(Monday, August 21, 2023) – LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce Kristi Martin, MSN, BSN, RN, LNHA, as its new Executive Director for the Summit Community, beginning on August 21, 2023.

Kristi, a Lynchburg, Virginia native, obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Lynchburg College and her master’s degree from Jefferson College. She brings extensive experience from diverse areas, including Dialysis, Orthopedics, and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). More recently, she has taken on roles in Skilled and Long-Term Care.

“I’m looking forward to joining the incredible team at The Summit community and having an impact on the seniors we serve,” said Martin. “There are so many exciting things happening, and I am grateful to be here and be a part of it.”

Kristi has held various leadership positions as a long-tenured employee at Centra Health, including serving as a Nursing Home Administrator for the past eight years. Kristi’s passion is leading high-performing teams and making a difference in the lives of those she serves.

“The entire LifeSpire of Virginia family looks forward to welcoming Kristi into her new role at The Summit,” said Tracey Jennings, Chief Operating Officer for LifeSpire of Virginia. “Kristi’s long history in clinical and leadership roles will be instrumental as The Summit continues to grow and expand.”

Outside of work, Kristi enjoys traveling with her family, reading books, and spending quality time with loved ones. Kristi and her husband Lantz have three children together, Alexis, Lantz, and Lyncoln.

25 Students to Receive Scholarships for College from LifeSpire of Virginia, the VBH Foundation

The LifeSpire of Virginia and the Virginia Baptist Homes (VBH) Foundation leadership teams are pleased to announce the 2023 scholarship recipients. A total of $25,000 was awarded to 25 deserving individuals. The scholarships are funded by the Employee Education Fund.

The fund provides financial assistance for deserving team members towards two-and four-year higher education degrees. Support is awarded with grants for college-bound team members, and their children and grandchildren.

2023 Scholarship Recipients

The Chesapeake

  • Janyla Gatling, daughter of Lawshawta Roberts, Housekeeping
  • Emily Holden, Nursing
  • Macie Morings, Health Care
  • Dylan Simmons, son of Beverly Simmons, Health Care
  • Emma Thomas, daughter of Amy Thomas, Health Care

The Culpeper

  • Nina Ashison, daughter of Grace Nortey, Nursing
  • Aaron Bostian, CNA
  • Michael Fredericks, son of Elizabeth Fredericks, Memory Care
  • Jordan Heddings, CNA
  • Armani Hoffman, son of Theresa Lewis, Nursing
  • Destinee Hoffman, daughter of Theresa Lewis, Nursing
  • Teresa Lewis, CNA
  • Maylasia Simmons, daughter of Shadelle Simmons, Dietary

The Glebe

  • Brennan Corell, Dining
  • Ethan McKenzie, Dining
  • Heather Roberts, CNA
  • Carter Smith, Dining


  • Isaiah Bolden, son of Dorothy Connor, Nursing
  • Anmanat Boparai, daughter of Pearl Kaur, Transportation
  • Ava Brown, Dining
  • Cadence Goodnight, Dining
  • Jasmine Johnson, Dining
  • Jake Kazzie, Dining
  • Kala McGehee, Dining


  • Ryenne Flood, daughter of Marjetta Flood, Assisted Living

The VBH Foundation’s Employee Education Fund provides awards on an annual basis. The fund relies on the generosity of donors for sustainability. The LifeSpire team is grateful for the kindness of residents, families and colleagues who give to the Foundation to assist team members financially with scholarships and crisis awards. To learn more about the programs providing support to team members, visit https://lifespireliving.org/give/employee-support/

We Are Stronger Together

Your commitment to ensuring the highest quality of life—physically, spiritually and socially—for LifeSpire of Virginia community residents is what enables the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation to continue realizing its faith-driven mission.

When you remember the VBH Foundation or a specific community in your estate plan, your gift lives on and we welcome you into our J.T. Edwards Society. You become part of a group of like-minded people dedicated to creating communities that support dignity, faith and friendship, now and in the future, just as Dr. Edwards originally imagined.

Learn more about the impact you can make in the JT Edwards Legacy Society https://bit.ly/JTE


A new year has brought more than just resolutions. It’s brought new laws and other changes that may affect your giving decisions. And with any economic change, you may be looking at your finances and wondering how you will be impacted.

The new laws include retirement changes, known collectively as “Secure 2.0,” that may affect your saving and your giving. They may even make it easier for you to make a difference at organizations you care about.

Some important things Secure 2.0 does that involve charitable giving:

Increases the required minimum distribution (RMD) age

Secure 2.0 increases the age retirees must begin taking taxable withdrawals to 73 in 2023 and 75 by 2033, up from the previous 72. It does not, however, increase the age an IRA owner can make a qualified charitable distribution. That age remains at 70½.

Simply put, the extension of the RMD age gives you more time to save. You will enjoy additional tax-free growth. It also can be significant if you do not want to begin withdrawing retirement funds during an unsettled economic climate, giving you more time for your stock portfolio to recover.

Adjusts for inflation the $100,000 annual limit on direct gifts to qualified charities from your IRA

Are you 70½ or older? If so, you may know about a popular gift option that allows you to make a gift directly from your IRA to a qualified charity without paying income taxes on the distribution. Historically, the amount you could give was capped at $100,000 per year. This figure will now be adjusted annually for inflation beginning in 2024.

This allows you to not only increase your giving but also ensure your giving keeps pace with inflation. And you can make an impact—and see that impact—now rather than after your lifetime.

Allows for a distribution from your IRA to fund a life-income gift

If you are 70½ or older, you can make a one-time election for a qualified charitable distribution of up to $50,000 (without being taxed) from your IRA to fund a life-income gift such as a charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder unitrust or charitable remainder annuity trust.

These types of life-income gifts allow you to make a gift to a qualified charitable organization and receive lifetime payments to boost your retirement income, or provide a lifetime payment for you or your spouse.

Let’s Connect!

We can help answer any additional questions you might have about how the new retirement laws affect your charitable giving. Contact Jodi Leonard at (804) 521-9213 or jleonard@lifespireliving.org to have a conversation about your legacy with the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation.

Our website is full of helpful tools and information to better understand how to make an impact.  Visit https://vbh.planmylegacy.org/ to learn more about options for giving and leaving a legacy.

Charitable Gift Annuities

Gifts That Pay You Income

There is a way for you to support a LifeSpire of Virginia community and the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation (VBHF) and feel confident that you have dependable income in your retirement years. You can do this with a charitable gift annuity. 

With a charitable gift annuity you agree to make a gift to VBHF and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life. The remaining balance becomes part of your legacy at VBHF, allowing us to thrive far into the future.

This type of donation can provide you with regular payments for life and allow VBHF to further our mission. You can also qualify for a variety of tax benefits depending on how you fund your gift.

If you fund your gift annuity with cash or appreciated property, you qualify for a federal income tax deduction if you itemize. In addition, you can minimize capital gains taxes when you fund your gift with appreciated property.

And now, you can fund your gift using your IRA assets.  If you are 70½ and older, you can make a one-time election of up to $50,000 to fund a gift annuity. While your gift does not qualify for an income tax deduction, it does escape income tax liability on the transfer and count toward all or part of your required minimum distributions.

Your payments depend on your age at the time of the donation. If you are younger than 60, we recommend that you learn more about your options with a Deferred Gift Annuity.

The news keeps getting better … for the second time in just six months, payout rates have increased. They are now higher than they have been in more than a decade, making now a great time to consider this gift that benefits you and the VBH Foundation.

New Rate Chart (effective Jan. 1, 2023) – one recipient

Interested in learning more?  We would be happy to send you a free, no-obligation calculation showing you the increased benefits you can receive from a CGA. Your personalized calculation will include your potential income tax charitable deduction and our annual payments to you for life. Contact Jodi Leonard at (804) 521-9213 or jleonard@lifespireliving.org to begin or visit our website for great tools and resources to start your legacy!


18 Students to Receive Scholarships for College from LifeSpire of Virginia, the VBH Foundation

The LifeSpire of Virginia and the Virginia Baptist Homes (VBH) Foundation leadership teams are pleased to announce the 2022 scholarship recipients. A total of $18,000 was awarded to 18 deserving individuals. The scholarships are funded by the Employee Education Fund.

The fund provides financial assistance for deserving team members towards two- and four-year higher education degrees. Support is awarded with grants for college-bound team members, and their children and grandchildren.

2022 Scholarship Recipients

The Chesapeake

  • Michael Delva Felix, Security
  • Margan Boyd, Nursing

The Culpeper

  • Sadie Wentz, daughter of Carolyn Wentz, Culinary Services
  • Aaron Bostian, Culinary Services
  • Teresa Lewis, Nursing
  • Capone Hoffman, Culinary Services
  • Esther Seworder, daughter of Victoria Seworder, Culinary Services
  • Jordan Hicks, grandson of Debbie Seaman, Culinary Services
  • Wyatt Hicks, grandson of Debbie Seaman, Culinary Services

The Glebe

  • Allison Bancroft, Resident Services
  • Heather Roberts, Nursing
  • Christopher Hall, son of Cheryl Hall, Nursing
  • Crystal Collings, Nursing
  • Mia Brower, Social Worker
  • Kailah Finley, daughter of Shaun Finley, Culinary Services


  • Meredith Etheridge, Culinary Services
  • Caroline Sampson, Nursing

Lakewood at Home

  • Naomi Davis, daughter of Brenda Davis, Community Outreach

The VBH Foundation’s Employee Education Fund provides awards on an annual basis. The fund relies on the generosity of donors for sustainability. The LifeSpire team is grateful for the kindness of residents, families and colleagues who give to the Foundation to assist team members financially with scholarships and crisis awards. To learn more about the programs providing support to team members, visit https://lspireprd.wpengine.com/give/employee-support/.

Senior Living Partners of Virginia Welcomes New CEO

Senior Living Partners of Virginia, LLC (SLP) is pleased to announce that Kristina Jones has been named the organization’s chief executive officer. In this role, she will oversee the day-to-day operations of SLP’s home health company, Affirmation Home Health and other future SLP business lines. Jones will join the SLP team on July 5.

Jones has more than 20 years of senior living, home health and rehabilitation experience successfully shaping and leading teams to realize significant growth, build programs, turn around operations and improve financial performance. She joins the SLP team from Centra Health where she served as managing director, physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Jones received her Master of Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s degree in health education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of various professional organizations including the American Physical Therapy Association, the Virginia Physical Therapy Association and the Virginia Association of Home Care & Hospice.

LifeSpire of Virginia and Pinnacle Living, both with corporate offices located in Glen Allen, formed SLP to provide home health and other organizational support services. SLP allows both organizations to formally collaborate and expand their mission-focused growth to serve residents in their retirement communities and those who currently do not reside inside the walls of a retirement community.

LifeSpire of Virginia Team Members Graduate from Leadership Academy

LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce that two team members recently completed LeadingAge’s Leadership Academy. The Culpeper’s Assisted Living Administrator Bethany Starkie and Brenda Dixon, marketing director at The Summit, both graduated from the academy on June 14.

The ceremony was held in Roanoke during the organization’s annual meeting.

The LeadingAge D.C., Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Leadership Academy is a year-long leadership program designed to enhance the leadership skills of nonprofit aging services leaders. Starkie and Dixon joined 15 other fellows for the 2022 academy.

Throughout the year, fellows are guided through a graduate-level curriculum that examines the traits of successful leaders, develops leadership competencies and expands knowledge in the field of aging services, while establishing strong bonds with peers from other LeadingAge members.

The Chesapeake’s Assisted Living Administrator Damian Polewczak was accepted into the academy and began his journey last week. He will graduate in June 2023.

VBH Foundation Accepting 2022 Scholarship Applications

The Virginia Baptist Homes (VBH) Foundation team is pleased to announce that the application period for this year’s educational scholarships is now open. This financial aid is made available through the Foundation’s Employee Education Fund.

Eligible team members include current full-time or part-time LifeSpire of Virginia team members—or the child or grandchild of current team members—in good standing who have worked at LifeSpire of Virginia for at least six months of continuous service.

Applications should be submitted to community-specific human resources representatives by May 31. The application and other eligibility criteria are available through the human resources department. Scholarship recipients will be announced in June.

Anyone who is interested in supporting the Foundation’s Employee Education Fund can make a donation online. For more information, please reach out to VBH Foundation Vice President Jodi Leonard via email at jleonard@vbh.org or to the community human resources department.

LifeSpire of Virginia’s New Board Chair Seeks to Strengthen Faith Community

Dan Carlton was born in Newport News where his dad worked at Temple Baptist Church. He lived just a mile down the road from The Chesapeake and remembers visiting from a very early age. Later, when his family moved to Richmond, he remembers traveling to The Culpeper to visit residents there.

So, seven years ago when he became the pastor of Culpeper Baptist Church, a relationship with the organization seemed predestined. Dan joined the LifeSpire of Virginia Board of Trustees in 2016. In 2022, he’s taken the helm as the Chair of the Board.

Dan Carlton preaching at Culpeper Baptist Church

“I’ve been aware of LifeSpire of Virginia my whole life. There are a couple of things that you do if you’re going to be the pastor of Culpeper Baptist Church, and one of them is the relationship with The Culpeper. That is not a casual relationship for Culpeper Baptist Church, it is a primary relationship,” Dan explained. “When LifeSpire of Virginia comes and asks you to serve you don’t really decide because of who I represent, and the church expects that. LifeSpire of Virginia is core to who we are as a church, and we want to keep that moving in that direction.”

To solidify the relationship, Dan worked with LifeSpire of Virginia’s President and CEO Jonathan Cook to hire a senior adult pastor for the church who could also serve as The Culpeper’s chaplain. As a result, Chaplain Hans Murdock joined the team.

Dan said hiring Hans showed his commitment to bringing the church into view at The Culpeper. Having Hans in the community has also helped the church see the relationship with The Culpeper as a more significant part of its mission.

“A huge number of our church members live at The Culpeper, and I do believe it’s the church’s role to provide spiritual support whether it’s at The Culpeper or any retirement community. The spiritual needs of senior adults too often are seen as anything above 65 as a senior adult but there are a lot of transitions and life stages between 60 and 90 and 100, so the relationship with the retirement community helps us to see that a little more clearly. We are a faith-based retirement community. A chaplain makes that statement,” he said.

Board Chair Dan Carlton and Chaplain Hans Murdock pose with the stained glass window that honors Culpeper Baptist Church.

In his 28 years as a pastor, Dan said that he has never seen the need for that kind of spiritual engagement so evident as it has been in the past two years. He said isolation has been a huge issue amongst all age groups throughout the pandemic. But, he is encouraged by how well many senior adults have adapted using technology and by forging relationships.

He said what the world has gone through in the past several years will inform not just what he does at the church but also what the Board of Trustees will do moving forward.

“There’s been a community that’s built out of crisis. We need to figure out how do we build on that community. How do we give some breathers to folks who have been running hard? How is our team doing? How are our residents doing who have really been stressed for two years? I think we will look to provide some breathing space, but we will also try to figure out what we learned about community that we can build on. There’s a lot of opportunity there and I think organizations like LifeSpire of Virginia are uniquely situated to do that because of what we have historically done.”

Chief on that list of lessons learned for Dan is the recognition of just how valuable each member of the extended LifeSpire of Virginia family is to achieve the organization’s mission. He said each resident, family member or team member is someone who needs to be cared for and uplifted.

As he chairs the board, he is looking forward to learning. He is proud to be a part of an organization he said has good instincts and is rooted in faith.

“Some of the things that have been most helpful to me as a pastor is serving on a board and watching exceptional leaders. I come to board meetings, and I learn way more about how to lead an organization than I ever provide benefit to the organizations that I’m serving. I love that we have clergy on the board, but we don’t have to raise our hands and say we’re a faith-based organization. It permeates everything that we do.”

Dan explained that as the Board embarks on strategic planning, long-term sustainability is key. He said the board is committed to the further development of LifeSpire of Virginia’s five existing communities, potential acquisitions or greenfield projects and expansion of at-home and home health programs.

“The future is bright, and as the organization explores, we will keep the promise that we have made to every one of our residents and their families front and center: we will take care of them for life. While a lot will change in the senior living industry and it is changing, the fact that we’re a faith-based organization is not going to change because the Board is going to hold on to that and everybody in this organization is going to hold on to that.”

Dan Carlton

This article was first published in LifeSpire of Virginia’s Community Matters magazine. Check out the rest of the e-book version online: https://bit.ly/3hSWUfP.