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Rapid Growth Means New Team Members for Solvere

In addition to opening the new Homestead at Hamilton, Solvere is also rapidly expanding in other areas of the country as well. Solvere Senior Living has three more communities opening in 2018 in Florida and Texas and has an additional six communities coming under their management purview. Because of this growth, and to prepare for future opportunities, Solvere has strategically expanded their already best-in-class team:

Marika Tufteskog-Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer

Marika Johnson brings over 18 years of successful and progressive experience in the senior living industry in community, regional and corporate level positions. Her experience encompasses a broad range of senior housing environments including independent, assisted living and Alzheimer’s care for portfolios up to 54 communities. Marika’s operational knowledge and skills encompass both start-up construction as well as acquisitions.

As Chief Strategy Officer, Marika is responsible for the overall operational strategy of Solvere as well as pre-development and pre-opening initiatives.

Laresa Colvin, Director of Team Engagement and Values

Laresa comes to Solvere with varying roles of Human Resources experience. She began her career as an Information Manager while on active duty military. Following her military career, Laresa worked in roles including Contracts Administrator, Project Manager and Human Resources Manager for a variety of different companies in diverse fields.

As Director of Team Engagement and Values, Laresa has the formidable task of driving Solvere’s recruitment and retention practices as well as being responsible for traditional human resources functions.

Kim Brawley, Regional Vice President

Kim offers more than 26 years of experience in senior living operations and has held a variety of positions both at the community and corporate level including Regional Director of Operations with Harbor Retirement Associates, Senior Lifestyle Corporation and Emeritus Assisted Living, as well as Area Director of Operations, Corporate Operations Specialist, Executive Director and Director of Business Affairs for Texas.

As Regional Vice President, Kim is responsible for managing all aspects of the Solvere communities located in the Southwest and Southeast regions.

Joseph Brendlen, Controller

Joseph joins Solvere with over seven years of accounting and finance experience and has worked with Solvere’s Vice President of Finance in a previous position within the accounting department of a start-up CCRC, where he developed a strong understanding of the retirement living industry and all accounting functions involved. He supervised all aspects of the budgeting process, monthly close process, cash management, payroll processing and monthly reporting.

As Controller for Solvere, Joseph has responsibility for implementing best practices, managing the monthly closing process for all managed communities and providing financial analysis for capital investments, pricing decisions and contract negotiations.

Solvere Senior Living to Open Homestead at Hamilton

New Community Part of Company’s Continuing Expansion

Hamilton Township, NJ: As part of its continuing expansion, Princeton, New Jersey-based Solvere Senior living will open its $59.1 million Homestead at Hamilton senior living community in historic Hamilton Township, New Jersey. The February 8th grand opening features a wide array of live entertainment, cuisine and refreshments. Mayor Kelly A. Yaede, area officials and the public will share in the festivities.

Completed on time and at budget, the 24-acre site at 2560 Kuser Road is designed to help serve a growing demand for senior living in New Jersey’s Mercer County and the Trenton metro area. The community offers independent living, assisted living and memory care, and expects to create more than 450 direct and indirect area jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $3 million.

Solvere, rooted in Latin for “to solve,” creates value-driven, innovative solutions for its senior living partners. Through its team of professionals in business, finance, operations and marketing, Solvere currently manages communities in eight states, including Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Indiana. Its partner company, Solutions Advisors, provides marketing, sales, consulting and creative services to the senior housing industry nationwide.

“With Homestead we continue to broaden our footprint and have brought this vital new resource to better serve seniors and their families throughout the region,” said Kristin Kutac-Ward, president and CEO of Solvere. “Homestead offers the best in services, care and life engaging programs in an amenities-rich and healthy living environment.”

The four-story community was built by Paterson, NJ-based Pike Construction Co., LLC, a longtime senior housing contractor and real estate development firm. Established in 1958, Pike has built more than 15,000 units of senior housing ranging in project size from $10 million to over $150 million in total construction costs. The architectural firm for Homestead is J. Randolph Parry Architects PC, headquartered in Riverton, New Jersey. Founded in 1996, the company is an award winning architectural design firm with a specialty in residential and senior housing.

The community is overseen by General Manager Andy Fritz, who brings more than 22 years’ experience in all facets of senior living, holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Widener University and is a licensed healthcare professional throughout the state of New Jersey. Marketing Director Michele Schreck has more than 30 years’ experience in independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

Homestead offers 96 independent living apartments, 75 assisted living apartments and a memory care neighborhood of 24 apartments, all designed for maximum living space and natural light. Amenities and services include multiple casual and fine dining venues, two art studios, performing arts center, theater, libraries, fitness gym and studio, salon, concierge, transportation and a sundry shop. Homestead also provides Solvere’s proprietary Salus™ and Valeo™ programs. Salus, Latin for “well-being,” is a holistic approach that focuses on each resident’s potential to achieve his or her personal goals through engagement and connection. Valeo, Latin for “to thrive,” focuses specifically on wellness initiatives for those with memory impairments and incorporates components that examine residents’ social, intellectual, spiritual and physical well-being.

“Our Salus and Valeo programs are designed for successful aging by touching every aspect of residents’ lives and keeping them feeling engaged, honored and fulfilled,” Kutac-Ward said.

The media contact for more information about Solvere Senior Living and Homestead at Hamilton is Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates Public Relations at 757-625-2518, ext. 3 or at: scott@goldmanandassociates.com. Visit Homestead at Hamilton, www.homesteadathamilton.com, and Solvere Senior Living at: www.solvereseniorliving.com.

A Combination of Manager and Consultant

A Consultant Mindset

What makes Solvere stand out from other senior living management companies? Kutac Ward’s response to this question is not what you might expect from a management company: “Our consulting mindset, and what I mean by that is we have processes, procedures and best practices that we implement and we brand.”

This mentality is grounded in the fact that many of Solvere’s employees have been consultants in the field. “We will work with different owners in different ways. We will brand it or we won’t brand it if they want their name to be in the forefront versus ours,” says Kutac Ward. What’s more, she says, is that Solvere doesn’t have the need to “plaster our name over everything.”

Solvere works with owners to either transition them to self-manage one day or take it to the long term. “So, honestly, it is that consulting mindset [and] we don’t have a box that we have to fit in.”

About Those Occupancy Rates

As the end all and be all of senior housing benchmarks, having an occupancy of 100 percent is of course what all operators strive for but is not particularly realistic to achieve at any consistent level. So what does Solvere consider to be an optimal—and achievable—occupancy level, as well as a reasonable goal from a budget standpoint?

According to Kutac Ward, 96 percent is the standard goal. “With different owners and different banks, it may vary, but 92 percent is what we pro forma,” she says. “Every community breaks even at a different point, based on the market and the fill rate.”

Short-term Versus Long-term

Senior housing management contracts are different from traditional real estate investments in that their cancellation periods are shorter term and therefore pose more difficulties with regard to staff development and training. While Kutac Ward acknowledges that the five- to seven-year holds are shorter than other entities, she and her team have found “really good results with good team recognition orientation and training programs, within 90 days.” She notes that Solvere has its training programs “down” so well that they can implement them quickly “and see results very quickly.”

In fact, Solvere is building out a training and development program as a platform for the company to utilize with all of its clients, “so whether we have a contract for a year or we have it for 10 years, we will implement it consistently across all the communities.”

Referring again to the consulting mindset, Kutac Ward explained that “we create programs for other organizations all the time and we want to make it so they can take it and do it on their own.”

Does Form Follow Function?

Just because a senior living community is beautifully designed and luxuriously appointed doesn’t mean that it’s a good option for your loved one from a programmatic standpoint, Moran contends. Indeed, Kutac Ward concurred on this point. However, she maintains that it’s still possible to create the right atmosphere “if the training program is solid and you’ve spent that time on it,” she says, noting that Margaret Wylde, Ph.D., president and CEO of ProMatura, and her research around resident satisfaction, engagement, and camaraderie in communities resonates with the Solvere philosophy.

“It needs to be focused on building that sense of camaraderie with residents and also about being really intentional about your programming and what it looks like and then training for every single staff member and involvement with every single staff member,” she says.

By Meg LaPorte

Senior Housing Forum Publisher Steve Moran sat down recently at the NIC 2017 conference in Chicago, where he interviewed Kristin Kutac Ward, president and chief executive officer of Princeton, N.J.-based Solvere Senior Living, to talk shop about the industry and discuss the company’s operating philosophy.

Senior Housing Forum

Solvere Senior Living Expanding in Virginia

Company Assuming Management of Richmond and Williamsburg Communities

As part of its expansion, Solvere Senior Living has assumed management of the Cadence at the Glen independent living community in Glen Allen, Virginia, as well as Verena at the Reserve independent living community in Williamsburg.

Solvere is building their management platform and team largely focused on turnarounds and working with a number of owners and developers to manage and build new communities. Princeton, New Jersey-based Solvere already manages Berkeley Oaks memory care community in Williamsburg and in addition to Virginia they are also expanding in Texas and Florida, with more in the pipeline.

“Virginia is a very important part of our expansion and we look forward to providing Cadence at Glen Allen and Verena at the Reserve with the best in management and service,” said Kristin Kutac Ward,” president and CEO of Solvere, which also has an office at 1600 Westwood Ave. in Richmond, Virginia. “The state is a wonderful and growing destination for senior living, with exceptional historic, cultural and geographic attractions.”

The Cadence and Verena communities are owned by an affiliate of Chicago-based Green Courte Partners, LLC. Formed in July 2002 by Randy Rowe, Green Courte and its real estate private equity funds focus on investments in niche real estate asset classes. They seek to optimize investment returns by marrying difficult-to-aggregate niche real estate investments with talented, experienced and aligned management teams.

“We selected Solvere to now manage our Cadence and Verena communities because of their experience and proven track record of success in operating a wide range of senior living housing,” said David Lentz, COO of Green Courte.

Solvere is extending its reach through developing a targeted system of expansion: “Our growth in Glen Allen and Williamsburg, the Southeast and Southwest areas of the country is strategic as we build a strong network of regional vice presidents and established industry professionals to create vibrant clusters of managed communities,” Ward said.

Cadence at Glen Allen is located at 10286 Brook Rd, Glen Allen, Virginia 23059 and offers 118 independent living with one and two-bedroom rental apartments. The community offers a wide array of amenities and services including options for a den, balcony or patio, as well as finely appointed architectural detail. Verena at the Reserve is located at 121 Reserve Way, Williamsburg, VA 23185 and offers 120 independent living with one and two-bedroom luxury rental apartments for ages 55 and better. The resort-style community features amenities including a business center, library, salon and guest suites.

Through its team of professionals in business, finance, operations and marketing, Solvere currently manages communities in eight states, including Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Indiana. Its partner company, Solutions Advisors, provides marketing, sales, consulting and creative services to the senior housing industry nationwide.

The media contact for more information about Solvere Senior Living expanding in Virginia is Scott McCaskey of Goldman & Associates Public Relations at: scott@goldmanandassociates.com or 757-625-2518, ext. 3. Visit Solvere Senior Living at: www.solvereseniorliving.com.  

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Williamsburg mural connects generations, helps those with dementia

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) — Memory care residents and local children came together to create a beautiful mural of a local garden motif. Mural%20Painting%202_1506265668644_11223420_ver1_0

At the Berkeley Oaks memory care community on Saturday, old and young worked together to paint a colorful creation.

“We are purposefully creating the mural of something representative of the area since most of the residents are from this region,” said Leslie Jones, General Manager of Berkeley Oaks. “It is another way we acknowledge and honor the legacy of each of the residents by assisting them to create something reminiscent of who they are and what is familiar to them.”

The purpose of the intergenerational event is to help promote the enjoyment and benefits of art for people with dementia.

The mural is a pilot project at Berkeley Oaks and part of the Valeo Create and Compose Program. The Valeo, “to thrive,” program focuses on wellness initiatives for those with memory impairments. They capitalize on the therapeutic benefits that art and music offer.

“Art is a motivational and enjoyable experience that draws participants’ focus away from daily concerns and takes them on a journey of self-expression,” Jones said. “It helps them to relive fond memories and fosters their own creative processes. We are looking to having fun and artistic engagement.”

Source: http://www.13newsnow.com/news/community/williamsburg-mural-connects-generations-helps-those-with-dementia/478233388

Solvere Senior Living Expanding in Florida, Texas and Virginia

Company to Provide Management Services to Five New Communities

Princeton, NJ: August 30, 2017: Through new management contracts, both acquisitions and new development, Solvere Senior Living is rapidly expanding. Teaming with local developers and investors, Solvere will be managing new communities in Florida and Texas, as well as existing communities in Virginia, with more in the pipeline.

Scheduled for completion in early 2018, Tessera of Brandon will be opening in Brandon, Florida. Tessera of Westchase has broken ground in Tampa and is slated to open in late 2018. Both will provide assisted living and memory care. Now under construction, The Villages of Windcrest in Fredericksburg, Texas opens in late 2018 and will also provide assisted living and memory care. The cost to build the three communities will be nearly $90 million and create scores of new jobs. In September Solvere is scheduled to assume management of the Cadence at the Glen independent living community in Glen Allen, Virginia as well as Verena At The Reserve independent living community in Williamsburg, Virginia. Both communities are owned by Chicago-based Green Courte Partners, LLC. Solvere has added additional key positions in sales, marketing and human resources to support the growth.

“We have been building our management platform and team largely focused on turnarounds and are very excited to now be working with a number of developers to build and operate new communities,” said Kristin Kutac-Ward, president and CEO of Princeton, NJ-based Solvere Senior Living. “Our company’s vision is to inspire individuals to reach their full potential and we practice that daily with residents and team members alike. Our growth in the Southeast and Southwest areas of the country is strategic as we build a strong network of regional vice presidents and established industry professionals to create vibrant clusters of managed communities.”

Solvere is partnering with local developers, investors and architects in the Florida and Texas projects. Tessera of Brandon is being developed by Pridgen Development, LLC and Lindell Investments, Inc., a joint owner. Lindell is the developer of Tessera of Westchase. Grady Pridgen, CEO of St. Petersburg-based Pridgen Development brings decades of experience in the development of commercial, office, industrial, retail, multi‐family and senior living communities. Tampa-based Lindell Investments was established in 1997 by Carl Lindell Jr., who has invested in and developed commercial and residential real estate for more than 35 years. The company recently has focused on the housing, rental, senior housing and townhomes markets. The architectural firm for both of the new communities is St. Petersburg-based Bessolo Design Group, Inc., which provides architectural, engineering, and interior design services to a wide range of markets in 17 states.

The developer of the Villages of Windcrest is Bridgeview Realty Capital, LLC headquartered in Dallas, Texas and provides development services to the senior housing and healthcare industries and for commercial real estate nationwide. The firm has developed, financed and delivered more than $3 billion over the last 30 years in the real estate sector and more than $350 million over the last 20 years in the senior housing and healthcare industries. John Lanier is senior manager for the firm. The architect for the Villages of Windcrest is Frank Rees of REES Architects in Dallas, Texas. REES Associates, Inc. has a large focus on healthcare architecture, serving clients in 32 states and 38 countries.

“The key to success in the senior living business is giving residents care like you would a family member,” said John R. Lanier, President and CEO of Dallas, Texas-based Bridgeview Realty Capital, LLC.   “After an exhaustive evaluation of a number of operators – good operators that I have worked with over the last 25 years – Solvere hands down is our selection.  We have a 10-facility business plan and Solvere will be our operating partner for our entire portfolio.”

Both Tessera communities and The Villages at Windcrest will feature a multi-story, bright and energetic state-of-the-art living environment with one and two-bedroom assisted living apartments and memory care suites in various floorplans. At the heart of their management services is Solvere Senior Living’s proprietary wellness philosophies Salus™ and Valeo™, which will be provided at all three communities. Salus (Latin for well-being) is a holistic approach that focuses on each resident’s potential to achieve his or her personal goals through engagement and connection. Valeo (Latin for to thrive) focuses specifically on wellness initiatives for those with memory impairments and incorporates components that examine residents’ social, intellectual, spiritual, and physical well-being.

“Our Salus and Valeo programs are designed for successful aging by touching every aspect of residents’ lives and keeping them feeling engaged, honored and fulfilled,” Ward said. “One popular example is our mural painting project where residents have helped create colorful and vibrant depictions of local landmarks inside their residences. The painting is an important tenet of Valeo’s Create and Compose program, which capitalizes on the therapeutic benefits that art and music offer.”

Through its team of professionals in business, finance, operations and marketing, the firm currently manages communities in eight states, including Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Indiana. Its partner company, Solutions Advisors, provides marketing, sales, consulting and creative services to the senior housing industry nationwide.

The media contact for more information about Tessera of Brandon, Westchase and Solvere Senior Living is Scott McCaskey of Goldman & Associates Public Relations at: scott@goldmanandassociates.com or 757-625-2518, ext. 3. Visit Solvere Senior Living at: www.solvereseniorliving.com.

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Using technology in memory care to increase engagement and improve communication

In neighborhoods created specifically for individuals with memory impairments, technology can play an active role in both the engagement of residents and communication with family members.

But it’s important that technology is used properly – particularly when it comes to resident care.

Technology in a memory care setting should always support a culture of engagement and participation rather than simply providing entertainment, says Lorie Dancy, Vice President of Clinical Services at Solvere Senior Living.

“If technology takes a resident away from participating and being actively engaged,” she says, “that’s when we might shy away from using a device.”

Memory care communities managed by Solvere Senior Living integrate a unique wellness philosophy, called Valeo™, into all aspects of care and service. The philosophy’s programming is adapted to the individual and is focused on increasing awareness, creating purposeful moments, stimulating pleasant long-term memories and providing moments of joy.

Technology for Engagement

Technology doesn’t need to be complex or expensive. Digital music players like iPods allow people to listen to tunes they love, and some free or low-cost tablet or phone apps provide brain puzzles or mimic musical instruments.

If the individual is capable of engaging with an app or device, there’s no harm in using it, Dancy says. All staff in Valeo communities are encouraged to engage with residents, and that can include technology as appropriate. Staff, for example, might ask a resident about his or her favorite artist or musical genre, then pull up a song on their phone.

There is also no one-size-fits-all approach around technology. Some individuals may be more accustomed to using technology in the past, and could benefit more from it than others.

If technology us used in one of our communities, it must enhance the Valeo philosophy of engagement.

Technology for Communication

One of the most valuable uses of technology in a memory care setting is maintaining communication with family. Technology offers another avenue to connect beyond only those instances when adult children or family members visit the community.

Several Valeo communities have incorporated the Caremerge system. With it, each family member can download the free Caremerge Family App, and use it to view photos of their parents or loved ones throughout the day and communicate with on-site caregivers via text message.

Technology like Caremerge can also ease feelings of caregiver guilt. Despite the comforts and security that a memory care community can offer, many struggle with the choice to move their parent into a community. Having a technological touchpoint can provide more peace of mind knowing a loved one is only an app-click away.

Caremerge also provides management and program directors with numerous tools to help coordinate events through a central calendar or to communicate with families or other team members.

Before officially incorporating technologies into a community, clinical leadership should assess the service to ensure it will enhance–not take away–from the resident experience. At the end of the day, use of technology in a memory care setting should engage residents with positive, legacy-building experiences and provide another communication channel with families.

Resident Mural Project featured in The VA Gazette

Spectrum News reports “Renowned Author Makes a Visit to Staten Island Seniors”

Thursday’s Roadmap to Successful Aging event at The Brielle was a great “success”!

Dr. Roger Landry, MD, MPH, developer and president of Masterpiece Living®, provided tips on the importance of staying active, avoiding stress and never acting your age. Dr. Landry is also the author of the award-winning book, Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging.

To learn more about this event, watch the news segment by Spectrum News NY1 here.

Source: http://www.thebrielle.com/spectrum-news-reports-renowned-author-makes-visit-staten-island-seniors/

Memory Care Mural – Snug Harbor Botanical Garden

This past weekend, residents of The Brielle at Seaview’s Memory Care community took part in a new pilot program, where art and nature came together under one roof!

Residents participated as a new wall mural was created of Snug Harbor Botanical Garden, a beautiful Staten Island landmark. The mural project is part of the Valeo Program, a proprietary wellness philosophy of Solvere Senior Living, The Brielle’s management firm. Latin for to thrive, Valeo focuses specifically on wellness initiatives for those with memory impairments and incorporates components that examine residents’ social, intellectual, spiritual and physical well-being. Create and Compose is one of the major tenets of Valeo and capitalizes on the therapeutic benefits that art and music offer.

As you can see below, the words “Valeo Neighborhood” are included in the final piece. Take a look at their progress, additional photos from SI Live and a segment from local station, Spectrum News.

IMG_3621 IMG_3622 IMG_3968 IMG_3966 IMG_3967

Source: http://www.thebrielle.com/memory-care-mural-snug-harbor-botanical-garden/