Speakers

Meet the Senior Living Leadership Summit educational program speakers.
Educational programming will take place Tuesday, November 15 and Wednesday, November 16.

James Balda

President & CEO, Argentum

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Industry Visioning Results & 4 Key Imperatives Over the Next 10 Years
Tuesday, November 15, 9:40-10:10 AM
COVID-19 Retrospective: Looking Back to Move Forward
Tuesday, November 15, 10:20-11:20 AM

James Balda is President and CEO of Argentum, the leading national trade association serving companies that own, operate, and support professionally managed senior living communities in the United States.

Throughout the pandemic, he has led the organization’s focus on critical political advocacy and action including obtaining first-in-line COVID vaccine status for assisted living residents, relief funding for senior living providers, and introduction of congressional legislation supporting providers and a strong senior living workforce, putting him on The Hill’s 2021 Top Lobbyist roster.

In 2015, when Balda joined Argentum—then known as the Assisted Living Federation of America—he directed a comprehensive rebranding of the organization and new key imperatives to reflect the greater scope, choice, and innovation on the rise in senior living.

Prior to this, Balda served in several roles at the National Restaurant Association, where he was responsible for advancing the association’s business development, insurance, and financial services product strategy. Before this, he was senior vice president of membership and professional development at America’s Health Insurance Plans. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Maryland.

Alex Banayan

Youngest Bestselling Business Author in American History

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Keynote: Exponential Growth: How to Think Differently, Transform Your Business, & Achieve Your Most Important Goals
Tuesday, November 15, 8:30-9:30 AM

Alex Banayan is the youngest bestselling business author in American history. A renowned expert on perseverance and exponential growth, Banayan has presented the Third Door™ framework to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world, including Apple, Google, Nike, IBM, Snapchat, Salesforce, Delta Airlines, Mastercard, and Disney.

The Third Door chronicles Banayan's seven-year quest to uncover the definitive mindset of success. The book is a #1 international bestseller, has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been acclaimed by the New York Post as "a joy to read."

Named to Forbes' "30 Under 30" list and Business Insider's "Most Powerful People Under 30," Alex Banayan is his generation's leading expert in high performance and personal development, having been featured in FORTUNE, CNBC, Bloomberg BusinessweekThe Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC News.

Chris Bird

President & Chief Operating Officer, LCS

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COVID-19 Retrospective: Looking Back to Move Forward
Tuesday, November 15, 10:20-11:20 AM

Capitalizing on his reputation as a change agent, Chris Bird brings his expertise to the communities LCS serves. By leading operations, building community occupancy, fostering capital partner relationships, and developing new business, Chris implements strategies to deliver on the expectations of owners and shareholders. As executive vice president, chief operating officer, Chris oversees Life Care Services, CPS, asset management, procurement, and onboarding operations. His ability to analyze issues, devise continuous process improvements, and incorporate business process initiatives drives performance improvement for the overall operation.

At LCS, Chris mentors future leaders by providing guidance, expertise and resources to develop professional skills in the senior living industry. In addition, he is a member of the LCS Board of Directors and the LCS Audit Committee. Chris is a member of the Argentum Advisory Council and the Argentum Chief Operating Officer Roundtable. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Memphis, Tennessee.

Angela Brandt

President, ProMedica Senior Care

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Home as an Opportunity Versus a Threat
Tuesday, November 15, 3:50-5:00 PM

Angela drives initiatives aimed at delivering strategic solutions that achieve the company’s objectives. She leverages her robust industry and business acumen within change management, strategic planning, and healthcare leadership to steer corporate culture transformations, turnaround performance, propel revenue growth, and makes data-driven, informed decisions to meet current and future business needs.

Earlier in her career, Angela joined ProMedica in 2013 and was quickly promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer of the Physicians Group in 2016, where she transformed operations, identified areas for improvement, and implemented aggressive strategies to improve process, performance, and capitalize on opportunities. She achieved unprecedented growth in the division, united individual practices into a cohesive group, and streamlined disparate systems into one platform.

In 2019, Angela was promoted to President of the ProMedica Physicians Group. She remained here for 2 years and successfully navigated the organization through the challenges of the COVID19 global pandemic. She continued to grow business, revenue, and profitability through efficiency improvements. She reduced expenses by 4% while maintaining a 98% retention rate.

Between 2020 and 2021, Angela held the role of President, Telehealth Institute, where she capitalized on existing technology and capabilities during the pandemic and within the confines of the public health emergency regulatory changes, defined a system telehealth strategy across acute care, ambulatory care, physician group, senior care and insurance business lines.

In 2021, Angela was promoted to President of Senior Care & Healthy Aging, where she is responsible for $3BN of the organization’s total $7BN in AR. She oversees operations across 26 states and 30k patients per day. She establishes and implements strategies to streamline operations and improve efficiency across the enterprise via change management and turnaround operations. To date, she has instilled transparent communications for C-Suite leadership and employees, reduced agency hours by 50%, reduced expenses by 50%, drove the largest employee hiring event in company history, advanced a divestiture strategy, and realized millions in EBIDTAR operational improvement MoM.

Alan Fairbanks

Executive Vice President, Bickford Senior Living

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Home as an Opportunity Versus a Threat
Tuesday, November 15, 3:50-5:00 PM

Alan Fairbanks is Executive VP and a principle for Bickford Senior Living in Olathe, Kansas, which owns and operates over 60 senior living communities across the country. He spent the early part of his career as an administrator in a skilled nursing facility. He joined  Bickford in 1996 and has held various positions including Director, Divisional Director of Operations, Product Manager of Assisted Living and Dementia, and General Manager.

Alan has been a member of Argentum’s Executive Roundtable for Operations since its inception and currently serves as Chairperson. Alan is committed to long-term personal development and has completed 4 years of advanced training at the Stagen Leadership Academy. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and his Masters in Health Administration from the University of Kansas.

Daniel P. Forrester

Founder and Board Chair, THRUUE, Inc.

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Moving Forward: Measuring What Matters
Tuesday, November 15, 2:40-3:40 PM

Daniel P. Forrester is a seasoned strategist with over 25 years of management consulting success working with clients in nearly every sector of the economy. His background spans client executive management and business development, to advising CEOs and boards of large global companies, to strategizing with top leadership of platforms that galvanize change in the social sector. Daniel took his systems level thinking and ability to connect an organization’s culture (values, purpose, and vision) to its enterprise strategy and governance --and founded THRUUE, Inc. in 2012. Daniel invented and trademarked the term Cultural Performance Indicators (CPIs™) to help companies understand and measure the relative health of their cultures. THRUUE has helped over sixty commercial and not for profit CEOs from across the country to shift culture, increase revenue, redefine relevancy, and/or measure and deliver on health and social outcomes. THRUUE was recognized in 2019 as one of the fastest growing companies in New Jersey.

Daniel is the author of Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization, published in 2011 by Macmillan. Daniel is also the coauthor of Relentless: The Forensics of Mobsters’ Business Practices, published in 2021.

Daniel is collaborating with Professor John Johnson from the University of Maryland’s School of Engineering on the design of unique online courses and a certification (proposed to Ed-x for early 2023) that enables global learners to connect visioning and long-term strategic planning to product management and agile development.

Judd Harper

President, The Arbor Company

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DEIB Direction – What the Data Suggests and What’s Next
Tuesday, November 15, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Judd joined The Arbor Company as a summer marketing intern in 1997.  He has held a number of community and corporate leadership positions over the past twenty-four years, including Marketing Assistant, Marketing Director, Executive Director, Regional Director of Operations, Vice President of Operations, Chief Operating Officer and currently President.

Since 2000, Judd has played an integral role in supporting and driving the growth of Arbor’s third party management business from seven assisted living and memory care communities to more than forty-five full service senior living campuses and communities. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Argentum, the largest national senior living industry association, and has served on the Argentum Operations Roundtable for a number of years and chaired the group for two years in the late 2000s.

Stephanie R. Harris

Chief Executive Officer, Arrow Senior Living Management, LLC

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DEIB Direction – What the Data Suggests and What’s Next
Tuesday, November 15, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Stephanie Harris, CEO and Principal, established Arrow Senior Living Management and Turnaround Solutions with an initial investment using student loans while a student at St. Louis University School of Law.

Over the past 17 years, Stephanie has become a senior-housing industry thought leader. Her sales and management methods have been proven to effectively transform and stabilize low-performing or newly developed communities in a matter of months.

Arrow Senior Living has quadrupled its footprint since its inception and was recognized in 2021 as the 43rd largest senior housing operator by Senior Housing Executive magazine. The company currently manages more than one billion in real estate, has more than 1,800 employees, and operates 31 senior communities across five states, with an additional $125 million under construction.

Stephanie recently was honored as one of 19 women across the country for the inaugural class of the “Women of Distinction Hall of Honor” by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and as a “Top 40 Under 40” by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Prior to a career in senior housing, Stephanie spent several years with numerous congressional and statewide campaigns and worked on Capitol Hill as a policy advisor.

Kemy Joseph, MS, EdS

Co-Founder, Executive Equity Officer, F.E.A.R.S. Advantage

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Keynote: Thrive Leadership: 10 Must-Haves for DEI Success
Wednesday, November 16, 8:15-9:30 AM

Kemy Joseph is on a mission to help 5 Million business leaders advance equity in their organizations by 2030 to create a world where people of all backgrounds can live safely and thrive.

Kemy helps purpose-driven business executives leverage equity as a pathway to prosperity to effectively lead their diverse teams through conflicts involving race, politics, and privilege. In a time where people feel so disconnected and unsafe, he’s able to create virtual safe spaces where people have real conversations that build trust, repair relationships, and create new sustainable solutions. He also uses a multi-camera setup with music, stories, and group exercises to create highly engaging, transformational experiences!

Most people see Kemy’s bright smile, but wouldn’t imagine the hardships behind it. Being raised in Miami, FL as a first generation Haitian American, he lived in a single-parent household with nine siblings where poverty, violence, and racial inequity traumatized him at an early age.

Growing up, he was socialized as a sexist, racist, homophobe, bigot, bully, and criminal.

As an adult he’s made the extraordinary effort to re-socialize himself into a human being — a healthy, educated black man who respects women, celebrates diversity, and supports the equal rights of all people. His journey represents the transformation that’s possible when we use negative experiences for positive change and learn the skills we need to treat others equitably. From that humbled perspective, he brings a great deal of empathy, hope, and productivity to these often difficult conversations.

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Wendy Nowokunski

President & Co-Founder, Northbridge Companies

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COVID-19 Retrospective: Looking Back to Move Forward
Tuesday, November 15, 10:20-11:20 AM
Wendy Nowokunski is the co-founder and President of the Northbridge Companies. Over the past 30 years Wendy has established herself as a leader in senior living industry having been an integral part of the start-up and growth of several companies specializing in senior living. In her career, Wendy has overseen the development, acquisition, start-up and operations of over 80 communities including active adult, CCRCs, independent living, assisted living and memory care. As President of Northbridge, Wendy sets the overall vision and strategy for the company. A key component of which is building a culture of respect, compassion, and integrity through leading by example. Wendy was awarded the 2020 Women of Distinction Award by McKnight’s which recognizes influential women leaders in the senior housing field. Since Northbridge’s inception, Wendy has maintained a commitment to providing residents, their families and associates an engaging, healthy, fun and purposeful place to live and work. Today, Northbridge is proud to serve over 1,500 residents and their families throughout New England and to call over 1,500 associates family.
Wendy serves on the Women in Leadership (WIL) committee of Argentum, the national trade organization for senior housing, on the Advisory Council for American Senior Housing Association (AHSA), the board of Mass-ALA and has been speaker for these organizations as well as Urban Land Institute (ULI), and MIT Center for Real Estate Professional Development Institute. Northbridge has been recognized by The Commonwealth Institute as being one of the top Women-Led Businesses in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022. Wendy is co-founder and board member of the One Angel Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in underprivilege children’s lives worldwide by providing resources to stabilize housing, educational and health needs one community at a time.

Liezl Tolentino

Chief Human Resources Officer, Enlivant

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DEIB Direction – What the Data Suggests and What’s Next
Tuesday, November 15, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Liezl Tolentino leads the talent and leadership development for Enlivant, overseeing all human resource strategies that support the company’s mission and values. She successfully built and scaled the human resource infrastructure to drive growth and continues to foster a diverse and engaged culture resulting in Enlivant being certified as a Great Place to Work for 3 years in a row. Liezl has been with Enlivant in a progression of human resources leadership roles since 2014. Her background includes more than 15 years of experience in employee relations, benefits, employee engagement, organizational development, and coaching. Prior to joining Enlivant, she spent 8 years with Hyatt Hotels Corporation serving in various HR roles.

Liezl is a graduate of University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where she served on the Admissions Committee and was selected to be a Social Enterprise Initiative Not-For-Profit Executive Coach. Liezl is a member of the Wisconsin School of Business Alumni Board and actively mentors undergraduate students. Previously, Liezl served as a board member for Saturday Place, a not-for-profit organization that helps underprivileged and underperforming 3rd and 4th grade students in the Chicago Public School district. She is a Department of Education Fulbright Hayes scholar who has a life-long commitment to educational programs and initiatives that better serve the local community and world at large.

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