Movers & Shakers — Brookdale’s New Board Members

Brookdale Appoints Mark Parrell, Lee Wielansky to Board Of Directors

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD) recently announced the appointments of Mark J. Parrell and Lee S. Wielansky to its Board of Directors as Class III directors.

The appointments of Parrell and Wielansky, which became effective on April 23, 2015, fill the vacancies created by the retirements of Mark J. Schulte, who had previously served as CEO and co-CEO of the company and had served as a director since 2008, and Samuel Waxman, who had served as a director since 2005.


Following the changes, the Brookdale Board will remain comprised of nine directors, seven of whom are independent.

Parrell and Wielansky, along with William G. Petty Jr. and James R. Seward, will comprise the Investment Committee of the Brookdale Board. The Investment Committee has been charged with overseeing and assisting the Board in its ongoing review of options to create value for shareholders, including those associated with the company’s real estate portfolio.

As previously disclosed, the Board and the Investment Committee are being advised in this regard by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Bank of America, CS Capital Advisors and Skadden Arps. 


Parrell brings to the Board more than 20 years of real estate, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and investment experience. Since 1999, he has worked at Equity Residential, an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development and management of high-quality apartment properties in top U.S. growth markets.

He was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer of Equity Residential in 2007 after previously serving as senior vice president and treasurer of the company.

Parrell also served as a director of Aviv REIT, Inc., a publicly traded health care real estate investment trust (REIT), from its initial public offering until it was acquired earlier this year.

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Wielansky has more than 40 years of commercial real estate investment, management and development experience. In 1983, he co-founded Midland Development Group, which focused on the development of retail properties in the Midwest and Southeast and which was sold to Regency Centers Corporation.

Subsequently, he has served as a managing director of Regency Centers Corporation and as the president and CEO of JDN Development Company, Inc., which was a wholly owned subsidiary of JDN Realty Corporation, a REIT which was acquired by Developers Diversified Realty Corporation.

Since 2003, he has served as chairman and CEO of the re-started Midland Development Group and he also currently serves as chairman and CEO of Opportunistic Equities, which specializes in low-income housing.

Wielansky currently serves as lead trustee of Acadia Realty Trust, a publicly traded REIT focused on the ownership, acquisition, redevelopment and management of commercial retail properties in the U.S., and as a director of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. and Pulaski Financial Corp.

“We are pleased to welcome Mark and Lee as new independent directors to the Brookdale Board,” said Jeffrey R. Leeds, Brookdale’s chairman. “Mark and Lee are both distinguished and highly respected executives with deep real estate and finance experience, and we look forward to benefitting from their expertise as we continue to evaluate the role of our significant owned real estate portfolio.”

The appointments come shortly after lead Brookdale shareholder Sandell Asset Management Corp. announced its intention to nominate a slate of candidates to replace three longstanding Brookdale directors: Jeffrey R. Leeds, Mark J. Schulte and Samuel Waxman, the latter two have been replaced by Parrell and Wielansky. 

Thomas Sandell, CEO of Sandell Asset Management, said, “We are very pleased with the collaborative solution we were able to reach with Brookdale, and the ongoing commitment the company has demonstrated toward enhancing shareholder value. The two new directors joining the Board and the Investment Committee bring the right range and depth of experience to help the company continue to address its strategic, operational and corporate governance goals. We look forward to ongoing dialogue with Brookdale’s management and Board during this period of increased industry strategic activity and real estate values.”

LCB Senior Living Welcomes New Reflections, Engagement Manager

LCB Senior Living, LLC, a New England developer and operator of independent, assisted and memory care communities, has named Joshua Freitas as its new reflections and engagement manager. In this capacity Freitas will oversee the company’s Reflections Memory Care programming along with all resident activities programs.

LCB’s Reflections Memory Care program serves residents who suffer from various stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Reflections promotes emotional and cognitive health by focusing on each resident’s strengths and capabilities, rather than the negative effects of the disease.

Prior to joining LCB Senior Living, Freitas was the director of memory care services and programming for Benchmark Senior Living. In that capacity he oversaw program development and services delivery to memory care residents across the company’s 52 communities. He also created, designed and implemented nationally recognized and award-winning programs.

Freitas holds several certifications, including: Certified Alzheimer’s Educator, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Demetria Care Trainer, Certified Melodic Intonation Therapist and Certified Therapeutic Music Development Specialist.

Health Care REIT CEO Thomas DeRosa Elected to MATTER’s Board

Health Care REIT, Inc. (NYSE: HCN) recently announced that CEO Thomas J. DeRosa has been elected to the Board of Directors of MATTER, a Chicago-based entrepreneurship and innovation hub for next-generation health IT, medical device, diagnostics and biopharma companies.

MATTER, which opened in February 2015, connects major health care institutions with entrepreneurs at the forefront of health technology innovation. It is home to more than 70 health technology startups and has partnered with 30 industry leaders, three world-class research institutions and seven health care systems, and has raised more than $8 million to support its work.

“At HCN, we are working with our seniors housing operators and health system partners to enhance connectivity along the health care continuum,” DeRosa said. “I am pleased to join MATTER’s Board of Directors and look forward to working closely with CEO Steven Collens and his team to more closely align innovation to the objective of improving health care outcomes while driving down costs in health care delivery.”

DeRosa is one of 10 national health care and business leaders to join the Board. The directors will offer strategic leadership to guide MATTER as it works to accelerate the formation and growth of new businesses to revolutionize health care.

Anthem Memory Care Names New Executives

Lake Oswego, Oregon-based Anthem Memory Care has expanded its management team with the appointment of two new executives.

Lisa Rogers has been named vice president of operations and clinical services, overseeing resident health, wellness and engagement as well as community administration. Additionally, Shannon Ingram has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing, overseeing business development, strategic communications and establishment of professional partnerships.

Rogers previously served as regional director of operations for Milestone Retirement and was also executive director of Elk Run Assisted Living. She also has been interim CEO and chief clinical officer for Colorado Acute Specialty Care Hospital and has held numerous nurse management positions in senior care.

She is licensed as a registered nurse and executive director in multiple states.

Ingram was previously vice president of industry marketing for Prior to that post, she was president of GenAge Marketing and vice president of marketing and communications for Silverado Senior Living.

She has also held marketing executive positions for Navigant International, Intelligent Electronics and Walt Disney Resorts. Ingram is the author of the book “The Heart Way – A Journey from Corporate to Care,” about her experience of caring for her aging parents. 

Anthem Memory Care currently operates five Alzheimer’s and dementia care communities in Denver, Colo., and Chico, Calif. It plans to open three communities in Chicago and one in Southern California in the next year. The company is also currently exploring other development opportunities.

The Arbors of Bedford Welcomes New Activities Director

The Arbors of Bedford, southern New Hampshire’s only assisted living community specializing in all phases of memory care, has hired Amber Evans as its new activities director.

Evans’ clinical background includes working one-on-one with children, adults and families, to which she provided a wide array of arts and traditional therapies. Additionally, she provided dance/movement therapy groups for adults and children with disabilities at local agencies.

She is a registered dance/movement therapist and received her dual Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University New England. Her relationship with The Arbors began as a contracted dance/movement therapist, and has grown into director of activities.

She is currently working to implement new programming for The Arbors of Bedford, which aims to support the residents’ four elements of sustainability: social, emotional, physical and cognitive.

Maxwell Group Appoints Cassandra Heath as Vice President of Sales Management

Maxwell Group, Inc., a retirement management group based in Charlotte, N.C., has appointed Cassandra Heath as vice president of sales management.

In her new role, Heath will support community lifestyle advisors and help health care marketers implement consistent sales processes to increase occupancy and strategically manage growth. 

Heath is a sales and management veteran in both the senior living and hospitality industries. Most recently, Heath served as a community relations director with Five Star Senior Living and was previously with Hilton International and Marriott International for many years.

“Cassandra comes from a rich vocational background,” said Executive Vice President of Operations Katie Huffstetler. “Her experience with one of the largest senior living providers and with a leading chain in the hospitality industry makes her the perfect person for this job. She will play an integral role in furthering our luxury retirement services, amenities and care.”

Maxwell Group is the parent company of Senior Living Communities, owner and operator of nine retirement communities in the Southeast and Midwest; Live Long Well Care, a private-duty care service provider for seniors; and Wellmore, a new line of health care and wellness retirement communities.

Wohlsen Construction’s New SVP to Oversee Senior Living Market

Wohlsen Construction Company has announced that Kenneth D. Noreen has been promoted to senior vice president. In this role Noreen will oversee the senior living market sector for Wohlsen, provide support and expertise to Wohlsen’s regional offices to assure senior living client needs are being met, and to lead expansion strategies into new markets.

Prior to joining Wohlsen in 2013, Noreen spent 26 years in the senior living industry as a provider, developer and consultant. During his career, he has provided development and operational leadership to numerous retirement community startups, as well as major repositioning projects, representing more than $700 million in construction.

Noreen brings this experience to Wohlsen’s senior living clients to help ensure that market, operational and strategic issues are identified and understood before the start of any construction project.

This promotion further reflects Wohlsen’s commitment to the senior housing market sector by providing a unique level of expertise and value-add perspective for senior living clients, the company said in a statement.

Founded in 1890, Wohlsen Construction provides construction management, general contracting and design/build services to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic States. 

Capitol Seniors Housing Acquires Arbor Terrace Community for $20 Million

DTZ, a global provider of commercial real estate services, announced recently that Allen McMurtry, Megan Fetter and David Kliewer have arranged the $20 million sale of Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park on behalf of Citrus Park ALF, LLC.

Arbor Terrace was designed by Tampa architectural firm Chancey Design and developed by a joint venture between Tampa architect and developer Walt Chancey and Rookis Development Company based in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

The project was pre-sold to Capitol Seniors Housing prior to breaking ground and the transaction closed upon certificate of occupancy. The property consists of 6.34 acres and 92 units – 52 assisted living, 14 transitional memory care and 26 memory care.

Since 1988, the Tampa-based DTZ Senior Housing team (formerly Cassidy Turley) has sold 160 senior housing communities in 31 states with an aggregate sales volume of $2 billion. The team’s average transaction size over the past decade exceeds $35 million.

Watercrest Senior Living Names New Executive Director

Watercrest Senior Living Group has named Jenny Phillips as executive director of the Watercrest of Lake Nona Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, a 76,000 square foot, 80-unit, luxury senior living community in Lake Nona, Fla.

Phillips brings to the position more than 13 years of leadership experience, including extensive knowledge in new community openings and the facilitation of partnerships with local businesses and health care providers.

As the executive director of a previous flagship community startup, Phillips led the community through census growth and achieved startup occupancy levels exceeding industry standards and competitor experience.

“Jenny brings the drive, passion and ability to develop and lead a new team to its fullest potential,” says Marc Vorkapich, principal and CEO of Watercrest Senior Living Group. “We are confident in her talents to build upon our mission of delivering an exceptional senior living community that surpasses the standard expectations for serving seniors.”

Phillips has previously served as business office director, director of sales, executive director and mentor and trainer for new executive directors at a large senior living corporation.

Watercrest of Lake Nona, scheduled to open in Fall 2015, will offer 56 assisted living and 24 memory care apartments.

Mainstreet Continues to Expand With Latest Round of New Hires

Carmel, Indiana-based Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of post-acute health care properties, has added five new hires to its growing team.

Justin Farris is Mainstreet’s newest development director. He joins Mainstreet from Birge & Held, where he served as vice president. Farris’ experience prior to Birge & Held includes time at Trinitas, Greystone and Edwards Communities.

Norma Haag has joined Mainstreet as a real estate paralegal. Haag has extensive real estate paralegal experience and joins Mainstreet from Faegre Baker Daniels.

Rachel Harmon is Mainstreet’s newest development coordinator. She joins Mainstreet from The Fraser Group. Previously, she was a premium apparel sales manager for the sports licensed division of The Adidas Group.

Chris King is Mainstreet’s new senior associate of private equity funds management. He joins Mainstreet from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was as a deals advisory manager specializing in financial due diligence. Previously, King worked at Crowe Horwath as a senior associate in assurance.

Karolina Stewart has joined Mainstreet as a front desk hospitality coordinator. Her previous experience includes time at WP Glimcher as a guest service representative and Luxottica Retail as a sales consultant. 

Written by Emily Study

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