Movers & Shakers – People and Positions for February 2012

Got the winter blues?  See some rays of sunshine with this installment of Movers and Shakers.  Did you forget that SHN has tons of listings for great senior housing jobs across the country?  Check them out today or if you’re looking for the best and brightest….Post your jobs on SHN’s job board…….at less than $1 day ($50 bucks for 60 days), it’s a great way to promote the jobs in your community.

In the celebrity gossip section of Movers & Shakers, Florence Henderson (a/k/a Carol Brady) will be appearing in new commercials for nursing home operator American Senior Community.  Check out the details here.  Now back to reality…..


Asbury Communities Names Ann E. Gillespie Chief Strategy Officer

Asbury Communities announces the appointment of Ann E. Gillespie to the position of Chief Strategy Officer effective January 1, 2012.  In her new position, Gillespie will oversee the Germantown, Md.-based organization’s strategic goals and transitions in the health care reform environment, as well as the expansion of programs that include home- and community-based services.

Prior to joining Asbury, she worked for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, established and led the first national accrediting body for senior living, the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), and served with AAHSA (now named LeadingAge) as its Senior Vice President for Education and Leadership Development. Most recently, she served as Senior Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton where she led major engagements with not-for-profit and government clients and established the firm’s cross sector collaboration service offering. Gillespie has also held positions on the Asbury Communities Board as a member of the Executive Committee and the Asbury Atlantic operating Board.


Gillespie is a graduate of the Miami University of Ohio with a degree in Gerontology and was the recipient of the Miami University and Scripps Gerontology Center’s 2008 Cottrell Distinguished Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Aging.

ACTS Retirement Life Communities Names Lori Woodward Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations

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ACTS Retirement-Life Communities recently announced the appointment of Lori M. Woodward as Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations. Ms. Woodward will oversee strategic branding, sales, marketing and public relations for ACTS, a suburban Philadelphia-based not-for-profit organization that owns and manages a network of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) located throughout the east coast.  Ms. Woodward has held a series of leadership positions in the senior living industry, most recently serving as chief executive officer of Hamlyn Senior Marketing in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Prior to that position, she served as corporate vice president of marketing and sales for Springpoint Senior Living in Princeton, New Jersey. Ms. Woodward serves on the board of directors for the Twilight Wish Foundation, and as an advisory board member of the Masonic Home of New Jersey. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Business from Millersville University, and an M.B.A in Marketing from LaSalle University.

Walker & Dunlop Hires Melton for New Office in Nashville

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced it hired Keith L. Melton as vice president, Federal Housing Administration Finance in its newly opened Nashville, Tennessee office.  Melton will run the office along with David Strange, who joined the company in December, and will focus on multifamily and healthcare loan originations utilizing FHA financing.

Prior to joining Walker & Dunlop, Mr. Melton was a FHA originator with Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage, Inc. Mr. Melton originated loans under all FHA programs during his seven year tenure with the firm. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Mr. Melton was a commercial lender for Fifth Third Bank and First American National Bank.

Kasulka Named to Executive Board of American Senior Housing Association

Integral Senior Living  (ISL), a  leader in managing senior living communities, is pleased to announce that Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer Chris Kasulka has been named to the Executive Board of the American Senior Housing Association (ASHA).

As the CEO/COO Chris oversees ISL’s operations, interacting with the various owners and ownership groups as well as helps develop new business opportunities for ISL. She joined the company in 2004 as Vice President of Operations. Chris has over 20 years of experience in the senior housing and hospitality industries. Before Chris joined ISL, she served as Senior Vice President of Operations for ARV/Atria Senior Living.

Mutka Joins Linked Senior Board of Advisors

Linked Senior Inc. announced the addition of Mike Mutka to its Board of Advisors. Mike currently serves as the COO and President of Silverchair Learning Systems.  Mr. Mutka will help the Linked Senior management team in the development of their sales and marketing strategy for the next 3-5 years, contribute his thinking to streamline operations and bring his perspective and experience in introducing disruptive innovation and the challenges of technology adoption in the senior housing market.

According to Charles De Vilmorin, Linked Senior CEO, “Beyond the pleasure of working with Mike, having him advise our team gives us great confidence in the future of an already very successful product. Mike’s devotion to excellence, customer experience and strategic thinking will play a major role in guiding and mentoring the development of Linked Senior.”

Mike Mutka has been President of Silverchair Learning Systems (SLS) since January 2009. He built the SLS sales and marketing organization from just two people in 2005 to a team of 20+ professionals, with an impressive track record of growth that includes over 8000 buildings and 500,000 users, taking more than 7 million courses a year nationwide. Prior to joining SLS in 2005, Mr. Mutka had a 15 year track record of success within the Hill-Rom Company, Berchtold Corporation, and Briggs Corporation,all leaders in their market spaces.  He earned his Bachelors in Business and an MBA in Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Vintage Senior Living Appoints Otis to Program Director At Vintage Brush Creek

Vintage Senior Living has announced that Ayumi Otis has been appointed program director of the new memory care community at Vintage Brush Creek in Santa Rosa, Calif. Otis is responsible for overseeing the new memory care programs that are structured to engage the mind and foster a sense of home and happiness for residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive challenges.  Otis served as a brain surgery ward resident nurse in Japan for eight years before she moved to the United States 14 years ago. She started at Vintage Brush Creek as a caregiver nine years ago, and then served as a medical technician for three years before she was promoted by Executive Director Cindy Wood to memory care program director. The majority of Otis’ time is devoted to building relationships with the memory care residents and their families to ensure the best care possible.

Park Shore Retirement Community Appoints Bergstrom New Executive Director

Park Shore announced that Ron Bergstrom began serving as the Executive Director on December 1, 2011. Mr. Bergstrom brings over 20 years of experience in the senior living industry. He will oversee the operations and administration of Park Shore, as well as serve on the executive team for Park Shore’s parent company, Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest (PRCN).  Most recently, Mr. Bergstrom comes from Lakeview Village Retirement Community in Lenexa, KS, where he served as President and CEO and facilitated a team of 450 employees serving over 900 residents. Prior to Lakeview Village, Mr. Bergstrom served as President of the Senior Living division at American University Health Care in Dallas, TX, and Oklahoma City, OK, where he consulted, advised and provided clients with innovative solutions to marketing, financial, organizational and operational strategies, best practices, planning and development.

Mr. Bergstrom is a native of Tacoma, Wash., and he received a Master of Business Administration in Hospital and Health Services Administration from Cornell University. He holds a Bachelor of Science from California State University and is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Washington and Texas and a Certified Assisted Living Manager in Texas.

Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest Welcomes New Chief Financial Officer Eileen Christenson

Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest (PRCN) announced that Eileen Christenson has joined the organization as Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Christenson brings many years of financial and senior living experience. She will oversee the financial management of PRCN and its three senior living communities: Exeter House, Park Shore and Skyline at First Hill.  Ms. Christenson was previously employed by Vi at the Glen (formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt), an independent living and continuing care community in Glenview, Ill., where she served as the Director of Accounting. Ms. Christenson was responsible for preparation and submission of an $18 million operating budget as well as developing best practices that have been embraced by other Vi communities around the nation. Prior to Vi at the Glen, Ms. Christenson served as Accounting Manager for Reader’s Digest magazine in Pleasantville, N.Y., and Chief Financial Officer at Wildlife Trading Company of New Mexico, Inc., and Wildlife Artists, Inc., in Bethel, Conn., where she oversaw all finance and accounting functions. In addition, Ms. Christensen gained extensive financial and auditing experience working as a Senior Manager at KPMG in Providence, R.I. for over 10 years.

The Congress Companies Expands Leadership Team with New CFO

The Congress Companies has announced the addition of Edward O. Tabor, III, to the company as Chief Financial Officer.  In his position as Chief Financial Officer, Tabor will manage all financial functions of the company as well as Administration, IT, and Human Resources departments while maintaining all administrative and financial records. A Certified Public Accountant, Tabor brings expertise in instituting cost controls, making process improvements, overseeing financial structuring, and mergers and acquisitions, and specializes in financial analysis, budgeting, HR, and IT.

For nearly 20 years, Tabor held the position of Controller and Treasurer for Deck House, Inc. of Acton, a designer and manufacturer of panelized house packages using post and beam construction. He then assumed the role of Vice President of Finance and CFO for Empyrean International, LLC of Acton, the designer and manufacturer of Deck House, Acorn, and Dwell homes before joining the executive leadership team at Congress. Tabor holds an M.B.A. with a Concentration in Accounting from Babson College and a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University.
The Buckingham Names Associate Executive Director

The Buckingham senior living community has named Todd Werthman as associate executive director. The announcement was made by Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham.

“Todd brings extensive experience in healthcare and a real passion for residents to his role as associate executive director,” said Fenske.  “Under his leadership, I am confident that the level of service at The Buckingham will continue to exceed the expectations of the community we serve.”

Werthman has over 15 years experience as a nursing home administrator and executive director in healthcare and skilled nursing communities. He was most recently the vice president of sales for Neutex, a start-up energy company. Prior to joining Neutex, Werthman was the executive director for a 269 apartment independent living retirement community, The Terrace at First Colony, where he received the Horizon Award.

Werthman graduated from State University of New York, where he received a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Health Services Management.

Integral Senior Living Announces Executive Promotions

Integral Senior Living (ISL) announced the promotion of Chris Kasulka to Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer and Tracee DeGrande to President/Chief Financial Officer.  Sue Farrow, previously Chief Executive Officer and President will assume the role of Executive Chairman.

As Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer, Chris will be responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, interacting with the various owners and ownership groups as well as helping develop new business opportunities for ISL. Chris joined the company in 2004 as Vice President of Operations and is currently the Chief Operating Officer. Chris has over 20 years of experience in the senior housing and hospitality industries. Before Chris joined ISL, she served as Senior Vice President of Operations for ARV/Atria Senior Living.

As President/Chief Financial Officer, Tracee will continue to oversee thecompany¹s financial matters and long-term financial strength, partner with Chris to coordinate and interact with our various ownership groups, identify new business opportunities and negotiate the company¹s role in these ventures. Tracee joined ISL in September of 2009 as the company¹s ChiefFinancial Officer. Over the course of her career, she has attained more than 26 years of finance experience, with a number of those years specifically as a CFO in the senior living industry. Her strong industry and professional experience includes tenure at Aegis Living, Regency Pacific and Hillhaven Corporation (now Kindred).

Sue, in her role as Executive Chairman/Owner, will remain active in business development and she will be a key member of the Due Diligence team.

Isle at Watercrest-Bryan Names Wood Executive Director

Isle at Watercrest–Bryan has named Tommy Wood executive director.  Wood joins Isle at Watercrest–Bryan from Horizon Bay Senior Communities where he served as executive director and regional vice president during his six years there. He was also honored as Horizon Bay Senior Communities Southwest Region’s Executive Director of the Year in 2005. Before working at Horizon Bay, he was director of operations at Ashwood Assisted Living for four years. At Ashwood, he created and implemented all policies and procedures for two assisted living communities and raised revenue per unit by more than thirty-five percent.  Wood has his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management and his Master of Science/ Health Professions (MSHP) in Healthcare Human Resources from Southwest Texas State University. He is certified in Assisted Living Management and has implemented a variety of employee and management training programs throughout his career.

Senior Living Communities Promotes Darrell Biddix to Regional Director of Clinical Services

Senior Living Communities announced the promotion of Darrell Biddix to the position of Regional Director of Clinical Services. A resident of Pawley’s Island, S.C., Biddix formerly served as Healthcare Administrator at The Lakes at Litchfield where he oversaw the consistent delivery of exceptional health care services for all residents. His professionalism and strong leadership skills resulted in his promotion to the position of Regional Director of Clinical Services. In his new position, Biddix will report to Doris Afam, Vice President of Clinical Services, and work closely within the clinical workgroup to improve and enhance health care services throughout the Senior Living Communities’ portfolio. He is an active member of both the American College of Health Care Administrators and the local, South Carolina chapter. Biddix is also a dual-licensed administrator in the state of South Carolina.

Lynda Jeffries Appointed Chair of PVM Corporate Board

Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM) is pleased to announce the election of Lynda Jeffries to Chairperson of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Board of Directors. Elected by her peers, Jeffries will lead the volunteer board of directors, providing PVM with direction, advice and help set goals and objectives for the organization to carry out its mission of serving seniors of all faiths and creating new possibilities in quality living.  Jeffries, whose term as PVM chair began January 1, 2012, retired from SBC Communications as External Affairs Director for South Oakland County. Currently, as a Senior Consultant with The Leadership Group LLC, Lynda has a passion for assisting organizations in capacity building and leadership development. Jeffries is a Ph.D. candidate in Education at Capella University, has a M.B.A. in Management from the University of Detroit Mercy, an Education Specialist Certificate from Wayne State University, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Lawrence Technological University (LTU). As an adjunct professor, Lynda has taught Leadership and Nonprofit Management at LTU and has taught Social Diversity, Business Ethics, Management Principles, and Speech Communication at Davenport University. A native Detroiter, Jeffries is actively involved in her community and serves in leadership roles on several nonprofit and faith-based boards and committees. She is a Trustee and the Christian Education Director at her Church, Historic Little Rock Baptist.

American Healthcare Investors Expands Senior Management Team with Key Hires

American Healthcare Investors, a commercial real estate investment firm that specializes in the acquisition and management of healthcare-related properties announced the hiring of several division heads and other key executives: Stefan Oh, senior vice president of acquisitions; Chris Rooney, senior vice president of asset management; Shannon Johnson, senior vice president of finance and accounting; Trevor Drummond, vice president of finance and accounting; and Cora Lo, senior vice president, securities counsel. In December, the company announced that Damon Elder had joined as senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Stefan Oh’s 18-year career in commercial real estate began as an auditor within Ernst & Young LLP’s EYKL Real Estate Group in Los Angeles, California in 1993. In 1999, he joined Health Care Property Investors, Inc., the largest publicly traded healthcare REIT in the nation, where he served as director of asset management and later as director of acquisitions. Oh joined Grubb & Ellis Company in 2007 as vice president of acquisitions, healthcare real estate, and helped launch Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II in 2009, serving as an officer of the REIT and as its senior vice president of acquisitions ever since. He has participated in the acquisition of more than $10 billion of healthcare real estate during his career. Oh received a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and is a certified public accountant.

As senior vice president of asset management, Chris Rooney directs the strategic asset and portfolio management function of the rapidly growing Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II portfolio. Rooney previously served as vice president of asset management for the investment management subsidiary of Grubb & Ellis Company, where he oversaw portfolios exceeding more than $1 billion on behalf of various private and public real estate investment programs, including the first Grubb & Ellis healthcare REIT and Grubb & Ellis Healthcare REIT II (now known as Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II). He possesses extensive asset management experience spanning the four core clinical healthcare real estate types, medical office buildings, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Rooney is a graduate of Arizona State University.

Shannon Johnson serves as senior vice president of finance and accounting for American Healthcare Investors, as well as chief financial officer of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II, a role she has filled since the REIT’s inception in 2009. She leads a team of 14 experienced accounting professionals, all of whom have specialized experience in healthcare-related commercial real estate investment. Johnson previously served as the financial reporting manager for the investment management subsidiary of Grubb & Ellis Company since January 2006 and has served as the chief financial officer of two other public REITs previously sponsored by Grubb & Ellis. From 2002 to 2006, she served as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and with Arthur Andersen LLP from 1999 to 2002, where she worked on a variety of public and private company accounts. Johnson is a certified public accountant and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Trevor Drummond serves as vice president of finance and accounting, as well as controller of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II, a role he has served in since the REIT’s inception in 2009. Prior to joining American Healthcare Investors, Drummond served as REIT controller at Grubb & Ellis Company since 2006, originally for Grubb & Ellis’ first healthcare REIT. Earlier in his career, he served as financial reporting manager at Commercial Capital Bank, accounting manager with New Century Mortgage, and as assistant controller with Consumer Portfolio Services. Drummond is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Arizona.

Cora Lo serves as senior vice president, securities counsel of American Healthcare Investors. She began serving as an officer and secretary of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II in November 2010, having previously served as assistant secretary since March 2009. Prior to joining American Healthcare Investors, she served as senior corporate counsel for Grubb & Ellis Company since December 2007. Lo also served as senior corporate counsel and securities counsel for various investment management subsidiaries of Grubb & Ellis since 2005. Prior to joining Grubb & Ellis, she spent more than three years as general counsel of a publicly traded company and an additional three years in private practice. Lo received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a juris doctorate from Boston University. She is a member of the California State Bar Association.

Senior Living Communities Promotes Showa and Ellis in the Dining Services Area

Senior Living Communities has announced the hiring and promotion of Frances Showa and Jeff Ellis, respectively, to oversee the growth and improvement of the company’s dining services division during 2012.  Frances Showa, an experienced and proven regional manager with a diverse background, will oversee all aspects of dining service and delivery in her new role as Vice President of Dining Services. Showa is a registered dietetic technician and a professional chef. Most recently, she served as Regional Consultant of Food Services for American Senior Communities where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of food service and delivery at more than 30 communities in Indiana. Prior to her time with American Senior Communities, Showa served as General Manager of Dining Services for Morrison Senior Dining where she oversaw the operations and food delivery service of skilled, assisted living and independent living units totaling 300 residents. She also has food service experience in various hospital settings and also served as Director of Training and Development for Mrs. Fields of Mexico in Mexico City. She completed a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008, has an Associate of Arts degree in Dietetics and a Dietary Service Supervisor Certificate both from Long Beach City College in California. She also graduated from the Epicurean Cooking School in West Los Angeles in 1990 with her Professional Chef Certificate.

Jeff Ellis was promoted to the position of Dining Services Trainer from his previous position as Dining Room Manager at Osprey Village, a Senior Living Community located on Amelia Island. In his new position, Ellis will enhance the dining experience for Members through an increased focus on elegant service delivery and food presentation. With the transition to the Flexible Dining Dollar system and the hiring of Showa and Ellis, Senior Living Communities is making a distinct shift towards restaurant-quality, gourmet dining in the retirement communities it operates throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Other changes include more casual dining fare served in community cafѐs and bars, an expanded spirits and wine list, and eclectic and gourmet entrée offerings crafted from local market finds.