Candice Pietrzak, CTRS
Chairperson – Education Committee
Candice Avila, CTRS, has worked in the field of long-term care for nineteen years, starting her career in Recreation. She has been lucky to work at Parker, which is an organization that follows the Eden Alternative philosophy, with a firm belief that the life of the elder in long-term care can and should be different. Since joining that community, Candice has been a Recreation Coordinator, the Director of Recreation, and currently the Talent Management & Organizational Development Specialist. In addition, she became an active partner of the Eden Core team, promoting person-centered care, leading a neighborhood (having meetings and planning with elders and employee care partners), planning and training new Eden Associates, being a role model for the Eden culture at Parker (presenting our Eden journey, education about person-centered care for the CNA Leadership group, and empowerment education for the Leadership team.) In 2014, Candice became an Eden Educator and has taught over 160 individuals about The Eden Alternative by facilitating their Eden Associate Certification. She most recently obtained the Neighborhood Guide training certification to teach and assist teams to build a strong care partnership and develop skills to bring decisions closer to the elders.
Toni Lynn Davis, MHA, CNHA
Co-Founder & Treasurer – Advocacy Committee
Toni Lynn Davis has been dedicated to senior services since she first worked as a dietary aide at the age of 16. Now, as Administrator, Ms. Davis has overall responsibility for planning and operating The Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center at Centrastate. Ms. Davis received a BS in Accounting and Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix, in Arizona. She has the key credential of Licensed Nursing Home Administrator from the State of New Jersey. Ms. Davis became certified as a nursing home administrator through the American College of Healthcare Administrators where she attained the status of Fellow. Toni is also a Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) certified professional. Ms. Davis volunteers her time as the Chair on the Board of LeadingAge New Jersey, as treasurer on the Board of New Jersey Alliance for Culture Change and on the nomination committee for the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA).
Michele Ochsner, Ph.D.
In her prior work, and as co-director of the Rutgers Occupational Training and Education Consortium (OTEC), Michele Ochsner’s projects have focused on evaluating organization practices, policies and training interventions that support worker participation and engagement. She has been the principal or co-investigator of more than twenty federal, state and foundation funded projects and participatory training interventions that promote critical thinking, teamwork and communication are central to the majority of these projects. Michele earned her Ph.D. in sociomedical sciences from Columbia University and a master’s degree in political science from Rutgers University. Her involvement in long-term care grew out of her parents’ experiences with dementia and her observations of the ways that organizations support/fail to support both staff and resident well-being.
Kathleen A. Nasevich, M.S., R.D.N., CPM
Kathleen recently retired from her position as Supervisor of Inspections at the NJ Department of Health, where she worked for 24 years as a team surveyor, team leader, and supervisor of survey teams. As a supervisor, Kathleen spoke to industry stakeholders on topics ranging from regulatory updates to how Culture Change fits into the regulatory process. She became active with NJACC in 2015 and strongly believes in their mission to bring person-directed care to all residents in New Jersey.
Mandy Laraway has been working in the healthcare industry for the past 12 years, where she began her career as an Activity Assistant. It wasn’t too long after she realized she had a true passion for serving the senior population.
Mandy has worked in skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living and adult day care. She is currently the Director of Community Relations at Sycamore Eldercare at East Hanover. Sycamore Eldercare is a new organization to the healthcare industry and Mandy is aiding the process to ensure that true culture change is brought to the community.
Gwendolyn N. Monangai, CDP, CALA
Trustee – Marketing Committee
Gwen is the Co-Founder and CEO at Jonathan Senior Care, Inc., an organization created to make life meaningful for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to launching her company, she worked for 22 years as an executive pharmaceutical sales representative, covering critical care, cardiac catheterization labs, and heart failure in some of the major teaching hospitals in Manhattan and Northern New Jersey. Gwen was a training manager for the Parke Davis and Pfizer sales organizations. Gwen also serves as volunteer with Jewish Family Services of Morris County and Green Hill, a continuing care community in West Orange. She received a bachelor of arts in Biology from New Jersey City University. A Licensed Practical Nurse, she is also a Certified Assisted Living Administrator and Certified Dementia Practitioner.
Denise Boudreau-Scott, MHA, LNHA
Immediate Past-Chair and Co-Founder
Inspiring Leaders Chair
Denise Boudreau-Scott is President of Drive, which helps aging services organizations improve the resident and staff experience, and the bottom-line, through more engaged leaders and employees. A former nursing home and assisted living administrator, Denise co-founded and is chairperson of the New Jersey Alliance for Culture Change, a member of NAB’s Exam Writing Committee, and former board member of the Pioneer Network. Denise received her Bachelor of Science in Gerontology from the University of Scranton and her Master in Health Administration from Cornell University where she serves as a student mentor and speaker. She is proud to share that she started off her career as a dietary aide and nursing assistant.
Debra L. DiCello
Debra has served in the capacity of surveyor and Supervisor in the Licensing program, Complaint Program, and Survey and Field Operations encompassing both long-term care and ICF/IID for the Department of Health. She has developed initiatives encompassing facility assessment, action plan development and cultural recognition with facility change.
She has served in the position of Director of Nursing for many years, and was a consultant to the Office of the Ombudsman with contribution in the development of the Palliative Care Project. She was Practice Administrator for the University of Rochester and Strong Memorial Hospital in utilization management, performance review and regulatory compliance.
She is a Registered Nurse and is certified by the ANCC in Gerontology, by NADONA in Long-Term Care Director of Nursing Administration and as a Nurse Leader in the Academy of Fellows. She is Nationally Certified by the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation as an Investigator/Inspector. She served with NJADONA as Chairperson representing Mercer County with board affiliation during her service as a DON.
Loretta assists members with their quality and clinical operations for HCANJ. Previously, she worked for Chelsea Senior living as Vice President of Health Affairs, Regional Director of NJ Operations and Executive Director. Loretta currently serves on the American Health Care Association (AHCA) Clinical and Quality Committees. Previously, she served as the Chair of the National Center for Assisted Living’s Quality Committee and is the former Chair of HCANJ’s Best Practices Committee.
Loretta holds an RN, BSN, LNHA, CALA, and Gerontological Nurse Certification. She is a recipient of the HCANJ Nurse of the Year Award and the New Jersey Office on Aging Gerontologist of the Year Award. She is a founding member and former Chair of the NJ Chapter of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association and now serves on their board. She is also the founder of the East Hanover Drug Awareness Council and has served as East Hanover’s mayor.
James W. McCracken, M.H.A.
Currently the President and CEO at LeadingAge NJ, Jim is dedicated to advancing quality aging services through advocacy, education and fellowship. He was appointed the Long-Term Care Ombudsman by Governor Christie in 2010. As Ombudsman, he manages a staff that advocates for residents of long-term care facilities by investigating and resolving complaints of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
A 2009 Leadership Fellow, Jim has served on the boards of LeadingAge NJ and Birth Haven. In 2014, the NJ Hospice and Palliative Care organization recognized Jim as Public Servant of the Year. In 2014, he received the Educator of the Year award from the American College of Health Care Administrators and was recognized by the NJ Foundation for Aging at its 2017 Honoree Luncheon. Jim received a bachelor of arts in Religion from Denison University and a masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of New Hampshire.