Mark Laubacher

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman


Why I go to work every day?

I enjoy that Silver Birch challenges all of us to learn and grow, both professionally and personally. I enjoy developing new approaches and process improvements, particularly the strategizing and problem-solving that both require. I’ve been stretched in dimensions I would not have attempted five years ago.

How did I get here?

Growing up, I was lucky to have people in my life that believed in me, so slowly, I started to believe in myself. I also benefitted by attending college with a significant financial aid package through the Evans Scholars program, which is now my top charity commitment. My career began with a curiosity about public policy, particularly job creation strategies and my first job was with Illinois’ economic development agency. Next was 15 years in the investment banking industry, had many highly talented colleagues. Our clients were Midwest state and large local governments accessing the capital markets for both public works improvements and affordable housing developments. At 40-years-old with two young children, I was part of a downsizing and decided to start my own consulting practice. In 2004, I had a modest role in arranging funding for a new construction affordable assisted living (AAL) development and after that, AAL financing became my niche. Over the next 16 years I helped finance over 3,000 apartments of AAL. In 2012, I met Dave Cocagne and two years later, we began construction on our first AAL development as partners.

Why I care about this industry?

Silver Birch gives me the opportunity to shape situations for our employees to grow. Silver Birch is also communities where disabled and vulnerable persons can feel safe and cared for. I care that Silver Birch can make a direct difference in hundreds of lives through intentions and actions rooted in integrity.

Who I really am…

I am a proud father of two adult children and my taste in music is frozen at 60’s-70’s classic rock. I am an idealist that drives and pushes to improve the processes around me. I love exploring new places and noticing overlooked elements in my familiar places. One my versions of an epic day is a challenging hike with 3-5 others to a high alpine lake, the site of ancient religious rituals that now has an immersive interpretive museum, swimming in the lake, picnic lunch and half-hour nap, ride a mountain bike back down and a huge dinner outdoors with the sun setting, moon rising and all present laughing. Then roll into a dance party.