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People in the news, Oct. 18

McKnights Senior Living


Retirement Unlimited Inc. names Melissa Locke chief HR officer

Melissa Locke has been named chief human resources officer at Retirement Unlimited Inc. She will be focused on elevating strategic HR practices and aligning the organization in human resources, payroll and benefits.

Locke has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and more than a decade focused on senior living in the healthcare field. In her previously roles, she was vice president of human resources for several senior living communities, include independent living, assisted living and memory care as well as skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, where she served more than 4,000 employees and almost 3,800 older adults. She led her previous employer to become Great Place to Work certified and in 2022 ranking No. 8 on the Fortune Best Workplaces in Aging Services list of large companies.

Locke also held various human resources roles for Americare Senior Living, Life Care Centers of America HomeHealth, Georgia-Pacific, Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Hardwick Clothes.

Locke earned her undergraduate degree from Bryan College. She is also a global career development facilitator certified through the Center for Credentialing and Education, a subsidiary of the National Board for Certified Counselors. She also is certified as a parenting and consumer education facilitator and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Locke holds several professional certificates and is trained in areas such as HR compliance, policy and procedure, Americans with Disabilities Act, employee benefits and compensation, employment law, workers compensation and executive coaching and leadership training and professional development.

AlerisLife announces appointment of Philip Benjamson as SVP and COO

Philip Benjamson has been appointed senior vice president and chief operating officer of AlerisLife

Benjamson has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the senior living, hospitality and multifamily industries, and most recently served as vice president of senior housing operations for Trinity Health Senior Communities.

Retirement Housing Foundation welcomes Yuri Escandon and Andre Perry as new executive team members

RHF (Retirement Housing Foundation) has hired a new vice president of affordable housing operations and a vice president and chief operating officer.


Yuri Escandon joined the RHF Team as vice president of affordable housing operations. Escandon brings 20 years of experience in nonprofit affordable housing management. He is a licensed California real estate broker and is continuing his education at the Davis School of Gerontology.

Andre Perry joined RHF as vice president and chief operating officer. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of real estate development, affordable housing finance, nonprofit management law, and real estate finance, and most recently served as manager of the proposition HHH Unit and Multifamily Tax-Exempt Bond Unit for the city of Los Angeles’s Housing Department. He holds a law degree from Wayne State University Law School and university honors degrees in Economics and Mathematics from Wayne State University.

Carroll Lutheran Village announces Peter Bolt as new executive director

Peter Bolt has been named the new executive director at Carroll Lutheran Village

Bolt is a licensed nursing home administrator with over 25 years of senior living experience. He holds an undergraduate degree in healthcare management and a master’s degree in economics.

Morning Pointe of Danville names Sarah Mills as new executive director

Sarah Mills has been named the new executive director of Morning Pointe of Danville, Kentucky

Mills comes to Morning Pointe from Stanford Care and Rehabilitation in Stanford, KY, where she served for 13 years. She earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Kentucky, one in social work and one in integrated strategic communications.

12 Oaks Senior Living adds three to solutions team

Nesley Fortenberry, Amy Hoster and Jayme Tapia have been hired as sales consultants by 12 Oaks Senior Living

Fortenberry brings 10 years of senior living experience to the role.

Tapia brings more than a decade of combined experience in senior housing, multifamily housing, new developments, and restaurants. She is a graduate of West Texas A&M University.

Hoster brings with her more than three decades of professional experience in directing sales, marketing, and business development initiatives in senior housing. She received her undergraduate degree in business management, sales and marketing.

LifeCare Properties COO Jeremy Cole completes Harvard real estate program

COO Jeremy Cole of LifeCare Properties now is an alum of Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate. 

The AMDP is an executive development program in real estate held over the course of a year. At the end, participants receive a certificate of completion and are granted full alumni status at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and associate member status within the Harvard Alumni Association. 

NCAL 2022-2023 board members elected at annual convention

Gerald Hamilton, co-owner of BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque in New Mexico, has been re-elected as chair of the National Center for Assisted Living Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 term. He also will serve as the NCAL representative on the American Health Care Association Board of Governors.

“Furthering our assisted living profession at a national level is a significant commitment, and we are grateful to the NCAL Board of Directors for their unwavering service,” NCAL Executive Director LaShuan Bethea said. “We look forward to their insight and collaboration this coming year.”  

Other officers on the board:

  • Vice Chair: Mark Maxfield of The Cottages, Idaho

  • Secretary/treasurer: Sarah Silva of Avamere Health Services, Oregon

  • Immediate Past Chair: Helen Crunk of Pemberly Place, Nebraska

At-large representatives:

  • Paula Adams of Sunrise Senior Living, Virgina

  • John Bolduc of Odd Fellows’ and Rebekahs’ Home of Maine, Maine

  • Megan Campbell of IntegraCare Corp., Pennsylvania

  • David Chensvold of Healthcare of Iowa, Iowa

  • Ana de la Cerda of Aegis Living, Washington

  • Darryl Fisher of Mission Senior Living, Nevada

  • Esmerelda Lee of Century Park Associates, Tennessee

  • Barbara Mitchell of Magnolia Manor, Georgia

  • Jessica Pelligrino Tsoukalas of Bridgeway Senior Healthcare, New Jersey

  • Julie Simpkins of Gardant Management Solutions, Indiana

  • Jennifer Svoboda of Arete Living, Oregon

  • Elizabeth Wheatley of Benchmark Senior Living, Massachusetts

  • Kristopher Woolley of Avista Senior Living, Arizona

Additional board members:

  • AHCA Chair: Phil Fogg of Marquis Companies, Oregon

  • AHCA Vice Chair: Phil Scalo of Bartley Healthcare, New Jersey

  • Associate Business Member Representative: Peter Corless of OnShift

  • State Affiliate Representative: Doug Farmer of the Colorado Health Care Association

  • State Affiliate Representative: Zachary Shamberg of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association

  • ASHCAE Vice President: David Voepel of the Arizona Health Care Association

Members of the NCAL Board of Directors are elected by current members of the NCAL board and by the NCAL state leaders. The board holds its annual elections at the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo.

American Healthcare REIT hires Conor Wagner as new head of investor relations

Conor Wagner has joined American Healthcare REIT as senior vice president of investor relations and finance. 

Prior to joining American Healthcare REIT, Wagner was vice president of finance for Donahue Schriber Realty Group. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Health Dimensions Group unveils new additions to HR and consulting teams

Julia Eiland has joined Health Dimensions Group as vice president of consulting, people and culture; Ericka Heid has been promoted to senior vice president of people and culture and Sarah Friede has been promoted to senior vice president of recruitment services.

Eiland has 20 years of experience leading initiatives in areas of cultural transformation, organizational change, talent management and leadership development. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and an MBA with concentration in human resources and management from the Indiana Institute of Technology.

Before joining HDG, Friede served in several leadership roles with Brookdale Senior Living communities, ranging from business office manager to HR director and executive director. She received an undergraduate degree at University of Minnesota Duluth and an MBA from the College of Saint Scholastica.

Heid has experience in all human resources functions including organizational change and development, recruitment and sourcing strategies, employee engagement, professional development and labor relations. She earned her undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State University and is a certified senior professional in human resources from the HR Certification Institute.

Perkins Eastman promotes 131 employees from associate to principal

Perkins Eastman announced the elevation of 131 members of its staff this year. The company also unveiled the promotions of 45 individuals to senior associates and 53 to associates.

See the complete list here.

Attane names new CEO, CCO

Scott Kokotan and Lisa Pearre have been hired as CEO and chief client officer, respectively, at Attane

Kokotan has served as Attane’s chief financial and development officer since March 2019. Pearre brings 20 years of senior living marketing experience to Attane. 

MyndVR announces addition of Robin Viles as SVP of Clinical Operations

Robin Viles has been announced as senior vice president of clinical operations for MyndVR.

The role will expand MyndVR’s capabilities in rehabilitation, therapy and skilled nursing, according to the company. 

Tandem Senior Living Advisors announces David Caudle’s promotion to Partner

David Caudle, executive creative director of Tandem Senior Living Advisors, has been promoted to partner. 

Caudle joined Spectrum Consultants in 2019 and was instrumental in helping to launch the rebranding of Spectrum to Tandem Senior Living Advisors.

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