The Center for Innovation Board:
Experience, Compassion, Knowledge

The Center for Innovation (CFI) is the umbrella organization of The Green House Project (GHP), Pioneer Network, and EmpowerED. A diverse group of leaders from all parts of the eldercare continuum, the CFI Board of Directors brings their unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the oversight of all three brands.

Jill Wilson, Chair

Wilson is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Otterbein Senior Life, a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry based in Lebanon, Ohio. She joined Otterbein in 1997 and has held various positions including chief financial officer, vice president of strategic planning, and executive vice president, leading up to her promotion to CEO in early 2009.

Prior to joining Otterbein, Wilson spent her career as a CPA in ever-increasing roles of responsibility with certified public accounting firms. Otterbein is the nation’s largest provider and national leader in developing “small house” neighborhoods, which offer a revolutionary, person-centered skilled nursing home model designed to look and feel like a real home. Wilson is on the board of Caring Communities Insurance Company, where she is chair of the underwriting committee. She is past chair of the Ohio Board of Executives of Long-Term Services & Supports, appointed by then-governor, John Kasich, past chair of LeadingAge Ohio, and past treasurer of the United Methodist Association Board. Wilson was named to the 2016 list of Cincinnati Women of Influence by Venue Magazine and is a recipient of the 2017 Everest Leaders and Legends Award. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration (accounting) from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree in organizational development from Bowling Green State University.

Marvell Adams, Jr., Treasurer

Adams is the president and CEO of the Caregiver Action Network, an organization working to improve the quality of life for individuals who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, and supportive living needs. He is also the founder and CEO of W Lawson, an advisory and consulting firm. Adams previously served as chief operating officer of The Kendal Corporation, a leading non-profit eldercare provider.

He has also served as the executive director and CEO of Collington, Kendal’s affiliate in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, as well as the COO and administrator of The Highlands at Pittsford outside of Rochester, N.Y.

Adams has a passion for developing the next generation of eldercare leaders: Since 2016, he has served as the director for emerging talent at Kendal, helping affiliates of the non-profit to identify, develop, and maintain high-quality internship and fellowship opportunities that are academically relevant for students. Adams also routinely speaks to students at Cornell University, UNC, and Penn State.

Adams holds a master’s degree in health care administration from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Charleston.

Maggie Calkins, Secretary

Dr. Calkins is nationally recognized as a creative, dynamic leader, trainer, and researcher in the field of environments for elders. She is a highly sought-after speaker for conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

She is head of Moreland Hills, Ohio-based Innovative Designs in Environments for an Aging Society (IDEAS), a consulting firm, and IDEAS Institute, a nonprofit research institute, both of which are dedicated to exploring the therapeutic potential of the environment—social, organizational, as well as physical—particularly as it relates to frail and impaired older adults. Dr. Calkins has published extensively and received over $5 million in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and foundations to develop training materials and explore the impact of the environment on people living with dementia.

Jeffrey Ash, Ed.D.

Dr. Ash is associate dean, diversity and inclusion, and assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Nursing. He has been published in the Journal of Professional Nursing and authored a chapter titled “Dimensions of Diversity” in the Ronch, Weiner text, Person Centered Elder Care.

Dr. Ash’s experience and education include diversity and inclusion consultations and podium and plenary presentations. He holds a B.S. in Economics; M.S. in Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Training; and Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) in Urban Educational Leadership.

Joycelyn Elders, MD

Dr. Elders, the first person in the state of Arkansas to become board certified in pediatric endocrinology, was the fifteenth Surgeon General of the United States, as well as the first African American and only the second woman to head the U.S. Public Health Service.

Long an outspoken advocate of public health, Elders was appointed Surgeon General by President Clinton in 1993. She left office in 1994 and in 1995 returned to the University of Arkansas as a faculty researcher and professor of pediatric endocrinology at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. In 1996, she wrote her autobiography, Joycelyn Elders, M.D.: From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America. Now retired from practice, she is a professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine and remains active in public health education.

Thomas Gilmartin

Gilmartin is the chief financial officer for National Health Care Associates, Inc., an organization focused on providing short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and post-acute care in six states within the Northeast.

Thomas has spent most of his career working in the senior care industry, working for providers of post-acute care, long-term care, senior housing, and community-based services. Thomas earned his master of business administration from Norwich University and his bachelor of science degree in accounting from Lehman College.

Dan Hermann

Hermann is president and chief executive officer of Ziegler, a privately held investment bank, capital markets, and proprietary investments firm based in Chicago, Ill. He also serves as head of investment banking and sits on Ziegler’s board of directors and executive committee.

Hermann not only fosters the growth of existing practices but also pursues potential new practices. With a focus on cross-practice collaboration, he plays an active role in maximizing synergistic opportunities across all investment practices, especially within the healthcare and senior living sectors. Hermann has structured and led or co-led more than 325 senior living financings exceeding $8.2 billion, cumulating far-ranging experience in the management, structuring, and financial analysis of every type of senior living financing.

Michele Holleran, Past Chair

Holleran’s passion for hearing the voice of the stakeholders started in the 1980s, with a specific interest in customer satisfaction. In 1992, she founded Wrightsville, Pa.-based Holleran, a research and consulting firm focused on understanding satisfaction in senior living and retirement communities.

Holleran’s influence has transformed the industry’s understanding of successful aging, leading to the widespread adoption of engagement as a key metric in resident and employee research. It is this dedication to research and understanding that propelled Holleran into her role as the first chair of the LeadingAge Larry Minnix Leadership Academy, where she coached leaders to take their skills to the next level. Today, Holleran continues to develop and facilitate leadership courses for LeadingAge state affiliates and multisite provider organizations. In addition to her vast professional experience, she holds an MBA from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Management, with a specialization in leadership studies, from Capella University.

Karyne Jones

Jones is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA) and NCBA Housing Management and Development Corporation.

During its forty-seven-year history, NCBA has been the only national organization devoted solely to providing effective leadership in making minority participation in aging services a national issue and priority. Prior to becoming NCBA’s CEO, Karyne was executive director of Federal Relations with SBC Telecommunications (now AT&T), where she lobbied members of Congress on telecommunications issues and policies. She also represented the company’s corporate political action committee with national political organizations.

Jessica Luh Kim

Inspired by her own life experiences, Luh Kim has been on a mission to collaborate with individuals and organizations to help people realize their fullest potential and thrive.

For years, she has dedicated a large portion of her time to focus on improving the life experiences of older adults and people living with dementia, along with the work experiences of health care providers in a variety of settings. In recognition of her contributions to changing the culture of aging in Canada, Jessica was nominated and recognized as a 2022 Walk With Me Trailblazer. Luh Kim continues to play a key role in creating better places to live and work in the aging field as an independent consultant to senior living providers in Canada and in the U.S. Prior to joining The Center for Innovation’s board, she served as an executive Pioneer Network board member since 2018.  

Steve McAlilly, Past Chair

McAlilly is the president and chief executive officer CEO of Methodist Senior Services (MSS), whose corporate headquarters is in Tupelo, Miss. Established in 1966, MSS owns and operates twelve retirement communities in eleven locations in Mississippi, serving more than 1,500 residents.

It offers affordable levels of care that include independent living, personal care (assisted living), and skilled nursing care. MSS serves another 200 persons in their homes with Meals on Wheels. Under his leadership in 2003, MSS developed and opened the nation’s first Green House home for long-term care. McAlilly was selected by the United Methodist Association as its Administrator of the Year in 2004. In 2005, he received Otterbein Homes’ Distinguished Service to Aging award for bringing the Green House model of long-term care to the world and was presented the LeadingAge Award of Honor in 2012. In 2015, McAlilly was named Millsaps College’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. He also serves as a director for Caring Communities Insurance Company. McAlilly received his Bachelor of Science degree in history at Millsaps College in 1977 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1980.

Danny O’Brien

O’Brien is the founding CEO of Avila Home Care, an agency serving the Baltimore area. Prior to launching Avila, O’Brien was the senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, Md.

He also spent 13 years at Erickson Living from 1993 to 2006, where he worked as the executive director for Charlestown and the senior vice president for new communities, overseeing start-up operations and government relations. O’Brien serves on the board of the LifeSpan Network, an organization of senior living providers in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and has also been a member of the Maryland Secretary of Aging’s Advisory Council.

John Ponthie

Since 2005, Ponthie has exclusively worked in the long-term care industry and has continuously served on the board of directors of the Arkansas Health Care Association since 2007.

Ponthie co-owns Southern Administrative Services, which provides administrative support services for 36 nursing homes, including four campuses that encompass 33 Green House homes. He has more than 25 years of experience in health care administration, including 16 years in hospital management and other ancillary services. Under Ponthie’s direction, his company developed the first for-profit Green House homes. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Louisiana State University and a Master of Health Administration degree from Tulane University.

Deb Reardanz

Reardanz has served as president and chief executive officer of Urbana, Ill.-based Clark-Lindsey, a life plan community that includes 275 residents and 260 employees, since 2009. Prior to that, she served as the organization’s vice president and chief financial officer.

In 2017, Clark-Lindsey opened Illinois’ first Green House Homes (outside the VA system) and advanced regulatory readiness for a more resident-centric, small-home model. Clark-Lindsey received the 2016 LeadingAge Excellence Workplace Award, recognizing its culture of high resident and employee engagement, and the 2016 Community Impact Award from LeadingAge Illinois. Reardanz is a graduate of the 2012 LeadingAge Leadership Academy program, an organization that represents aging services providers throughout the nation, and served as coach and facilitator for the LeadingAge Illinois leadership program (2013-2015). She currently serves as past chair of the LeadingAge Illinois board of directors. Reardanz holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois. She has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant since 1997 and received her Nursing Home Administrator’s license in 1998.

Matt Trimble

Trimble is chief executive officer (CEO) of Saint Elizabeth Community in Warwick, R.I. Trimble graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in health management and policy.

Prior to becoming CEO, Matt served as a chief operating officer, where he oversaw the operating entities of Saint Elizabeth Home (SNF), Saint Elizabeth Manor (SNF), Saint Elizabeth Court (AL), Saint Elizabeth Place (HUD housing), Saint Elizabeth Terrace (HUD housing), and the five adult day centers for Cornerstone Adult Services. Trimble headed up the development and opening of the four Green House homes at Saint Elizabeth Home, which opened in 2017. From 1997 to 2015, Trimble held the position of administrator of Saint Elizabeth Home, and in 2001, he was responsible for overseeing the development of the new Saint Elizabeth Home building in East Greenwich, R.I. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Rhode Island, a former chair of LeadingAge Rhode Island. Trimble is an active member of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) and is past-president of the Rhode Island Chapter of ACHCA, where he also served as vice president and treasurer.

If you’re ready to create homes for elders that demonstrate more powerful, meaningful, and satisfying lives, call us today.