Pre-Conference Workshops

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 • 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Special Conference Rate: $150.00

Upon completion of the seminar, attendees will be eligible to apply for certification as a Certified Dementia Practitioner.

Workshop Guide:
Carrie Chiusano, Executive Director for the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Dementia Care Center of Excellence

Join Carrie Chiusano, Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer and long-time advocate for Person-Directed Care for a daylong seminar. She will be presenting the required seminar for those pursuing Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) certification with the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP), and you will leave at the end of the day prepared to complete your application – or you can just come for the education. The seminar is recommended for all healthcare professionals and direct care staff who provide services to elders living with Dementia in all settings within the health care. NCCDP curriculum is recognized by CMS and listed on the CMS Crosswalk page.

After the workshop, you will be provided information on how to apply online with NCCDP for the CDP certification at the discounted rate of $35.00 (normally $145.00). For more information about NCCDP and certification, go to and select Certifications and CDP.



Carrie Chiusano

Carrie Chiusano is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) and a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT) through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She has thirty plus years of long-term care experience with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network. Most of those years were spent helping to shape and implement the internationally renowned Woodside Place philosophy of specialty care for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Carrie has championed the Person Centered Care initiative as well as the Dementia Care Specialty initiative for Presbyterian SeniorCare Network to become CARF accredited. She served as Director of Recreation and the Personal Care Home Administrator for Woodside Place. This knowledge and experience led her to become a mentor, motivator, and dynamic catalyst as the Executive Director for Presbyterian SeniorCare Network’s Dementia Care Center of Excellence.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 • 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Special Conference Rate: $150.00

Debbie Wiegand, Project Coach, The Green House Project
Susan Ryan
, Senior Director, The Green House Project
Rebecca Priest,
Project Coach, The Green House Project
, Chair of the Board & Senior Researcher, IDEAS Institute
Eric Krull, AIA, LEED GA, CASP, Executive Vice President, THW Design
Rob Simonetti, AIA, Senior Living Studio Leader, LeBella Associates


With Pioneer Network and The Green House Project now under a formal alliance, the Green House team invites you to a pre-conference event to answer some of the questions you may have about the model.

Looking to build a new Green House community from the ground up? Exploring physical upgrades to your legacy properties? Curious about how you can incorporate Green House values into your existing buildings without any new construction or renovation?

There’s a Green House solution for every organization. During this session, the experienced Green House team will lead participants through the development process from start to finish – complete with different tracks for whether your organization wants to build new or alter existing buildings and operational structures.

The joint opening session leverages the insights of architects to help attendees determine when it is best to rebuild or renovate. Following the opening session, participants interested in learning more about new physical construction will head to The Green House Homes at Mirasol in Loveland to see the trademark Green House design in action.

Those who’d prefer to learn about cultural transformation and operational practices within an existing structure will stay in Denver for an interactive session on the range of ways that providers can bring elder-directed care principles to any eldercare community.

No matter your organization’s specific challenges and opportunities, come start your own Green House transformation story with us at this pre-conference session!

Note: Capacity for the trip to Loveland will be capped at 40 attendees, so be sure to register today if you’re interested in the new development track! Registrants can indicate their selection at checkout.  



Maggie Calkins

Margaret Calkins, Ph.D, M.Arch., is widely recognized as an expert in the creation and evaluation of long-term care settings, particularly for individuals with dementia. Chair of the Board and Chief Researcher of the IDEAS Institute, both of which seek to improve environments for elders through the conduct of rigorous, applied research, dissemination of evidence-based information and resources, and individual partnering with designers and care providers. With the publication of her first book Design for Dementia in 1988, Dr. Calkins has been at the forefront of elder-supportive design. She is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences in the US and abroad, making over 20 presentations annually. She is also a Founding Member of SAGE-Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments, is active with The Gerontological Society of America, Environmental Design Research Association, and the Alzheimer’s Association, recently serving on the Board of the Cleveland Area Chapter.

Maggie is a member of The Green House Project Board, and a former Pioneer Network Board Member.

Susan Ryan

Susan Ryan serves as senior director of The Green House Project, leading the non-profit on its; mission to fundamentally transform eldercare in America and around the world. As a member of the Green House team since 2008, Ryan has become an internationally recognized leader long-term care reform – with a particular focus on the organization’s vision for small-home & eldercare communities that provide person-directed alternatives to traditional nursing homes. Throughout her 35-year career in eldercare, Susan has sought to champion the quality of life for elders in a variety of settings across the continuum of care, including the expansion of home and community based services. At The Green House Project, she works to create a future where every elder is able to access high-quality, person-directed living in the setting of their choice.

Deb Wiegand

Debbie Wiegand joined The Green House Project team in 2012 as Project Guide, then Director of Operations and recently transitioned to a Project Coach. She collaborates with senior living leaders to advance cultural transformation related to design, financial modeling, regulatory application, and project management. Through creative problem-solving approaches, Debbie collaborates with leaders to successfully strategize and challenge the status quo in bringing about sustainable change in a highly regulated industry where margins and mission must both live. Taking the road less traveled has led to new heights where innovation thrives, and elders live their best life. Debbie has served as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Executive Director. Her culture change journey began in 1994 where she piloted the Eden Alternative in Texas as part of an initial research project. That success strengthened her resolve to never settle, while embracing challenges as learning opportunities, and being a disrupter where change is rarely championed. Industry leaders and influencers have shaped the many creative and inspirational encounters that drive her passion to push the envelope for a better model of care.

Eric Kull

Eric Krull is a Principal and Executive Vice President of THW Design, noted as one of the nation’s top Senior Living design firms with more than 1,000 commissions worldwide. Thinking forward for over 60 years, THW has been delivering expertise as a full service design firm. Eric has dedicated his entire career of more than 25 years to improving the quality of life for all seniors. His experience includes working with more than 50 national senior living organizations, associations and development groups across the country. Eric’s strength and passion are in strategic planning and the integration of architecture and interiors within the context of the surrounding landscape. His leadership has been developed through extensive experience, collaborating with community board members, directors, and planning and operational committees.

His work has garnered multiple awards from AIA Design for Aging, NAHB 55+, Environments for Aging, and has been published in Long-Term Living Remodel/Renovation, and LeadingAge Trends. Eric has participated in speaking engagements and presentations at national, regional, and state association meetings. He has been an active member of LeadingAge for over 20 years and worked closely with LeadingAge in establishing the Idea House (2009-2014) and a day in the life… (2017), both of which are nationally recognized hands-on educational experiences that highlight and demonstrate the latest trends in senior living design.

Rob Simonetti

Rob Simonetti is a Senior Living Studio Leader with LaBella Associates with 25 years of professional experience. He has been focused on skilled nursing and senior environments for the last 20 years and is dedicated to designing meaningful environments for elders. His experience includes design on many senior housing and healthcare projects. He works with providers to define environmental requirements, educates regulators and stakeholders, performs code analysis, project design, and consultant coordination.

Rob is a trained Certified Eden Alternative Associate which has allowed him to better understand providers seeking to change their culture of care and their environments. With Pioneer Network, Rob has been involved in Life Safety Code and International Building Code Task Forces, working to revise Code affecting senior environments. He has worked in various models designing small house memory care homes, community based Green House homes, and Household renovations. Rob has presented at EFA, Eden, Pioneer Network, and Green House Conferences and serves as President of SAGE and on the Environments For Aging (EFA) Editorial Advisory Board.

Rebecca Priest

Rebecca Priest has spent 20+ years in the senior living space, serving as a social worker, Green House Guide, and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Chief Operating Officer for a large non-for-profit serving elders in upstate New York. Her culture change journey began in 2005 where she became a leader of implementing the Eden Alternative in her organization, ultimately building the first community based Green House home built 12 miles away from the legacy organization. That success strengthened her resolve to seek creative regulatory solutions, while not compromising on a model that she knew worked to bring sustainable staffing solutions, financial stability, and a protégé of excellence to her community. Strong board leadership, industry leaders and influencers, and her own personal experience in needing long term care for a sibling have shaped the many bold and deeply transformative encounters that drive her passion to push the envelope for a better model of care.

Rebecca has seen that “systems designed to achieve an outcome of individualized connection yield quality and financial outcomes needed to make long term care and aging with community a world worth working for. Life can be different for our aging loved ones and those who dedicate their lives partnering with them.”

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 • 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Workshop Fee: $50.00

Workshop Guides:
Joan Devine, RN, BSN, Director of Education, Pioneer Network, Marla DeVries, BA, Chief Learning Officer, The Green House Project, and Carol Dumond-Stryker, RN, BSN, MS, Ed.D.,Project Coach, The Green House Project

Developed as a joint venture by The Green House Project and Pioneer Network, this interactive leadership skills workshop puts person-directed care principles in action for today’s long term care leaders. This session is designed with a particular focus on the complex role of nurse leaders, providing oversight of clinical operations impacting every aspect of an organization, and the robust collaboration necessary between nurse leaders and other organizational leaders. Whether you are an administrator, multidisciplinary team member, or leader in the long-term care continuum, the workshop brings relevant skillsets and tools to grow your leadership chops. Attendees will explore their power of influence to impact change, discover strategies to enhance partnerships with team members in order to strengthen relationships and break down traditional silos, and strengthen coaching skills.

This workshop helps to equip attendees to fully leverage person-directed leadership in their unique and vital roles, and they will leave the workshop with a better understanding of what person-directed leadership is and how to apply lessons learned in their strategies to overcome challenges faced every day, such as how to address workforce challenges to support decrease in turnover and increase in staff retention and satisfaction, things that the data shows are improved when person-directed leadership skills are practiced.



Joan Devine

As Director of Education for Pioneer Network, Joan Devine leads the development and implementation of educational programming for the organization. A registered nurse and former activity professional, Joan has over 35 years of experience in healthcare having served in leadership positions in long-term and acute care settings since 1987. As an advocate for the LTC culture change movement, Joan serves as a frequent speaker at state and national forums and currently serves on the board of MC5 (Missouri Coalition Celebrating Care Continuum Change) and Ontario Association of Resident Councils (OARC). A 2022 McKnight’s Veteran VIP Women of Distinguish recipient, Joan holds a B.A. in Music Education/Music Therapy, a B.S. in Nursing and a Masters in Management. When not working, you will often find her out on her bike, walking or hiking with her grandkids.

Maria DeVries

As Chief Learning Officer, Marla DeVries pours in her passion for learning and growth to the development of The Green House Project’s educational tools, resources, and experiences, with the goal of creating real and sustainable culture change. DeVries has more than 20 years of teaching experience in long-term care, built on an advocacy foundation formed in her work as an ombudsman. She celebrates what’s working today while striving for what can be tomorrow. When not at work, Marla enjoys spoiling two adorable grandchildren, the greens of a golf course, the sand of the volleyball court, and a good glass of red wine.

Carol DuMond Stryker

Carol DuMond Stryker, who joined The Green House Project team in 2017, began volunteering in a nursing home when she was 12 years old alongside her mother who was the nursing supervisor. The experiences she had as a young girl sparked her interest in making a positive difference for elders. She worked in all levels of nursing practice from a nursing assistant to the Director of Nursing. Since 1982, Carol’s nursing experience focused on gerontology, oncology, hospice, palliative care and rehabilitation in both hospitals and nursing homes. Carol focused on improving quality of life for elders even before the words “culture change” became buzz words. This pursuit has motivated her to gain further education and be equipped to make an even greater difference. Carol’s Advance education has prepared her to critically review research and data and translate that information into easily understandable strategies that can be used in organizations pursuing culture change.