Movers & Shakers: NHI’s Executive Vice President of Finance

National Health Investors Hires New Executive Vice President of Finance

National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) announced the hire of John Spaid as the company’s executive vice president of finance. In his new role, Spaid will be responsible for the real estate investment trust’s banking relationships and financial transactions.

Spaid joins NHI with nearly 30 years of experience in finance and senior housing. He previously served as senior vice president of financial planning and analysis with Emeritus Senior Living, where he supervised financial analysis and support and led multiple merger and acquisitions processes, including financial modeling and due diligence for more than $20 billion in M&A from 2012 to 2014. Before Emeritus, Spaid was the CFO of a regional assisted living and memory care provider in Redmond, Washington.


“We are thrilled to add John to our executive team,” NHI President and CEO Eric Mendelssohn said in a prepared statement. “John has deep experience in real estate and public company finance and analysis and his senior housing background is consistent with NHI’s goal of hiring professionals with senior housing experience.”

Harrogate Executive Director Announces Retirement, New Executive Director Named

The current executive director of Harrogate, a senior living community in Lakewood, New Jersey, announced his retirement, and the associate executive director has been promoted to assume the executive director role.


Donald Johansen served as Harrogate’s executive director for 25 years and will retire in May. Charles Benjamin, who has served as the associate executive director for nearly a year, will then take the executive director position. Additionally, Martin Mee will take Benjamin’s former role. He comes to Harrogate with more than 20 years of experience in health care and senior living.

“I have truly enjoyed my work through the years and have developed many wonderful relationships with residents, their families and our outstanding staff,” Johansen said in a prepared statement. “There is a continuing bright future for Harrogate, with our new and experience leadership.”

Harrogate includes independent living, in-home care, skilled nursing and rehab on its campus.

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Kisco Senior Living Appoints New Operations Team Leader

Kisco Senior Living welcomed Leandra Negrete as its new operations team leader to oversee support services for its 21 senior living communities across the country.

Negater previously served as director of operations for Senior Living Residences in Boston, Massachusetts. Before that, she worked as the director of community relations and subsequently executive director at Belmont Senior Living.

“We are proud to welcome Leandra Negrete to the Kisco team,” Kisco’s COO Terri Novak said in a news release. “Both her extensive background and shared values are sure to assist us in continuing to provide both residents and associates with the most rewarding lifestyles possible.”

The Holmstad Names New Sales Director

The Holmstad, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located in Batavia, Illinois, and administered by not-for-profit senior living provider Covenant Retirement Communities, named Cheryl Ghassan as its new sales director.

In her new role, Ghassan will manage marketing efforts and lead the sales program for the retirement community’s 289 residential living apartments, including duplex and cottages. Before joining The Holmstad, Ghassan worked in sales and marketing for various senior living communities in the Chicago area, including American House at Cedarlake in Plainfield, Illinois.

Currently, Ghassan serves on the board of directors for The Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois, and she is also a member of the Illinois Continuity of Care Association.

Deconshire at PGA National Names New Executive Director, Linden Ponds Gets Next Leader

Devonshire at PGA National, an Erickson Living retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, named Jim Wingardner as its new executive director.

Wingardner has been with Erickson Living for 10 years and has more than 20 years of experience in senior living management. He served as associate executive director beginning in 2006 at Erickson Living’s Linden Ponds in Hingham, Massachusetts, and later went on to become the community’s executive director, among other positions at different communities. He also worked for a hotel management and development company in Florida.

“Jim’s proven leadership and expertise in aging services, as well as his distinct health care experience, will play a key role in helping Erickson Living further serve the senior marketplace in southeast Florida,” Kerry Jones, vice president of regional operations for Erickson Living, said in a news release.

As a result of Wingardner’s move, Jim Centola was named the new executive director of Linden Ponds. Centola has more than 15 years of experience in senior housing and health care services, having worked as director of operations with Quality Rehabilitation Services and administrator with Masonic Health System. He joined Linden Ponds as administrator for continuing care in 2001 and served most recently as the community’s associate executive director.

“I feel very fortunate to have this unique opportunity to further serve the people who live and work at this special community,” Centola said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the rich tradition of service excellence that this wonderful community has established over the years.”

Seabrook Appoints New Executive Director

Seabrook Retirement Community, a CCRC located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, named Todd DeLaney its new executive director. He takes the place of Art Sparks, who retired in early February after 12 years of service.

DeLaney served in various leadership positions at multiple Erickson Living communities, most recently as the associate executive director at Seabrook since 2014. Before that, he worked as the director of continuing care and associate executive director at Brooksby Village in Peabody, Massachusetts. He is a licensed nursing home administrator in both New Jersey and Massachusetts.

“Delaney’s career history reflects many years of experience and superior customer service in senior housing and health care services,” Chris Emmett, vice president of regional operations, said in a prepared statement. “His proven leadership has set a standard of excellence that will continue to play a key role in providing the highest quality of operations and services to those who live and work at this premier CCRC.”

With DeLaney’s promotion, Seabrook named Paula Digerness as its associate executive director. She has more than 20 years of experience in senior living and business management, most recently working as executive director and administrator of a CCRC in Bradbury, California.

“Paula has diverse expertise in senior living and is a great addition to the team,” Emmett said. “She is a very talented, skilled and respected leader who will be a strong contributor to our culture and mission.”

SearStone Welcomes New Members to Marketing Department

SearStone, a not-for-profit CCRC located in Cary, North Carolina, promoted Leigh Roach to marketing director and welcomed Allison (Allie) Ligay as its sales manager.

Roach joined SearStone as a sales associated in 2010 and has more than 15 years of experience in CCRCs. Previously, she worked in marketing for both The Forest at Duke and Glenaire.

“Leigh has done a tremendous job from our pre-construction phase through move-in and now ongoing sales,” SearStone Executive Director Chris Romick said in a news release. “She will do an excellent job leading our marketing efforts.”

Ligay joins the SearStone team with 10 years of experience in senior living. Prior to her new position, she was director of sales at Sunrise of Cary, a sales assistant at Sunrise of North Hills and move-in coordinator at Woodland Terrace Senior Living.

“In the short time that she’s been with us, Allie has already demonstrated her dedication to senior care and her rapport with our residents and prospects,” Romick said. “We look forward to gaining from the many skills she brings to SearStone.”

Ascension Senior Living Appoints New Executive Director

Ascension Senior Living appointed Cindy LaFleur as the executive director of the Catholic Care Center, which offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, adult day care, post-acute care and Catholic Care at Home services in Bel Aire, Kansas.

As executive director, LaFleur will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the CCRC, which is managed by Ascension Senior Living. She joins Ascension Senior Living after 20 years with Via Christi Health, also owned by Ascension, where she was most recently the senior administrator of post-acute care. She also held a variety of positions at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph in Wichita, Kansas.

“Cindy’s strategic and operational leadership for two of Via Christi’s free-standing specialty hospitals, coupled with her experience developing new care models and pathways with Via Christi Senior Care and Home Care will help her provide the compassionate, high-quality, person-centered care we are known for,” Ascension Senior Living COO Rick Cumberland said in a news release.

Creating Results Hires New Executive Vice President

Creating Results, a full-service strategic marketing consultancy firm, hired Kimberly Hulett as the company’s executive vice president.

Hulett brings over 10 years of experience to her new role with Creating Results, where she will be responsible for helping the company better meet the needs of its expanding client base. Most recently, Hulett was nice president of marketing and sales at Lifespace Communities, where she oversaw the not-for-profit senior living provider’s strategic marketing, sales and communications initiatives. Prior to that, she worked as the director of community relations for Sunrise Senior Living and director of sales and marketing for Western Reserve Masonic Community, and she founded her own consulting firm.

“Kimberly Hulett has been a catalyst for growth for both for-profit and not-for-profit senior living,” Creating Results President Todd Harff said in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled that our current and future clients can now benefit from her strategic insights into branding, culture transformation and sales/marketing alignment. As our portfolio of clients grows, growing our team is a critical step in providing our clients the expertise and collaboration they need to succeed.”

Written by Kourtney Liepelt

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