafaro will talk about how she tapped the strategies of successful sports franchises to become the longest-serving female CEO of an S&P 500 company. And hear her story of becoming an owner and member of the management committee of her hometown NHL hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, just ahead of the team winning consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017.