Leaders of today, making way for the leaders of tomorrow.
Vision Centre: Leadership Development for Aging Services is pleased to introduce its inaugural Board of Trustees. All of these influential individuals were previously members on the organization’s steering committee and are now serving as the Vision Centre trustees, focused on guiding the Centre and creating impactful pathways for smarter, more successful senior care and senior living administration in partnership with universities across the country.
Our Board of Trustees
Steve Chies has been engaged and active in the long-term care sector for four decades in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Most recently, he is the program director for long-term care at St. Joseph’s College of Maine, where he oversees courses and teaches online in long-term care studies. He has taught at the University of Minnesota; University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire; and Minnesota State University at Mankato.
Steve has served in a number of volunteer leadership positions in state and national associations, including as chair of the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators. He has been a fellow at ACHCA for a number of years.
Sean Kelly is the Chief Executive Officer at Front Porch Communities and Services. On March 6, 2023, Kelly started at Front Porch Communities and Services as the new Chief Executive Officer. With 19 senior living and 32 affordable housing communities, programs serving 10,000 people across the country and 3,000 employees, Front Porch is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior living providers.
In 2008, Sean Kelly joined The Kendal Corporation and became CEO in 2016. Prior to 2016, while at Kendal, Sean was responsible for fostering a culture of continuous improvement through leading and managing new opportunities for growth and evolution for Kendal. Sean has been a frequent speaker on many topics, including senior housing development; emerging trends; organizational management; leadership; and affiliation, merger and acquisition processes.
Sean came to Kendal after 10+ years working with a development, finance, marketing and operations consultant to senior housing and service providers throughout the United States, where he served as principal.
Sean graduated from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, and in 2014 he completed an advanced management program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Dana Burr Bradley is dean of the Erickson School of Aging Studies. Most recently, she has worked in close collaboration with the World Health Organization on strategies to make communities both age-friendly and great places to retire. Before coming to UMBC, she was affiliated with Western Kentucky University, Duke University, and UNC Charlotte, where she directed transformative and strategic change initiatives for nonprofit organizations focusing on leadership and policy challenges in an aging society.
A fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education, Dr. Bradley says that leadership, which means suggesting “the possible” and crafting an environment of “the probable,” is important to her. Currently treasurer of the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education, she has served as past president of the Southern Gerontological Society and secretary of the Gerontological Society of America.
She completed her Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University as a Rockefeller Foundation humanities fellow and has worked extensively on long-term care, generational and longevity economy policy issues.
Mike Schanke, BS, NHA, is the President of Oakridge Gardens in Menasha, Wisconsin. Oakridge Gardens provides short term rehabilitation, memory care, skilled care and assisted living services for seniors.
Mike began his career at Oakridge in 1985 and assumed ownership in 2010. Mr. Schanke has been very active in both Leading Age Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Health Care Association in a variety of leadership and committee assignments. Mr. Schanke most recently served as the Convener of the Center for Health Administration and Aging Service Excellence at UW-Eau Claire and is currently in the role of Past Convener. Mike and his wife Amy have also been very active in their Fox Valley community over the years.
In 1985, Mike graduated with his bachelor’s degree from UW-Eau Claire’s Health Care Administration program.
Christian (Chris) Mason is president and chief executive officer of Senior Housing Managers, located in Wilsonville, Oregon. Senior Housing Managers owns or operates assisted living, residential care communities, and nursing centers in Oregon, Washington, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Michigan.
Chris’ career in long-term care spans 30 years. He has worked as a small owner operator and a regional multifacility operator, as well as being part owner of an international real estate investment trust.
At the national level, Chris currently serves on the National Center for Assisted Living’s board of directors as the immediate past chair. He is an active member of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) and wrote a certification manual for assisted living administrators.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lyndon State College in Vermont, a master’s in business administration from the University of New Hampshire, and he received his Ph.D. in business from the George Fox University in Newburg, Oregon. He has earned certifications from ACHCA as a licensed and certified nursing home administrator and assisted living administrator.
Steven A. Nash is the President and CEO of the Stoddard Baptist Home Foundation. Stoddard Baptist Home, Inc. has a legacy of caring for the elders in the District of Columbia since 1902 and operates Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home, a 164-bed nursing facility. Mr. Nash is also leading the development of Presidential Estates at Sycamore Hill, an assisted living facility in Mitchellville, Maryland. Additionally, under Stoddard’s management is Stoddard Baptist Global Care, a 259-bed facility and Stoddard Adult Day Care Center, a 55 participant Adult Medical Day Treatment Program.
Mr. Nash has served elders since 1986 in a variety of roles, including as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 1994. He is active in his community and profession, where he has served on several local and national association boards. The American Health Care Association selected him as a member of “Future Leaders of Long Term Care in America” and he was a recipient of a national grant for training nursing home administrators by the National Caucus on Black Aged. He also led a demonstration project for the D.C. Office on Aging to examine innovative ways to provide care for those with Alzheimer’s disease. He is a board member of LeadingAge D.C., an appointed member of the District of Columbia State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) and recipient of the 2016 Dr. Herbert Shore Outstanding Mentor Award.
Steven Nash is a native Washingtonian and graduate of Princeton University.
Dr. Nancy Swanger is the Founding Director of the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living, which is housed in the School of Hospitality Business Management. She is also the Associate Dean for Inter-College Partnerships in the Carson College of Business at Washington State University. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches various courses in the curriculum—senior living operations, professional development, and special topics focusing on current trends or industry issues. Nancy has extensive restaurant experience as a co-worker, manager, district manager, and owner. She and her husband owned and operated eight Subway restaurants from 1988-2017, and they still own two independent concepts. Her research interests lie in the areas of senior living, quick-serve restaurant operations, food safety/sanitation, and hospitality curriculum. As part of the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing, Nancy was named to the Healthy Ageing 50, one of four from the United States. Prior to coming to WSU, Nancy taught at the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College. The Swangers, who reside in Troy, Idaho, have four children and five grandchildren.