Nancy and Hank Fisher, Founders of Hank Fisher Properties
Henry (Hank) Fisher was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1932 and was reared in Cincinnati, Ohio. His study of engineering at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, was interrupted by service in the Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he moved to California where his parents had relocated.
He enrolled in San Jose State College, was elected President of the Senior Class, and was a member of the Blue Key Honorary Society. He graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, and fairly soon thereafter, met the woman, Nancy, who would become his wife.
Born in San Francisco, California, Nancy was reared in Santa Cruz. She studied marketing and received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oregon, Eugene. She and Hank were married in 1958 after both had graduated college.
In 1957, Hank went to work for Price Waterhouse, an accounting firm in San Francisco; while Nancy became a manager for Joseph Magnin. In 1960, Price Waterhouse gave Hank, along with three colleagues, the responsibility of opening and managing a new office — its first — in Sacramento. A short time later, one of his largest clients, Aerojet, convinced Hank to come aboard as their controller.
During that time he met Bob Powell, who was establishing himself as a major residential builder in the Sacramento area. Bob and Hank became partners in 1966. Bob was the principal designer/builder while Hank provided the business management. Over the next ten years, the Powell-Fisher partnership build about 7,000 apartment units and 1,000 homes.
Nancy was involved in Sacramento civic and community activities and with raising their daughter, Wendy.
By the mid-1970s, Hank obtained a brokerage license and for a-year-and-a-half sold million dollar apartment buildings with Coldwell Banker. He also became a partner with Ray Stone, and with Ned Ryder from Walnut Creek, where he primarily focused on buying the land, designing the projects and obtaining the financing.
In 1977, Hank’s friend, Ralph Vitello, an architect, interested Hank in the idea of developing housing specifically to meet the needs of senior citizens. Nancy was sent to attend a national senior housing conference in Boston, and, shortly thereafter, Hank and Ralph build one of the area’s first apartment communities designed specifically for seniors.
Although he later sold that property, Hank built, purchased and renovated many senior living communities and became well known for providing elegant surroundings and quality services. Hank Fisher Properties’ four full-service senior communities include the Chateau on Capitol Avenue in Midtown, the Chateau at Carmichael Park in Carmichael, the Chateau at River’s Edge and River’s Edge, both in Campus Commons. These levels of care offered depend on the community and may include independent and assisted senior living, “TLC Suites” for recuperation and rehabilitation, memory care, and memory day care.
As the company grew, Nancy began contributing her design talents. “I would go into one of Hank’s senior living communities,” she said, “and I would see an orange and pink interior, so I decided to become more involved. I began picking furnishings and accessories when I traveled.” Today Nancy makes every design decision for each building — from the color scheme, to carpeting, to the furnishings, decor and landscaping. “My challenge is to maintain the high standard established by my husband and the Hank Fisher Properties management team.”
A former skier and tennis buff, Hank took up golf at the age of 58. Within a few years his handicap was in the single digits. Nancy, too, became an avid golfer and also developed a passion for competitive bridge.
As soon as becoming a Sacramento resident, Hank began actively serving his community. He was a 35-year member of the local Rotary; trustee of the Sacramento Symphony Foundation; 1995 President of the Sutter Club; California State Treasurer of the Junior Chamber of Commerce; Faculty, American River College; Board Member, Membership Director and Treasurer of the Del Paso Country Club; and Member, Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
In 2000, he was named a member of the Executive Committee for the Medical Center’s Leadership Council of the University of California, Davis. As chair of the Medical School’s scholarship program, Hank stepped up its activities and greatly increased its grant-giving capabilities.
He helped shape the city with his service on Sacramento’s Building Industry Association, Redevelopment Commission and Community Convention Authority. He was a president of the Sacramento-Davis Apartment Associations and Regional Vice President of the California Apartment Association.
Hank passed away on Friday, August 11, 2006, after an extended battle with cancer. He left the Sacramento region a richer place. At the time of his passing, Nancy became president of Hank Fisher Properties, and continues to offer expert oversight of residential apartment communities.