What We Believe In.
At Solstice Senior Living, the company culture is lived every day. Dedicated to honoring commitments to seniors and associates, Solstice Senior Living attracted senior managers with proven track records. An experienced and talented team, groomed and mentored in the largest senior living companies throughout the United States, has been assembled in the disciplines necessary to support our communities, including operations, sales and marketing, building services, culinary, human resources and accounting/finance. With the Solstice team in place, best practices, systems, and signature programs ensure an independent lifestyle like no other for our residents. Solstice Senior Living manages 32 communities across the country and the home office is located in Carlsbad, California.
About Our Team.
Solstice Senior Living’s management team is driven by a group of dedicated, experienced leaders, who draw upon their years of industry experience to create the highest standards in community management. Each has worked for some of the biggest names in the senior industry and now chooses to combine that experience with their own expertise to create a unique management culture that is Solstice Senior Living. Their set of skills and experience are distinctive and, when combined, create a team that not only is meeting the current needs of clients but exceeding them with passion, innovation and results. In the future, Solstice Senior Living looks forward to continuing on its path of providing exceptional and effective management to the senior communities it serves.
Sue Farrow Sue Farrow established the highly qualified and experienced ISL management team. With more than four decades of experience in the senior housing industry, much of her experience has been in key leadership positions at senior living companies, including Aegis Living, Sunrise Assisted Living and Transamerica Senior Living. Throughout her career, Sue has taken an active role as a key participant in the development, startup, marketing and operations within senior living. She is nationally known for her expertise in all phases of operations and her ability to create senior communities that are a success in the minds of residents, staff and owners alike. In addition to her successes in operations, Sue was the founding president of CALA (California Assisted Living Association). Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in business administration from National University.
Collette Gray joined ISL in 2010 with experience in operations, sales and marketing. She provides day-to-day operations and sales and marketing oversight for all of the communities ISL currently manages and oversees new development projects. Collette works to encourage an environment in which team members are promoted for their ability to bring resources and ideas to the team.
Prior to joining ISL, Collette served as vice president of Operations at Merrill Gardens for four and a half years. Other career highlights include eight years with Atria Senior Living Group, where she held a variety of positions, including vice president and regional director of operations, regional sales and marketing director, executive director and community sales director at an Atria community. She began her career with Harrah’s Entertainment as a hotel sales manager.
Collette currently serves as a board member for Argentum and CALA. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada–Las Vegas with a degree in business management.
Jennifer Ferrer joined the ISL team with over 15 years of experience in finance and accounting. She has worked in accounting with a variety of companies, including Ernst & Young, Nestlé, National Hot Rod Association and Picture Head, where she worked her way up to VP of finance and accounting.
Her experience in diverse environments has led her to cultivate the ability to work with and manage a wide range of people, backgrounds and skill sets. Jennifer earned her B.A. degree in business economics with an emphasis in accounting with a minor in Asian American studies from the University of California–Santa Barbara.
Britta Edwards has been serving as regional vice president of Operations since August 2019. She comes to Solstice Senior Living with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Prior to her current position, Britta served as a vice president of Operations and senior regional vice president of Operations. In these positions, Britta’s responsibilities included overseeing the hiring of divisional and regional leaders, promoting the company’s culture, and maintaining a focus on resident care and associate assimilation.
Britta is also a registered nurse and has participated in the Business of Senior Housing and Care Certificate Program affiliated with NIC and Johns Hopkins University (now University of Maryland). Outside of work, Britta has served as a board member for the Texas Assisted Living Association since 2014 and is a former board chair.
Nate joined Solstice Senior Living in August of 2018. He brings more than 13 years of experience in a leadership role. He has a true appreciation, respect and a passion for helping our seniors live well. Nate brings a fresh leadership perspective that is different from most. He loves to coach and lead out of positivity. He takes the time to teach and develop in an effort to advance those around him and create a healthy, vibrant culture.
Nate has a diverse background in operations, marketing and sales and served on numerous leadership committees throughout his career. His unique perspective is that he has led sales and operations teams. He brings a full spectrum of knowledge and a much broader view when trying to overcome obstacles. When Nate is away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons boating and anything outdoors where they reside, in Nashville, Tenn.
Rob Allen, Regional Vice President of Operations, originally joined ISL in 2008. He has been an operations leader for Kisco, Emeritus and Oakmont Senior Living. Rob has demonstrated experience with both high-end and challenged properties, taking a distressed property from 82% to 100% occupancy in 14 months.
Rob has over 20 years operating and sales experience that cover a variety of industries. He holds a BS degree in Business Administration/Marketing with a minor in Economics and has his California RCFE certification.
A former NCAA Division 1 athlete, Rob enjoys spending time with his family, which includes triplets, and mentoring student athletes.
Cristy Ballard, divisional vice president of Sales and Marketing for Solstice Senior Living, joined the team in September 2018. She has passionately served families and their loved ones for the past 20 years on their senior living journey. Cristy has been responsible for sales and marketing operations across a multistate territory, oversight of regional/divisional sales teams, and staff training development and delivery, as well as enhancing companywide signature programs. Her commitment runs deep in teaching and supporting our team members how to execute company standards and exceed our customers’ expectations. Life should be enjoyed at every age! That is why Cristy has dedicated her career to reaching as many families as possible and providing them with the guidance and clarity they need.
Mandy bring over 8 years of senior living experience to Solstice Senior Living. Before her senior living career, Mandy worked in film and television production for more than 20 years, where she traveled around the world working on feature films and made-for-television movies. Mandy retired from the film industry to pursue marketing and found senior living.
Prior to joining Solstice, she was a Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for Integral Senior Living. Before her promotion, Mandy helped open and build growth at five of Integral Senior Living’s communities. Her passion for seniors and her passion for supporting her teams in their sales efforts is evident by the results her and her teams produce. She currently oversees the sales and marketing efforts for 12 communities on the west coast.
She is involved with many fundraising and charity events. Her passions include movies, volleyball, crafting, decorating and entertaining.
Mandy was awarded the “Medici Award” by the Palmdale Playhouse for her support and involvement with the arts and was listed in the “Who’s Who in America”, the International Biographical Center at Cambridge’s “Outstanding People of the 20th Century” and the “Who’s Who in the West”.
Mandy Luther was born in San Diego, California and moved to Los Angeles to attend U.C.L.A. She transferred to the film school Columbia College and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video Production.
Erica Siebert joins us as the regional director of Sales and Marketing with over 15 years of experience in managing, developing and driving sales leaders. Erica began her career in sales, marketing, operations and management. She entered the senior living industry in 2010 as a senior district director of Sales and Marketing and has been in this industry ever since. Prior to her current position at Solstice Senior Living, Erica served as a vice president of Sales and Marketing. Erica’s responsibilities included overseeing the hiring of regional leaders, creating sales systems, creating company branding standard, commission structures, building, developing and overseeing social and website platforms. Erica brings to us skills in strategic planning, team leadership, sales systems, forecasting and budgeting.
David resides in Cleveland, Ohio, and has been in the senior living industry for 18 years. His drive to make sure seniors have a great living environment is a passion of his. He knows that, for most, moving to a senior living community is not an easy decision; but education, understanding and listening help guide what is best for each individual circumstance. David comes to us most recently from Sunrise Senior Living, where he served as a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for 14 years.
David has been married for 25 years and loves to spend time with his three beautiful children. He loves to attend (and in the past coach) his children’s sporting events from football to baseball and gymnastics. He also loves all the Cleveland sports teams, and you can find him sitting around his fire pit on the weekends enjoying time with his family.
Brenda Richy has over 20 years of senior living and leadership experience, having spent time as an executive director, director of Operations and a regional director of Business Development.
Amy brings over 25 years of experience working in the culinary industry. Amy began her career in the hotel/casino (hospitality) industry in Las Vegas as an Executive Pastry Chef. Amy discovered the senior living industry in 2012 as a Director of Culinary Services for Living Care Lifestyles. There she created, and oversaw culinary programs for their memory care, enhanced assisted living, and independent living communities. Amy has created several culinary programs, and mentored many chefs. Her passion, and specialty is restructuring distressed programs, and rebuilding teams. In 2016, Amy joined Integral Senior Living as a Culinary Services Director, was quickly promoted to Senior Culinary Service Director, and then onto her regional role with Solstice Senior Living. Amy earned her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu.
April Wojcik, Vice President of Project Management, joins the Solstice Senior Living team with nearly 20 years of experience in project management, particularly in senior living. Overseeing the acquisition and integration of over $200 million in senior living and expertise managing large-scale construction contracts, April has an extensive background in real estate acquisition, development and management.
While she specializes in senior living, April also has extensive experience in project management in telecommunications. She graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in public affairs and business administration.
April is a native of the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband enjoy spending time outdoors with their Greater Swiss Mountain dogs, as well as traveling to Italy for vacations.
Rick Fulgaro, Regional Director of Building Services has worked in the senior living industry for 9 years. For the past 3 years, Rick has worked at an Integral Senior Living in the Phoenix valley as a building services director. Prior to that, Rick worked for Lifestyles Senior Housing Managers as a regional building services director in the Pacific northwest. Rick started off in the building trades as journeyman residential finish carpenter building custom staircases, windows and doors. From there he started building custom homes and after more than 15 years in residential construction, transitioned into building commercial buildings and took part in building several senior living communities and knew senior living was the field he wanted to be in.
As a Portland Oregon Native, Dennis enjoys having rivers, mountains, beaches and the high desert, all within a short drive. Dennis has a passion for taking small businesses and building them into successful entities. Dennis is excited to be part of the Solstice team to utilize his life and career experiences. Dennis started his career in a family run Refuse and Recycling company. Those years in the truck helped mold him into who he is today. Moving into management and running his own rental properties, Refuse company and Motorcycle Dealerships all with a large customer base and staff. This helped him understand the importance and fun of having satisfied customers and staff. Understanding that profit is a must but enjoying what you do is most important.
My wife and I spend most of our free time with our children and grandchildren.
Kelly Koester started her career in senior living in 2006 as an activity director. Although she came to this later in life, Kelly quickly grew to love working with the senior population, especially those with dementia. She obtained her Community Residential Care Facility (CRCF) administrator’s license and became a Certified Dementia Practitioner. She has specialized in turning troubled communities around and enjoys building teams of caring, awesome people to run communities.
Kelly lives in the beautiful Santee Cooper area of South Carolina on the edge of Santee State Park with her husband and one very spoiled Dachshund. She and her husband enjoy antiquing and crafting. On the weekends, they can be found poking around antiques stores searching for midcentury treasures or in the local craft stores buying supplies for their next project.
Mary Swip joined Solstice Senior Living in June of 2019 and serves as the divisional sales specialist. Before joining Solstice, she was a director of Sales and Marketing for Integral Senior Living. Mary began her career in senior living as a social worker in 2001 and has an extensive background in health care. She has been recognized for excellent leadership skills, enjoys mentoring new sales directors, and is very passionate about serving seniors and families. Her goal is to educate residents and families on senior living so they can experience a successful transition.
Mary lives in St. Louis, Mo., and has previously lived in England, Paris and Montana. She is famous for her “Mary Swip with a TIP” that she regularly shares. Mary earned a degree in recreation therapy from the University of Maryland and was trained as a social worker, completing an executive master’s degree in health care leadership.
Human Resources Directors
Senior Vice President of HR Suzanne Foley, Senior Directors of Human Resources Cathy Battles and Melissa Thomas, along with our Directors of Human Resources, Brian Nicholson, Erin Chavez, Tammy Stewart, Sherri Carter, Judy Blanco, and Diana Clark partner with the employees and management teams of the communities to create an empowering working environment that supports Solstice Senior Living’s culture and its tenets. Through a strong partnership with the communities, the experienced HR Team handles a wide range of responsibilities including employee relations, training & development, group health benefits, and legal compliance. The end result is the provision of quality resident care by engaged and happy employees.
Solstice Senior Living recognizes the importance of serving the key stakeholders of each community: residents, family members, and employees. A balanced approach promotes service to each audience without sacrificing the interests of another. Passionate about the Solstice Senior Living culture and keeping it alive throughout the company, we created “Culture Keepers”. There are twelve statements that truly embrace our mission, values and vision.
Our Culture Is What SeparatesUs.
At Solstice Senior Living, we recognize that our success is dependent upon our team’s loyalty and their dedication to their work. Through our Culture Keeper program we strive to show them how important they are to us, our residents and our clients.
To protect and promote the Culture at Solstice Senior Living, we work hard to identify and reward those community teams who, through their dedication, innovation, creativity and hard work, exemplify these Twelve Statements. Our Culture Keepers are rewarded and celebrated throughout the company.
steps to a great
- Be passionate about what you do everyday.
- Have fun and work hard.
- Work smarter not harder.
- Want to come to work everyday.
- Accountability to walking the walk.
- If you have a problem bring a solution with you too.
- We are a company of common sense, keep it simple.
- Take your work seriously, but yourself not so seriously.
- Take something ordinary and make it fun.
- Be a positive advocate for change.
- Love communities for everything they are and everything they are not.
- Never settle for good enough, good is the enemy of great.
Solstice Senior Living is dedicated to the development and operation of senior living communities that create value for residents and employees by providing quality senior care and a fulfilling work environment. We are passionate about senior living while providing an empowering environment that offers autonomy and personal growth.