People in the news, March 13

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David Kieffer
David Kieffer

Funeral services Thursday for Tony Mullen

Calling hours will be Wednesday and Thursday, and funeral services will be Thursday, for Anthony James “Tony” Mullen, 61, a founder of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. He died Saturday.

Mullen stepped down from his full-time role as NIC research director in 2007, becoming a senior fellow of the organization.

Mullen is preceded in death by his wife, Linda. He is survived by four children, four grandchildren and additional relatives.

For more information about arrangements, please see the online obituary. McKnight's Senior Living will have additional information at a later date.

David Kieffer joins New Perspective Senior Living as VP of sales

David Kieffer has been hired as vice president of sales for Minneapolis-based New Perspective Senior Living, a 10-year-old, family-owned company that develops, owns and operates senior living communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Kieffer has more than 20 years of experience in the senior living sector. He earned an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in gerontology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and he holds an executive certificate in the sales and marketing of seniors housing and care from the Erickson School of Aging, University of Maryland Baltimore Campus.

“This key role allows me an opportunity to work in a culture of collaboration as well as work with one of my former mentors, Chris Hyatt,” he said. Hyatt, who joined New Perspective as an investor, partner and chief operating officer in January 2017, worked with Kieffer about 10 years ago.

Originally from Minneapolis, Kieffer spent the first seven years of his career working in the Atlanta area as a community-level sales director, executive director and regional director of sales with Hyatt at Emeritus Senior Living. In 2008, Kieffer moved back to Minneapolis and over the past decade continued to work in both resident and patient care organizations. Most recently, he held the position of vice president of sales with Lifesprk.

Kent Kirkwood to lead three senior living communities for Lutheran Senior Services

Lutheran Senior Services has named Kent Kirkwood executive director of Heisinger Bluffs and St. Joseph's Bluffs in Jefferson City, MO. He also will remain executive director of Lenior Woods, a life plan community in Columbia, MO.

Kirkwood has been serving as interim executive director at Heisinger Bluffs and St. Joseph's Bluffs for the past several months. This permanent assignment brings him back to Jefferson City, where he previously served as executive director at Heisinger Bluffs and St. Joseph's Bluffs before joining the Lenior Woods team several years ago.

“Kent recently led the Lenior Woods community through a major construction and repositioning effort and has demonstrated success in the overall management of that community,” said Gary Anderson, chief operating officer of Lutheran Senior Services. “He is well-equipped to lead our entire mid-Missouri operations, which together serve nearly 750 older adults with a full range of living options.”

Lutheran Senior Services is a not-for-profit network that specializes in housing, care and supportive services for older adults 62+. It has 21 locations in Missouri and Illinois and serves more than 11,000 seniors a year through options that include life plan communities offering all levels of care, affordable housing and home- and community-based services.

Solvere Senior Living adds employees as number of managed communities grows

Princeton, NJ-based Solvere Senior Living has added new team members this year to oversee the company's growth and expansion.

In February, the company assumed management of three independent living communities in Texas. An additional three independent living communities in Michigan also now are under Solvere Senior Living management, and in September, the firm assumed management of two independent living communities in Virginia: Verena at the Reserve in Williamsburg and Verena at the Glen in Glen Allen.

“With new management contracts for communities in Texas, Michigan and Virginia, we continue to grow our presence in the Southwest, the upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic,” said Solvere Senior Living President and CEO Kristin Kutac Ward. “We look forward to serving these markets and to more expansion in the future.”

In January, the company announced that Kimberly Brawley is regional vice president, responsible for managing all aspects of Solvere Senior Living communities located in the Southwest and Southeast Regions.

Additionally, Marika Tufteskog-Johnson, new chief strategy officer, is responsible for pre-development, development and new management initiatives.

New controller Joseph Brendlen is responsible for budgeting, payroll, financial management and providing financial analysis for capital investments, pricing decisions and contract negotiations.

And Laresa Colvin, as the new director of team engagement and values, directs talent recruitment and retention and manages human resource functions across all Solvere Senior Living managed communities.

Kari Curry named executive director of La Loma Village

Kari Curry has been named the executive director of La Loma Village, a Sun Health life care community serving more than 200 residents in Litchfield Park, AZ.

She manages daily operations of the 353-acre campus, which includes independent living and assisted living as well as inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.

Curry succeeds executive director Susan Davis, who is retiring after leading La Loma Village for seven years.

George Mishraky promoted to sales director at Riderwood

George Mishraky has been promoted to sales director at Riderwood, an Erickson Living retirement community in Silver Spring, MD.

Mishraky joined Erickson Living in 2008 as part of the operations associate program, where he spent time in human resources, general services, continuing care, administration and sales.

In 2009, Mishraky was named sales associate at Riderwood and quickly was promoted to senior sales associate in 2011, then sales manager in 2013, and then again to associate sales director last year.

Mishraky graduated from Towson University with a business management degree. Additionally, he earned an MBA from the University of Baltimore in 2011, taking advantage of Erickson Living's tuition reimbursement program to further his education.

Ruth Katz named senior vice president of public policy at LeadingAge

Ruth Katz has joined LeadingAge as senior vice president of public policy, CEO Katie Smith Sloan announced.

Katz is a former executive at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was focused on the development and execution of policy research and analysis for programs in aging, long-term care and disability. She built her career at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation and the office of disability, aging and long-term care policy, where she held dual roles. As the associate deputy assistant secretary and the director, division of aging and disability, she led, directed and coordinated policy regarding OASPE/ODALTCP's disability, aging, Medicare and long-term care policy agenda; managed staff; and oversaw policy research.

At LeadingAge, Katz will develop and lead strategy on public policy and advocacy, working with LeadingAge's board and state partners to advance the nonprofit's public policy agenda. She also will oversee congressional and regulatory affairs and grassroots engagement teams.  She assumes much of the work done by Cheryl Phillips, M.D., who left the organization in July, while also adding new responsibilities.

“Ruth brings a substantial depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in core areas for LeadingAge,” Sloan said. “She knows the intricacies of policy development and implementation and is a recognized and experienced leader in our field.”

Joe Franco to lead grassroots efforts at LeadingAge

Joe Franco is the new vice president of grassroots at LeadingAge. He reports to Senior Vice President of Public Policy Ruth Katz.

An internal grassroots function is not new to LeadingAge. In recruiting for Franco's position at the vice president level, however, the association said it revised its approach to advocacy by committing to a sustained, year-round program that focuses on action from members, residents and the general public.

Honored this month as a leading association lobbyist by Association TRENDS, Franco joins LeadingAge from the American Diabetes Association, where as vice president of grassroots and internal advocacy, he oversaw development and execution of the cultivation, retention and engagement of grassroots advocates as well as the planning and execution of grassroots campaigns. During his tenure, the number of advocates for the association more than doubled, and campaigns he led to draw awareness to diabetes and raise federal research dollars garnered coverage in USA Today, the Washington Post and The Hill, among other media outlets, according to LeadingAge.

Before the American Diabetes Association, Franco was manager of grassroots at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, associate director of advocacy for the Alzheimer's Association and grassroots specialist for the American Cancer Society.

“Joe is a strategic thinker with a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to advocacy,” said LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan. “He brings proven skills in nonprofit organizing and political campaign management, the sort of know-how our members value as LeadingAge continues to articulate and advocate for our community on the federal and state levels.”

It's Never 2 Late names Karen O'Hern vice president of enterprise solutions

Karen O'Hern recently was named vice president of enterprise solutions at Denver-based It's Never 2 Late.

In her role, O'Hern helps corporate clients with their efforts related to resident engagement, behavioral intervention, community market differentiation and occupancy.

O'Hern has more than 30 years of healthcare experience. Most recently, she spent 10 years in sales, marketing and new product development with the Advisory Board. She also previously served as a healthcare consultant in the United States and Hong Kong and was clinical chief of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

O'Hern has a Master in Public Health degree from the University of Rochester as well as a Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, both from Ohio State University.

Hunt Mortgage Group announces several hires

New York City-based Hunt Mortgage Group has expanded its seniors housing and healthcare lending platform with the addition of a dedicated unit focused on the industry and the hiring of several key executives.

Kathryn Burton Gray (pictured) followed the new team, members of which preceded her in joining Hunt Mortgage Group from Red Capital Group. She will lead the new group as senior managing director and Head of the business.

The new team will target expansion into the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac senior space, and Hunt Mortgage Group now will offer bridge loans to clients in the sector through its proprietary lending platform.

Burton Gray will be based in Irvine, CA, and will report to President and Chief Investment Officer Jim Flynn. She will be responsible for overseeing Hunt Mortgage Group's financing and private placement activities in the seniors housing and healthcare sector.

Burton Gray has more than 34 years of banking experience with large commercial banking platforms and has held senior leadership positions at Wells Fargo Bank, several smaller regional and community banks, CIT Group, GE, Finova Capital, and most recently, Red Capital Group/ORIX, where she led the national senior living and healthcare real estate platform in the commercial finance division.

Burton Gray's new production team will include:

  • James Scribner, managing director. He has 14 years of experience in seniors housing finance and has worked for almost 20 years in financial services. His experience includes work in direct agency, Federal Housing Administration and balance sheet originations. Before joining Hunt Mortgage Group, he was managing director at Red Capital Group for six years. He began his career in seniors housing and healthcare with Herbert J. Sims & Co., a boutique investment bank. Scribner will be based in Connecticut.

  • Jason Smeck, managing director. He has more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate lending, with the past 16 specifically focused on seniors housing and healthcare finance. Before joining Hunt Mortgage Group, Smeck was a managing director for Red Capital Group, focused on the development of the seniors housing and healthcare platform and serving in a variety of capacities ranging from analysis, structuring and underwriting and originations. Smeck's specific area of expertise is the FHA Lean program. In his tenure at Red, he structured more than $1 billion of direct FHA, Fannie Mae and bridge loan transactions. He will be based in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Brady Johnson, director. With more than 10 years of experience in commercial finance, Johnson also joins Hunt Mortgage Group from Red Capital Group, where he was focused on commercial real estate lending for seniors housing properties, including direct agency, balance sheet and construction lending. Before joining Red, he spent a good part of his career with GE Capital in various commercial roles, including GE's corporate finance business and GE Real Estate. He is a graduate of GE's Experienced Commercial Leadership Program. He will be based in Irvine, CA, with a particular focus on the western United States.

Richard Roberts appointed COO, chief information security officer of Stratus Interoperable

Richard Roberts has been appointed chief operating officer and chief information security officer at Nanuet, NY-based Stratus Interoperable.

“As a member of SI's executive management team, Richard's operations and cybersecurity experience will help drive current and future product delivery and development with a clear focus on enhanced security. His innovative thinking and vision will inform our strategic direction helping increase the market share and profitability of Stratus Interoperable,” said Stratus Interoperable CEO Berry Brunk.

Before joining Stratus Interoperable, Roberts built a healthcare advisory company and spent 10 years at the nation's largest private healthcare ITO/BPO organization, where he served as chief technology officer, with responsibility for IT strategy, planning and cybersecurity for both corporate and customer initiatives. He oversaw enterprise wide infrastructure architecture and standardization, integration, business transformation and the development of enterprise application solutions.

Roberts' healthcare industry connections is expected to open new avenues for Stratus Interoperable resulting in increased partnership opportunities. He also is expected to be instrumental in expanding the company's operations, technical and implementation delivery teams.

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

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In Focus

March 21

Hello, cello!

Corona, CA

Staff at Valencia Terrace, a Kisco Senior Living community, recently surprised residents with a visit from Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma.