Ray Fisher joins LifeSpire of Virginia as COO

Ray Fisher is the new chief operating officer at LifeSpire of Virginia, which manages four continuing care retirement communities throughout Virginia.

In his new role, Fisher will be responsible for directing overall operations in LifeSpire’s four communities through leadership, management and vision. His expected start date is Nov. 27.

Fisher has more than 25 years of experience at the executive level within the context of large for-profit firms and senior living organizations. He has been involved in senior living since 2001, during which time he has held positions as CFO, CEO and adviser. He has been part of many senior living expansion projects, the most recent involving the creation of a nationally recognized short-term recovery and rehab center. As CEO, he led the turnaround of a mid-size CCRC and the creation and operation of a nationally recognized 48-bed rehab and wellness center.

Fisher is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA, and he earned a master’s degree in finance from the University of Baltimore. He has been an instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia’s Darden School and the University of Baltimore. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Virginia Society of CPAs.

Pam Engle now a senior vice president at New Perspective Senior Living

Pam Engle, a former vice president at Brookdale Senior Living, has joined Minneapolis-based  New Perspective Senior Living as senior vice president of people and administration.

In her new role, Engle will be responsible for co-leading — with Tracy McGraw, vice president of human resources — the strategic planning and consistent implementation of all facets of the human resources and administrative functions across the organization.

Engle is a 20 year veteran of Emeritus/Brookdale. Most recently, she held the position of vice president of total rewards at Brookdale; before holding that title, she was senior vice president of benefits, compensation and risk management at Emeritus. Over the years, Engle has held a variety of roles including executive director, regional director of operations and divisional finance director.

Engle earned her MBA from Southern Oregon University and her undergraduate degree from California State University, Stanislaus. She is a certified benefits professional and a certified compensation professional. Engle also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Council on Employee Benefits and is a member of the Argentum Human Resources Executive Roundtable.

Frank Muraca joins Covenant as SVP of business and project development

Frank Muraca has been named to the new position of senior vice president of business and project development at Skokie, IL-based Covenant Retirement Communities.

In his new role, he will lead strategies related to the growth and expansion for CRC’s 15 retirement communities as well as potential acquisitions and affiliations.

Muraca joins CRC with more than 20 years of senior living development experience. He previously was the president of a national owners’ representative firm and has served as a manager at architectural firms specializing in senior living environments. Throughout his career, he directed business strategy for national, multi-site senior provider organizations and has developed or repositioned more than 3,000 housing units for life plan communities nationwide.

Muraca has an undergraduate degree in classical civilization from Loyola University of Chicago and a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Jacqueline Smith now VP of operations at Cadence Senior Living

Jacqueline Smith has joined the Cadence Senior Living management team as vice president of operations. She brings more that 20 years of experience in senior living operations to the Scottsdale, AZ-based company.

She and Tracy Colburn, formerly of Atria Senior Living, will be principally responsible for implementing Cadence’s “rhythm of life” into its growing portfolio of communities, according to Rob Leinbach, principal at Cadence Senior Living.

Before joining Cadence, Smith was the vice president of operations for Stonecrest Senior Living Management, where she was responsible for all of Stonecrest’s portfolio operations.  She also formerly held operational as well as sales and marketing roles at Integral Senior Living, Merrill Gardens, Life Care Services and Capital Senior Living.

Todd DeLaney named executive director of Cedar Crest

Todd DeLaney has been named the new executive director of Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living continuing care retirement community in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. He assumed this leadership role on Oct. 25.

In his new leadership position at Cedar Crest, DeLaney will oversee daily operations at the 130-acre community, whose 1,800 residents are served by 950 employees.

Since 2005, DeLaney has held a variety of leadership positions at multiple Erickson Living communities. Most recently, he served as executive director and associate director at Seabrook, a sister community located in Tinton Falls, NJ. Before Seabrook, he worked as the director of continuing care and associate executive director at Brooksby Village in Peabody, MA. He also was a regional operations manager for Erickson Living at the corporate headquarter in Catonsville, MD, and a project manager at Cedar Crest.

DeLaney received his MBA in healthcare administration from Seton Hall University and an undergraduate degree from Springfield College.

Kevin Root promoted to EVP at Church Mutual

Kevin Root has been promoted to the position of executive vice president of operations at Merrill, WI-based Church Mutual Insurance Co.

In his new role, Root will provide direction for the company and aim to position Church Mutual and its family of companies for continued success and expansion into new markets and segments.

Root joined Church Mutual in September 2012 as vice president and chief financial officer and was promoted to senior vice president of operations in January 2016. He is a member of the board of directors for CM Vantage Specialty Insurance Company, CM Regent Insurance Company and CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company foundation.

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