Movers & Shakers: LeadingAge’s New Board Chair

Kathryn Roberts Begins 2016 as LeadingAge Board Chair

Kathryn Roberts, president and CEO of Ecumen, has taken over in the lead role of LeadingAge’s board of directors. She has served as a board member for eight years and succeed Dave Gehm, president and CEO of WellSpring Lutheran Services, who served a board chair for two years.

Roberts has been leading the Minnesota-based Ecumen since 2003 and has guided the company’s transformation from being a nursing home provider to a diversified senior housing and services company. The organization has been named one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal for eight years in a row.


“Kathryn is a strong, visionary leader and she is the right person to take LeadingAge into 2016 and beyond,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a prepared statement. “She follows in the footsteps of Dave Gehm, who has done a fantastic job of chairing our board and helping LeadingAge members thrive.”

AHCA/NCAL Names Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has hired Lyn Bentley as vice president of quality and regulatory affairs. Lynn is a 15-year veteran of the association and was previously senior director of regulatory affairs at AHCA.


Bentley first joined AHCA/NCAL in 2001 as senior director of assisted living policy, a position she held for four years.

In her new role, Bentley will oversee the operations and policy direction of AHCA’s Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, working closely with state affiliates and members to help AHCA reach its quality initiative goals. She will also help coordinate AHCA’s LTC Trend Tracker and Quality Awards programs.

Bentley will continue to oversee AHCA’s response to CMS rules and help members deal with the myriad of CMS regulations that impact skilled nursing care centers.

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Bob Blancato to Become ASA’s Next Board Chair

Robert (Bob) Blancato, president of Washington, DC-based public policy and strategy consulting firm Matz, Blancato and Associates, has been named the next board chair of the American Society on Aging (ASA). Blancato will succeed Lynn Friss Feinberg, whose term as chair concludes March 22.

Blancato has served on the boards of numerous organizations, and continues to serve as the national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, which was instrumental in helping pass the 2010 Elder Justice Act.

He also currently serves as the executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs and on the board of the National Council on Aging. In his home state of Virginia, Blancato serves as volunteer state president of AARP.

He has more than 20 years of federal government service in the congress and executive branches, including being appointed by President Clinton to direct the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.

New Chief Operating Officer Named at Validus Senior Living

Rebecca Lingold Townsend has been promoted to chief operating officer of Validus Senior Living.

Lingold Townsend has more than 25 years of senior living experience and joined Validus in early 2015. She has been instrumental in a number of key initiatives, including the company’s partnership with the NFL Alumni Association, development plans for the projected 33 Inspired Living communities over the next five years and other growth initiatives such as Campo Felice, a 323-unit retirement community in Fort Myers, Florida, which Validus has been chosen to manage.

In her new role as COO, Lingold Townsend will be responsible for leading operational excellence in the individual senior living and memory care communities as well as in sales, marketing, dining services, construction and facilities, clinical and regulatory compliance and resident programming departments.

Prior to joining Validus Senior Living, Lingold Townsend served in executive leadership positions at IntegraCare Corporation, Bell Senior Living, HHHunt and Horizon Bay Retirement Living. She also previously spent four years in the senior living technology sector as the vice president of business development for Silversphere, a provider of emergency call systems.

Sales Leader Added to Sales Team at The Hill at Whitemarsh

The Hill at Whitemarsh, a continuing care retirement community, has hired Ernest “Ernie” B. Tracy as sales manager for its new Hawk Ridge neighborhood.

Tracy is an experienced sales leader in real estate and motion pictures. I how new role, Tracy will focus on efforts to launch the new two-bedroom residences.

Prior to joining The Hill at Whitemarsh, Tracy partnered with local builders and real estate investors as an associate at BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors in Chestnut Hill. His varied experience building long-term client relationships and selling premier products includes providing consulting and business development services to the motion picture, professional audio and video industries, serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Kinoton America, Inc.

The Hill at Whitemarsh is a not-for-profit CCRC.

Written by Amy Baxter

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