Movers & Shakers — Lancaster Pollard Names New CEO, President

Lancaster Pollard Announces Leadership Changes, New CEO

Lancaster Pollard announced Thursday that CEO Tom Green and President Brian Pollard will transition day-to-day management of the firm and have announced a new leadership team, effective immediately.

Green and Pollard will continue to serve on the board as chairman and vice chairman respectively. 


Nick Gesue, previously senior vice president and chief credit officer with Lancaster Pollard, has been named CEO. Kass Matt, most recently a managing director with the firm, has been named president of Lancaster Pollard Holdings Company, LLC.

As part of the leadership team changes, the firm also announced that Steve Kennedy, managing director and regional manager for the Great Lakes and South Central regions, and Ken Gould, managing director and regional manager for the Northeast, have both been promoted to senior managing director.

In addition, Kennedy has been named senior governmental liaison while Gould will chair the firm’s strategic planning and development committee.


Kennedy and Gould, as well as Gesue and Matt, all members of Lancaster Pollard’s executive committee, have been with the firm for over a decade.

Several other long-serving Lancaster Pollard employees will also take on enhanced leadership roles in the firm’s new management committees.

Green, who started as CEO in 1997, sees the change as a natural progression of the firm’s evolution, the company said.

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“We are fortunate to have a deep bench of highly intelligent and proven professionals,” Green said. “We began this transition a couple years ago as we recognized the need to best harness our firm’s growing talent base. Although Brian and I will continue with a very active role in the company, I’m extremely confident in the abilities of our team to maintain and enhance Lancaster Pollard’s commitment to our clients and the industries we serve.”

Gesue and the rest of Lancaster Pollard’s leadership team will be overseeing the firm’s continued expansion as the company has experienced an annual growth rate of approximately 30% for the past 15 years and has recently expanded its services.

Lancaster Pollard, founded 27 years ago in Columbus, Ohio, offers a full range of investment and mortgage banking, private equity, balance sheet financing, M&A and investment advisory services.

“The company has grown into a leading national firm with six offices, over 100 employees and a track record of over 1,400 closed transactions in excess of $11.1 billion that have helped health care, senior living and housing providers expand and improve their services,” the company said in a release. 

New Executive Chef Named at Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, Kansas

Matt Chatfield has been named the new executive chef for Tallgrass Creek retirement community in Overland Park, Kan. 

Previously, Chatfield served as executive chef at William Jewell College, The Culinary Center of Kansas City, Brandon Woods Senior Living, and Brookridge Country Club. 

Chatfield is an active member of The American Culinary Federation, and is a sitting member of the board with The Greater Kansas City Chef’s Association. He has led culinary classes for more than nine years, and trained chef apprentices in local culinary arts programs.

He has experience in regional cooking, and a strong emphasis on international cuisine. 

Brookdale Names New Senior Director in Southwest Ohio 

Steve Casper has been named Brookdale Senior Living’s district director of operations for Southwest Ohio, reports Dayton Business Journal.

The new role puts Casper in charge of the company’s 14 Dayton and Cincinnati locations, encompassing 800 assisted living and memory care units, and 400 employees.

Casper previously worked in several roles, including as acting chief operating officer at Deaconess Long Term Care. He is also a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves.

He replaces Jack Omer, who took a regional director job with Chicago-based Senior Lifestyle Corp.

Retirement Management Group Announces SVP of Administration

Maxwell Group, Inc., a retirement management group based in Charlotte, N.C., announced that Gary Ventola has been promoted to senior vice president of administration for the 10-community portfolio.

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 luxury health care and wellness retirement communities with one newly opened community in Tega Cay, S.C., and another recently announced for construction in Lexington, S.C.

In his new role, Ventola will assume a more active role in the financial responsibility of all brands within the portfolio, managing the performance budget, overseeing risk management and running regulatory compliance.

“Gary has a proven track record of success over his nine-year tenure with Maxwell Group,” said Chief Financial Officer Micah Gerber. “He has been an integral part of our company’s growth over the last few years and a valuable addition to the Maxwell Group leadership team.”

Ventola joined Maxwell Group as controller in 2006 and was promoted to vice president of finance in November 2013. His previous duties have included supervising the general accounting, property accounting, internal auditing and budgetary controls for all brands.

Ventola’s previous experience includes time as vice president of finance at behavioral health provider IFCS, Inc. and assistant vice president of finance at Sanders Bros., Inc. Prior to that, he served as controller at MicroMagnetic Systems, Inc., Corporate Express, Inc., and Fire Suppression Systems, Inc.

Ecumen Names Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Business Development Officer

Ecumen, a Minnesota provider of senior housing and aging services, has promoted Robin Balck to senior vice president of administration and chief strategy officer, and has promoted Julie Murray to senior vice president of sales and marketing and chief business development officer.

Balck’s new title designates her as the senior executive in charge of strategy and includes added responsibilities for strategic initiatives and communications. Previously, she was senior vice president for human resources and organizational development. She will retain those responsibilities.

Balck joined Ecumen from Safetran Systems, where she served as head of human resources. At Safetran, she was responsible for developing corporate human resources practices and delivering HR consultation to their United States and Canadian divisions. 

Murray’s promotion to senior vice president reflects her growing portfolio of responsibility, and her title of chief business development officer recognizes the increased importance new housing developments play in growing Ecumen’s revenue, the company said. 

Previously, she was vice president of sales, marketing and business development. 

Prior to joining Ecumen in 2007, she worked for Greystone Communities, Inc. in Dallas, Texas, where she was responsible for the sales and marketing of multiple entry-fee continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) as a regional director of sales and marketing. 

The Watermark at 3030 Park Names Executive Director In Bridgeport, Connecticut 

The Watermark at 3030 Park has announced the recent addition of Kristin Butler as executive director of the CCRC located in Bridgeport, Conn. 

Butler brings to the position two decades of senior health care experience, including expertise in all levels of care and operations including marketing, sales, innovative program development and financial management.

Her primary responsibilities at The Watermark will be to oversee all aspects of care and management of the community.

Previously, Butler worked for more than six years as an executive director in Connecticut. Prior to being executive director she was a nursing home administrator.

Most recently, Butler served as the executive director of Evergreen Woods, a CCRC in North Branford. She has also held positions at other senior living communities across Connecticut, including Duncaster, Inc. in Bloomfield, Mercy Community Health in West Hartford, and Manchester Manor Health Care Center in Manchester.

Provision Living Welcomes New Executive Director In Florida 

St. Louis, Missouri-based Provision Living has named John Gainous as executive director at its Panama City Beach, Fla., community. 

Gainous is a licensed assisted living administrator, who has been working for Provision Living for eight years, previously holding the position of assistant executive director.

Prior to that, Gainous worked as a chef, dietary manager and food service director for the community.

As the executive director for Provision Living at Panama City Beach, Gainous is responsible for staff training, day-to-day operations, and ensuring the overall well-being of residents. 

Provision Living at Panama City Beach offers independent living, assisted living and memory care. The community is owned by Provision Living, LLC.

New Sales and Marketing Director Joins Sagora Senior Living 

Anita Kelley is the new sales and marketing director of Sagora Senior Living’s latest community in Edmond, Okla. The Veraden is currently under construction, but scheduled to open in May 2016. 

Kelley has been the CEO of her own marketing consulting firm in Edmond for the last six years. As a former marketing coach, she created strategic marketing plans for a variety of businesses and worked alongside clients as they implemented those strategies in an effort to grow their business.

She is also a copywriter for website content, brochures, sales presentations and articles for magazines. 

Prior to her consulting company, Kelley was a marketing and interim executive director for a retirement community in Edmond for nine years. Kelley increased occupancy from 75% to 100% with a waiting list. She created and implemented a sales training program for all community directors, and served as the community spokesperson on local radio stations regarding age issue topics.

Kelley was awarded Marketing Director of the Year by The Covenant Group in 2003. 

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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