Chief Executive Officer, Harden Healthcare, LLC
As founding CEO of Harden Healthcare, LLC, a company that he cofounded in 2002, Lew Little was instrumental in guiding the company from zero revenues and its initial acquisition of six skilled nursing facilities in Austin to more than $800M in revenue in 2013. Driving that revenue growth was a visionary expansion of the company’s mission from that of an operator of skilled nursing facilities to a broadly based provider of a full range of post-acute care services that included home health, hospice, and community care services from more than 200 sites nationwide. Over the nearly 12 years of continuous profitability and almost uniform growth, Little led the acquisition and successful integration of more than 20 organizations, many with operations in multiple states, as well as the successful organic scaling of existing operations. In 2013, he initiated and participated in negotiations that led to the sale of the home health, hospice, and community care services to Gentiva for more than $400M. While stepping down as CEO following that sale, Little remains on the Board of Directors of Harden Healthcare and retains an ownership interest in the firm.
A master’s program graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, Little holds both an MBA and a BBA from that school. He began his career in banking that same year in Houston with the JPMorgan Chase organization. In 1984, he and his wife, Jeanne, also a UT grad, returned to Austin for Lew to join InterFirst Bank, Austin which ultimately became what is today Bank of America, Austin. Little remained with the Austin bank until December 1999, serving in a variety of roles and leading successful teams in such areas as Real Estate, Trusts and Investments, Private Banking, Commercial Banking, and Special Assets. In all instances he led successful strategies and ultimately rose to the position of President.
In 2000, Little cofounded and became President of Capstar Partners LLC, an investment entity for R. Steven Hicks, formerly the CEO of Capstar Broadcasting and Vice Chair of AMFM, Inc., which was acquired by Clear Channel Communications in 2000. Little led strategies for entity investments and managed other investments for Mr. Hicks and his family. One of the key investments was in the founding of Harden Healthcare, and that investment led directly to his successes as CEO of that firm.
Little’s career has led to significant involvement in the business communities in many areas and with senior executives worldwide. He has been a member of both the Young Presidents and World Presidents Organizations since 1998 and served as Chair of the Austin Chapters of both. The memberships have yielded important professional relationships with CEOs worldwide. He has been a member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since 2012 and presently serves as its Volunteer Chair. He is formerly a Director and Chair of the Public Relations Task Force of the Alliance for Home Health Quality & Innovation. In 1999, he chaired the United Way Campaign in Austin and set a record for similarly sized communities by increasing donations 31% over the previous year.
Little has served on other private and public boards of directors, been recognized by the Austin Business Journal as Best CEO of a Large Company in 2013, by Concordia University for Excellence in Leadership in 2013, and by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year in Austin and San Antonio in 2005. Little and Jeanne have 3 adult children.