People in the news, June 12

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Sian Stevens
Sian Stevens

Siân Stevens named COO of Caledonia Senior Living

Siân Stevens has been named chief operating officer of the Scottish Home and Caledonian House, now collectively known as Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care, in Chicago. She joins the executive leadership team following the completion and stabilized occupancy of its new memory care residence, the Caledonian House.

Stevens has an extensive background in the field of aging services, including working for Kendal Corp., a system of 13 communities founded in Pennsylvania, where she helped improve occupancy at several East Coast communities as well as successfully reopening the Admiral at the Lake, a high-rise continuing care retirement community on Chicago's lakefront.

Stevens previously served as director of marketing for the Glenview-based consulting firm Sawgrass Partners, which supports nonprofits across the country, and helped roll out the Swedish Retirement Association's rebranding as Three Crowns Park. She most recently served as vice president of marketing and development for Chicago Methodist Senior Services.

“With Siân's arrival, our team gains an operations leader with a proven record of driving occupancy, bringing positive change and promoting customer service,“ said Gus Noble, president and CEO. “The COO is a new role for our organization. It puts Siân's expertise, experience and clear strategic thinking into a really impactful position of leadership.”

John Henry named executive director of Carroll Lutheran Village

John Henry was named executive director of Carroll Lutheran Village, a continuing care retirement community in Westminster, MD, effective June 9. He succeeds George Oxx, who retired June 8.

In his new role, Henry will oversee the daily operation of the independent living, assisted living and skilled care levels of residency at Carroll Lutheran Village, which includes facilities, dining, resident life, social work, chaplaincy, skilled nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation.

Henry brings nearly 30 years of experience in senior living administration and has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1990. He joined Carroll Lutheran Village in 2015 as the administrator of the Health Care Center and Diven House for assisted living.

He holds a Master in Health Services Administration degree from George Washington University.

Maplewood Senior Living announces new directors

Maplewood Senior Living in Newtown, CT, has announced Laurie Lofgren as executive director and Lauren Stowell as community relations director. 

As executive director, Lofgren will provide leadership and oversee day-to-day operations, including the planning, development, implementation, evaluation and improvement of program services, management of staff and the delivery of services to residents and their families.

Lofgren is state-licensed and certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide home health services, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social work and homemaker home health.

In her new role as community relations director, Stowell will assist families directly in selecting living options and will act as a community resource for those in need of senior living planning.

Stowell brings more than 10 years of experience in the healthcare and senior living industry and is a certified dementia practitioner. She holds a degree in science recreation and leisure studies and is pursuing a secondary degree in gerontology.

“Our goal is for the residents to thrive and lead fulfilled lives, and this requires listening to them and customizing their experience to fit their unique requirements,” Stowell said.

Ursula Margazano named executive director of Gifford Retirement Community and administrator of Menig Nursing Home

Ursula Margazano has been named the executive director of Gifford Retirement Community and administrator of Menig Nursing Home, both in Vermont.

In her new role, Margazano will develop programs and services to support and meet the needs of aging community members.

Margazano brings 20 years of long-term care experience in Vermont to the role. She previously worked as administrator of Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing in Barre, executive director of Burlington Health & Rehabilitation and administrator of Haven Health Center of Rutland. Margazano most recently was the executive director of Berlin Health and Rehabilitation Center. She was named the Vermont Health Care Association Administrator of the Year in 2015.

Margazano also previously worked in human services and completed an administrator-in-training internship before earning her license in nursing home administration. She has a bachelor's degree in health services administration from SUNY Institute of Technology, now SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Lori Pietsch named executive director at Primrose Retirement Community

Lori Pietsch has been named executive director at Primrose Retirement Community in Mankato, MN. In her new role, which began April 12, Pietsch oversees the day-to-day operations of the community.

Pietsch brings 25 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry and  previously was the sales director at Primrose of Mankato. She holds a degree in business education from Mankato State University.

Leann Thrapp named executive director of home health and hospice at WesleyLife

Leann Thrapp has been named executive director of home health and hospice at WesleyLife in Johnston, IA.

She previously was administrator of Heartland Hospice in Northbrook, IL, and regional director of nursing for Kaplan Higher Education in Chicago. She also has served as a member of the University of Phoenix faculty in Arizona and California and as director of health sciences and special projects for Corinthian Colleges in Santa Ana, CA.

Thrapp most recently was the director of home and senior services at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, IA, where she was responsible for all aspects of business for inpatient rehabilitation, transitional care, palliative and hospice care, home care, geriatrics and a 50-bed private-pay nursing facility. While directing care for more than 1,000 patients a day, Thrapp led her teams to enhanced status ratings from the Joint Commission Accreditation from Home Care & Hospice, and she increased hospice census by 50% in 18 months.

As a registered nurse, Thrapp held numerous clinical leadership positions in California and Arizona. She is a member of several national health advisory groups and coalitions and has been published in a number of clinical texts.

Kathleen Cowling named director of nursing at Primrose Retirement Community

Kathleen Cowling has been named director of nursing at Primrose of Appleton, WI, which is expected to open this fall. In her new role, which she began in April, Cowling guides and oversees the care of residents and, in conjunction with Executive Director Breeze Skorupski, manages the nursing staff.  She also ensures compliance with all necessary regulations.

Cowling brings 34 years in geriatric care with her to Primrose and has worked in assisted living and skilled nursing settings.

“I have managed nursing staff before in other communities,” Cowling said. “But I have never opened a new one. I am so excited to assist the seniors in our community and to help them to feel comfortable in their new home,” she added.

Bridges by Epoch at Andover announces partnership with Robert Portney, M.D.

Bridges by Epoch at Andover, a memory care assisted living community set to open this summer in Andover, MA, has announced their partnership with Robert Portney, M.D.

A geriatric neuropsychiatrist, Portney will provide onsite evaluation and treatment to residents at Bridges by Epoch at Andover once the community opens.

Portney currently is on staff at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, and he is engaged in research studies regarding Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Well-published in the fields of geriatrics and neuropsychiatry, Portney has given lectures at major conferences around the world and grand rounds at the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital.

Portney holds degrees from Harvard College and Yale School of Medicine.

Senior Quality Lifestyles Corp. elects new members for board of directors

Senior Quality Lifestyles Corp., a Texas-based not-for-profit organization that sponsors and operates six senior living communities, has elected Bernard “Bernie” DiFiore and Laurie Dotter as the newest members of its board of directors.

DiFiore brings more than 25 years of experience in the financial services and benefits industries. He previously served as chairman and CEO of BenefitMall, an employee benefits and payroll services provider, where he oversaw the company's strategic direction, planning and execution. DiFiore serves on the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command advisory board, Methodist Hospital System board and the Business Council for the Arts. He's also a long-standing member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which focuses on making a positive impact for at-risk children and families.

DiFiore holds an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University.

Dotter brings more than 25 years of experience building and managing real estate investment organizations to the SQLC board. She has overseen multibillion-dollar funds at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and at Dallas-based Hunt Realty Investments. Dotter previously served as president of Transwestern Investment Group, a real estate investment management firm, where she oversaw investment strategy, acquisition and asset management. Dotter also is an investment advisory board member at the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, where she helps preserve and grow the state's financial resources.

Dotter has an undergraduate degree in business administration with honors from Texas A&M University.

Villaggio at San Luis Obispo appoints board of managers

Villaggio at San Luis Obispo, a life plan community currently under planning and development, has appointed a board of managers responsible for overseeing and governing the activities of Villaggio.

  • Dennis Fernandez has been named chair of the board of managers. He has more than 30 years of experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, international business and construction in the protective packaging, food, chemical and electronics industries. He previously served as chief financial officer and CEO of FP International, a protective packaging company.

    Fernandez serves on the advisory board for the Packaging Program at California Polytechnic State University and on the board of Edna Ranch Mutual Water Company, Edna Valley SLO Sustainable Groundwater Commission, FP International, and NUTEC Inc., a nuclear waste capsule company. He has also served as an adviser and angel investor for the California Polytechnic State University Center for Entrepreneurship.

    He has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Colorado State University and a Master's in Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University. 
  • John Lindvall also has been elected to the board of managers. A charteredfinancial analyst, Lindvall has experience in finance and investment, including security analysis and portfolio management. He founded and has served as CEO of Lindvall Capital Management, JLH Capital Investment and JLH Offshore. He is an emeritus professor of business at California Polytechnic State University.

    Lindvall has an undergraduate degree from Whitman College, and a Master's in Business Administration and a Doctor of Business Administration degrees from Indiana University.
  • Brad Parkinson, Ph.D., also elected, is an emeritus professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University. He previously was chief architect for the Global Positioning System, a vice president of Space Systems at Rockwell International and vice president at Intermetrics, a software company that he took public in 1982. A retired air force colonel, he received a Master of Science degree in aeronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Stanford University.

    A recipient of the Marconi Award, Parkinson also received the Medal of Honor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering, one of the Nobel Prizes of engineering. He serves on the boards of Trimble Navigation, EMS Technologies and Navigation Technology Ventures.

Fernandez, Lindvall and Parkinson will serve on the Villaggio Board of Managers with Mark DeLotto, CEO of Villaggio at San Luis Obispo, and Bob Richmond, executive director of design and development for Villaggio.

William Pemberton announced as VP of client relations and strategy at Bluespire Senior Marketing

William “Bill” Pemberton has been announced as vice president of client relations and strategy at Bluespire Senior Marketing in West Hartford, CT.

Pemberton brings more than 30 years of experience with both the client and agency sides of marketing communications, serving the energy, finance, healthcare, hospitality and technology sectors. He spent the past 11 years of practice within the senior living industry.

He previously led client engagement for the senior lifestyle practice at The Point Group, a full-service agency based in Dallas, and served as senior vice president of strategic communications for Forte Group, a senior-directed media relations firm.

Pemberton serves on the national board of SAGE, the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments, where he chairs the brand committee. He also writes an industry blog and is an industry speaker and webinar panelist.

He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin's Moody School of Communications.

Drew Holzapfel announced as interim president for UsAgainstAlzheimer's

Drew Holzapfel has been announced as interim president for Maryland-based UsAgainstAlzheimer's, an organization committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's, while a nationwide search for someone to fill the position is conducted. George Vradenburg will  continue to serve as chairman and CEO.

Holzapfel brings 15 years of experience in the Alzheimer's disease field. He is a founding board member of the Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation and the executive director of the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease.

In his new role, Holzapfel will oversee a new strategic planning process, the search for a permanent president and UsAgainstAlzheimer's' three new initiatives: Alzheimer's Disease Patient and Caregiver Engagement (AD PACE), Alzheimer's & Dementia Disparities Engagement Network (ADDEN) and Brain Health Ecosystem: Improving Detection and Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (BHE).

He also will focus on developing the authoritative patient and caregiver “voice,” regulatory standards and reimbursement policies, increasing the strategic focus on the impact of disparities in Alzheimer's affecting minority populations and ensuring that people have access to a the timely, accurate, compassionate and actionable diagnosis of any brain impairment.

Send personnel news to Senior Editor Lois A. Bowers. Please include a high-quality photo.

In Focus

June 20

107 years young

Chambersburg, PA 

Irene Rebok, a resident of Magnolias of Chambersburg, will celebrate her 107th birthday with a visit from a state representative and a "card shower."