People in the news, July 6 – Companies

Covenant Woods appoints Thom Wright president and CEO

Thom Wright

Thom Wright has been appointed by the board of directors of Covenant Woods, Mechanicsville, VA, as president and CEO, effective Aug. 2. He will suceed John Dwyer, who served as president and CEO since 2013.

Wright has 20 years of experience in senior living. Currently, he is the CEO of a two-campus nonprofit senior living community in Massachusetts. 

He also has consulted, helping to develop, operate, re-brand and stabilize freestanding and multi-site independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled and sub-acute nursing accommodations.

Wright has a Ph.D. in organization management and an MBA in healthcare administration. 

ER Senior Management announces Chris Coates’ retirement, new CEO Brian Dowd

Chris Coates headshot
Chris Coates

Chris Coates, current CEO and president of ER Senior Management, Abilene, TX, retired July 1. He will continue to serve as principal and board member in the Evergreen Companies. 

Brian Dowd has succeeded him as CEO and adds those responsibilities to his roles as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Coates has a 48-year career in the senior housing field. Before co-founding the company, he was president and COO of American Retirement Corp. There, he helped take the company public via an initial public offering and helped grow the company to a $400 million owner/operator of 65 senior living properties. Those properties included many large entrance fee continuing care retirement communities, also known as life plan communities. 

Brian Dowd headshot
Brian Dowd

Coats also is the former board chairman for the American Seniors Housing Association and the Assisted Living Federation of America (now Argentum) and helped launch the first seniors housing political action committee. 

Dowd has more than 25 years of experience in the senior housing and commercial real estate finance and asset management fields. Throughout his career as an adviser, Dowd has been involved in commercial real estate and housing-related transactions in excess of $10 billion in asset management, first mortgage lending and loan restructures, and CCRC senior housing investments.

Arrow Senior Living announces 21 promotions

St. Charles, MO-based Arrow Senior Living has announced 21 promotions in 2021, affecting almost every department and expanding the executive leadership team.

Among those shifting to more senior roles:

  • Cassie Tweten, chief sales officer,
  • Justin Ladd, vice president of operations,
  • Rob Cain, vice president of compliance,
  • Hollie Walker, vice president of marketing,
  • Julie Mills, vice president of integration, and
  • Kayla Barlow, vice president of resident experience.

Tweten joined Arrow in 2010. The promotion recognizes the integral part she has played in developing and executing successful sales strategies throughout her tenure, according to the company.

Ladd will be leading Arrow’s team of regional directors and working to streamline all service areas.

Cain will be responsible for risk management and ensuring that regulatory standards are being met.

Walker, in her 20-year career, has worked on major marketing campaigns with international brands. In her new role, she will oversee Arrow’s marketing and branding strategies.

Mills joined Arrow Senior Living in 2014 as a project director. Among her new responsibilities, she will work to drive innovation by integrating data to try to ensure system efficiency.

Barlow, in her new role, will be responsible for enhancing programming to ensure that Arrow’s 30 communities maintain their status as great places to work and live.

Arrow also recently welcomed new executive directors Benjamin Massaro, Joshua Berger and Eric Aston to its Ohio portfolio.

Kendal Corp. promotes Laura Jones, Howard Braxton in marketing positions

Laura Jones

Laura Jones, former director of market research and strategy, has been named vice president of marketing and communications, and Howard Braxton, former director of marketing and sales, has been named vice president of marketing and sales at Kennett Square, PA-based Kendal Corp., the supporting organization for the Kendal System.

Jones, with more than 20 years of experience, started her career at Kendal-Crosslands Communities, a Kendal affiliate, where she served as an admissions and marketing assistant. In 2019, she returned to Kendal as the interim director of sales and marketing at another Kendal affiliate community, Kendal at Granville. Jones later joined the system’s corporate marketing and public relations team as the director of market research and strategy for the Kendal Corp.

Howard Braxton

Braxton has a career that spans three decades. Before joining Kendal, he served in both regional and corporate management capacities for organizations including Genesis HealthCare, Kindred Health Care and Acts Retirement–Life Communities. Braxton joined Kendal in 2017 as the director of sales and marketing.

The two will collaborate on developing overall sales, marketing and communication strategies for the Kendal System and will jointly oversee the Kendal Corp. Marketing and Public Relations Department. They also will have a sharper focus on their respective core responsibilities – communications, public relations, marketing, research and strategy for Jones and sales and marketing for Braxton – for Kendal Corp. and Kendal’s 14 affiliate communities.

Solvere Living promotes Philip Decyk to senior director

Philip Decyk has been promoted to senior director at The Homestead at Hamilton, NJ, by Solvere Living, St. Petersburg, Fla. 

Decyk previously was the director of marketing and assistant general manager at The Homestead and has worked with The Homestead leadership teams to add neighborhoods within the community and create a full care continuum. Before joining The Homestead, he was a sales specialist with the consulting arm of Solutions Advisors Group, a group of companies including Solvere Living.

Vivant Senior Living announces Carol Woolwine-Cadet as new administrator

Carol Woolwine headshot
Carol Woolwine

Carol Woolwine-Cadet has joined Vivant Senior Living, Maitland, FL, as administrator for the company’s memory care assisted living homes.

She will be responsible for managing the facility’s three memory care homes. She graduated from Cambridge Institute as a licensed practical nurse in 2016.

Woolwine-Cadet has more than 17 years of experience in healthcare and before her new role was a director of nursing and an administrator.

Ellison “Ellie” Chism has been appointed the community relations director of Fox Hollow Residential Care, Eugene, OR.

In her new role, she will be responsible for establishing and building community relationships. She also will provide facility tours to those interested, oversee the move-in experience and logistics for new residents, and she will respond to inquiries. 

Chism has almost a decade of experience in the field. Before joining the company, she worked as a social services assistant at the Regional Crisis Center Psychiatric Ward.

Ventana by Buckner brings on Dennis Briggs as culinary director

Dennis Briggs

Dennis Briggs has been appointed culinary director for Ventana by Buckner, Dallas. With 36 years of experience, he began overseeing the company’s restaurants and dining venues on July 5.

In his new role, Briggs will collaborate directly with chef Stephan Pyles to ensure the company’s chefs and dining associates execute Pyles’ signature dishes and culinary vision. 

Before joining Ventana, Briggs oversaw dining services at Texas senior living communities for two decades. Most recently, he was the director of food and nutrition services at Tribute Senior Living in Prosper, TX, as well as Grace Presbyterian Village in Dallas, TX. He also has served as vice president of food and nutrition services at Sears Methodist Retirement Services in Austin, TX.

Briggs holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in business from Howard University. He is a certified dementia practitioner and certified dietary manager.

Cindy Baier
Lucinda “Cindy” Baier

Nashville Health Care Council names Brookdale’s Baier to board

Lucinda “Cindy” Baier, Brookdale Senior Living president and CEO, has been named vice chair of the board of the Nashville Health Care Council for 2021-2022.

She will serve a two-year term, during which time she will help drive collaboration among local healthcare executives.

LeadingAge Minnesota announces upcoming retirement of President and CEO Gayle Kvenvold

Gayle Kvenvold

Gayle Kvenvold, long-time president and CEO of LeadingAge Minnesota, will retire at the end of this year, the association announced July 1.

Kvenvold has been with the organization — formerly known as Minnesota Health & Housing Alliance and then Aging Services of Minnesota — for 40 years, 32 of them in the top post.

“I have been inspired every day of my career by the caregivers and leaders who come to this work not as a job, but as a calling,” Kvenvold said, calling her tenure “the honor of a lifetime.”

Kvenvold’s service to long-term care has been recognized regionally and nationally, including her selection five times by Minnesota Physician magazine as one of Minnesota’s 100 most influential healthcare leaders. Recently, she was named by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of Minnesota’s most admired CEOs.

The LeadingAge Minnesota Board of Directors has begun a national search for her successor.

Haven Senior Investments welcomes John Gonzales

John Gonzales has joined Haven Senior Investments of Dallas. He will be in charge of the consulting and managed services team, where he will work to drive revenue and serve the senior living industry.

Gonzales has more than three decades of experience in the senior housing industry and has held a succession of facility, regional and corporate-level positions. His past titles include executive director, director of marketing, regional marketer, director of operations, vice president of operations and chief operating officer. 

Gonzales has worked in independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.

Berkadia adds Stephanie Anderson as SVP, head of seniors housing and healthcare operations

Stephanie Anderson has joined Berkadia as SVP, head of Berkadia seniors housing and healthcare operations. Based in Boston, she will work alongside SVP and Head of FHA and Berkadia Seniors Housing Finance Steve Ervin.

Anderson brings more than 25 year of experience in senior housing to the role. Before joining Berkadia, she was the national sales director at Housing & Healthcare Finance. She has held executive level roles with Health Care REIT (now Welltower), GE Healthcare Finance and Ventas.

Anderson has served on the boards of Genesis, the American Seniors Housing Association and the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. She earned her undergraduate degree from Auburn University and her MBA from Georgia State University.

JB Snodgrass
JB Snodgrass

iN2L names new CFO, COO

JB Snodgrass has been named chief financial officer, and Skip Hanson has been named chief operating officer, at person-centered digital engagement solution provider iN2L. They will report to CEO Lisa Taylor.

Snodgrass most recently was with Vrbo, an Expedia Group company. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading iN2L’s finance organization and supporting the company’s financial strength, as well as organic and inorganic growth.

Skip Hanson
Skip Hanson

Hanson formerly was president and chief administrative officer at West Corp. (now Intrado). During his more than 18-year tenure there, he established strategic, cultural, and leadership improvements to increase revenues. At iN2L, Hanson will lead the transformation and alignment of key functional areas and direct the newly created strategic business development and partnerships team.

Send your personnel news to Lois Bowers at [email protected]

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