5 Senior Living Leaders to Watch in 2022 and Beyond

With contributions from Austin Montgomery, Tim Regan and Tim Mullaney

The senior living industry is in a new era — one that is being led by a new class of leaders.

Across the industry, senior living providers are forging new models for health care and wellness delivery in their communities, and in the process blazing trails that others can follow. Senior Housing News has highlighted five leaders that are helping to drive these changes in 2022 and beyond:


Janice Hamilton-Crawford, CEO and President of Trinity Health Senior Communities

Janice Hamilton-Crawford only just recently took up her post as President and CEO of Trinity Health Senior Communities — but already, she has some ambitious plans for her first year at the helm of the senior living operator.

Trinity Health Senior Communities’ parent organization is Livonia, Michigan-based Trinity Health, a Catholic health system with a network spanning 88 hospitals, the second largest PACE program in the country and 125 urgent care locations in addition to other health and wellness services.

Hamilton-Crawford first joined Trinity Health in 2018 as the organization’s first president for its New England region of senior living communities. With her new leadership role, she is now the first Black woman in the organization to become president and CEO of a national division.


In her first 12 months on the job, Hamilton-Crawford has laid out some “bold changes” for the organization and its more than 40 independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and subsidized senior housing communities in the U.S.

One of her main initiatives is to explore the feasibility of adding active adult communities to the operator’s portfolio. That was also a long-term goal for former Trinity Health Senior Communities CEO Steve Kastner, who explored growth in lower acuity settings in the years before the pandemic.

Although Trinity Health currently has no active adult communities, Hamilton-Crawford envisions one-floor active communities where units have patios and private entrances in a model akin to pocket neighborhood concept.

She also is seeking to refresh and expand the reach of Trinity Senior Services Management, which assists communities with matters such as regulatory, finance, sales and marketing, quality and environmental services.

Another big goal is to further diversity equity and inclusion at the organization — not just for staffers, but also for its residents. Hamilton-Crawford seeks to work with Black churches, civic organizations, and community leaders to help educate them on the benefits of independent living and assisted living services.

And, she is passionate about more closely aligning the operator and its health system parent organization, believing that future care models must be more resident-centric.

“For years, we as hospitals have driven the care and said, ‘You need this, you need that’ — it needs to be the other way around,” Hamilton-Crawford told SHN earlier this year. “There needs to be a combination of tech and touch where the individual resident and our patient drives that.”

Hamilton-Crawford’s plan for bold changes at Trinity Health Senior Communities, along with her passion for diversity and inclusion and her vision for future care delivery in senior living, make her a leader to watch this year.

Laurie Schultz, Principal and Co-Founder of Avenue Development

Avenue Development’s recently launched Viva Bene active adult company aims to focus on wellness and preventative medicine through partnerships with local hospital systems to provide care for its residents.

That alone is notable, given that few operators are exploring ways to bring preventive care service to active adult settings. But the business model could also be the proof-of-concept for other operators seeking to pair their communities with health care systems at scale.

Laurie Schultz, Principal and Co-Founder of Avenue Development is ready to prove that the model can work. But for Schultz, it’s about more than a business model.

“Even though I’m a real estate developer, I don’t think of our business in terms of properties, I think of it in terms of lives impacted,” Schultz told SHN.

Schultz created Avenue Development when she was 32 years old alongside co-founder Mike Mattingly. The vast majority of the company’s work is in the senior living space. But, the remainder is in health care real estate with projects like primary care clinics.

For Schultz, the marriage between senior living and health care has always been a point of pride. For example, Avenue partnered with the City of Indianapolis to create a wellness center using many lessons it learned through developing senior living communities.

“The number one thing that we have heard from all of the provider groups that we either worked with or talked to in creating Viva Bene was how… we can improve hospital avoidance,” Shultz told SHN.

She and her team at Viva Bena are giving it a shot — Viva Bene’s current $450 million pipeline includes plans to build 1,500 senior living units in the next four years.

“We’re really at a turning point in our industry where we can re-write the playbook,” she said. “Don’t let the past dictate the future of senior living.”

Schultz’s vision of health care in active adult and the company’s unique plans make her a leader to watch.

Tineka Hardwrick, Associate ED and COO at Summit Vista

Tineka Hardwrick had no initial plans to work in senior living, with a career in human resources. But after joining the Taylorsville, Utah-based life plan community as human resources director in 2018, she’s all-in on the industry.

“I am here,” Hardwrick told SHN. “Senior living is where I believe my career train will stop.”

Under Hardwrick’s work during the pandemic, Summit Vista implemented plans to provide flexible options for staff and hired more high school students than ever before — efforts that were her brainchild.

Her efforts landed her a role as associate executive director and COO of the community, a promotion earned by going above and beyond when faced with challenges.

“I still have a lot to learn as a COO,” Hardwrick told SHN. “I’m learning every day and I think that I have the best mentor in [CEO] Mark Erickson.”

Summit Vista’s culture under Hardwrick and Erickson represents a successful vision as the community earned the top billing on the Best Workplaces in Aging Services list for the second consecutive year in 2021.

Her forward-thinking approach to staffing, coupled with her out-of-the-box thinking at Utah’s first life plan community, make her a leader worth watching.

Tony Galvan, AVP of Living Well, Vi

Tony Galvan’s official title is assistant vice president of living well at Vi. That is not a title held by many other leaders in the industry — but it is one that could soon become commonplace within the industry as providers look to integrate wellness into their operations in a bigger way.

With a lifestyle team of over 50 staff across the Chicago-based company and its 10 continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) across the U.S., Galvan played a key role in promoting wellness in all levels of care at Vi amid the pandemic, and he told SHN he is most proud of helping residents thrive as challenges mounted.

Vi calls its wellness program Living Well, and defines the benefits for residents with a phrase: “mind, body and spirit.” And as leader of those efforts, Galvin has helped build a wellness model that is holistic in nature, with the mindset that ​not all wellness services have to be scheduled or programmed.

He also is focused on getting resident buy-in for all of the wellness programs and services the company offers, and educating residents on why they should strive to live well.

“I sometimes see the lifestyle/wellness section of our resident satisfaction surveys leaves something to be desired in terms of how actionable those are,” Galvan said at the SHN DISHED/WELLNESS event in Orlando in May. “So maybe it’s a matter of just literally asking on those types of surveys, are you getting a return on your living experience here because of your participation in what we call wellness?”

Looking ahead, Galvan said Vi will continue to reimagine its relationships with lifestyles programming and amenities in new development projects and evaluate technology that could make operations more efficient and help with workforce challenges. Also in the near term, Galvan said the company will focus on how memory care residents are maximizing their experience with person-specific care goals in mind.

Given the industry’s shift toward wellness and Vi’s forward-thinking operations, Galvan is a leader to watch.

Trent Czisny, Founder of Archwood Senior Living

Archwood Senior Living Founder Trent Czisny is proud of the fact that the company’s first building hit 100% occupancy in the spring of 2022 — but he’s more proud of something else.

“Hands down, it’s our customer satisfaction,” he told SHN.

A few months ago, Archwood conducted a resident and family survey, which garnered high participation. Nearly 100% of respondents said they would “strongly recommend” Archwood to people they know.

“That just spoke volumes — we can’t pay for that kind of marketing, that’s something that’s earned every day at the community level,” Czisny said.

Creating a high level of customer service was a top priority when Czisny started Archwood. He was inspired by time he spent working at a high-end Belmont Village community outside Chicago, and he wanted to replicate that type of customer experience in a very different type of market.

The Archwood strategy is to elevate senior living in markets with populations of 10,000 people or fewer. Czisny sees these areas as “the last frontier” of senior living.

The first Archwood community is located in the Wisconsin town of Paddock Lake, with a population of about 3,000. But the town is close to the Illinois border, the tourist hotspot of Lake Geneva, and more populous areas such as Kenosha.

Czisny believed the location offered a great blend of unmet consumer demand for senior living and a labor pool of workers who would be attracted to a more local option. To help deliver a top-notch experience at a small-market price point, Archwood has harnessed technology — particularly to support robust communication among workers, residents and their families.

“When you do have an unhappy family in one of these buildings, a lot of times it just comes down to it was poor communication, things were not effectively communicated,” he noted.

So far, the Archwood strategy appears solid; the Paddock Lake community is not only fully occupied but has a healthy waitlist, and Czisny is preparing to break ground on a second community that will be part of a development going up less than a mile away.

Czisny also is considering acquisition opportunities, with some in “full motion.” But he emphasizes that he wants to grow at a very deliberate pace, having learned from companies that scaled too quickly. Still, he’s more confident than ever in his focus on small markets.

“I think that’s where all the opportunity still lies in the business,” he said.

Czisny’s early success, and his determination to seize this opportunity and conquer the “last frontier” of senior living, make him a leader to watch.

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