Movers and Shakers: Lutheran Senior Services Announces New COO; Erickson Welcomes DEI Director

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Lutheran Senior Services names former Front Porch exec. as new COO

Lutheran Senior Services has selected a new Chief Operating Officer (COO), with Ron Schaefer stepping into the role.

Previously, Schaefer served as COO of Front Porch in Glendale, California and he also served as COO of Covia until the company was acquired by Front Porch. With more than three decades of nonprofit senior living management experience, he will lead strategy, communications and organizational integrity at Lutheran Senior Services.


Schaefer brings “exceptional knowledge, leadership experience and passion for serving older adults,” LSS President and CEO Adam Marles said in a news release.

With a background in life plan community leadership, he also has a strong track record in affordable housing and community service-based programming.

LSS operates 18 communities serving more than 13,000 older adults in Illinois and Missouri.


Erickson Senior Living welcomes Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Director

Taneika Herman has joined Erickson Senior Living as the company’s diversity, inclusion and belonging director.

Herman enters the senior living industry from Under Armour, where she contributed to the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programming as Under Armour’s global DEI lead. While there, she helped lead and execute the DEI corporate learning strategy and DEI retail strategy for stores and contributed to the DEI global corporate communications strategy.

Erickson Senior Living oversees a network of communities serving more than 28,000 residents. 

Lasell University’s Lasell Village names president

Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts recently named Zehra Abid-Wood president of Lasell Village, the university’s on-campus senior living and learning community.

She comes to the role with over two decades of leadership experience in real estate, hospitality, education and residential senior care. She most recently worked as senior vice president of strategy and transformation at AlerisLife (NASDAQ: ALR).

Civitas Senior Living adds to leadership team at Texas community

The Brooks of Cibolo, a Civitas Senior Living community in Cibolo, Texas, recently announced new leadership team members at the facility.

Sandra LeBlanc was named executive director, Bianca Perez as community relations director and Doris King was promoted to wellness director.

LeBlanc previously served as executive director at the senior living communities Waterford on Huebner and Elan Westpointe, and brings over three decades of business management experience to the new role.

Perez started in senior living seven years ago as a concierge and then entered into sales and marketing.

King brings nearly three decades of senior living experience to her now role, having spent that time as a nurse mainly in AL care.

Cura Hospitality brings on longtime healthcare staffer

Cura Hospitality, a senior living and acute care dining services company, recently welcomed Joeleen Kielkucki as Cura’s business development director for the Midwest.

She previously served as corporate sales specialist with The Waters Senior Living Community in Minnetonka, Minnesota where she exceeded occupancy expectations in close work with the community’s leadership team.

Also, while at Recover Health in Minnetonka, Kielkucki coordinated care between multiple departments for home health referrals within senior living communities, transitional care units and hospitals. She additionally served as a hospice educator with Brighton Hospice in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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