LeadingAge DC, Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia Leadership Academy

Sponsors Faculty & Steering Committee


Applications for the 2018 - 2019 LeadingAge DC, Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia Leadership Academy will be available in January 2018.


The first scheduled meeting of the 2018 - 2019 LeadingAge DC, Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia Leadership Academy will be at the LeadingAge Virginia Annual Meeting in June, 2018

The LeadingAge DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Leadership Academy is a year -long leadership program designed to enhance the leadership skills of nonprofit aging services leaders in the DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia region. During the year, Fellows are guided through graduate level curriculum which 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 DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Academy is modeled after the highly successful LeadingAge National Leadership Academy.

2017 Learning Schedule

  • Participants will engage in four face-to-face learning experiences that include visits to member communities, intimate conversations with aging services leaders and self-exploration of leadership styles through exercises and readings.
  • The selected dates for the 2017 LeadingAge DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Leadership Academy are as follows:
    • February 23 - 24, 2017, - Collington, Mitchelville, Maryland
    • June 7-8, 2017 – Norfolk, VA in conjunction with the LeadingAge Virginia Annual Conference
    • October 5-6 , 2017 –Washington, DC in conjunction with the LeadingAge DC Annual Conference
    • January, 2018 – Goodwin House, Alexandria, VA

Who Should Apply

  • Anyone employed by a LeadingAge DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia member community irrespective of clinical or managerial experience.
  • Leadership potential within one’s organization is far more important than specific job title. Focus will be placed on developing aging services leaders. Those looking to obtain managerial skills and knowledge should refer to the Emerging Leaders Series offered by Leading Age MD.
  • More than one employee can apply from an organization.
  • All application submissions will be reviewed to ultimately assemble a diverse class of Fellows (in terms of life experiences, leadership roles, geography, type of organization, as well as other unique characteristics).


  • Upon acceptance, a $1500 tuition payment
    (non‐refundable and non -transferable) is required from each LeadingAge DC/Maryland Fellow organization.
  • Tuition includes meeting materials and meals provided during sessions. Lodging and travel expenses are to be incurred by the member community. Fellows are required to attend all in -person sessions, complete all required projects, assignments and readings.
  • Limited tuition financial assistance is available based on financial hardship.

The Class of 2018

LeadingAge DC,DE, MD, and VA received many high quality applications.  We congratulate everyone who applied for the Class of 2018.  The fellows selected for the Class of 2018 are:

  • Donna Bolton, Manager, Dining Services, The Lewinsville Retirement Residence
  • Delaine Caldwell, Director of Resident Life Services, Hermitage in Roanoke
  • Brandy Day, Senior Director of Human Resources & Organizational Development, Williamsburg Landing
  • Anne Ellestad, Director of Pastoral Care & Counseling, Asbury Methodist Village
  • Maggie Falzone, Nursing Home Administrator, Willowbrook Court, Country House
  • Heather Gearhart, Vice President, Health & Wellness, Warm Hearth, Inc.
  • Stacey Iden, Connected Living Director, The Village at Orchard Ridge
  • Heather Kennedy, Community Life Director, Glen Meadows Retirement Community
  • Stephanie Lawrence, Independent Living Marketing Counselor, Vinson Hall Retirement Community
  • Elizabeth Lewis, Chaplain, Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury
  • Matthew Meinertzhagen, Director of Facilities Management, Lake Prince Woods
  • Melinda Noland, Director Wellness Center & Life Enrichment, VMRC
  • Dennis Olaniyi,, Director of Nursing, Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home
  • Traci Powers, Director of Nursing, Heron Point of Chestertown
  • Brian Tenney, Executive Director Westminster at Lake Ridge
  • Robert Wagner, Director of Dining Services, Birmingham Green

Facilitator - DeAnn Akins

DeAnn Akins is founder and CEO of OctoFly Leadership, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.  DeAnn has over 17 years of experience in the field of aging and brings a rich leadership background with a passion for personal development and innovation.   She is a 2010 graduate of the national Leadership Academy, served on the board of directors for the national 275 member Alumni Network and chaired its Creating Value Committee. She designed the curriculum and served as lead facilitator for the inaugural LeadingAge North Carolina Leadership Academy and has been on the design team and served as a coach for the LeadingAge Kansas Leadership Academy.


Most recently, DeAnn worked as the Director of Strategic Operations and Nursing Home Administrator at Carol Woods in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  A Kansas native, DeAnn served as an adjunct professor for Washburn University in Topeka and holds a Master of Science in Education from the University of Kansas. She is a frequent presenter at national and state conferences.


Steering Committee:

  • Marvell Adams, Executive Director, Collington
  • Kathy Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Goodwin House
  • Libby Bush, Chief Operating Officer, Ingleside
  • Sue DaCamara, Chief Operating Officer, Asbury Communities
  • Melissa Fortner, Executive Director, Village at Orchard Ridge
  • Jonathan Grant, Vice President, Mid-Atlantic Region, Acts Retirement-Life Communities
  • Yolanda V. Johnson, Corporate Director of Human Resources, Presbyterian Senior Living
  • Karyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer, National Caucus on Black Aging
  • Steve Nash, Chief Executive Officer, Stoddard Baptist Home Foundation, Inc.

Leadership Academy Major Sponsors


Sodexo provides Quality of Life Services that contribute to individual well-being and organizational performance.   In Senior Living, Sodexo’s on-site services support clients’ objectives as they help improve comfort, safety, and the overall quality of life for your residents.




Ziegler is a full-service specialty investment bank and broker-dealer.  Specializing in the healthcare, senior living, education, and religion sectors, Ziegler provides its clients with capital raising, strategic advisory services, equity and fixed income sales and trading, wealth management, and research.