Movers & Shakers: Symbria’s First-Ever COO

Healthcare Trust Appoints New Board Chairman

The board of directors of Healthcare Trust, Inc. appointed Leslie D. Michelson to serve as non-executive chairman of the board, following the resignation of Randolph C. Read from that position and as a member of the board’s audit committee and nominating and corporate governance committee.

“I am delighted to be continuing the progress the company has made under Randy Read as chairman,” Michelson said in a news release. “The results of the strategic review process will guide us as we strengthen our portfolio and balance sheet and continue to increase shareholder value.”


Healthcare Trust, Inc. is a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses primarily on health care-related assets, including medical office buildings, seniors housing and other facilities.

Symbria Names First-Ever COO, Chief Human Resources Officer

Symbria, a national developer and provider of clinical and business services dedicated to helping post-acute care and senior living providers, named Janet Viane as the company’s first-ever COO. The company also hired Debra Bragg for the newly created role of chief human resources officer.


As COO, Viane will direct the Symbria’s rehab, pharmacy, IT, sales and marketing devisions, refine the company’s positioning and improve the cohesiveness of the Symbria brand. She previously served as Symbria’s chief marketing and sales officer.

“Since Janet joined Symbria earlier this year, she has demonstrated a talent for strategic and creative thinking as well as outstanding leadership skills,” President and CEO Jill Krueger said in a news release. “I am confident that she is the best choice to grow the company by developing new products and services that align with our clinical and business services structure, overseeing market testing/development, and taking on leadership of internal operations to best serve Symbria’s current clients.”

As chief human resources officer, Bragg will oversee human resources strategy, leadership and organization development, benefit and compensation planning, internal communications, succession planning and more.

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“Debra has more than 20 years of experience and has proven herself to be a highly dedicated and results-oriented senior human resources executive,” Krueger said. “I am looking forward to her assessment of our strengths and opportunities in human resources and the engagement insight she can apply to nurturing our ESOP culture.”

Senior Quality Lifestyle Announces Two New Hires

Senior Quality Lifestyle Corporation, a nonprofit sponsor and operator of life care communities, announced the hires of Ralph Gemoets as vice president of technology and Chris Santuae as vice president of culinary services and hospitality.

Gemoets comes to SQLC with more than 10 years of experience in delivering technology solutions for large and small organizations. In his new role, Gemoets will develop tools for vendor and project management, conduct process analysis and develop internal information technology strategy. He will also facilitate the use of new technological programs and services and plan IT projects and case development.

Santuae has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the hospitality and hotel industry. He comes to SQLC from Mountain Creek Resorts, where he was vice president of hospitality.

“We are pleased to welcome Ralph and Chris to our team, as they will help us continue the company’s mission of providing quality hospitality, housing, health care and financial security to enhance the lives of our residents,” SQLC President and CEO Stan Waterhouse said in a news release. “Their expertise and experience will help us better serve residents in all of our communities.”

Erickson Living Reveals Latest Appointments

Lantern Hill, an Erickson Living continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located in New Providence, New Jersey, hired Jerry McDonald as associate executive director and nursing home administrator. Additionally, Cedar Crest promoted Denise Altonjy to the position of associate executive director.

McDonald will assist the executive director in all facets of community management and oversee the opening of Woodland Pointe continuing care, slated to open in 2017. He has more than 20 years of experience as a licensed nursing home administrator. He joined Erickson Living as a nursing home adminsitrator in 2013 at Highland Springs in Dallas, Texas. For the last two years, he served as Erickson Living’s traveling corporate administrator, spending time at several CCRCs.

“Jerry is a proven leader, and we are fortunate to have him join our team,” Lantern Hill Executive Director Patricia Swan said in a news release. “His experience at Erickson Living, as well as his dedication to providing exceptional service to our residents, makes him a tremendous asset to the Lantern Hill community.”

Altonjy has served as director of nursing at Cedar Crest since 2006. She has more than 30 years of professional health care experience, and is a licensed assisted living administrator and certified gerontological nurse. In her new position, Altonjy will work closely with the executive director and other executive team members to manage all facets of the community, including coordination of the various department operations and staff.

“Congratulations to Denise on this well-deserved promotion,” Cedar Crest Executive Director Lou Varella said in a news release. “She brings outstanding leadership experience to her new role at Cedar Crest and is passionate about our mission of helping seniors’ live better lives by providing an active and secure retirement lifestyle for our residents.”

Lantern Hill and Cedar Crest are two of 19 CCRCs managed by Erickson Living.

Integral Senior Living Adds Regional Director

Senior living management company Integral Senior Living added Roselynn Muzzy as regional vice president of operations.

In her role, Muzzy will be responsible for overseeing the operations of several ISL communities. She has more than 21 years of experience in the senior living industry, most recently serving as vice president of operations for Vintage Senior Living. Before that, she was an elder care specialist for Barcelon Associates Management Corporation.

“We are thrilled to have Roselynn join our growing management team,” Collette Valentine, CEO and COO of ISL, said in a news release. “She brings exemplary skills and vast experience working in senior living that will be a benefit to all of us at ISL.”

Based in Carlsbad, California, ISL manages 58 independent living, assisted living and memory care properties throughout 16 states.

The Samarkand Welcomes New Executive Director

The Samarkand, a faith-based, not-for-profict CCRC located in Santa Barbara, California, welcomed Robert T. Howell as executive director. He will report to Terri Cunliffe, President and CEO of senior living services provider Covenant Retirement Communities.

Howell joins the 360-resident community from Covenant Village of Turlock, a sister community in Turlock, California, where he was executive director. Before that, he was vice president of CRISTA Ministries in Seattle, Washington. He is a member of LeadingAge, and has served on the board of directors and in the cabinet and house of delegates for the national association.

At The Samarkand, Howell will oversee a staff of 215 and overall operations for 205 residential living apartments, 52 assisted living units, 16 memory support assisted living suites, and a 63-bed Medicare-approved skilled nursing center.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt

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