About M.E. Costello
Beth Cayce Leadership Award
M.E. Costello, President (Retired)
The Arbor Company
Marion Eugene Costello, Jr., is the founder and was the first Board Chair of Georgia-ALFA (Georgia-Assisted Living Federation of America), now GSLA-Georgia Senior Living Association, in 1998.
M.E., as everyone calls him, formed The Arbor Company in 1984 with his business partner and close friend, Ellison Thomas, to develop and operate senior living communities. Now retired, M.E. was very much hands on and engaged the staff with his charm and loving spirit, always calling each by name and recalling details about their shared stories. The Atlanta-based company now operates more than 40 independent living, assisted living and memory care communities in 11 states and is widely recognized for high quality senior housing and services.
Extremely active in the Atlanta civic and business community, M.E. has served as Treasurer and Director of the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Atlanta’s Midtown Business Association. He has been a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and the Piedmont Driving Club.
Marion Eugene Costello, Jr. grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. He was on the honor roll throughout Jefferson High School. Though small in stature, he was an energetic athlete and was recognized as an outstanding football player in the 115-pound division.
M.E. graduated with a degree in economics from the University of North Carolina, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a secret society, The Order of Gimghoul. He was commissioned as a LTJG in the U.S. Navy and served two tours in the Mediterranean. He then earned his MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and was one of two in his graduating class to be selected for Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership society.
Prior to moving to Georgia and forming The Arbor Company, M.E. worked in banking, real estate development and sports management in North Carolina and Washington, D.C. (where he managed tennis star Arthur Ashe until Ashe’s death).
M.E. Costello is married to Lilla, and they have four sons: Drew, George, Jon and Lawton.