President and CEO, National Lutheran Communities & Services
Cyndi Walters was named president and chief executive officer (CEO) of National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS) in May 2021, assuming the position full time in August 2021. Prior to this role, she served as chief operating officer (COO) since 2016. Cyndi has served at NLCS in varying capacities for nine years; first as a consultant before joining as chief operating officer in 2016.
Cumulatively, Walters has over 30 years of experience in the senior living industry including a strong background in strategically growing and diversifying the organization and an enhanced focus on operating as a senior-living system and leveraging its benefits and efficiencies. Prior to joining NLCS, she provided project management and advisory services to senior living organizations through Walters Advisors, LLC. She has also served in a leadership role at Presbyterian Senior Living in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, and during her 19 years at KPMG (a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services), spent significant time as a partner and leader of their National Senior Living Advisory Practice.
As president and CEO, Cyndi’s focus is strategically growing and furthering NLCS’ mission to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults. Cyndi is an advocate for “aging with choice,” which means supporting older adults in making their own choices in aging, whether it means moving to a senior living community or bringing in supportive services to their home. She is also an advocate for team members across the organization and leads a team dedicated to ensuring NLCS remains a Great Place to Work® and an employer of choice for those who have a heart to serve older adults.
Cyndi is a native of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from York College of Pennsylvania.
Steven Nastasi joined The Village at Orchard Ridge in November 2022 as Executive Director.
With more than 20 years of experience in working with older adults, Steven brings a wealth of knowledge and is excited for the opportunity to share his expertise and unwavering commitment to resident satisfaction, team member engagement and community growth with the Orchard Ridge community.
Prior to joining The Village at Orchard Ridge, Steven held many director level positions including activity director, food service director, business office manager, assisted living manager, senior executive director and regional director of operations. His experience and exposure to the operations of each of these areas has provided him the opportunity to understand the unique qualities of the departments’ functions.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Steven moved to Houston, Texas where he earned his Bachelor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Houston.
Melissa Sellers joined The Village at Orchard Ridge in October of 2019 as the healthcare administrator.
Prior to joining The Village at Orchard Ridge, Melissa served nine years in the West Virginia Army National Guard with the 157 Military Police Company and then accepted a promotion to sergeant serving with the 154 Military Police Company. Melissa brings seven years of experience working in a fast-paced healthcare environment where she served in various capacities.
Melissa is a person-centered healthcare professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in healthcare administration from Shepherd University. She is currently in pursuit of her Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in health care administration from Trident University. She holds her Licensed Nursing Home Administrator (LNHA) in the states of Virginia and West Virginia. Working in health care, she understands the importance of continuous growth and knowledge.
Melissa is driven by a passion for serving others through work and in the community. She eagerly seeks opportunities to use her life experiences to transform them into actionable ways to impact the lives of those around her.
Greg Smythe joined The Village at Orchard Ridge in August of 2022 and brings with him more than 10 years of senior living sales and marketing leadership experience. Prior to joining The Village at Orchard Ridge, Greg served as a sales counselor for a large independent living, assisted living and memory care community.
Greg made a career change from the health and physical fitness industry to helping older adults after placing his father in a senior living community. With experience from the consumers’ point of view, he understands the sensitivities and complexities of moving a loved one to a safer and more vibrant environment.
Throughout his career, Greg has assisted hundreds of families through their journey and looks forward to building new relationships and enhancing lives at Orchard Ridge.
Greg earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Lynchburg. In his free time, he likes to garden, read, attend concerts and is an active fitness enthusiast who has completed 14 marathons. He resides in Front Royal, Virginia with his Great Pyrenees named Willie.
Director of Nursing
Kokouvi Addeh-Adodo began his journey in senior living communities in 2003 as a certified nursing assistant. He graduated from the University of the District of Columbia Licensed Practical Nurse program and started practicing as a licensed practical nurse in 2005. He obtained his associate degree from Frederick Community College and obtained his registered nurse license in 2012 thenwent on to obtain his Bachelor of Science in nursing from Frostburg State University.
In 2017, Kokouvi joined National Lutheran Communities & Services as a clinical care coach in the skilled rehabilitation neighborhood at The Village at Rockville and was later promoted to assistant director of nursing. In August 2021, he was promoted again to director of nursing at The Village of Orchard Ridge.
Resident Experience Director
In November 2022, Lauren Gwinn transitioned to resident experience director at The Village at Orchard Ridge.
Lauren Gwinn first joined myPotential at Home in 2018 as the outreach liaison, allowing her to integrate in the Winchester community. She is involved in the Top of Virginia Chamber of Commerce and has served in leadership roles with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Senior Interest Network Lead Share Group and as Board of Trustee member for The Shenandoah Fellowship Foundation and Winchester House. Her hard work earned myPotential at Home Best in Home Care nominations two years in a row through the “Winchester Star Awards,” winning the award in 2020. She has also been nominated twice for the Top of Virginia’s Emerging Leader Award and Citizen of the Year awards.
Gwinn was inspired to work with older adults from enjoying a close relationship with her grandmother growing up. Gwinn states, “When I see a need in the community, I tend to act on it. My grandmother has been a driving force in my life since I was young and that relationship drove me into this field. I approach every decision and every conversation with a client and their family in the same way I would with my own grandmother. There is still a huge need for home care services in all the areas National Lutheran Communities & Services operates, and I am really excited to help tackle that need.”
Mary Hurd joined The Village at Orchard Ridge in October 2022 as the executive assistant for the executive director. She has 30 years of experience working with senior management, assisting internal and external customers and running her own business.
Mary likes helping others. In the past she was a licensed doula who worked with mothers-to-be to plan for labor and delivery and coached the new parents through the birthing process.
While working at The Village at Orchard Ridge, Mary really enjoys working as part of a team to improve the lives of the residents.
In her spare time, Mary relishes spending time with her family and her four grandchildren. As well, she enjoys attending church and participating in a group bible study.
Talent and Culture Director
Mary Palomo joined The Village at Orchard Ridge in December 2021 as the talent and culture director. She has over 20 years of experience in all areas of human resources. Mary earned a Bachelor of Science from Frostburg University and achieved the designations of SHRM-SCP and SPHR.
Mary has proven success in creating cultures of collaboration and implementing change to achieve workforce excellence. Mary uses her strong human resources background and a blend of experience in various positions to affect positive change in the organizations where she’s worked. Effectively balancing strategic planning with hands-on execution to combine decisiveness, strong business acumen and formal education to achieve professional objectives. She is passionate about the people that bring organizations to life and believes in supporting the development of people and their potential!