Recruitment, Teams and Mindset
Chris Heinz is the Managing Partner with Westport One, a leading executive search firm that helps companies identify, qualify and deliver the best Senior Living Leadership talent across the country. With more than 24 years in the recruiting industry, he has become a thought leader and keynote speaker in both recruiting and the senior living industry.
Chris and his team have partnered with senior living organizations to fill hundreds of critical community and corporate leadership positions in Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, CCRC, and Active Adult environments. He brings his unique insight and perspective to talent access/recruitment, culture, and team development which has helped him become an industry champion.
Chris is an avid endurance athlete running more than 200+ races of all distances, from family 5ks to marathons to 70.3 Ironmans. Through this passion, Chris has done well by doing good, raising thousands of dollars for several charities, including running for 24 hours straight and raising more than $20,000 for the3 charities closest to his heart: Dementia Care, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
Chris has been married for 23 years to his amazing wife, Mollie. They have two incredible children, a high school sophomore and a college freshman. The family is a lover of beagles and Disney!
Power Up & Perform
A recognized authority in personal energy, productivity, and resilience, Kathy Parry uses her passion to ignite positive changes for professional leaders. Prior to launching her own speaking and consulting business, Kathy was a trainer for a super-regional bank on their merger and acquisition team. In this role, she helped others integrate new technology and transition through organizational transformation.
But it was personal and devastating news about her fourth child that led Kathy to a career where she empowers others to become more resilient and energized. It was this role as a caregiver, that led Kathy to her work with senior living and healthcare professionals. She helps professionals plan for resilience to positively move through disruptive circumstances. Attendees leave her sessions with an action list to power-up their lives and create positive mindsets towards change.
Kathy holds degrees in Business and Food Management from Miami University, a Certification in Plant Based Nutrition from T.Colin Campbell Program at eCornell University and a coaching certification from WellCoaches. She holds the designation of professional speaker from the National Speakers Association and speaks at events nationwide. She has authored four books and is the creator of Power UP and Perform course for senior living professionals. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA. where she enjoys a mild dark chocolate addiction and cooking for hungry friends.
Leadership & Intergenerational Living
Jane Rohde believes and advocates for a global cultural shift toward person-centered solutions for all types of healthcare settings and sits on various healthcare and sustainability committees supporting research, advocacy, and humanistic approaches to care.
In 2015, she received the first Changemaker Award for Environments for Aging from The Center for Health Design and in 2018, she received the ASID Design for Humanity Award, has been recognized as an Honorary Alumni of Clemson University’s Architecture + Health program, and has been honored as one of the top ten Women in Design demonstrating leadership in healthcare and senior living design. In 2020, Jane received the Pioneer Award from the Facilities Guidelines Institute for her work on the completion and ongoing cycle updates to the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities and was recognized as a Green Globes Fellow by the Green Building Initiative in 2021.
Jane’s areas of expertise include person-centered care model development, architecture and design for the aging population in senior living and related healthcare settings, sustainability and health and wellness initiatives supported by performance characteristics, education programs, guideline and licensing code development and implementation, research, and development expertise.
Strategic Communication in Sales & Marketing
Chris Watson has traveled the world, attended once in a lifetime events, broke a world record, & has stories to tell about all of it. Chris is the founder of Craft & Compel, an organization helping people strategically communicate in the ever-changing workplace & marketplace. He believes that everyone is battling silos in the workplace, islands occupied by their customers, & partners that expect to be remembered. “At Craft & Compel we help dismantle silos, build bridges to islands, & align stories with partners.”
Chris has 17 years of experience in leadership, coaching, sales, & teaching. He has approached every industry, role, and organization with an attitude of learning to connect with people from all different backgrounds. Chris is the published author of Earn Your Story, a book to help people earn the greatest life story ever to be told. He holds a Masters of Business Administration & Masters of Sports Marketing.
Chris believes that in order to succeed in the digital age, everyone must adopt storytelling as a form of strategic communication. He believes in the utilizing storytelling in sales & marketing to differentiate your product or service to your people, partners, & prospects.
Every evening Chris crafts a new story to tell his 5-year-old son Carmichael right before he tucks him in to go to bed. Chris is happily married to his wife Carol, and they reside in Dallas, TX.
Leadership Lessons for Community Administrator
David Hopkins is a recognized leader, facilitator and keynote speaker in the areas of leadership development, sales and marketing, culture and customer experience.
He grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and relocated to Florida as a young adult, beginning his career at the happiest place on earth, Walt Disney World. After spending many hours singing and dancing with his favorite characters, he decided to stop “Goofing” around and worked his way into management, gaining experience in both resort and theme park operations. David then decided to use his leadership expertise to assist healthcare organizations. There, he rose to executive roles supporting areas such as acute care hospital operations, clinical education, and large physician practices.
Known for growth-creating culture change and increasing sales, even during challenging times, David is recognized among his peers for developing customized, engaging programs that lead to success. He enjoys weaving his own personal stories and experiences into his presentations making even the most complex of ideas seem simple. David is engaging and humorous with the ability to connect with all who attend.
David is a married father of two great kids, chief dog walker to two adorable rescues and a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida (Go Knights. Charge On!). In his down time, you can find him coaching his kids’ various sports teams, doing a home improvement project or, if the stars are aligned, reading a great book.
Workforce Retention & Culture
Workforce thought leader Cara Silletto, MBA, CSP, works with organizations to reduce unnecessary employee turnover by bridging generational gaps and making managers more effective in their roles. As an older Millennial herself, she knows firsthand what it is like to have a heightened sense of entitlement, very little employee loyalty, and a dependency upon her smartphone. However, unlike many Millennials, Cara has figured out exactly how these attributes were cultivated during her formative years, and she now shares that story with leaders across the country.
Cara began her career working for a senior care association, where she learned about the complex regulatory and reimbursement environment post-acute operators face daily. She then earned her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the top-ranked University of Louisville Entrepreneurship program, lived overseas teaching German executives about U.S. business practices, and eventually started her consulting firm Magnet Culture (a Crescendo Strategies company) in 2012.
Workforce Magazine in Chicago named Cara a “Game Changer” for her innovative approach to solving generational issues in the workplace and Recruiter.com listed her in their “Top 10 Company Culture Experts to Watch,” list. At age 39, she’s a highly-sought-after national speaker conducting 50 to 100 engagements annually and she has earned her Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. Louisville Business First named her in their 2018 Forty Under 40, and she is also the author of the book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave & How to Keep Them Longer.
Inspire & Empower
Jerald Cosey is a senior healthcare leader and professional speaker. He currently serves as executive director of Greenwood Meadows, a skilled nursing facility operated by American Senior Communities. His facility earned the 2019 American Health Care Association’s Silver Quality Award.
As a professional speaker, Jerald enjoys traveling the country for talks to staff of hospitals, hospice and home health businesses, senior living organizations and health care associations serving the senior care industry. Jerald believes that emotional engagement is the key to minimizing resident isolation and increasing employee connectivity.
Jerald began his professional career in sales, joining Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 1996. He quickly advanced to the leadership role of district sales manager, a position he held for over 15 years. He worked in this industry at various companies before transitioning to the senior care profession in 2013.
Jerald is founder of Graceful Moments, an outreach ministry focused on reducing isolation among seniors. This ministry began at an American Senior Communities facility, with Jerald visiting two men every week to shoot the breeze and enjoy each other’s company. This ministry expanded to volunteers from his church, Grace Church in Indianapolis. The volunteers made monthly visits to love on seniors.
This outreach kindled a desire in Jerald to serve others professionally and in 2013, he resigned from an 18-year pharmaceutical sales career to become an Administrator in Training. Jerald considers himself a professional servant and is a patient advocate for people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. He is committed to advancing senior care as a speaker and senior health facility operator.
Jerald received his Certified Nurse Aide and Health Facility Administrator licenses in 2013. He is enjoying 25 years of marriage to his college sweetheart, Dianne, and is the father of three children.
Sales & Marketing
Christy Cunningham is the founder of Gusto Consulting, LLC., a senior living firm supporting investors, operators, and creators in their pursuit of sales and marketing awesomeness. With an impressive thirteen-year career, Christy’s experience and leadership span the seniors housing and homecare industries, working for both for-profit and non-profit operators. Having worked in hundreds of communities across the county, she is driven by the belief that “if we do what we’ve always done we are going to be less successful than we have ever been.”
Christy seeks the unknown, the problems yet fully solved, and manages along the way to spread her contagious enthusiasm. A triple threat sales, marketing, and talent development leader, with insights into community operations, Christy can see beyond the status quo to drive performance and quality.
Christy and her husband JD live outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and spend as much time as possible camping across the US with their daughter Marly. A true rural Nevada gal at her core, she is in pure bliss on the top of a mountain looking out across wide open space.
Sales & Marketing
Traci Bild is the Founder and CEO of Bild & Company (Est. 1999), a national healthcare consulting firm with deep roots in senior living. Providing the sales and marketing infrastructure for small to midsize operators, her firm has helped hundreds of organizations close revenue gaps, gain a competitive edge and strengthen their financial operation.
The author of three books, 7 Steps to Successful Selling, industry favorite Zero Lost Revenue Days and Amazon best-seller Get Your Girl Back, Traci has been featured in media from the Today Show and CBS Sunday Morning News to Success Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the BBC. Her firm landed on the 2013 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company list and Traci is a sought after speaker at industry conferences nationwide.
Traci is married to the love of her life David, has two children, Paris and Noah and lives in beautiful Clearwater, FL. She loves to travel, garden and go boating but her true passion is changing people’s lives through teaching leaders within the senior living space!
Leadership & Culture
James Lee has served the senior living industry for 12 years across an array of roles for various organizations across the country. Leveraging successful roles in sales, operations, and learning and development, James has a deep belief in achieving performance through the hard-won efforts of developing amazing cultures. His entrepreneurial spirit drives him to seek, nurture, and advocate for innovation in the way our industry serves seniors and the heroic people who serve them.
James earned an MBA from the University of Texas, is the Corporate Director of Sales for Aventine Senior Living, and lives in San Antonio, Texas.
You can often find him sharing his thoughts and perspectives on the industry through his regular LinkedIn posts as well as through industry forums and associations as a guest speaker.
Healthcare & Policy
Although a 2019 Price Waterhouse report shared that only 12% of family-owned businesses will make it into the third generation, Country Meadows is proud that several third generation members are now involved and leading the direction for future growth. As the granddaughter of Country Meadows Retirement Communities founders (the late Pennsylvania Governor George M. Leader and his wife, Mary Jane), Meredith Mills has Country Meadows in her blood and is delighted to carry on her family’s mission to serve seniors.
In her company role, she oversees all personal care and assisted living operations and works closely with the Vice Presidents of Operations and the Resource Staff. Meredith joined the organization in 2011 and has held positions with increasing responsibility in marketing and operations including Director and Regional Director of Marketing, Executive Director and Vice President of Strategic Planning. Meredith also develops strategic partnerships with hospitals and healthcare organizations in the markets in which Country Meadows and sister non-profit organization, Ecumenical Retirement Community, provide senior living services. She identifies opportunities for better communication between these communities and hospitals and physicians to share internal data and clinical outcomes to coordinate the best care for residents.
Meredith gained operational experience during her five years working with Urban Outfitters at the company’s Philadelphia headquarters. She has a master’s degree in Health Administration from Penn State University and an undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College. She is a board member of Penn State University’s Harrisburg Campus, LifeSong Hospice, and the George M. Leader Family Corporation (GMLFC) board of directors, which oversees operations for Country Meadows Retirement Communities, Ecumenical Retirement Community and sister company Providence Place Retirement Communities.
Meredith resides in Hummelstown, Pa. with her husband and co-worker, Dan Mills, MHA, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and their son, Beckett.
Innovations in Senior Care
An innovator in the senior housing space, Charles Turner is currently the CEO of Kare, a digital labor marketplace that is solving the crucial labor shortage in senior care. He is also CEO of Invidia for Seniors, a multi-platform company focused on improving the senior housing and care industry.
Prior to Invidia, Charles was the President of Lifewell Senior Living and PinPoint Senior Living where he led development and operating initiatives for the companies. Invidia invests time, money and resources in technologies and programs that provide improve care and evidence based outcomes for its residents.
Charles has been instrumental in identifying and developing nearly a half billion dollars in Medical and Senior Housing projects including Hospitals, Medical Office Buildings and Assisted Living developments in several states throughout the Sun Belt United States. He has also been Vice President of Finance, Planning and Operations for Attachmate (formerly NetIQ), a $400 Million software company, where he was responsible for financial management, strategic planning activities and real estate. Prior to Attachmate, Charles worked at BMC Software where he was responsible for internal strategic planning as well as restructuring the company’s real estate portfolio, saving the company over $30 Million per year in real estate expense from asset sales and lease restructuring.
Charles also has several years’ experience in Big 4 consulting as well as industrial distribution management. He holds a B.A. in History and Politics from Wake Forest University and an M.B.A. in Finance from The University of Texas in Austin.