Executive Director, The Villa at Florham Park
She was there during the day when the papers were signed transferring ownership of Saint Anne Villa from the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth to Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSMNJ). But Paula Burroughs was also on-site and on-duty at 12:01 AM (October 1, 2016) when this beautiful property officially became The Villa at Florham Park. Then, she stayed on—being present and working through the night and well into the first day. “It was important to me, “said Paula, “that I be there, right from the first moment, to support this special community and the residents and staff that are the heart of The Villa at Florham Park. We are of one heart and one faith”.
Transitioning a private retirement home serving an order of Sisters to a senior living and care program open to the public was a daunting goal. But, drawing from her years of experience, Paula was eager for the challenge. She brought to her role the balanced set of skills needed to direct a program providing assisted living, nursing care, memory support, and rehabilitation services. Known as a collaborative leader, Paula has excelled throughout her career as a nursing home administrator. Licensed in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, she has broad experience in overall management of existing short and long-term care facilities as well as the set-up and launch of new programs.
Prior to joining LSMNJ, she worked as a consultant assisting clients prepare for department of health surveys and enhancement of performance and census goals. Most recently, Paula served as administrator for The Greenwood House (Ewing, NJ), The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (Haskell, NJ), Care-One at Madison Avenue (Morristown, NJ), and Bon Secours-Canterbury Partnership for Care (Jersey City, NJ). Earlier, she taught as an adjunct assistant professor at Temple University's Mid-Atlantic Gerontology Center and began her career as a geriatric social worker.
Paula holds an MSS from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and an AB from Vassar College in psychology and sociology. In her downtime, Paula is active in the Raritan Valley Chapter of the Links, Inc., a philanthropic organization representing Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties and enjoys the variety of theatre offerings, museums, and restaurants available in the New York metro area. She also enjoys going to watch her son, John, play minor league baseball.
Vice President, Philanthropy
Joseph (Joe) Claffey is more apt to turn a conversation to the other person than to open up about himself. And today, as LSMNJ’s vice president of philanthropy, Joe has turned his energies to funding ways to take care of others. In addition to his ready smile and passion for making a difference in people’s lives, Joe brought to LSMNJ extensive experience in philanthropic efforts and success in driving new revenue initiatives. Most recently he was the managing partner for Family Management Solutions, LLC, an advisory firm he founded in 2013 that provides life planning, management, and philanthropy services to individuals and families.
Previously, Joe served for 10 years with Springpoint Senior Living as the senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer where he managed annual grant distribution and guided community outreach across 24 New Jersey campuses. Earlier in his career, as the vice president for advancement at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, he completed the university’s capital campaign and significantly increased fundraising revenue. While working for the Hun School of Princeton, Joe used his role a chief advancement officer to support a rebranding effort and implement over a five-year period a successful capital campaign.
After receiving a BA in Economics and Sociology from Bucknell University, Joe earned is the Certified Senior Advisor designation from the Society of Senior Advisors and holds a Certification in Fundraising. Joe and his children love living in central New Jersey. “Where else can you leave your home and be enjoying the shore or center city Philly in 40 minutes and the mountains of the highlands region or bright lights of New York City in an hour.”
Executive Director, Housing
Asked who has inspired him, Anthony Coniglio didn’t cite a world leader or celebrity. “My mother-in-law came to this country from Poland with a dream to open her own ladies clothing store. It took a long time, but her hard work and positive attitude made her dream come true. Her example inspires my work at LSMNJ. In our housing programs we don’t just provide a roof and walls, we make homes for our residents.”
Since February 2013, Anthony has been responsible for LSMNJ’s multiple housing properties providing affordable homes across the state to seniors and families. As executive director he also oversees LSMNJ’s Project Home as well as the Lutheran Children’s Home, both in Jersey City. Anthony studied business administration at Rider University and has extensive training from the Institute of Real Estate Management, which provides certification for property managers.
Prior to joining LSMNJ, Anthony was a housing asset manager for firms in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and also worked as a manager and consultant in residential/commercial lending. Although he learned much from the lending side of the business, Anthony will tell you that his heart lies in making it possible for people to be “at home”. He’s looking forward to helping LSMNJ address the changing housing needs of New Jersey residents. Anthony is a Certified Prorperty Manager.
But Anthony isn’t all about work. He and his wife are busy raising three children—all under the age of 8. He’s a true home DIYer and recently “finally” turned an unfinished basement into a kid-friendly family room. In their rare free time, the whole family shares Anthony’s love of the New York Yankees and values the true sportsmanship of old time baseball.
Vice President & Executive Director, Lutheran Senior LIFE at Jersey City
Wanda Cooper is a true “Philly” girl, having spent her entire life there. However, that didn’t deter her from anticipating a relocation to New Jersey’s “gold coast” in order to accept a professional opportunity she just couldn’t refuse.
In May 2015, Wanda joined Lutheran Social Ministries of NJ (LSMNJ) as vice president and executive director of Lutheran Senior LIFE at Jersey City. Her significant experience leading other programs based on the PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) model and her down-to-earth demeanor are a great fit for this complex and unique healthcare program that helps senior continue to live at home.
After earning a BS in Health Care Management at the Medical College of Virginia, Wanda gained experience in senior healthcare with several organizations in the Atlanta area. Returning “home”, she worked with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and received an MS in Health Administration from Saint Joseph’s University. Just prior to becoming part of the LSMNJ family, Wanda was employed in Philadelphia as the chief operating officer for the University of Pennsylvania LIFE (Living Independently For Elders) program, having worked in various positions there for 10 years. A strong advocate of the PACE model of senior healthcare, she was instrumental in growing this program from 100 to over 400 participants.
Excited about her new life in north jersey and this opportunity to apply her strengths in leadership, operations, and compliance, Wanda is committed to ensuring a high quality care and positive health outcomes for all those enrolled in Lutheran Senior LIFE at Jersey City.
Executive Director, Mission Advancement
Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, Beth Gebhart must have been influenced by her home state’s nickname. Though she has left the Volunteer State for the Garden State, Beth’s commitment to public service has not dwindled. She has been a part of LSMNJ since 2010, and currently serves as executive director of mission advancement.
Ms. Gebhart’s position belies her background in social services, although her experience in that field gives her a greater understanding of LSMNJ’s needs and mission. She holds a BA in sociology and psychology from Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC, and has taken graduate courses at the Rutgers School of Social Work. Before coming to LSMNJ, Beth worked as volunteer coordinator and then acting director for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Community Planning and Advocacy Council (CPAC). She also served as director of community partnering & advocacy and executive director of community services at LSMNJ before taking on her current role.
Beth is an active member of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Cherry Hill, where her husband of 26 years, Michael Gebhart, is pastor. She teaches confirmation classes for the church’s Christian Education program, and introduced the church to the work of the Cherry Hill Food and Outreach Council, which Beth also chaired. Additionally, Ms. Gebhart serves on the executive committee for the Non-profit Chamber of MidJersey.
When she’s not devoting her time to helping others, Beth enjoys bird watching, hiking, a good book, or spending time with her two children and her black lab, Abby.
Chief Information Officer
If the Phillie Phanatic ever had to take a day off, John Hoffler could easily step into his furry green shoes.
John is a huge baseball fan, especially when it comes to supporting his hometown team. In many ways, John’s work as senior executive director of information technology and program improvement at LSMNJ reflects his enthusiasm for baseball. He is known for collaboration, performance under pressure, and the drive to give the organization a competitive edge by constantly seeking improvement.
John’s ties to Philadelphia go beyond baseball. He graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology before working for 15 years at the Penn Central Corporation in Philadelphia. Mr. Hoffler also holds an MS in management information science from Pennsylvania State University’s Great Valley Campus.
Before coming to LSMNJ, John held a wide variety of positions at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University. He worked at the university for over 20 years, where he served as director of financial systems, director of corporate information systems, director of enterprise systems, interim CIO, senior director of enterprise systems and web presence, and finally senior director of IT planning and administration.
John joined LSMNJ in October 2012. Though he has brought his experience and expertise across the Delaware River to New Jersey now, he is still close to the city and the team he loves.
Vice President of Human Resources
Her formative years may have been spent in northeast Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, but Krista Jacobs knew she was not destined to be a country girl. Like many considering such a transition, Krista made her move in stages and today lives and works in the suburban Philadelphia/Southern Jersey area, which happily offers a balance of proximity to mountains, seashore, and city lights.
Krista’s first move was to East Stroudsburg (PA) University where she earned a bachelor of science in management and was inspired to focus her career in human resources (HR). She headed to North Carolina and gained first-hand knowledge of the many aspects of HR work with an internship at a Hilton Head resort. This experience provided a solid foundation for her career as there are many similarities between the hospitality industry and long-term care, especially the focus on excellent customer service. A desire to be closer to family and friends brought Krista north again when she accepted a position with Northwestern Human Services, a provider of healthcare staffing services. Later, she gained progressive levels of experience with other organizations in the suburban Philadelphia area including the Madlyn & Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life, Fresenius Medical Care North America, and Presby’s Inspired Life. Prior to joining LSMNJ, she was the human resources manager for Reliant Renal Care, a national provider of dialysis services. Krista holds a certificate as a Professional in Human Resources Management (PHR) and, since January 2015, is a Society for Human Resources Management-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).
What drew Krista to Lutheran Social Ministries of NJ (LSMNJ)? The diversity of our programs and services and the opportunity a non-profit has to focus on vision, mission, and quality. Her goals at LSMNJ include ensuring consistency in HR practices across the organization and encouraging employee engagement. Outside of work, she is a devoted mother to her young son, who is “her world.” Any summer weekend you might find them “down the shore” and Krista trying out her new paddle boarding skills.
Executive Director, Marketing & Communications
Ruth Lewis has a passion for making things look good. Home decorating is her hobby—she loves watching do-it-yourself programs; finding buried treasures at yard sales; and working to turn the ordinary into something exciting. Fortunately, her position as executive director of marketing and communication at LSMNJ allows her to do similar work, keeping the public face of the organization fresh and sharing its mission with the world.
Ruth graduated from Penn State with a BS in consumer studies with a journalism option before continuing her education at the University of Tennessee, where she received her MS in consumer studies and housing. Ms. Lewis also attended the University of Missouri’s postgraduate School of Journalism. Recently, she served as director of marketing and information at Middlesex County College before moving on to Pearson Learning Group, where she worked as director of advertising and promotion and then as director of sales communications and support. Before joining LSMNJ in March 2011, Ruth held similar marketing positions at McGraw-Hill Education.
Ruth believes that effective marketing and communications really does take a “village.” That’s why she especially likes her job at LSMNJ, where she works as part of a team with other creative, positive professionals to ensure a consistent and engaging brand identity.
Vice President & Executive Director, Crane’s Mill Retirement Community
As a college student, Chad Murin met a Jersey girl and his life changed. After graduation, this Pittsburg (PA) native followed her and his heart to New Jersey and has not looked back. After several years in the Clifton area, they relocated to enjoy the scenic beauty and outdoor recreation offered by western Morris County. “We have the best of both worlds,” says Chad, “a reasonable weekday commute to many locations with the opportunity outside of work to hike or simply take in the wonders of nature around us.”
In his role as vice president and executive director of Crane’s Mill—LSMNJ’s continuing care retirement community in West Caldwell, NJ—Chad is responsible for all aspects of the 48 acre facility including independent living and assisted living residences as well as a highly regarded wellness program Alzheimer’s and dementia care, sub-acute rehabilitation, and long term nursing care. His academic training and earlier professional roles made Chad well prepared to lead the Crane’s Mill community. After earning a bachelor of science degree in therapeutic recreation with a minor in gerontology, he entered the field of senior living and care with Genesis Healthcare and experienced a career of upward mobility for well over ten years. During this time, Chad received a masters degree in healthcare management from the College of Saint Elizabeth (Morristown, NJ). He is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in New Jersey. Prior to joining Lutheran Social Ministries of NJ (LSMNJ), he worked as the director of operations at Coordinated Health, a healthcare system located in the Poconos region of PA.
According to staff and residents, Chad is a perfect fit for Crane’s Mill … and he feels the same. “It’s as if I’ve come home! The facility is beautiful as well as comfortable and the people are welcoming and generous of spirit. I’m fortunate to have had other work opportunities that allowed me to grow as a professional. Now I want to use what I know and can do to benefit the Crane’s Mill family. I’m excited to help them build on the foundation of success they’ve already achieved.”
Vice President, Administration
A longtime resident of Gloucester County Sherry Outten often wondered what was so enticing about the long commute that she spent her entire career working in Pennsylvania—and not just across the river, but in the western suburbs of Philly. She finally came to her senses and put down new professional roots in New Jersey.
Joining LSMNJ in January 2015 as the vice-president and executive director for Lutheran Crossings Enhanced Living at Moorestown, Sherry stated, “I’m happy to be working for a faith-based organization with such a strong mission and commitment to serving those in need.” In January 2017, she accepted a new challenge as vice president administration for LSMNJ. Based out of the Burlington office, Sherry now works with programs across LSMNJ and serves as the organization’s compliance official as well as privacy officer.
Her career, spanning more than 25 years, has been dedicated to ensuring quality care and housing of seniors. Just prior to her return to New Jersey, Sherry was the associate executive director for The Quadrangle--a 74 acre Sunrise Senior Living Community in Haverford, PA. She earned a BS in Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA in Health Services Administration from Widener University’s School of Management and is licensed as a nursing home administrator in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as a personal care administrator in Pennsylvania.
A resident of Wenonah, NJ, Sherry enjoys outdoor sports with her family and is a member of her town’s Dragon Boat Team. She is excited to be able to use her experience to benefit seniors and others in her home state. Giving back is part of Sherry’s nature and work ethic and there is no place she would rather do so than as a part of LSMNJ.
Executive Director, Quality Assurance & Clinical Operations
He may have begun his career as a nurse, but today Edward seems to be more of an LSMNJ troubleshooter and problem solver. No two days are the same for him. Why? He’s charged with ensuring that healthcare for residents/participants across LSMNJ programs is provided accurately, appropriately, and in compliance with not only regulations but high standards for quality care.
Although his office location is in Burlington, Edward is rarely there. Instead, he goes where the action is so he can resolve operational issues, create and implement protocols, provide training, or even fill-in for a director of nursing or other care manager. Wherever he is needed most, Edward daily applies training, clinical experience, and hands-on nursing skills gained over more than 20 years as a professional in the healthcare community. Beginning his career as a nursing supervisor, he quickly progressed to positions of increased responsibility as a nursing manager, director of nursing, and vice president of clinical operations. Prior to joining LSMNJ, Edward was a regional nurse consultant overseeing clinical operations for four skilled nursing facilities. In this position he utilized a quality assurance process and technology to improve health network outcomes and assisted training of staff in the use of electronic medical records. Previously, Edward earned an associates degree of applied science in nursing from Raritan Valley Community College and a bachelor of science in nursing from Immaculata University.
Edward’s reputation as a problem solver is further enhanced by a bonus area of expertise—not included on his vita. He’s an automotive buff and quickly became a trusted go-to for advice when colleagues and friends ponder a major repair or purchase.
Vice President & Executive Director, Lutheran Crossings Enhanced Living at Moorestown
Meeting LSMNJ colleagues for the first time, Carl Tarbell was quick to share that one of his first priorities was to go out in the Moorestown community and get to know people as Lutheran Crossings chief brand ambassador. “Not only do we offer quality assisted living and nursing care to benefit area residents, but the rich heritage of Lutheran Crossings as part of Main Street Moorestown only emphasizes its value and potential within the greater community.”
A long-time resident of Haddonfield, NJ, Carl brought to Lutheran Crossings his personal appreciation for the greater Moorestown area as well as proven success as an administrator in senior living and healthcare. For more than 30 years, Carl gained experience and enjoyed increasing levels of responsibility working for various senior living, healthcare, and/or special needs organizations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His most recent position was with the Quadrangle, a Sunrise Senior Living property, where he served as the executive director. Among other positions, he previously served as the administrator/chief operating officer for Caring Heart Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (Philadelphia), executive director/general manager for The Watermark at Logan Square, and vice president/chief operating officer Post-Acute/Senior Services at Virtua Health.
After graduating with a BA in economics and business administration from McDaniel College (western Maryland College), Carl later earned an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Eastern University. He is licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has served as a board member for the Delaware Valley Alzheimer's Association.
Carl’s native talents for strategic planning, team management, and effective implementation also come in handy outside of Lutheran Crossings. On weekends, he can often be found wielding a hammer, nail gun, or tile saw on “reno” projects for family members.