Movers & Shakers — People and Positions for December, Part IV

Maryland CCRC Names Director of Philanthropy

Patricia Santoni has been named director of philanthropy for Charlestown, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Catonsville, Md., that has more than 2,000 residents. 

She will be responsible for establishing, planning, directing, and coordinating all fundraising activities for Charlestown. Santoni will also provide leadership for the creation of strategic fund development initiatives to include a major and planned giving program, annual giving, corporate and foundation giving, donor stewardship and recognition programs, and public relations related to development.


Santoni has 25 years of experience in the health and human services field and more than 18 years of experience as a fundraiser for organizations such as St. Agnes Hospital, MedStar Health, and The American Cancer Society. She most recently served as director of major gifts and stewardship for Loyola Blakefield.

Senior Living Communities Welcomes Vice President of Clinical Services

Senior Living Communities, owner and operator of nine retirement communities located throughout the Southeast and Midwest, recently announced that Carol Anne Baker has been named vice president of clinical services. 


As vice president of clinical services, Baker will establish policy and procedures for health care programming to include oversight of continuous quality improvement programs, implementation of corporate culture, adherence to SLC Standard of Policies and Procedure, training, reviews and orientation for new directors as needed.

She will be a part of the operations team.

Prior to working at Senior Living Communities, Baker served as the corporate quality management consultant for Sentara Healthcare. She has also served as campus director of nursing services for Sentara Healthcare, and regional clinical services director and director of nursing services for Wellington Healthcare. In her vast experience, Baker has served in multiple roles at the facility, regional and corporate levels, along with being a contributing author to more than 20 nursing books.

Real Estate Investment Firm Hires Managing Director of Senior Housing

DiNapoli Capital Partners (DCP), a privately held real estate investment firm interested in hotels, multifamily, senior housing and office assets, has announced that Guy Geller has joined as managing director to operate and oversee the firm’s senior housing platform. 

Geller brings to the position more than 17 years of experience in senior housing, most recently as the managing director of Sunrise Senior Living in the UK, with responsibility for overseeing Sunrise’s UK portfolio consisting of 27 senior housing communities. 

During Geller’s tenure at Sunrise, property level occupancy increased by more than 15%, EBITDA increased by more than 60% and the company expanded their operations by more than 800 units. 

Prior to taking helm at Sunrise, Geller was a a senior director at Brookdale Senior Living with responsibilities for acquisitions, capital restructuring, dispositions, joint ventures and operational turnarounds for distressed assets. 

Geller will be based in Chicago. 

Harvard Join Center For Housing Studies Names Managing Director 

Dr. Christopher E. Herbert has been appointed managing director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, effective January 1, 2015.

Since 2010, Herbert has served as the Joint Center’s director of research, leading the team responsible for producing the Center’s annual State of the Nation’s Housing report, a resource for both public and private decision makers in the housing industry.

He has also overseen the Center’s sponsored research programs as well as its ongoing analysis of important trends in housing, residential settlement patterns, and affordability challenges, both in the United States and elsewhere in the urbanizing world.

Herbert’s own research focuses on the economic and demographic dimensions of homeownership, access to credit, and the persistent challenges to affordability and access in the wake of the recession, housing bust and foreclosure crisis. 

The appointment includes an academic role at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where Herbert will teach a course in the Department of Urban Planning and Design in spring 2015. He will also oversee the Center’s fellowship programs, as well as its public programs, symposia and events.

Having previously worked at the Joint Center in the 1990s, Herbert rejoined the center in 2010 from Abt Associates, where he was senior associate in the Housing and Community Development practice.

He is co-editor of “Homeownership Built to Last: Balancing Access, Affordability, and Risk After the Housing Crisis,” and a member of the Board of Directors of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Development Research Advisory Council, and the Center for Responsible Lending Research Advisory Council. 

Senior Lifestyle Corporation Welcomes New CFO 

Steven T. Hippel has been named chief financial officer of Chicago-based Senior Lifestyle Corporation, a senior living company that operates, develops and acquires communities throughout the country. 

Senior Lifestyle’s operations encompass all levels of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

“Steve is a great addition to our leadership team due to his results-oriented approach and extensive real estate background,” said Jon DeLuca, Senior Lifestyle’s president and CEO. “Under his financial guidance we will continue to expand our portfolio of premier senior living communities in key markets.”

Prior to his appointment at Senior Lifestyle Corporation, Hippel served as CFO of Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust, Inc., a public, non-listed real estate investment trust (REIT), where he focused on financing, accounting, financial reporting, financial controls, treasury and tax compliance for the company’s $2.4 billion U.S. commercial real estate portfolio.

He also served as senior vice president and CFO for ORIX Real Estate Capital, Inc., a wholly owned real estate subsidiary of one of Japan’s largest financial services firms. In this position, he was responsible for all accounting, financial reporting, financial controls, treasury and tax compliance for the company’s nationwide portfolio.

Hippel has also held high-level accounting positions with Shorenstein Company, a real estate investment firm specializing in the ownership and operation of high-quality office properties, and Deloitte & Touche, LLP, one of the leading professional services firms providing audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services.

Hippel is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Illinois CPA Society. Active with community organizations, he serves on the board of the Falcons Hockey Association of Highland Park, Ill.

RED Capital Group Names Head of Affordable Housing

RED Capital Group recently announced that Tracy Peters has been named head of affordable housing for the firm. 

Peters has been with the firm for more than 20 years and has extensive experience in affordable housing. His experience includes numerous years working in structured bond underwriting and placement issues for apartment projects enhanced primarily with FHA Mortgage Insurance/Ginnie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities or Fannie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities.

Peters also has worked with and advised local housing authorities, non-profit developers, for-profit affordable housing developers, and seniors housing providers on capital structures and financing. He has served as the lead banker on Section 236, Section 202, and mark-to-market refinance transactions.

Previously, Peters was an auditor at Ernst & Young. He earned his finance and accounting degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and is a non-practicing Certified Public Accountant.

Recently, he was named vice president on the Ohio Housing Council Board of Trustees.

Reutlinger Community Names New CEO

The Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living has named Jay Zimmer as its new CEO. 

Zimmer takes the helm of the Danville, Calif., senior living community as it embarks on a multimillion dollar building renovation and strategic plan for the future. He began work at Reutlinger on Nov. 3.

Zimmer’s initial goals as CEO will be to guide Reutlinger through a building renovation; develop a comprehensive marketing, repositioning and branding plan; create a long-term development strategy to increase Reutlinger’s endowment; and establish relationships, affiliations and partnerships that will provide services that cannot be provided in-house.

Zimmer has more than 20 years experience in senior management across the spectrum of health care, including positions at university medical schools, community hospitals, large multispecialty physician practices, long-term post-acute care and health care consulting.

Reutlinger is a faith-based, nonprofit senior care organization that provides multiple levels of care and welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds, with an emphasis on Jewish values.

National Health Investors Announces Hire of EVP of Corporate Finance

National Health Investors, Inc. (NYSE:NHI) recently announced the hire of Eric Mendelsohn as executive vice president of corporate finance. 

Mendelsohn will oversee the company’s banking relationships, financial transactions and legal matters starting January 26, 2015.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Eric to the NHI team,” said NHI CEO and President Justin Hutchens. “His in-depth real estate and financial transaction experience perfectly complements NHI’s growth plan. Plus, Eric’s background working for one of the nation’s largest senior housing operators blends with our long history of offering an operational perspective to our customers and shareholders.”

Mendelsohn has more than 15 years of health care real estate and financing experience. Previously, Mendelsohn was with Emeritus Senior Living for nine years, most recently as a senior vice president of corporate development, where he was responsible for the financing and acquisition of assisted living properties, home health care companies and executing corporate finance strategies.

Prior to Emeritus, Mendelsohn was with the University of Washington as a transaction officer, where he worked on the development, acquisition and financing of research, clinic and medical properties. Prior to that, he was a practicing transaction attorney, representing lenders and landlords. 

Jim Nasso Joins Wesley Housing Corp. as CEO

The board of directors for Wesley Housing Corp. of Memphis, Inc. has named Jim Nasso as CEO, effective Jan. 1. Previously, Nasso was president and chief operating officer of Wesley Housing Corp.  

The organization, which is connected with the United Methodist Church, serves more than 2,200 residents in two assisted living communities and 28 senior housing communities in West Tennessee, western Kentucky and Arkansas.

Nasso’s appointment comes after the resignation of current CEO Larry Kaler, who will retire at the end of December. The board also announced Ron Budynas will assume the role of vice president and COO. Don Ollio is the vice president and chief financial officer.

Avanti Senior Living Names 2 New Hires 

Avanti Senior Living, a new senior living development, operations and ownership company, has recently announced two new hires for its Towne Lake, Texas community. 

With more than 25 years of experience in health care — 22 years of which were spent serving senior living residents — Jan Kaiser has been named senior executive director of Avanti at Towne Lake, where she will serve as the community’s Impact Maker.

Kaiser has spent the last 16 years of her career serving seniors in the Cy-Fair/Cypress area and has been involved with many health care boards and committees in the area. 

Kaiser will be responsible for daily operations of Avanti at Towne Lake, overseeing the care of each resident, making sure needs are met on an individualized basis, maintaining health codes and regulations, making managerial decisions and providing leadership for fellow team members.

During the early years of her career, Kaiser worked with top-rated geriatric physicians and received Alzheimer’s training from JoAnne Koenig Coste, a renowned Alzheimer’s specialist in New England. During this time, she had a weekly spot on a radio show to discuss Alzheimer’s and other issues faced by seniors and also participated in a medical round table on a television show with fellow geriatric physicians.

With more than 10 years of experience in professional senior living sales, Shawna Dodd has been named community relations director of Avanti at Towne Lake, where she will serve as the community’s Relationship Builder.

Dodd has a competitive background in sales and marketing, having established a proven track record of success and award-winning closing percentages in demanding, fast-paced sales markets.

Prior to Avanti, Dodd served in sales and marketing positions with Brookdale Plaza Kingwood, The Village at The Woodlands Waterway, Brookdale Place Cypress Station and The Abbey at Westminster Plaza.

Kaiser and Dodd will provide leadership, fulfill administration and operational duties and help manage community outreach. Avanti at Towne Lake is currently under construction and due to open in the summer of 2015.

Brookdale Appoints William G. Petty Jr. to Board of Directors

Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE:BKD) recently announced the appointment of William G. Petty Jr. to its Board of Directors.

Petty brings to Brookdale nearly 30 years of experience in the health care services industry, as well as extensive operational, investment and transactional experience in the senior living industry, and a robust background in finance.

He is a founding partner of Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company, a private equity management firm specializing in the health care industry. During his career, Petty has served as a senior executive or as a director of several publicly traded and privately held senior living companies.

“We are pleased to welcome Bill to our Board as an independent director,” said Jeffrey R. Leeds, Brookdale’s chairman. “Bill has had a long, successful career creating value as a private investor and as a public company operating executive and board member. We look forward to many valuable contributions from him as our Board and management team continue to refine and execute our strategy for sustainable growth.”

Jackie Clegg, chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of Brookdale’s Board, said, “Bill’s proven leadership in the senior living industry, along with his expertise in finance and healthcare, led the Committee to unanimously recommend his appointment to our Board.”

Petty’s appointment was effective immediately for a term scheduled to expire at the company’s 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. He has also been appointed to the Investment Committee of the Board.

Petty’s prior leadership experience includes service as chairman of the Board of Directors of Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. from January 2013 to April 2014; as CEO of Alternative Living Services, Inc./Alterra Healthcare Corporation from 1993 to 1996 and as its chairman from 1993 to 2000; as chairman, president and CEO of Evergreen Healthcare, Inc. and as a director of that company’s publicly traded successors (GranCare, Inc. and Mariner Health Care Inc.); and as a director and member of the executive committee of Forum Group, Inc.

In 1985, he co-founded Omega Capital Ltd., a private investment fund focused on the health care industry, which formed Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc., a healthcare REIT, during his tenure as managing director.

In addition, he has served on the boards of directors of several Beecken Petty portfolio companies.

Written by Emily Study

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