Diversified Healthcare Trust names Jennifer Francis CEO

Jennifer Francis headshot
Jennifer Francis

Jennifer Francis has added CEO to her title of president at Newton, MA-based Diversified Healthcare Trust. Formerly, she was president and chief operating officer, roles in which she has served since 2018.

The announcement came Friday following the results of the real estate investment trust’s annual meeting of shareholders, which was held Thursday. Also at the meeting, Francis was elected a managing trustee, and Lisa Harris Jones was elected an independent trustee.

In addition to her duties at DHC, Francis is executive vice president of the alternative asset management company The RMR Group LLC, which manages DHC and conducts substantially all business for its parent company, The RMR Group Inc. Francis is responsible for asset management and leasing activities at all RMR-managed properties.

Before joining RMR in 2006, she was a partner at CBRE/NE Partners, where she performed brokerage and corporate advisory services for several large corporate clients on their national commercial real estate portfolios. Previously, Francis was a vice president at the Gunwyn Co., where she was responsible for the asset management of a portfolio of commercial, retail and residential assets.

Francis has more than 30 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. She sits on the American Seniors Housing Association Executive Board and is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and of Commercial Real Estate Women.

Frederick Living welcomes Michelle Rassler as CEO

Michelle Rassler headshot
Michelle Rassler

Michelle Rassler has been appointed as the new CEO by Frederick Living of Zieglerville, PA. 

Rassler will begin her new role June 28. She and Jeremy Kauffman, current interim CEO, will briefly overlap in the role to ensure a smooth transition into the position.

Currently, Rassler is the vice president of Landis Communities and executive director of Landis Homes. She was vice president of operations for Frederick Living in the past. 

12 Oaks Senior Living names COO, SVP

Lori Jones has joined Dallas-based 12 Oaks Senior Living as chief operating officer.

Jones will lead a team of regional managers and operational support staff in maintaining the operational and financial aspects of communities managed by 12 Oaks Senior Living. 

Prior to joining the 12 Oaks team, Jones was with Holiday Retirement for 10 years. Most recently, she was regional director for 15 of the company’s communities in Washington state, Idaho, Montana and Hawaii.

She also held several leadership roles within Holiday Retirement, developing and launching its home care division and leading the assisted living division, Spectrum, through its sale. Jones spent her first seven years in the industry on site, leading care and clinical initiatives before transitioning to community operations. 

Former COO Keith Ashburn is taking a new position, senior vice president for 12 Oaks Solutions, the company’s consulting division. In this role, he will rely on his prior COO leadership experience to expand and develop an external consulting model and expand services; building beyond the company’s current management portfolio.

Trustwell Living hires Joseph Solari as senior vice president, business development

Joseph Solari joins Trustwell Living, New York, NY, as senior vice president, business development. In this new position, Solari will be responsible for off-market acquisitions of senior housing communities for the company.

Before joining Trustwell, Solari was vice president, corporate development, at Capital Senior Living. There, he led the acquisition of 64 communities and aggregated $962 million in transaction value for the company. He also previously was managing director, acquisitions, for Ventas.

Bellwether Enterprise hires Taylor Mokris as SVP, seniors housing and care

Taylor Mokris has been announced as senior vice president, seniors housing and care, at Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital of Enterprise Community Investment. 

As senior vice president of seniors housing and care, Mokris will help lead the development and execution of the company’s growth strategy for the senior housing and care mortgage lending platform. 

Before joining Bellwether Enterprise, he was a vice president and credit officer in the seniors housing group at Wells Fargo. There, he was the sole credit officer solely focused on the $3 billion-plus national seniors housing finance portfolio. 

Mokris has more than 10 years of commercial real estate experience, including relationship management, originations, underwriting and credit across a variety of property and product types. He has facilitated the origination, modification and closing of more than $6 billion in seniors housing debt originations since 2014.

American House promotes Jodie Audia to VP of life enrichment and cognitive programming

Jodie Audia, BSN, RN, CDP, has been promoted to vice president of life enrichment and cognitive programming at American House Senior Living Communities, Southfield, MI.

In her new position, Audia will be in charge of creating and implementing life enrichment and cognitive programming strategies, policies and programs across the company’s portfolio of more than 50 communities in five states. 

Audia began her career at the company in 2018. Before joining American House, she was the branch director at Great Lakes Caring Home Health and Hospice. In this role, she helped decrease hospital readmissions and tried to ensure excellence in patient care. 

Audia has 24 years of nursing experience and a background in intensive care, perioperative nursing and transplant coordination.

Cadence Living hires Melissa Cole as regional VP of operations for North Carolina region

Melissa Cole has been hired as the regional vice president of operations by Cadence Living of Scottsdale, AZ. She will be responsible for the North Carolina region and will be based in Burlington, NC. 

Cole will be responsible for operations of the seven company-managed communities in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh metropolitan statistical areas in North Carolina. She has more than two decades of experience in senior living operations. 

Before joining Cadence Living, Cole served in a similar position at Five Star Senior Living. She also has worked in various leadership roles, such as regional quality assurance roles for Sunrise Senior Living, Brookdale Senior Living and Brookshire Senior Living. She also is a member of the North Carolina Assisted Living Association Board of Directors.

Watercrest Senior Living Group welcomes Sebastian Watteau as area director of culinary operations

Sebastian Watteau headshot
Sebastian Watteau

Sebastian Watteau joins Watercrest Senior Living Group, Vero Beach, FL, as area director of culinary operations. 

In his new role, Watteau will work to solidify Watercrest standards of culinary excellence in each of the company’s senior living communities across the southeastern United States.

Watteau’s work has taken him to luxury hotels and the White House, among other destinations. He owned and operated two restaurants in Texas before his recruitment to executive chef of La Posada, a luxury hotel in Texas. 

He then went on to become a food and beverage director of a Hyatt hotel in Washington D.C. There, he worked as an executive chef at federal agencies, including the CIA, National Institutes of Health and White House.

Ativo Senior Living of Yuma hires new administrator and sales and marketing director

Deborah Ludington and Katherine O’Donald have joined Ativo Senior Living of Yuma, Yuma, AZ, as administrator and sales and marketing director, respectively.

Ludington has spent the past 25 years serving older adults in the Phoenix area. She has shifted her focus to Yuma for the past decade. She created the first-ever Alzheimer’s Walk in Yuma, supporting the Alzheimer’s Association, Southwest Chapter.

O’Donald has a variety of experience in the real estate and marketing field. Transitioning into senior living, she wants to serve older adults. She was awarded the “Rising Star Award” in 2017 from the Yuma Association of Realtors.

Ventana by Buckner names Danica McGuire as new executive director

Danica McGuire headshot
Danica McGuire

Danica McGuire joins Ventana by Buckner, Dallas, as executive director, effective immediately.

Before joining the company, McGuire was the senior living community’s associate executive director, where she worked to ensure a seamless transition for Ventana residents and employees.

McGuire started her career in aging services as a social work intern. Since then, she has gone on to work in various leadership roles, such as assisted living director, activity director, marketing director and assistant administrator. 

Chuck Childress, previous executive director of the community, now is the director of operations for Buckner Retirement Services. 

Waterstone at The Circle brings on Michael Murphy as senior adviser

Michael Murphy headshot
Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy has been hired as senior adviser at Waterstone at The Circle, Boston. 

Before joining the company, Murphy served in an array of similar positions at senior living and healthcare communities, including director of community relations and director of sales and marketing. 

Watercrest Senior Living Group promotes Jessica Desjarlais to talent acquisition specialist

Jessica Desjarlais

Jessica Desjarlais has been promoted to the position of talent acquisition specialist ar Vero Beach, FL-based Watercrest Senior Living Group less than two years after her latest promotion to family office manager in August 2019.

In her new role, Desjarlais will help attract and recruit new talent and prospective service leaders to Watercrest communities across the southeastern United States. Focusing on establishing partnerships with schools neighboring Watercrest communities, she also will build relationships in community markets, strengthen talent acquisition and manage preliminary applicant interviews, as well as the coordination of new hires.

In her previous role, Desjarlais was responsible for supporting human resources in recruitment, administration and onboarding, as well as leading local job fairs. She joined the company in 2018 and has 14 years of healthcare and customer service experience. Desjarlais has successfully completed more than 500 service hours with organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

LeadingResponse hires Tim Nale as CTO

Tim Nale has been hired by customer acquisition company LeadingResponse of Tampa, FL, as chief technology officer. 

In this role, Nale will be responsible for leading product design, engineering and technical innovation across the company, reporting directly to CEO Matthew Kearney. 

Before joining LeadingResponse, Nale was chief information officer at Koozie Group. Before that, he held leadership roles at Boar’s Head, Michelin, iProperty, NASA and Rolls Royce Aircraft Engines.

MediTelecare welcomes Steven W. Powell, M.D., as new chief medical officer

Steven W. Powell, M.D., MPH, CPE, FAPA, has joined MediTelecare, Middletown, CT. as chief medical officer.

In this role, Powell will help the company achieve strategic objectives as well as deliver the highest standard of behavioral health.

Powell is board-certified in addiction medicine and psychiatry, a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and chief medical officer for PursueCare.

Past roles include serving as CEO for New England Medicine for four years and as chief medical officer for New London Hospital for more than 6 years. He also held faculty positions with Dartmouth Medical School as a psychiatry instructor and with The Dartmouth Institute as an instructor.

Monticelloam appoints William E. Shine chief restructuring officer 

William E. Shine has joined Monticelloam of New York, NY, as chief restructuring officer. 

Shine has more than 35 years of experience in commercial banking and healthcare lending. As chief restructuring officer, he will be responsible for business development and expanding the company’s originations and sourcing networks. 

Before joining the company, Shine led various lending groups at several financial institutions, including SouthTrust Bank and Synovus Bank. He spearheaded the lending programs’ various offerings — such as direct lending, commercial mortgage-backed securities and other risk-management financial instruments — to ensure a consistent lending commitment sustained over 35 years.

Additionally, Shine is a founding board member of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry. He also was chairman of the NIC Conference in 1996 and 1997.

HMP Senior Solutions appoints Michelle Lee Lair vice president of clinical services, effective May 10

Michelle Lee Lair has joined HMP Senior Solutions of Nashville, TN, as vice president of clinical services. 

In her role, Lair will develop strategies to maintain each facility’s commitment to high-quality clinical care and family satisfaction. She also will oversee all facility operations and financing.

Previously, Lair was the vice president of clinical services at Southwest LTC for two years. She has an array of experience as a clinical and operations executive in multi-state and multi-family enterprises.

Lair is enrolled in the Master of Health Administration degree program at the University of Louisiana. She also has an undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Texas and is certified in MDS, infection control, wound care and telemetry. She has served as a member on many councils, such as the Nurse Executive Council with the American Health Care Association, the Nurse Council with the Texas Health Care Association and the National Council with the Good Samaritan Society.

Plante Moran Living Forward welcomes Joan Dubnicka as vice president

Joan Dubnicka has joined Plante Moran Living Forward, the senior living development consulting division of Plante Moran Cresa and an affiliated entity of Plante Moran, as vice president. 

In her new position, Dubnicka will be in charge of providing financial, strategic and marketing planning services to the company’s senior living clients. 

Before joining PMLF, she worked at Sawgrass Partners, where she primarily served not-for-profit senior living communities. In her 23-year career, she has served clients through healthcare auditing, consulting and senior living consulting. She has also owned and managed her own business and has served as a small business advisor.

Solstice Senior Living hires Lisa Amber as regional director of sales and marketing

Lisa Amber headshot
Lisa Amber

Lisa Amber has been hired by Solstice Senior Living as regional director of sales and marketing for the company’s South region. 

In her new role, Amber will spearhead initiatives for 10 of the company’s 32 communities in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Texas. She has almost 15 years of senior living industry experience and has led sales and marketing efforts for many senior living communities across the country. 

Previously, Amber was an assistant vice president of sales and marketing for Allegro Living’s South Florida region. There, she directed marketing initiatives for several companies, assessed market trends to ensure a competitive advantage, and trained sales teams.

LeadingAge PA hires Jennifer Caldwell as executive assistant

Jennifer Caldwell headshot
Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer Caldwell will join LeadingAge PA, Mechanicsburg, PA, as executive assistant.

Caldwell has almost a decade of experience in the aging services field. For the past eight years, she was a sales and marketing move-in coordinator for Bethany Village. There, she was responsible for cultivating relationships with residents and families to foster smooth transitions to senior living. She also was in charge of welcoming new hires, leading orientations and instilling knowledge of policies to help new staff succeed at the company. 

She has almost 20 years of administrative experience, including human resources, accounting and executive leadership support.

Charles E. Smith Life Communities brings on three 

Jeffrey S. Puretz has been announced as the chair of the board of governors for Charles E. Smith Life Communities, Rockville, MD. 

Before joining the company, Puerz was a partner at Dechert LLP. There, he led its financial services group until he retired in 2018. He has a variety of expertise in investment management matters for mutual funds, investment advisers and insurance companies. 

In addition to his new position, Puretz is an adjunct faculty member at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. There, he served on the board of visitors, and was chair for three years.

During the 111th annual meeting of the board of directors, the company brought on several officers for a two-year term: Natalie S. West, chair-elect; Eric G. Meyers, immediate past chair; Harry A. Harrison, vice chair, finance committee/treasurer; Mitchell A. Yentis, secretary; Irving P. Cohen, vice chair, audit committee; Alison S. Baraf, vice chair, resource development committee; Kenneth H. Becker, vice chair, strategic planning committee; and Paula H. Robinson, vice chair, quality of care committee. 

Five New Directors have been elected to the Argentum Board of Directors

Five new directors have been elected to serve on the board of directors of Alexandria, VA-based Argentum

The new directors are Cindy Baier, president and CEO, Brookdale Senior Living; Jack Callison, CEO, Sunrise Senior Living; Tana Gall, president, Merrill Gardens; Mary Ellen Pisanelli, senior vice president, legal and administration, Welltower; and Aaron Webb, CEO, CHI Living Communities. 

Jewish HomeLife’s chief operating officer receives national award

Jeffrey A. Gopen, LNHA, DPT, who is CEO of Jewish HomeLife, Atlanta, has won the Professional of the Year Award presented by the Association of Jewish Aging Services. 

The award is given annually to an outstanding AJAS member professional who “reflects the highest standards of knowledge and expertise, shows exceptional leadership and is highly respected by staff, residents and families served.”

Over the past year, Gopen led the company’s Incident Command Center; its COVID-19 task force, which managed the organization’s pandemic response; as well as infection control efforts. Under Gopen’s skilled leadership, Jewish HomeLife has also been able to give COVID-19 testing and PPE procurement for other Jewish agencies and day schools in the Greater Atlanta area.

Along with receiving the Professional of the Year Award, Gopen has also been elected treasurer of the board for the Georgia Center for Assisted Living.