Opening Keynote Speaker:

Jonathan Fanning, Author, Leadership Development Expert, Entrepreneur

Jonathan Fanning is the author of several books, including Who are you BECOMING? and I Once Was Lost. He has been coaching leaders – from Fortune 500 executives to sole proprietors – for almost 20 years. If you are familiar with TED talks, Jonathan was voted the best speaker at a recent TED conference. A traumatic car accident and several other “Frying Pan” moments in the middle of Fanning’s career as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies triggered a quest for a deeper sense of purpose, meaning, and significance. “Who are you BECOMING?” and “Who are you helping the people around you to BECOME?” became central to Jonathan’s life, writing, and speaking. He has also built several successful businesses, including a national children’s fitness franchise and Entrepreneur Adventure, which helps young people experience business start-up and ownership. He has inspired and challenged audiences with his message in 49 states and on 3 continents. Jonathan lives in NY with his amazing wife and two angelic daughters!

Topics: “Building Emotional Intelligence” and “Who are You Becoming?”

Closing Keynote Speaker:

 Ty Jones, MBA
iCARE Seniors Initiative

Ty Jones earned his Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a former professor of Miami-Dade College School of Business having taught courses covering the following topics: leadership, organizational behavior, human resource management, financial management, ethics, and small business management.

His two decades of professional leadership experiences include having built and led successful teams as both a C-level and senior management professional for Fortune 500, private enterprise, and nonprofit companies. In addition, he’s advocated for seniors for the past 9 years including having served as both the founder and first chairman of the City of Miami Commission’s Senior Advisory Board. He influenced city government to pass an ordinance establishing the board and ensuring that senior citizens, representing all five districts, were included as board members. While working with seniors and hosting numerous speaking forums in the senior living mecca, Florida, he was a two-time recipient of the City of Miami Philanthropy Award for community service.

He currently specializes in developing senior initiatives and revamping underperforming businesses in Florida. Since 2007, in addition to conferences and workshops, some of his speaking engagements have also included volunteering as a speaker in prisons and homeless shelters empowering men and women to regain their faith, focus, and life’s purpose despite the difficult circumstances that they may be currently faced with.

Topic: “Creating an Environment Full of Stars”

Aaron Fish, MBA, CHS
Trestle Hospitality Concepts

With nearly 30 years of hospitality industry experience, Aaron has spent his time in the industry with a singular focus on the customer experience. Having gained experience in some of the top hospitality organizations in the country, he has brought a keen attention to building customer-focused operations to the senior living industry. From Dining Room Manager to Senior Vice President, Aaron has spent his career creating best-in-class experiences for the residents he served. He does this with an eye towards innovation in concept design, as well as implementing a combination of best practices, system development, and quality training for all levels throughout any organization.

Aaron holds a B.S. in Hospitality Management from Kansas State University as well as a MBA in Marketing from Baker University.

Topic: “Microlearning: The Next Evolution of Culinary & Hospitality Training”

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale, PHR, SHRM-CP
Civitas Senior Living

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale is the Senior Vice President, Strategic Operations at Civitas Senior Living. Civitas is a premier operator with senior living communities in 6 states. What is Strategic Operations? Simply put, we get things done. Through effective project management and collaboration, Anthony executes strategic initiatives in Operations, Legal/HR, Finance, Wellness, Sales and Marketing, Food and Beverage, Asset Management, IT/Administration and Resident Engagement.

Additionally, Anthony supports the sustainability and success of Civitas through his work on the Corporate Risk Management committee and by leading the Objective and Key Result process for the organization. In 2018, Anthony co-founded the Texas Assisted Living Association’s Young Professionals Network and has been involved with industry initiatives such as Argentum’s HR Executive Roundtable, LEAD Program Steering Committee and the TALA Workforce Development Committee. Anthony has been a featured speaker at the Texas Assisted Living Association and LeadingAge Texas annual conferences in addition to authoring "Turnover Reduction Starts With The Right Data" whitepaper published by Argentum.

Anthony has also conducted several media appearances including multiple interviews on Bridge The Gap Podcast for Senior Living. Additionally, Anthony serves on the Advisory Board for UCF's Rosen College Senior Living Management Program. Anthony's professional background consists of senior living sales, marketing and operational experience with a variety of senior living asset types in secondary and primary markets. Prior to finding his passion in senior living, Anthony started his career in the non-profit industry as a volunteer and community education manager.

In 2021, Anthony received the Texas Assisted Living Association HERO Award and was named to the Senior Housing News's Future Leaders Class in recognition of his leadership in the senior living industry. In 2022, Anthony was named Civitas Employee of The Year. Anthony’s Predictive Index Profile: Maverick | A Maverick is an innovative, “outside the box” thinker, who is undaunted by failure. In his time away from work, Anthony enjoys gardening, hiking and spending time with family (including new 🐶 Beau)

Topic: “Be the Best You: Developing the Mindset and Habits to Excel Above Basic Metrics”

Angie Banaszak
Anthology Senior Living

Angie Banaszak, LPN, has spent virtually her whole nursing career – 25 years – in senior living.  She has served in numerous nurse leadership roles and is now a Regional Director of Clinical Services.  In this larger role, she strives to empower and support more clinical leaders, who in turn provide care for more seniors.  As a young child, she remembers being afraid of her Great Grandmother’s wrinkles, afraid they were contagious – as she grew older, she realized the importance of seniors and entered senior living as a way to honor her Great Grandmother.

Topic: “5 Proactive and Reactive Interventions to Better Connect Through Behavioral Expressions”

Ashante Abubaker, MBA

Ashante Abubakar is the Vice President for Workforce Development at Argentum.  He has more than 15 years of experience in workforce development and business engagement. In a previous employment position, he held the position of Special Assistant to a former White House appointee.  He is also a former US Army service member, who served as aide on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, United States Army, Europe & NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

He has worked, visited, and traveled to more than a dozen countries, in Asia and Europe. He is an accomplished martial artist, and history buff in his spare time.  Ashante holds a master’s degree in international business administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland’s Global College and earned his undergraduate degree while serving in the US Army, assigned to the Leadership Development Division at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), Leavenworth, KS.

Topic: “Workforce Development with Argentum”

Brenda Alejos
Anthology Senior Living

Brenda Alejos has been a nurse since 1991 and has worked many areas. She joined Anthology 5
years ago this year and has been a floor nurse, memory care director and now as Director of
Health and Wellness.  She is CDP certified and is passionate to educate herself in all areas of

Topic: “5 Proactive and Reactive Interventions to Better Connect Through Behavioral Expressions ”

Brenda Gurung, CDP, CMDCP, EMBA
Anthology Senior Living

Brenda Gurung (she/hers) is a credentialed dementia specialist and Forbes Health Advisory Board member.  She serves as national Memory Care Specialist for Anthology Senior Living and volunteer community educator for the Alzheimer's Association.  She advocates for inclusive spaces and voices.

Topic: “5 Proactive and Reactive Interventions to Better Connect Through Behavioral Expressions ”

Carmen Tilton, MGPS
Texas Assisted Living Association’s Vice President of Public Policy

Carmen Tilton, VP of Public Policy, oversees legislative and regulatory affairs. She represents TALA with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and is a leading voice at the Texas Capitol. She joined TALA in February 2020 after two years as a Senior Executive Policy Advisor for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and five years as a Senior Policy Analyst for several members in the Texas Legislature.

She has an extensive background in both the legislative and rulemaking processes with a focus on long-term care and behavioral health policies and programs. Carmen received her Master’s in Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a sixth-generation Texan, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a native of Terlingua, TX.

Plenary Sessions: “Public Policy Update” and “Leadership Panel” Moderator

Chantelle Julian
Loree Tamayo Consulting & Management

Chantelle Julian is a Director of Operations for LTCM, Loree Tamayo Consulting and Management.  Chantelle has worked with LTCM for over 8 years.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baylor University, as a Social Work Major.  Chantelle has worked in the Long-Term Care Industry for over 23 years and has been involved in management of Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities in Oklahoma, Arizona and Texas.  She has also managed Adult Day Health Services and Case Management Services for Senior Adults in Oklahoma.  Chantelle’s background has provided her with leadership roles for the provision of senior care services in both For-Profit and Non-Profit settings.  Chantelle is married to Scott Julian and has enjoyed following him around the country; living and working in several states, while supporting his career as a State and Federal Prosecutor.

Topic: “Leadership: Are You IN?”

Chris Mandel, RIMS-CRMP
USI Insurance Services

Christopher E. Mandel is a multi-industry expert in enterprise and strategic risk management and related areas. He is a Senior Risk Advisor to USI Southwest, former head of strategy for Sedgwick and the Founding Director of the Sedgwick Institute. He is the founder, president and managing consultant of Excellence in Risk Management, LLC. From 2001-2010, Mr. Mandel was chief risk officer for USAA, Group. At USAA, he designed, developed, and led the award-winning enterprise-wide risk management program. He is an award-winning thought leader, teacher, speaker, author, and former president of the Risk Management Society.

Topic: “Moving to the Next Level: Managing Risk Strategically”

Christy Van Der Westhuizen
Legend Senior Living

Christy Van Der Westhuizen, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Legend Senior Living, is no stranger to senior living. She brings 14 years of senior living experience to the table, including time as a community sales director for multiple communities, regional sales director, and VP of Sales & Marketing. Christy believes the easiest way to brighten your own day is to brighten someone else’s day. So, she loves motivating the sales team and sharing the Legend spirit as much as she can.

Christy graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s of film/TV with an emphasis in broadcast journalism and a minor in public relations from Chapman University. Outside of work, she values time with her family, and nurturing a lifelong love of travel, one trip at a time.

Topic: “Leading a High-Caliber, Highly Accountable Sales & Marketing Team

Dan Passarella

Dan Passarella, Workforce Development Specialist, has a lifetime of experience working in the employment and training industry from a variety of angles.  Dan managed county-based Department of Labor-funded programs dating back to 1978.  As the acronyms changed over the past forty years, Dan has continued serving a multitude of planning and management roles on the “grantor” side of workforce.  Dan has been assisting Argentum for the past five years as a grant writer, evaluation specialist, and general advisor in all things “workforce”.

Topic: “Workforce Development with Argentum”

Debbie Jenkins-Melancon
The Aspenwood Company

Debbie Jenkins-Melancon has been a Licensed Practical Nurse for 12 years. Debbie has a background in skilled nursing and has been in the senior living industry for 8 years. She was nominated for Nurse of the Year for The Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce. Debbie is currently the Regional Director of Clinical Services for the Aspenwood Company.

Topic: “Balancing It All”

Erez Cohen
August Health

Erez Cohen is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of August Health, a tech-enabled operating platform and electronic care record for senior living communities. He was selected for Aging Media Network’s Future Leaders Class of 2022. Prior to founding August Health, Erez was an executive at Apple, where he led a group of engineering teams. Erez was also the co-founder of Mapsense, a geospatial mapping startup that was acquired by Apple. Erez holds degrees in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Topic: “Taking Direction From Data to Improve Operations: A Playbook for Operators

Gwen Wilburn
The Aspenwood Company

Gwen has been a registered nurse for thirty years. In those years she has worked in the home health and hospital settings in various states, but in the last nineteen years, she has held a variety of leadership positions in Assisted Living. Gwen is currently the Senior VP of Clinical operations for The Aspenwood Company. She is a board-certified gerontological nurse and has an MBA in healthcare management. Gwen actively volunteers for The American Assisted Living Nurses Association (AALNA), by serving as President of the Texas State Chapter of AALNA.

Topic: “Balancing It All”

Heather White, MBA, CALM
Grace and Truth Education

Heather White has 16 years of experience in the senior living industry, leading ALF's, MC's, and IL's nationwide, along with hundreds of employees. Heather has a BS in Psychology and an MBA in Healthcare Management. She is the founder of Grace and Truth Education, and serves in the role of "Lead Educator."

Heather has a history of extensive philanthropic work including work with Dementia Friendly Fort Worth, Self-Led Memory Café, Alzheimer’s Association, Tarrant Area Gerontological Society, Texas Alzheimer’s Awareness Plan Committee, Texas Assisted Living Association, Texas Health Resources Hospital Group, Texas Baptist Ministries, Dementia Friendly Texas, Vice-President of Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society), and Mental Health First Aid National.

Topic: “Small Adjustments for a Big Impact: How to Make Measured, Meaningful Connections with Your Team and Your Residents”

Hollie Glover, MA, LPC, NCC
James L. West Center for Dementia Care

Hollie Glover, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, who currently works for the James L. West Center for Dementia Care in Fort Worth.  She is the Director of Education and Family Support Services.  She facilitates the center's family support groups and is involved in many of the numerous education services provided by the center.

Hollie is a Dementia Care Specialist and Certified Grief Counseling Specialist.  She has over twenty-nine years of experience in education and working with people of all ages. She has degrees from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Sam Houston State University, and Dallas Baptist University.  She also attended Southwestern Theological Seminary to obtain hours in theology.

Topics: “What is This I’m Feeling? A Guide to Different Types of Grief” and “Change Your Thinking: How to Replace Twisted and Distorted Thinking with Healthy Thoughts”

Jaime Capelo, JD
Capelo Law Firm

Jaime Capelo is the legislative consultant for the Texas Assisted Living Association.  Mr. Capelo has been actively lobbying the Texas Legislature and regulatory agencies for over 13 years, advocating for his clients directly with the Governor, Lt. Governor, the Texas Senate, the Texas House of Representatives, numerous state and federal agencies, and even the U.S. Senate and Congress.  Prior to initiating his legislative consulting practice, Mr. Capelo was elected and served 4 terms in the Texas House of Representatives from the Corpus Christi area.

In the Texas House, he served on the House Public Health Committee and was ultimately appointed Chairman of the Public Health Committee.

After graduating salutatorian from Roy Miller High School, Mr. Capelo earned his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and his B.A. in history from Yale University.

Plenary Session: “Public Policy Update”

Jaime Cobb Tinsley, CAEd
James L. West Center for Dementia Care

Jaime Cobb Tinsley, certified Alzheimer’s Educator and Montessori Dementia Care Professional is the Vice President of Dementia & Caregiver Education at James L. West Center for Dementia Care. She earned a degree in Integrated Marketing Communication at Abilene Christian University and has been working with persons with dementia and their families for over 15 years. Since Jaime has been at the West Center, she has developed and implemented a variety of innovative programs that focus on enhancing the quality of life for families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Jaime also leads collaborative models of training for current and future healthcare workers. These programs have been proven beneficial for professional and lay care partners. Jaime is a Certified Independent Positive Approach to Care™ Trainer and Consultant, and a Master Trainer for Dementia Live®, Compassionate Touch™ programs, Dealing with Dementia, and the Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers™.

Topics: “Sleep Disturbances & Sun-Downing: Successful Ways to Manage” and “How Stress and Depression Affect the Brain: Healthy Practices for You and Your Community”

James Lee, MBA
Bella Groves

James Lee has served 15 years in the senior living industry through community, corporate and consulting roles.  Today, he serves the industry through three primary functions.  First as the co-founder and CEO of Bella Groves, a dementia education and care organization based in San Antonio, Texas, he and his team are working to support families through the entire dementia caregiving journey.  Additionally, he coaches and advises small business leaders and owners through his consulting company Bear Wise Consulting.  Finally, he is a well-respected speaker, writer and content developer in areas of leadership, business strategy, and innovation within professions serving older adults.

James is the creator and host of the Level Up Leadership podcast and produces an industry event called the Senior Living Think Tank each year in San Antonio.  He earned his M.B.A. from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas in Austin in 2020.  James also serves as a board member for Hands 4 Life, is a member for the TALA Workforce Development Committee, and is a frequent contributor to various industry publications, podcasts, and educational series.

Topic: “10 Indispensible Leadership Lessons from a Scrappy Startup’s First Year”

Jen Shirkani
Penumbra Group Inc.

Jen Shirkani is a nationally recognized expert on emotional intelligence and a featured speaker at national and state conferences, universities, government agencies, and at business organizations around the world. She is the published author of two books: Ego vs EQ: How Top Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps Using Emotional Intelligence and Choose Resilience, both provide strategies for leveraging the power of emotional intelligence. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University in Orange California. Jen has been a frequent guest of several national radio programs, and has been featured in Bloomberg/Businessweek, Leadership Excellence magazine, Reader’s Digest, Inc.com, Business Insider, Publishers Weekly, Fast Company, The Ladders, and Upstart Business Journal. She has spoken multiple times at national assisted living conferences (ALFA, Argentum, NCAL) and at AL state conferences in AZ, CA, CT, FL, IL, MA, MD, MN, NH, PA, TX and VA.

Topic: “Understanding Bias”

Jillian Heil, CIC, CRM
USI Insurance Services

Jillian Heil is a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager. She is a Client Executive at USI Southwest where she works with the senior care team to help clients determine the best risk management program structure through a detailed analysis of their risk management profile, risk philosophy and financial position. She has been consulting and educating insureds for 8 years. She is a member of the Texas Assisted Living Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, and the Texas Healthcare Advisory Council, serving on various committees.

Topic: “Moving to the Next Level: Managing Risk Strategically”

Kyle Rand

Kyle Rand is the cofounder and CEO of Rendever, a virtual reality (VR) platform helping seniors combat social isolation through the power of shared experiences. Having always felt a close kinship to seniors, Kyle grew up volunteering at a senior living community and later went on to study cognitive decline in the aging population at Duke University. After a personal experience moving his own grandmother into a senior living community, Kyle experienced first-hand the effects social isolation has on seniors and cofounded Rendever as a result. Under Kyle’s leadership, Rendever is changing the lives of thousands of seniors in more than 450 senior living communities worldwide. Most recently, Kyle oversaw Rendever’s collaboration with UC Santa Barbara to start a multi-site clinical trial to observe the positive impact VR has on seniors. In 2019, he was honored on Forbes “30 Under 30” list for the profound impact his work has had on the senior living industry. Kyle has given lectures and presentations at universities across the country, and spoken on global stages ranging from the Googleplex to stadiums in South Korea.

Topic: “VR in Sneior Living: Building Communities to Thrive”

Loree Tamayo
Loree Tamayo Consulting & Management

Loree has thirty years of experience in healthcare. She has been in business since 2009 helping many startup or struggling healthcare facilities turn into profitable businesses. Much of her experience has involved planning and opening new facilities and agencies. She started her career as a nursing facility administrator and worked in most every healthcare sector from long term care to acute care. In 2018 she started her most notable career success as a CEO of a rural hospital while continuing to run her successful business. In three years, she turned a financially strapped hospital district into a profitable and viable health system. She has since returned full time to her business where she helps businesses in urban and rural areas run successful healthcare businesses.

Topic: “Securing Data: Why Healthcare Facilities Are a Prime Target for Hackers

Lou Ann Brubaker
Brubaker Consulting

Since 1988, Lou Ann Brubaker, President of Brubaker Consulting has helped post-acute care organizations enhance their occupancy, staff stability, and manager skill success. Clients include continuing care retirement communities, and skilled & assisted living facilities to home health/ hospice.

Her diverse professional experience ranges from administration of a senior citizen utility assistance program, the transitioning of an in-house advertising agency to a revenue-generating division and the management of more than 35 satellite operations and 500 sales representatives within a services organization. Just prior to founding her own company, she directed the North American marketing for an organization that in three years grew to become the world’s largest provider of online medical, scientific and technical information.

A graduate of Kent State University (B.S., Public Policy/Political Science), Ms. Brubaker is Past-Chair/Past-Director of the Trustees for The Beacon Institute (the educational affiliate of Lifespan Network, the largest senior care association in Maryland).

Topic: “Daily Ethics: How to Explain It & Involve Staff

Michael Crowe, JD
Husch Blackwell, L.L.P.

Active in assisted living policy and law since 1997.Michael Crowe is a partner with Husch Blackwell, L.L.P. in Austin, Texas.

He advises healthcare providers on administrative law, government investigations, mergers and acquisitions, governance and public policy. Mike’s clients include local governments and healthcare providers and professionals, with a focus on the post-acute and long term support services industry. His relationship with the assisted living industry began in 1997 when he served as the director of the Texas Senate’s Interim Committee on Home Health and Assisted Living Facilities.

Michael graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1991. He serves on the board of directors of the Texas Assisted Living Association and the Mothers Milk Bank of Austin and is the leader of Husch Blackwell’s post-acute care initiative.

Topic: “Understanding Hospital at Home

Molly Nedley
Atlas Senior Living

Molly Davis Nedley is a seasoned experiential marketing expert with a passion for championing the senior living industry across the country. With over 15  years of experience in the field, she has become a respected thought leader and innovator, best known for implementing new marketing techniques that drive direct sales.

Molly's expertise lies in crafting and championing unique and memorable experiences that engage seniors and their families, helping them feel intrinsically motivated, connected and empowered. Her approach to marketing is grounded in research and data-driven insights, which she uses to develop targeted strategies that resonate with the target audience. Over the course of her career, Molly has worked with leading senior living companies, including national and regional providers, as well as individual communities. She has helped launch successful marketing campaigns, developed branding  initiatives, and created engaging events and programs that have resulted in increased occupancy rates, and positive word-of-mouth referrals from thriving residents. She also prioritizes partnerships with national influencers in order to maximize organic, relevant, and inspiring PR opportunities. Molly is currently the Sales & Marketing Director with Atlas Senior Living, helping to open their first community in Texas, The Oscar at Georgetown.

With her experience as a Recreational Therapist, Activities Director, Sales Director, Executive Director, and National Director of Entertainment & Programming for various senior living companies, her focus has also been sales, social media, business development strategies, leadership and team management, and event/program development.

Molly is also a thought leader and enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with industry professionals through conferences, webinars, and workshops. In her free time, Molly enjoys hiking and spending time with her family. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a Master's degree in Recreational Therapy from Texas State University.

“Waking up everyday to radically improve the experience that our seniors deserve, continues to be my distinct honor.” -Molly Davis Nedle

Topic: “VR in Senior Living: Building Communities to Thrive"

Dr. Natalee Oliver, DSW, LNFA, MSG, BBA, LCSW
McLennan Community College

Dr. Natalee Oliver works as the Program Director in the Long-Term Care Administration program at McLennan Community College in Waco, TX.  Additionally, she works part-time with Charm Behavioral Health Services as the Director of Education and as an adjunct professor in the MSW program with Tarleton State University.

Natalee has served those aged 65+ in many different settings and roles since 2001. Examples include providing inpatient and outpatient individual and group therapy, managing an assisted living facility, marketing for long-term care, case management for nursing homes and home health as well as working with voluntary and involuntary clients. Her passion is providing education and support for older adult mental health as well as advocating for those living with (and caring for someone with) Alzheimer’s disease. She has volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association in multiple capacities since 2007.

Topic: “Mental Health and Aging

Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Clarent (previously Bateau). Clarent’s mission is to bring clarity to data for senior living owners & operators and create a “single source of truth” for data. Clarent has developed the first standard set of KPIs for the industry which includes 150+ unique data points measured by Clarent’s software across operations, HR, sales, clinical, and more!

Paul started Clarent after spending 7 years helping Fortune 500 companies unlock value from their data while working at Palantir. Paul has deep experience in data analysis and building championship teams: he captained the Dartmouth Rugby Team to back to back national championships in Rugby 7s in 2011 and 2012.

Paul lives in Houston with his wife and their cat.

Topic: “Top 10 KPI’s for a Successful Community

Quintin Schneider
Anthology Senior Living

Quintin joined Anthology as a care manager and has advanced internally while obtaining his bachelor's degree. As a Director of Memory Care, he continues to grow and develop his understanding of dementia and Alzheimer's while applying our one-of-a-kind Anthology philosophy.

Topic: “5 Proactive and Reactive Interventions to Better Connect Through Behavioral Expressions

Rose Saenz
Texas Assisted Living’s Workforce Development Advisor

Rose M. Saenz's 20+ year career is centered over serving seniors in various senior living roles from nursing care to operations to new developments. She has successfully opened, licensed and operated assisted living and memory care communities.

Rose actively serves the industry as President and Operations Specialist for RevealSol, LLC, a consulting company and as the Vice President of Workforce Development for Texas Assisted Living Association (TALA) .  Additionally, she serves on the Board for A Gift Of Time in Georgetown and supports the Public Policy Committee with (TALA).

Rose is passionate about educating and supporting community leaders in how care is approached, ensuring independence, autonomy and dignity of senior adults is of highest regard through day to day operational practices, programming and community design.

 Topic: Workforce Committee Panel Moderato

Stephanie Berman, MSN, RN
Engagement Through Education, LLC

Stephanie Berman, MSN, RN, is solution oriented, combined with her innovative nature she saw the need to offer leadership development and continuing education for those who dedicate themselves to caring for others. Along the way she has become the leading expert in RN Delegation in Texas. Stephanie’s engaging, down-to-earth, practical, high-energy presentations leave audiences wanting more. She engages them from the moment they start and leaves them empowered to handle their new responsibilities. Her ability to connect with the audiences creates a desire for more. From medication administration, to leadership training, it was the overwhelming response to any presentation Stephanie provides that lead her to form Engagement Through Education, a cutting-edge training academy.

She started her career in nursing as an emergency room nurse and has spent over 12 years as the Executive Director or Director of Nursing of various long-term care communities and has been the RN Delegate for dozens of assisted living communities here in Texas and other states as well. She earned her Associates Degree in Nursing from Austin Community College and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters in Nurse Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. A deep passion formed for the geriatric population and she has spent her career working in various long-term, assisted living, and memory care facilities where she developed programs that reduced re-admission rates, created an understanding of RN delegation, developed a leadership program, and fast became the go-to person for better standards of care and regulations. Engagement Through Education and RN Delegation Academy have paired with its partner facilities to revolutionize the training and delegation process, even including the development of an online curriculum to allow for remote training in a time of social distancing and beyond.

Advisory Panel Member: Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long Term

Topic: “Taking the Mystery Out of RN Delegation and HMA’s: How They Work and How Your Community Can Thrive!”

Suzy Turner
Fun Abounds, Percussion Play

In her role as a Music + Community Specialist, Suzy Turner assists individuals and organizations in creating musical spaces that help maximize the many therapeutic benefits of music. With her extensive knowledge of the cognitive, emotional, and physical health benefits that musical play provides, as well as the various instrumentation options available for different populations, Suzy helps communities provide music making opportunities for everyone, everywhere.

As a professional percussionist and the Founder of Soulshine Rhythm Experience, Suzy is also trained in multiple, evidence-based protocols that utilize rhythm + group music making as tools for supporting connection.  These facilitation methods, including HealthRHYTHMS, Rhythm 2 Recovery and Village Music Circles, create a space where participants, regardless of age or ability can connect in the music making process.

Trained in traditional West African drumming, Suzy is also endorsed by world-renowned drum manufacturer, Remo Percussion and is a professional member of the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild.  In 2016, Suzy founded Soulshine Rhythm Experience and has hosted hundreds of interactive drum & rhythm events throughout Central Texas including corporate conferences, leadership training, retreats, workshops, wellness seminars and private and community drum events.

Suzy is passionate about connecting, empowering, and unifying others through music and this commitment is especially evident in the work she does to support the health and wellness of seniors, bringing therapeutic drumming and group music making activities to residents in independent, assisted living and memory care communities all throughout the Austin area.

Topic: “Music for Mood & Memory: The Benefits of Music for People Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

DinnerWEARhc, Inc

Toni’s daily operational engagement in Senior Living Communities and Hospital environments across the United States stoked a concern regarding the care, training and tools that were accessible to all the pillars of support services who were caring for our Elders, particularly those living with dementia. Toni Fisk is the published author of 2021 Amazon #1 Bestseller “#dinewithdignity Unlocking the Mystery of Dementia and Dining,” in addition to several professional publications. Toni is a sought-out public speaker, with multiple dementia certifications as educator and trainer, working with professional care partners and family members. She is also skilled as a Teepa Snow PAC® Certified Independent Trainer as well as a Virtual Dementia Tour® Certified Trainer. As a Certified Dietary Manager and vetted healthcare dining operations consultant, Toni follows her deep commitment towards education and enlightenment in the care for persons living with dementia.

Topic: “Get the Secret Sauce to Dementia and Dining”

Zade West Watts
Sagora Senior Living

Zade West Watts has a BAAS from The University of North Texas in Communication, Sociology, Criminal Justice with a minor in Spanish. He has survived two very near-death drownings. He has been held hostage at gunpoint and negotiated his way out alive. He has survived being in a room with a person shooting at another person. He has disarmed an active shooter in a Senior Living Environment. He has waded to waste deep floodwaters to his AL/MC Community, and developed and executed a plan to get critical supplies and staff moving during the Ice Event of 2021 February across Texas to support sister communities in need. Last year, he was a guest speaker at a NW Houston Senior Living Professional Meeting to talk about Hurricane Preparedness and has been invited to sit in and offer input on Disaster P/P while at Brookdale Senior Living.

Topic: “An Executive Director’s Primer on Preparedness: Focus on Hurricanes, Deep Freeze, and Active Shooter Events- Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum ‘Seek Peace But Prepare for War’