The Ensign Group names Jennifer Freeman CFO of The Pennant Group

Jennifer L. Freeman has been named chief financial officer of The Pennant Group, which will be the holding company of substantially all of The Ensign Group’s senior living businesses, as well as all of its home health and hospice agencies, following completion of a previously announced spin-off, expected Oct. 1.

“After a thorough evaluation of very qualified internal candidates and an exhaustive search of dozens of external candidates, Jenn’s qualifications and leadership experience set her apart from the rest of the field,” Pennant Chairman, CEO and President Danny Walker said.

Freeman has been serving as CFO of Cornerstone Healthcare, Ensign’s current home health and hospice portfolio company, since she joined the organization earlier this year. In her new role, she will lead Pennant’s finance strategy and oversee its financial operations, including accounting, treasury, tax and financial reporting.

Freeman joined Ensign with more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry and more than 25 years of experience leading financial teams and departments. Before joining Cornerstone, she was CFO of Northpoint Recovery Holdings, a regional provider of drug and alcohol addiction treatment services, overseeing all accounting, finance, payer contracting, compliance and revenue cycle management functions.

Freeman has held various other leadership roles within the healthcare industry, including CFO of Molina Healthcare of Washington, a large regional payer in the Pacific Northwest; vice president of finance of Coordinated Care Corp., a subsidiary of Centene Corp.; CFO for Qualis Health, a healthcare consulting organization; and vice president of finance of MCG Health, a developer of evidenced-based healthcare guidelines and related tools.

A certified public accountant, Freeman began her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington.

Heritage Senior Living names Tammy Schafer as new vice president of operations

Tammy Schafer

Tammy Schafer is joining West Allis, WI-based Heritage Senior Living as vice president of operations.

She will be responsible for overseeing the company’s 16 Wisconsin communities, which include independent living, assisted living, enhanced assisted living and memory care. Shafer will collaborate with the communities, corporate office and executive leadership teams in an effort to enhance Heritage’s culture, implement improvement strategies and aid in staffing and employee education. Her areas of focus will include monitoring and improving resident satisfaction, working with the quality department to improve quality of care, and assisting with employee retention. Schafer also will be involved in projects related to new communities at the growing company.

Schafer has an undergraduate degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in business management. She has 23 years of experience, and some of her former roles include president and CEO at Saint Simeon’s senior living community, Tulsa, OK; senior vice president of operations at Evergreen Senior Living and senior executive director at Bradford Village retirement community, Edmond, OK.

Asbury names Todd Andrews vice president of master planning

Todd Andrews

Todd Andrews is joining Frederick, MD-based Asbury in the newly created position of vice president of master planning. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the senior living field to his role.

He will help the company serve more older adults, meet the changing needs of baby boomers and support the development of new programming across all continuing care retirement communities, according to company leaders.

Andrews joins Asbury after having most recently been regional vice president for Sodexo Senior Living. During a 26-year career with the international dining and facilities management company, he created partnerships with clients, including Asbury, designed to drive operational excellence and portfolio growth. His helped clients find new program opportunities in areas ranging from dining to construction to energy management. Most recently, Andrews enabled Asbury to become one of the first CCRC systems in the nation to test the applications and benefits of Pepper, the humanoid robot.

Andrews has an undergraduate degree in public administration from Binghamton University and is a certified aging services professional.

Summit Healthcare REIT promotes Kent Eikanas to CEO, Elizabeth Pagliarini to COO

Kent Eikanas

Kent Eikanas has been promoted to CEO of Lake Forest, CA-based Summit Healthcare REIT, and Elizabeth Pagliarini has been promoted to chief operating officer as well as retaining her current role as chief financial officer.

The publicly registered, non-traded REIT has a portfolio that includes interests in 57 senior housing facilities in 14 states.

Eikanas has been Summit’s COO since July 2012 and president since September 2012. He lead the repositioning of the real estate investment trust to a focus on senior housing.

From 2008 to 2012, Eikanas was vice president of senior housing for a private real estate company, where he closed more than $100 million in senior housing real estate refinances, dispositions and acquisitions. In addition, he managed senior housing assets worth more than $700 million. Eikanas also helped launch a skilled nursing operating company based in Dallas and helped the operating company’s growth.

From 2003 to 2008, he was the vice president of acquisitions for a private real estate company and closed more than $200 million in senior housing real estate transactions.

Eikanas has overseen licensing for assisted living communities, memory care communities and skilled nursing facilities in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. He graduated from California State University Sacramento with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a minor in business administration.

Elizabeth Pagliarini

Pagliarini is the former CEO and chairwoman of the board of an investment brokerage subsidiary of a public company in Beverly Hills, CA. She also co-founded a boutique investment bank and registered broker-dealer.

A member of the Board of Directors of First Foundation, she serves on its audit, compensation and loan committees. She also sits on the Mission Viejo, CA, City Council Investment Advisory Commission.

Pagliarini earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, with a concentration in finance, from Valparaiso University. She also is a certified fraud examiner.

Legacy Senior Living names Jason Gibson regional director of operations

Jason Gibson

Jason Gibson has been named regional director of operations for Cleveland, TN-based Legacy Senior Living, which operates senior living and memory care communities throughout the Southeast.

He will support Legacy Village of Cleveland in Cleveland, TN; Concordia of Bella Vista in Bella Vista, AR; Grace Senior Living in Douglasville, GA; and Renaissance Marquis in Rome, GA.

Gibson, who brings 26 years of professional experience in the senior living field to the position, joined Legacy Senior Living in January as an operations specialist.

He earned his undergraduate degree in human services management from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.

NCAL chooses Elizabeth Blankenship for Jan Thayer Pioneer Award

Elizabeth Blankenship

Elizabeth Blankenship, a registered nurse and former owner and operator of assisted living communities in Arkansas, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award from the National Center for Assisted Living.

The Jan Thayer Pioneer Award recognizes individuals deemed to have moved the senior care profession forward, positively affecting the lives of those served and those who serve. Blankenship will be honored during a formal ceremony in October at the 70th AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Orlando.

“As a nurse who worked her way up to soon run her own long-term care communities, Liz is an inspiration to the profession,” NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle said. “Her story is remarkable, but it was her involvement at the state and national levels that make her worthy of this award. After finding effective ways to improve the lives of her residents and employees, Liz committed to sharing that success with her fellow providers to lift up the entire sector.”

Now retired, Blankenship previously owned and operated Southridge Village Assisted Living, a company with four assisted living and continuing care retirement communities throughout Arkansas. She designed and built some of the first private apartments for assisted living residents in the state, dubbed “Homestyle Cottages,” meant to maximize independence in a home-like environment. The company’s communities were recipients of numerous awards, including the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program as well as the Arkansas Governor’s Quality Award.

When the Arkansas legislature established the licensure of assisted living in 2001, Blankenship served on the committee that helped draft the regulations for the sector. She continued to serve the state on numerous committees, task forces and boards.

Blankenship also helped establish the Arkansas Assisted Living Association and was its first board president. Part of her service to AALA included writing and teaching “The Role of the RN” segment of the course for administrators taught by the association. She continued to serve on the board of the Arkansas Health Care Association until her retirement.

At the national level, Blankenship was one of the first NCAL state leaders representing Arkansas. Additionally, she served on the NCAL Quality Committee.

Blankenship earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. She later became certified as a geriatric nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

In 2015, Blankenship was named Business Woman of the Year in Conway, Arkansas. Earlier this year, the University of Central Arkansas bestowed on her a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Maplewood at Twinsburg names Susan Krupitzer executive director

Susan Krupitzer has been named executive director of Maplewood at Twinsburg, a Maplewood Senior Living community in Twinsburg, OH.

Krupitzer brings to the position more than 20 years of experience in senior living and healthcare as well as an extensive background in geriatrics and working in long-term care facilities. In her new role, she will oversee the day-to-day operations of the community, supervising and managing staff members and providing leadership in planning, development, evaluation and improvement of programs.

Krupitzer earned her undergraduate degree in gerontology, with an emphasis on long-term care administration, at Kent State University. She continued her education at Stockton College, where she obtained her certification in elder care coordination.

Krupitzer is a licensed nursing home administrator and is a CEAL-certified Executive in Assisted Living from the Ohio Health Care Association.

Glen at Scripps Ranch names David Burke executive chef

David Burke

David Burke has been named executive chef for The Glen at Scripps Ranch, a life plan community scheduled to open later this year in San Diego.

Burke will be responsible for all aspects of the retirement community’s daily kitchen operations, including quality control, purchasing, food preparation, scheduling, catering for special events and training and management of the culinary staff. He also will oversee the development of menu items and weekly specials for The Glen’s breakfast, lunch and dinner service.

The Glen’s dining venues will range from a sit-down restaurant to a clubhouse lounge with a more casual menu. The team also will provide food service for the community’s special events and residents’ family celebrations.

Burke previously was the executive chef for the STK San Diego steakhouse, where he was responsible for all food operations, including menu development, recipe development, budget development and management and training. He also formerly was executive chef at Pacifica Del Mar in Del Mar, CA, and chef partner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in Los Angeles and Rancho Mirage, CA.

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, AZ, Burke’s professional achievements include winning Fleming’s “Partner of the Year” award in 2013 and the “Coachella Valley Chef Fight” in 2011.

Caddis promotes Zee Jennings to senior manager, investor relations

Zee Jennings

Zee Jennings has been  promoted to senior manager, investor relations, at Caddis. He previously the Dallas-based national healthcare real estate firm’s manager, senior living.

With more than 10 years of experience in the healthcare real estate sector, Jennings will lead Caddis’ investor relations department, overseeing fundraising efforts and communication with institutional and individual investors. During his more than four years with Caddis, he has participated in all aspects of the company’s initiatives, including responsibility for managing Caddis’ senior living portfolio.

Jennings has a diverse background in asset management, property management, development, acquisition, finance and investor relations. Before joining Caddis, he was vice president of a regional, family-owned senior living management company, where he was responsible for new business development, equity and debt relationships, and general oversight of the day-to-day operations. He began his career with Insignia Senior Living and was an executive director for multiple senior living communities throughout the Atlanta area.

Jennings earned an MBA degree with honors from Mercer University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Auburn University.

LandSouth SVP of Business Development Joe Passkiewicz announces retirement

Joe Passkiewicz, senior vice president of Jacksonville, FL-based LandSouth Construction, retired Aug. 16 after a 40-year career in the construction industry and almost 15 years with LandSouth Construction.

The company specializes in senior living, multifamily and mixed-use development, having completed completed more than 18,000 units in those areas.

“It’s nearly impossible to measure the impact he has made,” LandSouth CEO James Pyle said.

LandSouth said Passkiewicz was “instrumental in the exceptional growth and success of the company,” serving as the technical expert and leading the development and implementation of management processes as well as drafting and negotiating construction contracts. “Many of LandSouth’s most impressive and innovative communities are the results of Joe’s experience and expertise, including Tampa Westshore, RiverVue, and The Gate Apartments,” the company said.

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