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Donald O. Thompson, Jr.
Founding the company in 1989, Mr. Thompson serves as president of Maxwell Group, Inc., which specializes in the development of and management services for CCRCs, start-up and work-out companies. Maxwell Group, Inc. is the management company for Senior Living Communities. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Thompson also served as COO of Aaron Enterprises, Inc. which developed and operated assisted living and retirement campuses. Mr. Thompson helped found Liberty Healthcare in 1990 which owned and operated 19 skilled nursing facilities in North Carolina and Tennessee. Liberty was ultimately sold to Regency Healthcare in 1996. Mr. Thompson also founded a Long Term Care Pharmacy, a DME company, Therapy Companies, and Enteral Feeding Companies in the 1990s (all of which were sold to various public companies in the late 1990s). In addition, Mr. Thompson founded LTC Services Group which served the group purchasing need of 7,100 beds in 114 different facilities. From 1979 to 1988, he directed The Thompson Company which developed approximately 1,600 single-family homes, condominiums and 1 CCRC. Mr. Thompson received the 1985 Entrepreneurial Excellence Award from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. He is a 1979 graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Business Administration.
Wallace M. Saunders
President / Chief Financial Officer
Wallace is the President and Chief Financial Officer of Senior Living Communities. Wallace joined Senior Living Communities following a career in investment banking with Wachovia Securities and Edgeview Partners. At Wachovia Securities, he executed a broad range of transactions serving the residential and commercial mortgage industries. Subsequently, Wallace worked in mergers and acquisitions at Edgeview Partners, one of the leading middle market-focused investment banking firms in the U.S., where he advised clients in the healthcare, distribution, aerospace and defense, and consumer products industries. Wallace is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Managing Director – Development
In his nearly 30 years in the development and construction industry, Mr. Conway has covered the entire spectrum of project management. He has spearheaded a multitude of successful projects from high-end institutional and multi-family residential projects, to commercial office buildings for Fortune 500 corporations.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech. Prior to joining Senior Living Communities, Mr. Conway served as President of O’Neal Constructors, an integrated design-build company with three divisions in the Southeast, as Vice President of Development with Banyan Senior Living and Vice President of Swift Construction Company.
Executive Vice President Operations
Chris is a seasoned senior operations executive with extensive experience in the senior living industry. His most recent positions included stints as a senior management consultant at GVA Advantis Company based in Durham, N.C. and as Co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer at EDCare Management also located in Durham. Rio has a proven record of performance, which includes time at Southern Assisted Living, Inc. where he was promoted from Executive Vice President of Operations to Chief Operating Officer. In his current role, Rio oversees operations at nine Senior Living Communities and acts as a liaison and consultant for the company’s Executive Directors. Rio received a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus on real estate from the University of Denver. He resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Vice President of Operations
Mrs. Huffstetler provides operational support to all nine Senior Living Communities. Having served Senior Living Communities previously as the Director of Public Relations and the Chief Communication Officer, she uses her background in corporate and agency public relations to coordinate various aspects of company policy, operational measures, media relations, consumer relations and community relations for the company. Before joining SLC, Mrs. Huffstetler served as account executive at a sports marketing agency based in Huntersville, N.C., where she managed several accounts. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Masters of Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Chief Information Officer
Aniello Salierno was named Chief Information Officer of Senior Living Communities in June 2010. He has been with the company since 2003 when he accepted the role of Finance Director for The Lakes at Pointe West, a Florida retirement community now managed by Senior Living Communities. Within three years, he excelled to the leadership position of Vice President of Operations overseeing Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. As Vice President of Operations, Mr. Salierno maintained operating responsibilities for a portfolio of 10 retirement communities while also actively participating in the strategic development and growth of the company’s policies and functional departments. In addition to his background in sound fiscal management, Mr. Salierno also developed expertise in core functional areas such as information technology and networking, human resources, sales and marketing, and construction financing. As CIO, Mr. Salierno has actively planned and led the strategic implementation of information technologies including networking and telecommunications systems. Primarily focused on the integration of multiple legacy health record and financial systems into one comprehensive solution, Mr. Salierno is currently engaged in deploying new technology and intelligence to facilitate critical data analytics. Prior to joining Maxwell Group, he served as the assistant to branch manager for Raymond James Financial, Inc. Mr. Salierno graduated with a BS in Finance from the University of Florida and is Licensed as a Florida Assisted Living Administrator.
Tim W. Andrews
Vice President of Facility Services
Tim's responsibilities include supervision, coordination, city and government liaison, and all other duties associated with start-up operations and maintenance of operational facilities. Previously, Tim served as director of development for Aaron Enterprises, having served in several related positions since joining the firm in 1989. Tim holds licenses and certificates in several maintenance and construction fields.
Vice President of Wellcare
Erik Bartkowiak , RN is the Regional Director of Clinical Services for the state of Florida. After serving in the United States Army Special Operations Command, Mr. Bartkowiak attended Quinsigamond Community College and the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences. Having worked extensively as a trauma nurse and intensive care nurse in various medical centers, he began his career in long-term healthcare in 2010 with Brookdale. At Brookdale Senior Living, Mr. Bartkowiak served as the Health and Wellness Director for two communities before being promoted to Regional Director of Clinical and Resident Services. In January of 2012, he joined Senior Lifestyle Corporation as Regional Director of Clinical Operations overseeing 25 communities in 7 different states. He holds certifications as a Legal Nurse Consultant, Emergency Nurse, Assisted Living Nurse, Flight Registered Nurse and is a BLS / ACLS / PALS / CPR instructor. Mr. Bartkowiak joined Maxwell Group in 2012.
R. McSwain Bell
Vice President of Development and Procurement
Prior to joining Senior Living Communities, McSwain worked in project management for Shelco, Inc., a large general contractor based in Charlotte, NC. During that time, he managed the construction process for office, multi-family residential, retail, and industrial buildings. McSwain is a designated broker in charge (BIC) in the state of North Carolina. He has a BS in Construction Management from Clemson University.
Vice President of Skilled Services
Darrell Biddix is the Vice President of Clinical Services for Maxwell Group. As Vice President of Clinical Services, Mr. Biddix works with the onsite clinical teams to improve and enhance health care services throughout the Maxwell Group portfolio. Before joining Maxwell Group, Mr. Biddix served as Healthcare Administrator at The Lakes at Litchfield in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Western Carolina University and has served lengthy tenures with Grace Hospital Systems and Mariner Healthcare. He is an active member of both the American College of Health Care Administrators and the local, South Carolina chapter. Mr. Biddix is also a dual-licensed administrator in the state of South Carolina.
Vice President of Clinical Services
Ellen Imperial, LNHA, RN, is our Regional Director of Clinical Services. With 24 years experience as a Registered Nurse and 17 years experience in long-term care, Ms. Imperial joined Maxwell Group after serving as Vice President Clinical Reimbursement for AdCare Health Systems. At AdCare, she supervised 44 facilities in 7 states. Prior to her tenure at AdCare, she was the Director of Clinical Reimbursement for Shoreline Healthcare Management. With Shoreline, she traveled among 16 states providing oversight to 51 facilities. Ms. Imperial specializes in training interdisciplinary teams in MDS compliance and process. She is AANAC certified and is a licensed nursing home administrator.
Kathy Lowe, R.N.
Senior VP of Home Care Services, Live Long WellCare
Kathy is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years of clinical/managerial experience. She has over 11 years experience in long-term care, having served as a risk manager, licensed assisted living administrator and executive director at a long-term care facility. Lowe is also an experienced intensive care nurse, and has spent seven years in the home healthcare industry. She was promoted from her position as vice president of clinical services and compliance to senior vice president of Home Care services. As senior vice president, she oversees the home health programs in our Senior Living Campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina & Florida & is actively working to implement home health licensure in our other campuses. Prior to becoming vice president of clinical services and compliance for Live Long WellCare, Kathy worked as healthcare administrator and marketing director for Osprey Village, a Senior Living Community located on Amelia Island, Fla. Kathy is a licensed assisted living administrator and certified Alzheimer's disease instructor through the University of South Florida’s Training Academy on Aging. In 2009, Lowe was named one of Nassau County’s "Top 25 Business Women," for her commitment to local seniors.
Vice President of Talent Management
Nerissa Nelson is the Vice President of Talent Management for Senior Living Communities with primary responsibilities including Human Resource support in the areas of recruitment, training and development for all communities. Nerissa has over 30 years experience working in a variety of HR support positions within the medical, retail, banking and education industries. Throughout her career, she has served as an advocate for employees in the workplace. Most recently, Nerissa served as Director of Student and Parent Services for Charlotte Christian School before moving to Senior Living Communities in December of 2010.
Vice President of Sales
Tom joined Senior Living Communities in 2009 from Erickson Retirement Communities, were he was most recently Director of Sales and Marketing at Windsor Run, Erickson’s proposed twenty-second community in Matthews, North Carolina. Tom and his team were recognized as having the most successful new community start-up in the company’s 26-year history. Prior to joining Erickson, Tom was in new business development for three Charlotte-based advertising agencies and in packaged goods sales and marketing with Colgate-Palmolive and PET, Inc. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Business Administration.
Vice President of Dining Services
Frances Showa is a certified dietary service supervisor and a professional chef. Before joining the company, she served as Regional Consultant of Food Services for American Senior Communities where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of food service and delivery at more than 30 communities in Indiana.
Prior to her time with American Senior Communities, Mrs. Showa served as General Manager of Dining Services for Morrison Senior Dining where she oversaw the operations and food delivery service of skilled, assisted living and independent living units totaling 300 residents. She also has food service experience in various hospital settings and served as Director of Training and Development for Mrs. Fields of Mexico in Mexico City.
She completed a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008, holds an Associate of Arts degree in Dietetics and a Dietary Service Supervisor Certificate both from Long Beach City College in California. Mrs. Showa also graduated from the Epicurean Cooking School in West Los Angeles in 1990 with her Professional Chef Certificate.
Gary C. Ventola
Gary directs the financial affairs of Senior Living Communities and supervises the general accounting, property accounting, internal auditing and budgetary controls. Most recently, Gary was vice president of finance at behavioral health provider IFCS, Inc. and assistant vice president of finance at Sanders Bros., Inc. Prior to that, he served as controller at MicroMagnetic Systems, Inc., Corporate Express, Inc., Fire Suppression Systems, Inc., and Virginia Sprinkler, Inc. Gary is a member of AICPA and The Sarbanes-Oxley Institute. He earned a BS in finance & accounting from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Click here to see our Board Members