Meet the 2019 Speakers

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Schon P. Alkire

Innovative Solutions Developer, LifeWell Senior Living

Schon grew up in Houston, Texas, and after High School, he had a successful career in music and ministry. He owned and operated his own graphic design business, and later graduated from Baylor University in 2010. Desiring to move from a production-based business to one that focuses on serving people, Schon began volunteering at retirement communities and developed a passion for seniors. He went on to obtained an Activity Director Certification and became the Lifestyle Director for one of Houston’s finest and most technologically advanced senior communities. There, he excelled in implementing programs and technology that produced incredible results. In 2015, Schon joined the management team at LifeWell Senior Living, where he continues to use his unparalleled creativity and passion to advance technologies that help his teams better serve their residents.

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Cece Credille

SVP Care Services, Enlivant

Ms. Credille supports clinical and operations leadership at Enlivant, including management oversight for quality assurance, life enrichment, and customer satisfaction. Ms. Credille is a registered nurse and an active member of the Illinois Health Care Association, and joins Enlivant after a 25-year tenure at HCR Manor Care with extensive operational, clinical and strategic experience. Her background in leadership healthcare management spans multiple care settings, including long-term care, assisted living, Alzheimer's care, rehabilitation and outpatient care.

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Tony Galvan

Director of Health & Wellness, Life Care Services


Tony Galvan is the Director of Health & Wellness for Life Care Services. As part of the LCS Health Services Division, Tony partners with all LCS communities to launch and execute comprehensive and successful wellness and health navigation programs. Tony has worked in the health and wellness industry for over 17 years with expertise in lifestyle programming and the development and execution of post-acute and care coordination strategies.

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Neil Howe

Author, Historian, and Economist

Neil Howe, best-selling author and national speaker, is a renowned authority on generations in America. He gives readers and audiences powerful insights into who today's generation are, what motivates them as consumers and workers, and how they will shape our national future.

A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is founding partner of the consulting firm LifeCourse Associates. He is a marketing, personnel, and government affairs consultant to coprorate and nonprofit clients, and has spoken and written extensively on the collective personalities of today's generations - who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America's future. He is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migraton. His current titles include: senior adviser to the Concord Coalition and senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

Howe has coauthored several books on generations with William Strauss, all best sellers widely used by business, colleges, government agencies and poltical leaders of both parties. Howe and Strauss originally coined the term "Millennial Generation".

Howe's articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, American Demographics, US Weekend, and other noational publiciations. He coauthors numerous studies for CSIS including the Global Aging Initative's Aging Vulnerability Index and The Graying of the Middle Kingdom: The Economics and Demographics of Retirement Policy in China.

Howe grew up in California, received his B.A. at U.C. Berkely, and later earned graduate degress in economics and history from Yale University.

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Maria Oliva

Chief Operating Office, Pathway to Living

Industry veteran with over 25 years of executive level experience, Maria is the chief operating role for Chicago-based Pathway to Living. In her role, she is responsible for strategic direction, fiscal management, leadership and culture development. She is the architect and champion of Pathway's Viva! operating philosophy that takes a new approach and thinking of resident wellness and person-centered care. She is a member of the advisory board for Senior Living 100, sits on the Argentum Operations Executive Roundtable, and is a past board member of Leading Age Illinois.

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Laurie M. Orlov

Principal Analyst, Aging in Place Technology Watch

Laurie M. Orlov, a tech industry veteran, writer, speaker and elder care advocate, is the founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch -- market research, trends, blogs and reports that provide thought leadership, analysis and guidance about technologies and services that enable boomers and seniors to remain longer in their home of choice. years in the technology industry, including 9 years at analyst firm Forrester Research. She has spoken regularly and delivered keynote speeches at forums, industry consortia, conferences, and symposia, most recently on the business of technology for boomers and seniors. She advises large organizations as well as non-profits and entrepreneurs about trends and opportunities in the age-related technology market. Her segmentation of this emerging technology market and trends commentary have been presented in the Journal of Geriatric Care Management. Her perspectives have been quoted in Business Week, CNBC, Forbes, Kiplinger, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, where she was profiled as well. She has a graduate certification in Geriatric Care Management from the University of Florida and a BA in Music from the University of Rochester. Advisory clients have included AARP, Microsoft, Novartis, J&J, United Healthcare, CDW, Bose, Cox Communications, Yahoo, and Philips. . She has published research sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation and AARP, among others. Her latest reports include the Future of Voice First Technology and Older Adults in 2018, and an updated Market Overview of Technology for Aging in Place, published in 2019. The site was selected as one of CDW's Top 50 Health IT Blogs, and was named one of the Top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue. She has served on the HIMSS PCH Alliance Task Force for Technology and Aging.

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Timothy W. Reilly

Vice President of Associate Experience, Benchmark Senior Living

Joining the senior living industry over 20 years ago, Tim Reilly has had extensive experience and success developing, implementing, and managing HR programs, policies, and services at two industry providers. In his current role as Vice President of Associate Experience at Benchmark Senior Living, he is responsible for ensuring all human resource processes in the areas of talent acquisition, associate relations, and legal compliance are aligned with and drive desired business results.

Tim is actively involved in the industry and serves as a Board Member for the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association and is a member of the Argentum Human Resources Executive Roundtable.

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Jonathan Ruchman

Senior Director, Customer Experience, Brookdale Senior Living


Jonathan Ruchman joined Brookdale in January, 2014. He brings to Brookdale 25+ years of experience in customer experience and brand marketing. Jonathan’s career spans senior marketing roles with leading global advertising agencies New York City and Chicago. Prior to Brookdale, Jonathan worked for Allstate Insurance Company.

Jonathan is responsible for managing Brookdale’s overall customer experience, with a focus on resident and family engagement. He created Brookdale’s first Voice of the Customer Program with an emphasis on Net Promoter Score. In addition, he started a National Resident Advisory Council. Jonathan is also a designated CCXP, and started the CXPA Nashville Network to help grow the Customer Experience profession in Nashville, TN.

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Randall I. Thames

Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry

Randall brings more than 30 years of expertise in executive management and development. Randall’s career has primarily been spent in professional services consulting. His expertise includes leadership development and coaching, training, executive and professional search, program design and business growth and development. He has led and managed teams and workstreams in a variety of roles along with P&L responsibilities. Currently Randall serves as a Senior Partner at Korn Ferry where he leads and manages a portfolio of clients with business and workforce issues around Organizational Strategy, Assessment and Selection, Talent Acquisition and Strategy, Leadership Development and Rewards and Benefits.

Additionally, Randall serves as a client advisor to c-suite executives, executive committees and boards. Randall also serves as an Associate Pastor and Ministry development leader.

Randall is a national speaker and presenter on Helping to Improve People and Organizations.

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Lisa Torchia MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Vice President of Clinical and Support Services, Country Meadows Retirement Communities

Lisa Torchia, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice president of Clinical and Support Services Lisa Torchia enjoys working for a family-owned organization where relationships with co-workers and residents are valued and help to make the best senior living experience possible.

As Vice President of Clinical and Support Services, Lisa is helping to clinically enhance Country Meadows’ programs for seniors. She oversees nursing and wellness as well as memory and restorative care programs throughout the organization.

Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Stroudsburg University and her master’s degree in nursing administration/critical care from Rutgers University. She also has a post master’s certificate in nursing administration from Villanova University and is a Johnson and Johnson, Wharton Nursing Executive Fellow. Since 1991, Lisa has been credentialed as Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC) and prior to joining the team at Country Meadows in September 2017, she was Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer for Geisinger-Holy Spirit where she led the organization to Magnet recognition. A resident of Harrisburg, Lisa is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and served on their National Foundation Education Committee and National Membership Committee. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders, South Central Organization of Nurse Leaders and previously served as President of Pennsylvania Eastern Region of Nurse Leaders. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, Pennsylvania Nurses Association, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. Torchia is the current Chairman of the Board of Advisors for Pennsylvania State University – Capital Campus. She served on nursing program advisory boards for East Stroudsburg University and Northampton County Community College and was also an active member and Vice President of East Stroudsburg University Alumni Association Advisory Board for many years. A longtime Rotarian, Lisa was recognized as Rotarian of the Year in 2001. In addition, Lisa has served on the advisory board of Leadership Harrisburg and as a parent volunteer at Hershey High School.

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Alexandra Valentin

Practice Director, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center


Ms. Alexandra Valentin is an international speaker, advises organizations on culture transformation and is fluent in English and Spanish. She has over 21 years of experience with The Ritz-Carlton, and during her career, she has served in Food & Beverage as well as in Quality. She has held the position of Director of Learning and the position of Area Director of Performance Development. Alexandra took an active role when The Ritz-Carlton pursued and won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for the second time in 1999. While working at The Ritz-Carlton, Puerto Rico, Alexandra led her team when the hotel applied and won all categories of the PROCOMP Quality Award. Consequently, PROCOMP asked her to join its Board of Directors. Alexandra worked with PROCOMP to help organizations achieve top performance and implement new resources to increase productivity and effectiveness. Alexandra is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) by the American Lodging and Educational Institute and is also a Targeted Selection Trainer from Development Dimensions International (DDI). Most recently, Alexandra completed The High Impact Leadership Program, an Executive Leadership Development Program, Center for Leadership at Florida International University. She has shared the culture of The Ritz-Carlton with thousands of people around the world. Alex is a former weightlifting champion, runs half marathons every year, and enjoys doing charitable work for abandoned dogs.

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Eric Varin

Assistant Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Allegro Senior Living


Mr. Varin is an Assisted Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Allegro Senior Living. As a part of the sales and marketing leadership team, he supports a wide array of company-wide sales and marketing initiatives and oversees new Allegro startups, in addition Alto Senior Living, Allegro’s newest brand. Mr. Varin brings over 10 years of senior living sales and marketing leadership and strategy experience in the industry. He holds MBAs from Cornell University (New York) and Queen’s University (Canada) and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner.

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Max Winters

Planner and Designer, Perkins Eastman


Max is a planner and designer at Perkins Eastman, and an emerging voice in the conversation about environments for older adults. Working with senior care providers around North America, he has advised them in the development of long-term visions for their communities through strategic and master planning, and the realization of those visions through the built environment. Max has presented on regional and national stages about topics including making places for community-based care, innovative dementia environments, and the transformative role technology will play in the future of aging.

He is also involved with Perkins Eastman’s Research in Practice group, which focuses on advancing best design practices through research and innovation. Through this involvement, he has recently been published as the co-author of the Clean Slate Project, a year-long research effort by Perkins Eastman to explore the senior living market through fresh eyes. His work will appear again in 2019 as the co-author of Missing Main Street, a publication based on his travel fellowship to Hogewey Dementia Village in the Netherlands, and supporting research about the role of self, nostalgia, and spatial archetypes in creating environments for the next generation of older adults living with dementia.

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Dana Wollschlager

Partner, Plante Moran Living Forward

As partner and practice leader for Plante Moran Living Forward, Dana brings more than 25 years’ experience in the industry. She has overseen the development of more than half a billion dollars in new construction including 1,400 units of senior housing and skilled nursing within the last five years.

Dana’s expertise covers a wide area of disciplines ranging from design and construction oversight, financing, and regulatory compliance to on-site operations and management. Her development projects have been comprised of a variety of senior communities in urban and rural settings, including Greenfield new construction as well as significant campus expansions and remodeling projects. Dana’s experience also includes green design and construction, congregational senior housing, hospital campus senior housing, nursing home campus repositioning, collegiate senior housing, and complex remodeling projects. She has written and secured federal grant approvals to upgrade, substantially rehabilitate, and convert older HUD-202 properties from independent living to assisted living communities.

Previously, Dana served as a regional director for housing operations at Ecumen and later joined the new business development team. There she led the organization in the single largest expansion in the firm’s history of both owned and managed senior housing communities as well as skilled nursing home repositioning projects.

Dana attended the University of Minnesota and is a certified occupancy manager, residential manager, and assisted housing manager.