Movers & Shakers — People and Positions for January, Part III

Nonprofit Lender IFF Hires New Executive Director

IFF — a real estate consultant and developer that works closely with senior housing, among other sectors — has hired David Desai-Ramirez as executive director of the Missouri, metro Kansas City and southern Illinois region.

From the St. Louis office, Desai-Ramirez will grow the real estate consulting business by cultivating relationships as well as lead loan and real estate services in communities where IFF has supported nonprofits through $140 million in financing since 1991. 


Previously, Desai-Ramirez spent seven years at The Desco Group, a commercial and real estate development company in St. Louis, where he oversaw many aspects of real estate finance and portfolio asset management.

He also worked at Beyond Housing, a neighborhood development group that provides affordable housing and homeownership services. He holds a bachelor of science degree in bioengineering from Rice University and a master of business administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Washington Provider Names VP of Operations


Olympia, Washington-based Koelsch Senior Communities, which has 23 senior living communities in seven states, has hired Dan Williams as vice president of operations. 

Prior to joining Koelsch, he was vice president of operations at Bellevue, Washington-based Regency Pacific and managed the daily operations of 18 assisted, independent and memory care communities. 

Williams has studied business at the University of North Alabama and is currently working on a master’s in Healthcare Leadership through Cornell University. 

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Baltimore City CCRC Welcomes 3 New Team Members

Roland Park Place, Baltimore City’s only nonprofit continuing care retirement community (CCRC) has announced the hiring of Linda Federico Kohler as advancement officer, Nancy Therrien as marketing associate and Bill O’Brien as financial controller. 

Linda Federico Kohler brings to the position more than 22 years of experience in nonprofit management and development. She has led Baltimore nonprofit organizations, including the Metropolitan Baltimore chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the former Students Sharing Coalition. 

In her new role, Federico Kohler will support the fundraising efforts of the nonprofit community as they relate to individual major gifts, legacy gifts, as well as other development operations. 

Nancy Therrien joins Roland Park Place as a marketing associate with more than 20 years of senior living and sales experience. She previously worked as a marketing director with Emeritus Senior Living, after beginning her career in the senior living industry working with national senior care referral service A Place For Mom. 

As marketing associate, Therrien will assist prospective residents and their families to make an informed decision about retirement living by offering personal assistance, home visits, events, seminars, tours and more. She will also cultivate prospects and referral sources, and assist with coordinating the move-in process for new residents. 

Bill O’Brien, in his new role as financial controller, directs the recording of Roland Park Place’s company finances and financial transactions. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the finance department, including payroll, accounts payable and billing, as well as the preparation of company financial statements. 

Prior to joining Roland Park Place, O’Brien works for more than 25 years in a variety of accounting roles for W.R. Grace & Co., a chemical manufacturing company. 

Home Care Tech Co. Names New President and CEO

CellTrak Technologies, Inc., a provider of care delivery and field force management solutions for the home care and hospice industries, has named Mark Battaglia president and CEO, effective immediately. 

Battaglia’s top priority is to continue CellTrak’s growth by enhancing the breadth and depth of its software-as-a-service solution, expanding its distribution capabilities, and helping customers maximize the value they receive from deploying the solution.

CellTrak’s solution includes apps that all types of caregivers install on mobile devices, portals that providers use to better manage care delivery in real time and to improve workforce productivity over time, and interfaces to electronic health records (EHRs) and back-office systems. The company says these measures improve the quality of care delivery, enable regulatory compliance, and reduce costs.

Battaglia has more than 30 years of experience in start-up and growth-stage companies. Prior to joining CellTrak, he was CEO at ThinkVine, a marketing planning and optimization company. His previous experience includes executive roles in marketing, business development and international operations at software and information services companies serving the health care industry and leading SPSS BI division as president.

Battaglia replaces Michael K. Wons, who has led CellTrak for the past six years. Wons will continue as a board member and will be an advisor to the company.

Amy Noonan Joins EPOCH as Wellness Director  

EPOCH Senior Living welcomes Amy Noonan as wellness director of its Chestnut Hill, Mass., community, Boylston Place, according to local reports.  

Noonan will be responsible for the management and development of the wellness team; facilitation of resident move-ins; and development of individual resident care plans. 

Noonan has worked in assisted living for six years, starting as a wellness nurse for an area senior living organization, and later promoted to regional resident care specialist. In this role, she trained new wellness directors and nurses and implemented regulation compliance at numerous communities. 

Minnesota Senior Living Community Hires New Health Director

The Waters on Mayowood, a new 175-unit senior living community in Rochester, Minn., has named Carol Simons as director of health and wellbeing. 

Simons will oversee all nursing and care services at The Waters, which is expected to be completed by early February 2015, when the building will open to the public. Residents will begin to move in March 1.

Simons has been a registered nurse and nurse administrator in the senior living industry for more than 15 years with additional advanced experience in long-term care, ER, psychiatric, ICU and rural hospital nursing. She also served as labor and delivery educator, and school health educator and director of wellness. 

Most recently, Simons was the director of nursing and acting administrator of Zumbrota Health Services, a long-term care and assisted living subsidiary of St. Francis Health Systems of Morris, Minn.

The Waters on Mayowood features a variety of private-pay apartments within two separate four-story buildings, including 71 independent living apartments, 70 senior living with services apartments, 20 memory care and 14 enhanced care apartments. 

Peter Becker Community Welcomes New CEO

Harleysville, Pennsylvania-based Peter Becker Community, which has about 500 residents, has named Suzanne Owens as its new CEO and president, according to local reports

Owens, who has more than 23 years experience as an executive in the senior living industry, was most recently an operations and marketing consultant with Mennonite Health Services Consulting. She previously was senior vice president of operations for the Country Meadows retirement communities, which have communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Owens replaces retiring CEO and President Carol Berster. Both Owens and Berster previously worked for multi-facility retirement communities. 

Jacqueline Hurt Appointed Healthcare Administrator at Covenant Village of Florida

Covenant Village of Florida, a faith-based, nonprofit CCRC administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, has named Jacqueline Hurt as healthcare administrator. 

Hurt is responsible for directing and coordinating the daily operations at the senior living community’s higher levels of living, which include 21 assisted living apartments, 22 memory support apartments and a 60-bed skilled nursing center. She manages a staff of 150. 

Hurts brings to Covenant Village nearly 20 years of experience in the senior living industry. Prior to joining the community, she was regional vice president of operations at Senior Care Group in Tampa, Fla. She also served as the company’s executive director and nursing home administrator for nine years. Before that, she was nursing home administrator at Carrington Place in St. Petersburg, Fla. 

Julia DeHart Joins United Methodist Retirement Communities

United Methodist Retirement Communities, Inc. has announced that Julia DeHart has joined as administrator of Rivertown Assisted Living in Detroit, Mich. 

In her new role, DeHart will be responsible for overseeing, maintaining and developing Rivertown operations and services, including UMRC’s affordable assisted living program.

Prior to joining UMRC, DeHart was a property manager at KMG Prestige, Inc. in Toledo, Ohio. In this role, she managed a multifamily community, in addition to overseeing services including finance, risk management and administrative support.

Mainstreet Kicks Off New Year With New Hires

Carmel, Indiana-based Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of post-acute health care properties, is continuing its hiring streak in 2015 with the addition of seven new team members. 

Enid Cokinos has joined Mainstreet as a new executive assistant. Her previous experience includes contracting work through That’s Good HR and Kelly Services.

Itchèlayé Kochikpa is Mainstreet’s new director of financial analysis and valuation. He joins Mainstreet from HealthLease Properties REIT, where he served as a senior financial analyst.

Bill Morton has joined Mainstreet as the new director of business development. He was most recently with PKF Consulting, a real estate consulting and valuation firm, where he served as a vice president.

Brian O’Grady is Mainstreet’s new managing director – global head of fundraising. He joins Mainstreet from Brookfield Asset Management, where he served as senior vice president and private equity specialist in the private funds group.

Brandon Robertson has joined Mainstreet as a construction project manager. Previously, he worked for Pepper Construction Group.

Kara Strickland is Mainstreet’s newest development manager. She most recently worked for A&F Engineering.

Andy Van Zee has joined Mainstreet as the new associate counsel – government affairs. His experience includes time at Yasmin L. Stump Law Group, the Republican National Committee and various state and national political campaigns. 

Former Ritz-Carlton Chef Joins Maryland Community as Executive Chef

Well-known local chef Quang Duong brings his culinary expertise to Fox Hill retirement community, located in Bethesda, Md.

In his new position as executive chef, Duong leads the entire culinary team for Fox Hill’s four dining venues. His extensive knowledge of fine dining and cuisine provides an exceptional experience to all of Fox Hill’s owners and guests.

Duong’s specialty is considered to be contemporary French and American dishes with Asian flair, but he has adapted his menus to meet the demand of Fox Hill’s clientele, who prefer an emphasis on homestyle cooking. Duong adds his own flair with French, Asian and Latin-themed dishes.

Duong brings nearly 30 years of experience in culinary arts and high-profile hospitality management to Fox Hill. He was previously the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown.

In addition to his background in back-of-house operations, Duong most recently acted as the executive steward at the year-old Marriot Marquis in Washington, D.C., where he managed the entire dining service staff and a budget of $45 million.

Duong received his culinary training at multiple institutes in France, where he also trained under Wine Spectator’s “World’s Best Chef” and the owner of 19 Michelin Stars, Alain Ducasse. He has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry in the Washington D.C. area for more than 15 years.

Written by Emily Study

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