Covenant Retirement Communities names CFO, COO

Jody Holt (pictured, top) has joined Skokie, IL-based Covenant Retirement Communities as chief financial officer, and Janine Wilson is the new chief operating officer.

Holt, a certified public accountant, brings to her position more than 28 years of experience in both the public and private sectors and will work closely with CRC leadership on major strategic and operational issues while providing oversight on all financial and planning functions.

She comes to CRC after serving as CFO for a leading global provider of high-speed internet. In addition, she has served on the CRC board of directors. She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

Wilson has more than 30 years of experience in operations, change management and resource development. As COO, she will oversee campus operations on CRC’s 12 senior living communities across the country, along with Lean Six Sigma, risk management and purchasing. She is a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma, a certified public accountant and certified project manager. Wilson has an MBA in strategic planning degree and an undergraduate degree in business and engineering from the University of Toledo.

Covenant Retirement Communities serves 5,000 residents at 15 retirement communities in 10 states and offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

Melissa Boatwright named director of clinical support for Legacy Senior Living

Melissa Boatwright has joined Legacy Senior Living, the Cleveland, TN-based management company of assisted living and memory care facilities, as director of clinical support.

“She will be visiting each Legacy Senior Living facility to better train and support the resident care directors and frontline caregivers,” said Bryan Cook, chief operating officer of Legacy Senior Living.

Boatwright began her Legacy Senior Living career in 2015 as director of resident care of Legacy Village at Park Regency in Moultrie, GA, where she was tasked with ensuring the highest quality of care and well-being for residents and employees of the community. In July 2016, she was promoted to executive director of Legacy Village at Park Regency.

Boatwright also initiated quality assurance calls for each of the Legacy Senior Living communities.

Boatwright is a licensed RN in Georgia and Alabama. She earned her associate of science degree in nursing in 2010 and an associate degree in applied science in microcomputers in 2006.

Jennifer McElhaney named regional director of operations for Century Park

Jennifer McElhaney recently was named regional director of operations for Century Park Associates’ Mountain Region, which encompasses nine senior living communities in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.

She bases her operations out of Aurora, CO, and travels to the various communities to provide support.

McElhaney has worked in the senior living field for 25 years, most recently serving as regional director for Juniper Communities in Colorado and Florida for two and a half years. Before that position, she was executive director for Juniper Village at Aurora, CO, for five years. She earned her nursing degree from Northwest Technical College in Minnesota.

With headquarters in Cleveland, TN, Century Park Associates manages more than 40 senior living communities in 20 states.

Tina Newman named executive director at Dominion Senior Living of Richmond

Tina Newman has been named executive director at Dominion Senior Living of Richmond, Richmond, KY. The community, currently under construction, will be Knoxville, TN-based Dominion Senior Living’s first personal care home in Kentucky.

In her new role, Newman will lead the personal care and memory care community in all areas, including developing partnerships in Richmond and building bonds with future residents and family members. She currently is reviewing resumes to fill several leadership positions at the community.

Newman has ministered to seniors for more than 30 years with her husband, Sam, an education and discipleship minister at First Baptist Church in Richmond. She also has professional experience and education as a social worker.

Newman earned her undergraduate degree later in life from Eastern Kentucky University and went on to receive her master’s degree in social work from Asbury University. She also was the founder and CEO of MAD (Make a Difference) Marketplace, an online retail site where consumers’ purchases gave back to nonprofits around the world.

Charles Johnson appointed executive director at Covenant Village of Turlock

Charles Johnson has been appointed executive director at Covenant Village of Turlock, a continuing care retirement community in Turlock, CA, operated by Covenant Retirement Communities. He succeeds Robert T. Howell, who was appointed executive director at The Samarkand, a sister community in Santa Barbara, CA.

Johnson oversees all operations at the senior living community, which serves 340 residents in 227 apartments, 52 assisted living units and a 50-bed skilled nursing facility. He manages a staff of 155 and reports to Thad Rothrock, CRC’s regional director of operations.

Johnson has more than a dozen years of healthcare management experience in the senior living industry. He joined CRC in 2004 as the residential administrator at Covenant Village of Turlock. He served as the executive director and administrator at Covenant Village of Florida for four years before returning to Covenant Village of Turlock in 2013 as the community’s associate executive director. Previously, he worked in education administration and publishing.

A graduate of Westmont College of Santa Barbara, CA, Johnson has an undergraduate degree in English and history. He earned a Master of Arts degree at Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, and school administrative credentials from Azusa Pacific University.

Jennifer Renee Mallo, Michael Zywicki named executive directors at Anthem Memory Care

Anthem Memory Care has named two executive directors.

Jennifer Renee Mallo has been named executive director of Harvester Place in Burr Ridge, IL. A certified dementia practitioner, she previously was director of sales for Brighton Gardens of St. Charles.

Mallo has held positions with Heartland Hospice, School Health Corporation and Eden Village Retirement Community, all in Illinois. She received a master of public health policy administration degree from Benedictine University and has an undergraduate degree in community health education from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Michael Zywicki has been appointed executive director for Emerald Place, scheduled to open in October in Glenview, IL.

Zywicki previously was administrator of the dementia care community Silverado Highland Park in Illinois and also has served as administrator for Appledorn Assisted Living Center and Robbinswood Assisted Living Center, both in Michigan. He is a graduate of Alma College.

Dan Fazekas is new director of nursing at The Springs at Monarch Landing

Dan Fazekas is the new director of nursing at The Springs at Monarch Landing a life plan community in Naperville, IL, that is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services.

Fazekas first came to The Springs in October as MDS coordinator, managing resident data for Medicare. He has more than 28 years of experience in what is his second career. His first career was carpentry.

Nursing, Fazekas said, is a better fit. “I love helping people, and I was tired of falling off roofs,” he said.

Before joining The Springs, Fazekas worked in various settings, including 20 years at DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing.

Latasha Jones promoted to director of continuing care at Eagle’s Trace

Latasha Jones has been promoted to director of continuing care at Eagle’s Trace, an Erickson Living continuing care retirement community in Houston.

In her new role, she will oversee daily health and wellness services with the goal of achieving high-quality experiences for residents and their families through a personal care model reflecting the community’s core values.

With 210 employees, the continuing care neighborhood of Eagle’s Trace features 112 suites/residences, including assisted living, memory care, post-acute rehabilitation and nursing care services.

Jones brings seven years of senior living experience to her new leadership position. She began her career at Eagle’s Trace in 2015 as assisted living and memory care manager before being promoted to assistant administrator in July 2016. Previously, Jones served as an assistant executive director and a director of social services at two healthcare facilities in Dallas.

She has an undergraduate degree from Texas Women’s University and a master’s degree in social work from Texas A&M Commerce. A licensed nursing home administrator in Texas, Jones is a member of the Texas Board of Social Workers.

Mariola Rodriguez promoted to community relations director at Watercrest Senior Living

Mariola Rodriguez has been promoted to community relations director of Market Street Memory Care Residences in Viera, FL, a 60-unit community designed, owned and operated by Watercrest Senior Living Group.

Rodriguez brings 11 years of senior living experience to Market Street. She was memory care director in both Watercrest Lake Nona Assisted Living and Memory Care and Market Street Memory Care Residences in Viera, FL.

She holds a master’s degree in gerontology, holds a certificate as an Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care trainer through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and is a support group facilitator for the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Jim Tallman named director of dining at Devonshire at PGA National

Jim Tallman has been named director of dining at Devonshire at PGA National, an Erickson Living retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Tallman previously worked at Marriott Hotels’ signature properties as director of restaurants, including the San Diego Marriott Marquis and the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk. Before joining the Devonshire team, Tallman spent six years with Tommy Bahama Restaurants.

Avera announces retirement of Avera McKennan top administrator

Dave Kapaska, DO, regional president and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, part of Sioux Falls, SD-based Avera Health, will retire June 30.

Kapaska has served as regional president and CEO of Avera McKennan since October 2010. His regional span included long-term care facilities, the 545-bed tertiary hospital in Sioux Falls, 14 community hospitals, more than 70 primary and specialty care clinics, and fitness and sports centers. Kapaska also sat on the Avera Health Operations Council.

Kapaska is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and went on to earn his MBA degree from Southern Illinois University and medical degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines, IA. He served as pilot in the U.S. Air Force before embarking on a career in both business and medicine. After spending 10 years in family practice, Kapaska assumed various hospital administrative roles, including chief medical officer and senior vice president of medical affairs at Avera McKennan.

David Flicek, chief administrative officer of Avera Medical Group, has been named his successor and will assume leadership duties beginning July 1; Flicek also will maintain his current role with Avera Medical Group.  

Flicek has led the Avera Medical Group since its inception in 2008. Previously, he served as senior vice president of clinic operations at Avera McKennan. He has been with Avera for 20 years and previously worked at Allina Health Systems in the Twin Cities. He holds an undergraduate degree in health administration from the University of South Dakota.

Avera Health includes 40 senior living facilities, six regional health centers, 28 community hospitals, more than 200 clinic locations, two health insurance companies, a telehealth operation and a multi-state home care agency. Avera Health has healthcare facilities across five states and provides virtual health services in 15 states.

Terri DeBoever named associate executive director at La Costa Glen

Terri DeBoever has joined Carlsbad, CA, continuing care retirement community La Costa Glen as associate executive director.

A member of the senior management team, she oversees the community’s food and beverage services, environmental services, resident services and activities departments. She also meets regularly with the Resident Council and various resident committees.

DeBoever brings 25 years of experience in senior living to the position. She previously served as executive director and nursing home administrator at a Brookdale San Juan Capistrano, where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire campus and supervised 18 department managers and 125 associates.

DeBoever also served as director of business services/assistant executive director at the Covington, a CCRC in Aliso Viejo, CA. A longtime member of the Covington management team, she joined the community before it opened and was responsible for establishing the business office and training the staff. In addition, she was director of the business office for Freedom Village, a CCRC in Lake Forest, CA, with 450 residents and 275 staff members.

DeBoever is a licensed nursing home administrator and a licensed retirement community for the elderly administrator. She earned an undergraduate degree in health administration with a specialty in long-term care from University of Phoenix and is a member of the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Colleen Krupp joins Wesley Woods at New Albany as marketing coordinator

Colleen Krupp has joined Wesley Woods at New Albany, a Methodist Eldercare Services’ community in New Albany, OH, as a marketing coordinator.

She will be responsible for educating the community about continuing care retirement communities, serving as a liaison for inquiries and building community relations.

Krupp brings more than 20 years of experience in assisted living and skilled nursing administration, sales and marketing at a variety of retirement communities, including Methodist Eldercare’s Wesley Ridge property.

Krupp earned both undergraduate and master’s degrees in business administration at Ohio Dominican University.

The first phase of Wesley Woods opened in December and offers detached, villa-style cottages with attached two-car garages and apartments on 37.8 acres alongside a nature preserve. The entire new development is slated to open later this year.

NAAP bestows 2017 awards

The National Association of Activity Professionals recently bestowed its 2017 awards:

  • Annette Gunnerson (pictured) of the Annandale Care Center, Annandale, MN, was named Activity Professional of the Year.
  • Anthony Fenstad of Country Manor, Sartell, MN, received the Quality of Excellence award.
  • Erica DeVogelaere of DeMay Living Center, Newark, NY, was named Rising Star.

Alex Lyle named Assisted Living Nurse of the Year by Washington Health Care Association

Alex Lyle RN, BSN, a nurse who works at Aegis Living, has been named Assisted Living Nurse of the Year by the Washington Health Care Association. There were almost 100 nominations for the honor.

She will receive the award May 24 during the WHCA Annual Convention. It recognizes innovation, achievement, compassion and high-quality healthcare focusing on assisted living community residents.

Lyle, who has been in nursing for five years, is health services director at Aegis of Queen Anne at Rodgers Park, an assisted living and memory care community in Seattle. She also served as health services director at Aegis Lodge in Kirkland, WA.

“Alex is a compassionate nurse who contributes big-picture ideas to the company to benefit all of our 2,000 residents across the Western United States,” said Aegis Living President Judy Meleliat. “Her enterprising idea for strengthening Aegis Living’s incident-reporting process supports our efforts to deliver best-in-class service to each and every one of our residents.”

Kathy Stewart, Aegis Living vice president of nursing and care, said: “This is a well-deserved honor. Alex is outstanding in how she uses her clinical leadership skills to contribute to the broader community and facilitate family-centered care.”

“I’m speechless,” Lyle said of receiving the honor. “My relationship with residents is everything. The most rewarding thing is when they come to you because you’re the one they trust.”

Watercrest Lake Nona Executive Chef Manny Navarro wins burger competition

Manny Navarro, executive chef of Watercrest of Lake Nona, an assisted living and memory care community in Vero Beach, FL, was awarded first place for most creative burger at the recent Nona Chamber Festival Burger Showdown.

Navarro beat seven other contestants with his Bacon Jam Slider with smoked Gouda cheese, yellow tomato, arugula and guacamole spread wowed the judges. He prepared more than 200 burgers at the event.

Navarro also placed first at the 10th Annual Senior Living Options Chef’s Competition in 2016. A graduate of Disney’s Culinary Academy, he joined the Watercrest of Lake Nona team in December 2015 as director of dining services and head chef.

Chef Torrey Hill wins cook-off

Chef Torrey Hill won the title Master Chef and a $50 gift certificate by winning a Chef Cook-Off held at Bistro at Tallgrass Creek, an Erickson Living retirement community in Overland Park, KS.

Almost 100 people attended this event, which saw Hill compete against Chef Andy Ward (shown here being judged by Executive Director Jean Landreville). Both chefs were provided a mystery bag consisting of three items that needed to be included in their dishes: a beef tenderloin that needed to be trimmed and cut, sweet potatoes and bok choy.

Hill’s dish was seared beef tenderloin with smoked shrimp, mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed bok choy. Ward’s dish was seared beef tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes and Southern-style bok choy.

Resident Jean Hershey assisted Ward, and resident Wanda Schwartz assisted Hill. Executive Director Jean Landreville and resident Karen Cox judged the event. The chefs’ dishes were judged based on taste, presentation and sanitation.

“This event helped give the chefs some exposure to the residents since the residents don’t always get the chance to see who cooks their food every day,” said Dining General Manager Katharine Taylor. “It was also an opportunity for the chefs to show off their skills to the rest of the staff and the residents.”

Brian M. Szames appointed to AdCare Board of Directors

Brian M. Szames was appointed an independent director of AdCare Health Systems, a self-managed healthcare real estate investment company that invests primarily in senior living and long-term care real estate, effective May 1.

Szames has been an officer and treasurer of three separate public companies. He was group vice president and treasurer of Macy’s (formerly known as Federated Department Stores) for 17 years before retiring in 2016. In that capacity, he managed multi-billion dollar debt and investment portfolios and was responsible for the company’s corporate finance activities, capital structure and business plan development, pension and savings plans, financial risk management and cash management.

Prior to Macy’s, he was vice president and treasurer at Fingerhut Companies (acquired by  Federated in 1999), vice president and treasurer at Footstar (spin-off from Melville) from 1996 to 1998, and assistant treasurer at Melville Corp. (now known as CVS) from 1992 to 1996.

Szames earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Ohio State University and an MBA from Temple University.

Gloryann Koester named Resident of the Year by Nebraska Assisted Living Association

Gloryann Koester, a resident at Brookdale Wayne, Wayne, NE, received the 2017 Nebraska Assisted Living Association Resident of the Year Award at the group’s conference at end of April.

The award recognizes individuals deemed to contribute to the well-being of fellow residents and help improve the quality of life in their communities in one or more of the following areas: resident and/or staff potential, overall impact on residents, residents’ families and/or staff, role in activities and length and frequency of involvement in activities.

“Gloryann is very deserving of this honor,” said Brookdale Wayne Executive Director Sarah Peitz. “She’s an inspiration to everyone she comes in contact with. Her beautiful smile and heart brightens everyone’s day.”

Koester, national sales director emeritus with Mary Kay cosmetics, has been a resident at Brookdale Wayne for more than two years. At Brookdale Wayne, she has developed the “Laughing Hats & Rusty Zippers” club, through which she and her daughter facilitate an activity each month. Residents come ready to work, play, clap, laugh and share a hug or two.

“Gloryann has impacted all of our lives,” said Mara Lee, a medication aide at Brookdale Wayne. “She always makes me feel loved, no matter how she is feeling. She makes me rethink how I act and that if she can be positive, even in her circumstances, I can be positive and bring joy to others, too.”

Charlestown resident inducted into Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame

Anna Steffen, a resident of Erickson Living’s Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville, MD, was inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame on May 12. The honor recognizes her accomplishments on the field and other contributions she has made to the game of soccer.

Steffen served as general manager of the Baltimore Kickers Soccer Club and also headed community outreach during the formative years of the Major Arena Soccer League World Champion Baltimore Blast. She is the first non-player ever to be inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame.

Fox Run resident honored for humanitarian, military service

Donald “Hoppy” Hanson a resident of Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, MI, recently was honored for his humanitarian and military service.

Navy Admiral James McNeal thanked him for his work with Project Handclasp. Hanson, a retired U.S. Navy commander, along with his late wife Jan, founded the project, which delivers food, clothing and medical supplies on Navy ships to those in need worldwide.

Hanson also received a special tribute from the state of Michigan honoring his service in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. State Sen. Mike Kowall presented the legislative citation.

Hanson once returned from a mission with more than 300 holes in his plane from enemy fire, according to Erickson. He had a penchant for flying low, earning the nickname “Hoppy” from fellow pilots.

K4Connect appoints chief financial officer

Ellen Grantham has joined Raleigh, NC-based technology company K4Connect as chief financial officer.

Grantham, who was named CFO of the Year in 2016 by Triangle Business Journal, will report directly to F. Scott Moody, co-Founder, CEO and chief client advocate of K4Connect.

Grantham has more than 15 years of business and financial services experience in both large enterprise and the high-growth startup markets. In her role as CFO at K4Connect, she will be responsible for managing all financial operations, enabling the company to drive growth and market leadership.

Before joining K4Connect, Grantham served as the CFO of WebAssign, where she worked directly with the president and CEO to develop long-range strategy and growth plans, helped create the operational framework and leadership team to fuel revenue growth, scaled personnel, and positioned WebAssign for an acquisition. She also formed an employee stock ownership plan to meet needs related to succession planning, employee engagement, tax planning and provide a structure aligned with founder’s vision and objectives.

Grantham earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Meredith College. She is pursuing a certification in the Results Coaching System, a science-based coaching methodology designed to help facilitate change by improving thinking.

Katie Roper named VP of healthcare strategy and partnerships for Home Care Assistance

Katie Roper has been named vice president of healthcare strategy and partnerships for Palo Alto, CA-based in-home care provider Home Care Assistance. It’s a new position for the company.

Roper will be responsible for developing national partnerships that leverage Home Care Assistance’s home care insight and expertise and expand its healthcare service capacity and value.

Before joining Home Care Assistance, Roper was vice president of sales and marketing for, where she interacted with the full spectrum of aging-related services, from assisted living to insurance payers. She has spent more than a decade in the caregiving industry after earlier success in several Silicon Valley technology startups.

Roper graduated from Harvard University and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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