LifeSpire of Virginia Speaker’s Bureau

As a leader and employer of choice in senior housing across Virginia, LifeSpire of Virginia is committed to providing high-quality educational talks, seminars and workshops on a wide variety of topics associated with aging and senior living.  Our experts are fully equipped to provide audiences with the latest trends in senior living, options on financing, potential tax implications of living in a CCRC, wellness, nutrition, brain fitness and more. To schedule a speaker, please contact Ann Lovell, Corporate Director of Communications, LifeSpire of Virginia at alovell@lifespireliving.org or (804) 521-9192.

Course Descriptions

Spiritual implications of wellness/socialization for seniors

As we age, our faith changes. Our spirituality evolves just as we change in the other areas of our lives — emotional, mental and physical.  For some, spiritual questions may begin to arise including: Did my life have meaning? Have I made a difference? How will I be remembered?  Sometimes, these questions may lead to a life change, and new interests or talents may appear.  At other times, faith may waiver, especially with chronic illness or great loss.  “Where is God in this?” we may ask. Hope sprouts when we remember we are children of God. Our presenters, who serve as chaplains within our communities, can provide you with information to help yourself or others navigate these seasons of change in a healthy, productive way.

Cognitive health: Staying sharp as you age

During this interactive presentation, you’ll discover how lifestyle choices can make a serious impact on your cognitive wellbeing.  Improvements in diet, mental engagement, exercise, and rest can slow cognitive decline and reduce your risk for developing dementia.  Come prepared for some brain fitness fun, and learn how you can improve your memory and keep your mind sharp as you age!

The differences in for-profit and non-profit CCRCs

If you, your parents or members of your church, community or civic group have begun the process of investigating a retirement community, you may have a number of questions about the differences between for-profit nursing homes and non-profit continuing care (or life plan) communities. Our presenters come with a wealth of experience in both types of settings and can address differences in price, longevity, and quality of care. They are well-equipped to provide you the information you need to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

Balance and fall prevention

One in four older adults experiences falls each year.  Falling poses a tremendous threat to health and independence, BUT falling is not an inevitable part of the aging process.  There are many things we can do to improve our balance and prevent falls as we age. During this interactive presentation, we’ll discuss the importance of balance training, factors that can affect balance, balance exercises to practice on your own, checking your home for fall hazards, and what to do if you fall/how to get back up.

Supporting whole-person wellness

Wellness is so much more than physical health or being free from illness.  Rather, it is a positive and affirming process of growth towards a better and more joyful self.  In this workshop, you’ll learn wellness strategies for living a healthful lifestyle with purpose and connection.  You’ll be led through exercises to explore your personal vision for wellbeing and be given some inspiration and steps to help you begin your wellness journey.

You are what you eat: Nutrition and aging

You have lots of choices when it comes to the food you eat — low fat, sugar free, organic, low carb, high protein, vegetarian, gluten free — the list goes on.  Choosing the best food options isn’t always easy, but it CAN get easier!  In this workshop, Rachel will lead you through the fundamentals of a healthy diet for older adults.  You’ll leave with practical tips for adopting a way of eating that works for your lifestyle and your goals.

Alcoholism and seniors

Our bodies’ ability to process fat and sugars changes as we get older.  These changes, along with prescribed medications, can have a profound effect on our bodies’ ability to process alcohol.  Those who were previously “social drinkers” may suddenly find their behavior is dramatically altered with just a few cocktails.  Others may find that alcohol no longer provides a happy release.  This presentation discusses the process of the disease of alcoholism and the associated issues faced by caregivers and families.

 

Other topics include:

  • Costs of long-term care and its impact on the middle class
  • The caregiver crisis in nursing
  • The benefits of a CCRC
  • Where you live matters: How living space design affects qualify of life
  • The Sandwich Generation: Caring for parents and caring for children
  • Affording retirement
  • Successful aging
  • Staying vertical and remaining safe in spite of gravity
  • Evolution of Senior Living

Speaker Bios

Rachel Burks is The Glebe Wellness Director with the National Institute for Fitness and Sport (NIFS) and an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). Rachel is passionate about helping others live vibrant, active, and healthy lifestyles.  This passion has fueled her work at The Glebe, where she oversees wellness programs and services for Glebe residents.  Rachel received her B.S. in Health and Wellness Promotion from UNC Asheville.  In her free time, she loves training for and competing in triathlons, trying new recipes in the kitchen and spending time with friends and family.

Jonathan R. Cook joined the staff of LifeSpire of Virginia as President/CEO in December 2014. Prior to joining LifeSpire of Virginia, Mr. Cook worked for Life Care Services LLC, where in his tenure he served as both Executive Director and in the regional position of Director of Operations Management. He has more than 19 years’ experience in the senior living/elder care field, including experience in multi-site continuing care retirement communities. He is a graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Ellen D’Ardenne was named executive director of The Glebe in September 2017. She joined The Glebe family on May 23, 2005, as the director of dining services. After 25 years of food service management in the hotel, restaurant, and senior living industry, D’Ardenne was looking for a new challenge. In May 2006, D’Ardenne began a Health Care Administration degree program, which led to her becoming a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in June 2010. With experience in Assisted Living Administration and Skilled Nursing Management, she further expanded her role in April 2011 by assuming leadership of The Glebe’s Health and Wellness programs.

Brandon Evans joined The Glebe in March 2011. Evans is a Registered Nurse who began his career as a nursing assistant, progressing to a Licensed Practical Nurse and then obtaining his Registered Nurse license. Evans’ nursing background includes supervisory responsibilities over a large Skilled Nursing program with more than 180 skilled beds, Infection Control, Quality Improvement and Staff Development. Brandon received his Associate in Science, Registered Nursing Cum Laude from Virginia Western Community College, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Jefferson College of Health Science.

Jim Jacobsen was named Executive Director of The Culpeper in September 2015. His employment with LifeSpire of Virginia began in August 1991 when he served as Director of Dining Services at The Culpeper campus. In 1995, he began 20 years of service at Lakewood, the LifeSpire of Virginia retirement community located in Richmond, Virginia. Jim was instrumental in coordinating and facilitating a number of initiatives at Lakewood and played key roles during various organizational transitions. Jim was often described as the face of “Customer Service” while serving as Administrator of Resident Life at Lakewood. Jim is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in the Commonwealth of Virginia and holds an Associate of Applied Science degree with a major in Business Management and has completed the Certified Dietary Managers Program from the University of Florida. Jim maintains his certification through the Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals. He is an active member of the International Facility Managers Association and long-term member and past Chairman within LeadingAge Virginia.

David Loop assumed the position of Executive Director of The Chesapeake in June 2017. Entering the field of senior living administration in 1984, David’s career parallels the development and growth of the senior living industry.  His service as a senior living community executive includes Willow Valley Communities, Pennsylvania; The Garlands of Barrington, Illinois; and Friendship Village of Schaumburg, Illinois. He also has experience in Hawaii, Ohio and Michigan with Greystone Communities, Wesleyan Senior Living, Oakwood Health System and Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services. David’s experience includes expansion and renovation projects, hospitality program development, strategic planning and fiscal management.  In his service to different organizations, David has experienced over $500 million of development and program growth. He has also served on numerous professional committees, state association boards and the LeadingAge House of Delegates. Originally from Ohio, David holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and received a certificate in nursing home administration from The Ohio State University.  He has a passion for excellent customer service and has received training from Disney, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications with LifeSpire of Virginia. A seasoned speaker, Ann previously served as an international missionary and writer/editor with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. While with the IMB, Ann and her family served in The Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand, and her work as an IMB writer took her to countries throughout Asia and around the globe. Ann holds a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and has pursued graduate work in strategic journalism through the University of Missouri. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Baptist Communicators Association.

Louise Mason is a Richmond native and the mother of two adult children, Will and Forrest.  She and her husband, Peter, have lived in Pennsylvania and Minnesota where they met.  Louise is an alumnae of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, where she received her M.Div and M.S. in Patient Counseling through their dual degree program.  She is a Board Certified Chaplain and has a background in substance abuse counseling and family therapy.  She enjoys teaching yoga, reading, and being outdoors.

Patricia Morris has more than 30 years’ experience in fundraising, marketing, and non-profit governance. She served as Vice President of Philanthropy for Feedmore Inc. from 2004-09 and as Director of Development and Marketing with the Children’s Museum of Richmond from 2001-04. She has also served in fundraising capacity at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and the Virginia Historical Society. Prior to entering fundraising, she worked in retail marketing, communications, and merchandising for national and regional retail chains. Throughout her fundraising career, she has served as a fundraising consultant with DeWitt & Associates and as an adjunctive instructor with several educational institutions, including the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Nonprofit Learning Point. She currently serves on the Conference Planning Committee of the annual Virginia Fund Raising Institute. She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Master’s in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Pat has served on many nonprofit boards in the Richmond area.

Peter Robinson joined LifeSpire of Virginia in January 2009. Before coming to LifeSpire of Virginia, he worked with Sunrise Senior Living where he served in a variety of roles, including regional manager for an assisted living portfolio, managing a portfolio of six continuing care retirement communities and directing the marketing and sales for a new development. Prior to working for Sunrise Senior Living, Peter worked for Sunnyside Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Peter is a graduate of James Madison University with a B.A. in History and a graduate of George Mason University with an M.S. in Health Systems Management.

Rose Meeks Wallace came to the Culpeper in 2014 after a lifetime career in healthcare administration. A Virginia native born in Fredericksburg she is the proud mother of three grown daughters, Loren, Leigh Ann and Madison. Before joining The Culpeper team, Rose oversaw and managed startups of both Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates and SeniorCare Geriatric Medical Center. She also managed and oversaw day-to-day operations and community relations of medical practices specializing in internal medicine, family practice and urgent care in partnership with both Mary Washington Healthcare and HCA Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. With an AS in business administration from NOVA, Rose enjoys being a Culpeper Rotarian, as well as giving back by volunteering with the TriCounty and Fredericksburg Alzheimer’s Associations. She is also active in the Culpeper County, Madison County, Orange County and Fredericksburg Chambers of Commerce, as well as numerous professional leadership committees. People are her passion and Rose’s focus and joy comes from finding the right solutions to meet all the needs and expectations of the senior adults she encounters.

Barrett Way began serving as Executive Director of Lakewood  in April 2017.  Prior to joining Lakewood, Way was the executive director of Westminster Village in Terre Haute, Indiana, managed by Life Care Services. During his tenure with Life Care Services, Way led a $2 million villa expansion project, oversaw the refinancing of $8.9 million in debt and helped the community achieve more than 400 days in “no lost work.” His efforts led to an overall increase in resident satisfaction to 92 percent, with 96 percent of residents recommending the community to family and friends. Way, who grew up in Richmond’s west end, volunteered at Lakewood as a boy and looks forward to returning to his childhood neighborhood. Way holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts’ Isenberg School of Management and a bachelor’s in business administration from Ohio University. He and his wife have two daughters.