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The Leadership Academy is designed to develop the leadership capacities and core competencies of aging services professionals by tapping into their natural talents and authentic leadership styles, irrespective of their professional experience, job title or type of position within an organization.

Application Deadline: July 15

Applications for the 2025 program year will be accepted until 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15, 2024.

About the Academy

The curriculum draws on adult learning theory to delve into the core principles of reflective leadership through a variety of components. The program emphasizes self-exploration and relationship-building to enable participants to embrace diversity of thought, move beyond pre-conceived assumptions and view their own experiences and those of others as learning opportunities.

  • Leadership Theory

    Readings, group discussions and exercises throughout the year delve into the various ways (and contexts) in which the leadership theories are and can be applied to real-world settings within and outside of the aging services field.

  • Member Site Visits

    Site visits expose Fellows to a variety of housing and service settings and the people (at all levels) responsible for creating unique environments and programming across the full range older adult services.

  • Leaders in Residence

    Intimate conversations with a wide range of leaders in our field give Fellows insight into the different actions, personal beliefs, values and goals that shape individual leadership styles and approaches.

  • Study Circle

    Through a variety of discussions and exercises, Fellows explore gaps in our field from many points of view, identify areas of common interest and generate ideas for action or areas for further exploration.

  • Action Learning

    The action learning process encourages Fellows to move a project forward while at the same time reflecting on their Academy learnings, actions and the hands-on, practical experiences that enable leaders to more effectively navigate change.

Leadership Academy Information

2025 Schedule

The Academy year begins with virtual orientations and unfolds over in-person and virtual gatherings and site visits to LeadingAge member organizations.

Please Note: dates and locations are subject to change.

Winter Virtual Experience | Feb. 11-13 

Via Zoom

Leadership Summit Experience | April 6-9

Held in conjunction with the LeadingAge Leadership Summit in Washington, DC

Summer Experience and Member Site Visits | June 10-12 

Dallas, TX

Fall Experience and Member Site Visits | Aug. 26-28

Fort Wayne, IN

Annual Meeting Experience/Final Gathering | Oct. 31-Nov.5

Held in conjunction with the LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO in Boston, MA.

Selected site visits are designed to expose Fellows to innovative organizations across the aging services continuum and the visionary leaders who enable transformation.

Hearing about these organizations and the contributions of staff (at all levels) responsible for creating unique care environments and programming allows Fellows to gain a deeper understanding about the aging services field while witnessing the traits of impactful leaders.


James L. West Center for Dementia Care (Fort Worth, TX)

james west center gardening

James L. West Center is dedicated to supporting people living with Alzheimer’s and related disorders and their families and providing specialized education for caregivers, healthcare professionals and the community at large. The team of compassionate care partners at James L. West utilize evidence-based practices to provide those living with dementia the highest quality of life through every stage of the disease, aligning the care with what is most beneficial to the individual.


Juliette Fowler Communities (Dallas, TX)

Juliette Fowler snip2

Juliette Fowler is an intergenerational community serving children, youth, and seniors in various settings, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and affordable senior housing. Designated a “Program of Distinction” by Generations United, the team at Fowler creates communities of support for those most at risk of the detrimental effects of isolation—from children and young adults who experienced abuse and neglect, to aging adults of every income level and background. 


Byron Wellness Community (Fort Wayne, IN)

Byron Wellness hero

Byron Wellness is an inclusive multi-generational community providing long-term health care, skilled nursing rehabilitation, and memory care along with physical and occupational therapy and cognitive interventions. Specializing in behavior modification and innovative pilot programs, the team at Byron Wellness works to fundamentally change long term healthcare by meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals who have complex medical conditions most often coupled with psychiatric or developmental disorders.


Joy’s House (Indianapolis, IN)

Joys House Image Square

Joy’s House provides essential adult day and caregiver services for adults facing life-altering diagnoses and their families. Their dedicated team house offers social and health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place outside the home during the day. In addition, they provide vital respite, emotional support, education, and practical assistance to families who are caring for loved ones, including caregiver retreats and concierge services.

The team responsible for the programmatic design and implementation of the Leadership Academy brings together a unique set of complimentary talents to the program’s ongoing curriculum development.

Judy Brown, Ph.D.

Educator in Private Practice, West River, MD

Judy Brown is a leadership educator, author, poet, speaker and coach. She has developed and facilitated countless leadership initiatives for organizations ranging from the federal government and Ford to the Urban Library Council. Her work in organizations revolves around themes of leadership, change, learning, dialogue and creativity. She has served as facilitator for the LeadingAge Leadership  Academy since its inception.


Wendy Green, M.A.

Vice President, Leadership Engagement and Development,  LeadingAge, Washington, DC

As vice president of leadership engagement and development, Wendy leads a variety of leadership initiatives and learning opportunities for executive-level peer groups, including the design, implementation, and facilitation of the Leadership Academy. Before LeadingAge, Wendy worked in DC-based associations and think tanks to strengthen capacities of current and emerging leaders. She uses her expertise to create engaging education opportunities for leaders at every level.

BreAna Moss, M.A.

Manager, Education & Leadership Programs, LeadingAge, Washington, DC

BreAna draws on her Master’s in Management of Aging Services to contribute to all aspects of the content development of conference-based programming and online learning opportunities. In her role, she is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization’s leadership programs and related initiatives, including the coordination of all programmatic aspects of LeadingAge’s flagship leadership program, the Leadership Academy.


Jaia Davis

Education Programs and Services Coordinator, LeadingAge, Washington, DC

As the Education Programs and Services Coordinator, Jaia assists with the logistical and operational aspects of LeadingAge’s Leadership Academy program, as well as other leadership programming and engagement opportunities for c-suite/executive-level peer groups; including the day-to-day coordination of program data and related support systems/infrastructure. Jaia also supports various educational offerings including conference education, online learning, and shared learning events.

Our Leadership Academy coaches bring rich leadership knowledge and expertise to the program and help guide fellows through the program year, providing ongoing support and mentoring.

Vennita Jenkins circle crop

Vennita Jenkins, Senior Housing Options, Inc., CO (2024-2025)



Russ Mast Circle Crop

Russ Mast, HumanGood, PA (2024-2025)



Lois Mills Circle Crop

Lois Mills, Otterbein SeniorLife, OH (2024)



Daniel Reingold cirle crop

Daniel Reingold, RiverSpring Living, NY (2024-2025)



Carol Silver Elliott circle crop

Carol Silver-Elliott, Jewish Home Family, NJ (2024-2025)



Jeff Weatherhead Circle Crop

Jeff Weatherhead, Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, FL (2024–2025)



LaJeune Adams circle crop

LaJeune Adams, Presbyterian Senior Living, PA (2025)

LeadingAge seeks inclusive participation within the field of aging services, representative of its diverse workforce. Any individual who works for a LeadingAge provider member organization is eligible to apply, irrespective of professional experience, type or level of position. It is far more important for an applicant to demonstrate deep leadership potential within their organization than it is for them to have a specific job title or tenure in the field.


Eligibility Requirements

Participation in the program is contingent upon employment by a LeadingAge provider member. In addition, attendance at all in-person and virtual program gatherings is required as is the completion of all projects, assignments, and readings.

If at any point a Fellow is unemployed or unable to meet any of the eligibility requirements, continued participation in the program is subject to review by LeadingAge.

Fees and Expenses

The sponsoring organization/employer is responsible for covering the $6,000 non-refundable participant fee as well as all hotel and travel expenses (including meals) associated with each of the four in-person program gatherings.

LeadingAge provides reading materials as well as complimentary registration to the Annual Meeting and Leadership Summit that take place during the Academy year. In addition, some meals are provided onsite.

Financial Hardship

Guided by our DEI Commitment, LeadingAge seeks to eliminate barriers to participation by making financial support available to sponsoring organizations that are unable to cover the full participant fee. Partial scholarships (up to $3,000) are available to individuals with a demonstrated financial need or hardship situation and a commitment to ongoing professional (and personal) development. Interested individuals should complete the financial hardship statement in their application.

Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed by an internal committee of LeadingAge staff and evaluated using the following criteria:

  • How well does the applicant demonstrate a personal commitment to the field of aging services?
  • How well does the applicant demonstrate a dedication to lifelong learning?
  • To what extent does the applicant possess the leadership capacity needed to be a transformational leader?
  • How well defined, insightful and introspective are the leadership essays?

In addition, we strive for broad participation from LeadingAge member organizations and an exceptionally diverse cohort of fellows with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, including but not limited to age, gender, race, ethnic, religious and geographic diversity.

Please Note: A letter of reference is required to be considered for the program.

For an applicant to be considered for review, the following application components must be completed by the application deadline.

Background Information

Applicants will be asked to provide general information about themselves and their sponsoring organizations.

This program is only eligible to employees of aging services provider organizations who provide direct care/services to older adults (not those associated with a business firm).

Professional and Learning Experience

Applicants will be asked to describe their professional background, including learning and/or educational experiences that have contributed to their leadership development.


Applicants are required to obtain a letter of reference from their direct supervisor or the CEO of their organization (CEO applicants should ask a board member to provide a reference letter). The references are submitted through an electronic form within the application site. We strongly suggest approaching this individual early in the process to ensure the reference is submitted prior to the application deadline.

Please Note: A letter of reference is required to be considered for the program.

Personal Essays

We recommend applicants draft each of the following three essays in advance and then copy and paste the text directly into the application.

  • Leadership Capacity Describe the capacities that you possess that make you an effective leader and the specific ways you have utilized these attributes, professionally and personally. Please refer to a significant professional achievement, your role in attaining that achievement and the impact it had on your organization.
  • Transformational Leadership Describe the perspective and knowledge you hope to acquire because of your participation in the Leadership Academy and how these insights will enable you to become a transformational leader.
  • Aging Services Describe your personal commitment to aging services, share your journey into the field and illustrate your vision for the future of aging services.

LeadingAge is pleased to announce the 2024 Leadership Academy Fellows.

  • Anita Adkins, Westminster Canterbury Richmond, VA
  • Lee Ann Bailey-Clayton, The Forest at Duke, NC
  • Christa Baumes, Nascentia Health, NY
  • Tristin Benjamin, Eskaton, CA
  • Tracy Blaubach, Cedar Community, WI
  • Jonathan Boyar, Judson Park, a Human Good Community, WA
  • Yuvette Bozman-Wright, McGregor, OH
  • Meg Clouser, Foxdale Village, PA
  • Monique Cole, Living Branches, PA
  • Kendra Couch, Otterbein SeniorLife Lebanon, OH
  • Ashley Cummings, Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, FL
  • Linda Dailey, United Church Homes, OH
  • Felicia Gennetti, RiverWoods Manchester, NH
  • Dennis Graham, Trinity Woods, OK
  • Ezra HaLevi, Jewish Home Family, NJ
  • Joshua Hillegass, Whitestone: Masonic and Eastern Star Home of North Carolina Inc., NC
  • Tanya Isaacs, The New Jewish Home, NY
  • Amber Jedlicka, The Meth-Wick Community, IA
  • Michael Jones, Well-Spring Group, NC
  • Kim Kling, Covenant Village, Inc., NC
  • Stephanie Kramer, Covenant Living Communities and Services, IL
  • Kari Kuhn, St. Ann’s Community, NY
  • Izveth Leon, Channing House, CA
  • Donald Lilly, The Woodlands at Furman, SC
  • Heather March, Croasdaile Village Retirement Community, NC
  • Jeanette Martinez, Merrivista, MA
  • Zenae Merchant, The Osborn, NY
  • Kristin Morris, Hebrew Home at Riverdale-RiverSpring Living, NY
  • Laurie Moyer, Acts Retirement-Life Communities, Inc., PA
  • Nikki Nelson, Sharon Towers, NC
  • Candice Pietrzak, Parker Health Group, Inc., NJ
  • Jennifer Popp, Bethesda Southgate, MO
  • Kim Pratt, Brookhaven at Lexington, MA
  • Nikki Robertson, Still Hopes, SC
  • Meghan Rose, LeadingAge California, CA
  • Kathy Russell, Chelsea Retirement Community, MI
  • Kelly Schallenberger, St. John’s United, MT
  • Cara Schuster, The Ohio Masonic Home, OH
  • Shannon Sears, ThriveMore, NC
  • Marah Shiels, Springpoint Senior Living, NJ
  • Kathleen Sousa, North Hill, MA
  • Erin Strain, Givens Estates, NC
  • Meghan Vu, Panorama, WA
  • Robert Ware Jr., Galloway Ridge, Inc., NC
  • Yelena Yadgarova, Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center, NY
  • Alexandra Yale, Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, VA
  • Donna Yatsko, LifeSpire of Virginia, VA
  • Michael Youmans, Kendal at Ithaca, NY

Action learning is a foundational component of the Leadership Academy program curriculum. It provides a structured method for Fellows to apply new ideas, approaches and strategic thinking that enable them to navigate and advance change more effectively and with greater impact.

Working toward an Action Learning Project throughout the program year enables Fellows to begin working on long-term projects that will advance person-directed practices and approaches in their organizations and the field of aging.

Since 2006, Fellows have embarked on a variety of projects to advance person-directed practices and approaches in their organizations—tapping into their passion for aging services and highlighting the many ways they are helping to advance innovations in our field.

View the Action Learning Project Presentations from over the years!

2023 Action Learning Projects

2022 Action Learning Projects

2021 Action Learning Projects

2020 Action Learning Projects

2019 Action Learning Projects

2018 Action Learning Projects

2017 Action Learning Projects

2016 Action Learning Projects

2015 Action Learning Projects

2014 Action Learning Projects

2013 Action Learning Projects


Hello, I’m Jaia!

Contact me with questions or to learn more about the Larry Minnix Leadership Academy.