Ever since he and his brother started a garage band in junior high school, David has been a consummate entrepreneur. With an undergraduate degree in environmental design (architecture) from Miami University and a graduate degree in finance from the University of Arizona, David finally found his niche in senior housing when he founded The Fountains in 1985.
Based in Tucson, Arizona, The Fountains was engaged in development, acquisition, ownership and management of a variety of companies that provided housing, hospitality and health care to mature adults. Twenty years after creating The Fountains brand and business with virtually no capital investment of his own he sold the venture to a publicly traded company in June of 2005 for approximately $500 million dollars. David is recognized in the senior living industry especially for his innovative vision, solid management track record, financial strength, and long term growth strategy.
A member of ASHA since 1992, David is currently on the Executive Board of that organization which serves as an industry think-tank, plotting the future direction of seniors’ housing.
I am very proud to be part of such a wonderful team. I have always lived by a simple principle that if you surround yourself with talented people and treat them well, great things will happen. Over years, great things have happened at Watermark Retirement Communities and continue to happen every day.
My career began with Fountains Retirement Communities in 1988 when I served as an operational trouble-shooter. Traveling to communities across the United States, typically living at the community and working with the Executive Director to implement our policies, procedures and systems, I could not have asked for a better primer in healthy aging. I met a resident who worked with Harry S. Truman and still spoke of him with fond enthusiasm, and another who, never having learned to swim, picked a date to swim with Bottle-nosed dolphins in Boscay Bay for her 98th birthday celebration. Another resident went sky diving as a remedy for a seriously debilitating muscular disease. Talk about expressing your Self!
In October of 2006, we changed our name from Fountains Retirement Communities of Arizona to Watermark Retirement Communities. As President of Watermark Retirement Communities I ensure that we have the right people, in the right place, doing the right thing: serving our associates, residents and clients. Over the years, we’ve developed state-of-the-art systems, and we’re proud of them. But it’s really our amazingly committed associates and residents that make Watermark communities such uncommon places. I continue to find inspiration in that every day.
There are not many industries in which financial leaders feel they directly impact the quality of peoples’ lives. Healthcare is one which is why I have dedicated over 20 years to the healthcare finance industry. I began my career as a certified public accountant serving many industries and ultimately felt that Healthcare provided the greatest challenge with the opportunity to make a difference in the community. As the CFO of an Integrated Academic Medical Center I was responsible for leading the organization through significant strategic initiatives while always taking the time to listen to and talk with doctors and nurses on the frontlines of caregiving, educating them about finances to give them a real understanding of the sometimes complex financial concepts they face in their work and community. This education allowed them to make informed choices on care delivery models. With the right financial stewardship, higher quality care and a better patient experience can be delivered at a lowered cost.
With my background in university-based Academic Medicine, I am excited to be part of a Watermark team that is recognized for its willingness to forge partnerships in research, education and clinical care that lead to innovations in care delivery models and lifestyles. Working from both a management and operations perspective, as well as project development, I help create and implement the cohesive strategic financial approaches that foster innovation, partnership and profit, while still having the opportunity to talk with and educate individual care associates on the frontlines.
I have a BS in Finance with an emphasis in Economics from Saint Mary’s College of California and an MBA from University of Phoenix. I find supporting my community particularly rewarding and serve as Board Member, Children’s Clinic for Rehabilitative Services and am Past President and Board Member of the Pima Community Access Program (PCAP), a not for profit bridge to healthcare for the uninsured.
Not only due to my desire for a course change in career path but also because of the notable changes in how the senior living industry views its purpose, this has been a rewarding time for me to join the Watermark team.
I began my career in hospital administration nearly 25 years ago. After serving as executive director at The Ohio State University Medical Center, I returned to Tucson and joined the University Medical Center to lead the Oncology Services. Following that, I was CEO of the Hospital Division for the University of Arizona Health Network. Most recently I was chief operating officer of TMC, Tucson’s 650-bed community teaching hospital.
A backbone of the senior living industry is providing quality healthcare to the residents of its communities, and many of these healthcare needs fall into a specific array of conditions that can be proactively supported through design, programming and operations of senior living environments. For someone who has been on the frontlines of community healthcare – especially emergent healthcare – this is exciting. I believe that we are on the leading edge of a shift that will not only deliver cost-effective, high quality healthcare in senior living settings, but just as important support more fulfilling, joyful lives as we age.
For a company, accomplishing this complex goal requires not just a shared vision but daily operational values that encourage and reward innovation and creativity – from each associate. Joining Watermark, I am very excited to be part of an organization that gets this and I look forward to helping promote a Watermark culture that supports all its associates as we create environments where residents thrive not just live.
I joined the Watermark team in January 2018 as General Counsel. In my role, I have legal oversight of transactions — including acquisitions, dispositions, developments, financings and strategic partnerships — and risk matters. Joining the Watermark team has brought new joy in “moving beyond the page” and into the conversations, initiatives and relationships that lead to creating extraordinary and innovative communities where people thrive.
Prior to joining Watermark, my legal practice focused on transactional real estate, including representation of multiple publicly traded senior housing REITs, hotel and resort operators, and institutional property owners.
Outside of my work, I love finding new food spots and making memories, especially travel and sporting events, with my wife and growing family.
I joined Watermark and The Freshwater Group in 2006 as the wellness initiative coordinator — all while I was still a student in the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. I advanced through the ranks by transitioning to the role of Analyst in 2008, then Senior Analyst, then multiple director roles and most recently I was named Chief Investment Officer in March 2020.
In this role, I manage Watermark’s investments, including acquisitions, developments, redevelopments and dispositions performing financial and market feasibility as well as joint venture, loan and sale negotiations. Since 2011, The Freshwater Group/Watermark has closed 49 separate transactions with total deal capitalization of more than $3.6 billion and has approximately $1 billion in the current pipeline. From those transactions, the company’s portfolio has grown from seven to 75 communities located across 22 states, including developments, redevelopments and management transitions that are currently underway.
I enjoy the work I do to help Watermark and The Freshwater Group execute financial transactions in the senior living industry. I remain committed to making a profound impact each day as I continue to grow and my experience evolves in this changing industry.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007 from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with specialization in marketing and entrepreneurship.
I have been in the healthcare sector for over 30 years, including active duty service in the United States Air Force, have worked in acute care settings, and spent the last 20 plus years dedicated to working with older adults. At Watermark, I’ve served in the role of Managing Director providing operational support to our Continuing Care Retirement Communities for approximately 12 years, and I look forward to many more. My education in Business Administration and Nursing, with licenses as Healthcare Administrator and Registered Nurse, provide me with a variety of experiences to support our communities. The philosophy and culture at Watermark focuses on an environment of mutual active support, which is unlike any other and is a testament to the longevity of many of our associates.
On the personal side of life, I’ve been married for over 20 years and have 3 children and two dogs. As a family, we love to be outdoors — walking, playing tennis, and snow skiing. I also enjoy superbike riding through the nearby mountains as well as an occasional motorcycle track day.
My career with The Fountains started in 1998 when I joined the company as a financial analyst. After making a couple of trips to communities, I quickly realized how much more fun and rewarding it is to work with residents and associates rather than just the numbers.
Before long, I was given the opportunity to work as Assistant Executive Director at The Fountains at La Cholla in Tucson, Arizona. As a part of this role, I traveled around the country to provide coverage as an Interim Executive Director at a variety of Fountains communities. This gave me the opportunity to experience many great communities, and help solve an extremely wide variety of challenges. Eventually, I became a full-time Executive Director, first in Michigan and later back at The Fountains at La Cholla.
Today, I oversee four communities in Arizona as Managing Director. This is my most recent stop on the exciting journey I am taking with Watermark Retirement Communities.
I sincerely believe there is no job more gratifying than mine. As a Managing Director for Watermark, I foster the passions of our associates while celebrating the myriad ways our residents express themselves. As an RN fueled by a need to ensure the wellbeing of others, Watermark provides an environment where I can express myself.
I have worked with seniors and caregivers for over 20 years, witnessing the gradual but necessary changes in our industry. I am proud to be one of Watermark’s leaders. Together we are committed to effecting change in the future of senior living. Few employers offer the opportunity I have to influence the quality of life for our residents and associates. Charged with the initiative of re-defining healthcare in our communities, I am thrilled at the prospect of making a difference now and in the years to come.
In my 13 years with Watermark, I have been fortunate to serve in a number of capacities ranging from Director of Nursing, Quality Partner, Executive Director and my current role as Managing Director. I have enjoyed each role and look forward to the next 13 years.
I’m passionate about senior living and especially enjoy making a positive impact on the lives of the seniors. Often times, the “little” things are what truly matter to the residents. Quality service and a genuine, caring disposition are a large part of what makes a difference for our seniors and I’m proud to serve each day to improve their quality of life.
When not traveling between communities, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, pretending to be a chef, savoring good wine, playing golf, collecting art and cruising around the world. I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Watermark family. It is my pleasure to contribute to Watermark’s commitment to creating communities where people thrive.
I love my job because every day is another opportunity to provide quality resident care. I sincerely enjoy spending time with residents and helping them continue to thrive. Plus, working with the WRC team has provided me the opportunity to grow professionally and develop relationships with many inspiring, dedicated associates.
When I’m not at work, I spend as much time as I possibly can with family and friends. I also enjoy being outdoors, working out and reading.
As part of the Watermark family, I’m most excited about the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of our residents and associates. I enjoy watching our associates develop, learn and grow professionally each day. It’s extremely rewarding to work for a company where creating and celebrating success is a vital part of our culture. Hearing from our residents and family members how happy they are to make one of our communities their home is always the highlight of my day.
When I’m not working with my communities I spend as much time with my family as possible, enjoying the great outdoors, either on the lake, camping or vacationing at the beach.
Living a purposeful life is very important to me and I am so fortunate that my career fulfills this. For the past 25 years, I have worked in the senior housing industry — the majority of that time with Watermark Retirement Communities. I joined the Fountains in 1996, and during my tenure I was a Director of Nursing and an Executive Director in the greater Philadelphia area. In 2020, I was promoted to Managing Director and currently oversee and coach communities in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. I especially enjoy the many relationships that I have developed over the years with residents, family members, and associates.
Serving seniors and creating opportunities for them to live this great chapter in their life is what I find truly enjoyable. Working with seniors affords me the opportunity to work with people who have rich life histories and to make a positive impact in their lives.
When not working in our communities, I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends, whether it be catching up with a glass of wine or spending time at the beach. I am also an avid runner and triathlete and enjoy everything outdoors.
It is my true pleasure to contribute to Watermark’s commitment to creating communities where people thrive.
As part of the Watermark family, I’m most excited about supporting our talented dining services teams and bringing together the best of our current systems and processes to establish best practices and improve the business. I’m passionate about providing great hospitality, attentive service, tasty foods that invoke happy memories, and menu choices that provide opportunities to explore the exciting and diverse culinary world so our residents thrive!
My wife Jacquie and I live in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria, Virginia, with Madeline, our Border collie. Now that our two sons are “out of the nest” we love to send time cooking, grilling, walking, working out and bicycling. We also enjoy home renovation and improvement projects.
All of us who have spent time in a healthcare setting have sensed its extraordinary complexity. From medical science itself that is always pushing towards discovery and innovation; to the medical professionals administering tests, discerning results, delivering care and staying ahead of leading edge methods; to the billing department doing the difficult calculus of costs and profits; to the very comfort of the environment, tastiness of food and those other ineffable factors that can help speed healing – for success, it all has to work in harmony.
Over the last several years in senior hospital administrative positions, I have been drawn to create harmony in medical settings. In my previous role, one of my passions was focusing on the interconnections for oncology patients. In creating an Oncology Nurse Navigator program, we were able to match the needs of our cancer patients with the right resources while collaborating with the entire care team. For one person this might be transportation to appointments, for another nutritional support and for another psychological counselling. Nurse Navigators learn the small details of a patient’s life that can make enormous positive impact not only on their experience while undergoing treatment but also in outcomes. After we implemented the Nurse Navigator program at Tucson Medical Center, we saw better quality outcomes, shorter hospital stays and patient satisfaction rise.
I am excited to have joined Watermark as National Director of Health Strategy with this background, having learned important lessons from the Nurse Navigator program – and many other initiatives. It created collaboration and deep communication, connected the dots in daily operations and drove quality outcomes. Watermark is a dynamic, results-driven company that is looking to the future of senior living, aware that success is reliant on just these factors. I look forward to the change that we will effect.
In my fifteen years as a healthcare human resource professional, I can truly say that I have enjoyed my entire career with Watermark Retirement Communities. The professional environment at Watermark has allowed my career to flourish and enabled me to better serve the associates and residents in our communities. In addition to providing human resource management direction for Watermark, my responsibilities include serving as Chief Compliance Officer, Director of Risk Management, Director of Diversity, and I also provide oversight of recruiting, associate benefits and payroll services.
When I’m not doing all that, I enjoy a beautiful Arizona day out on the golf course or the soccer fields with my kids. I look forward to many more opportunities to participate in charting the direction of care for seniors as we continue our innovative approach to senior hospitality and wellness. Watermark is poised to serve as the leader of life-long learning for seniors as well as our valued associates and I’m excited to be part of that future.
I love getting into the middle of big ideas and helping launch them to reality. At Watermark, big ideas for delivering the highest quality care for our residents come from every direction—from staff, residents, leadership and the community and these ideas need champions who can enthusiastically lead the process for ushering them into reality. I enjoy working with diverse teams, and the success that comes from members contributing through unique lenses.
At Watermark, I’m involved in cutting-edge innovation and program development in support of Thrive Living for our residents and associates; what could be better than making a difference and having fun doing it!
My recent experience was in development for the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. It was here that I began working with the Watermark team, helping to shape value-add projects for Masters of Business students and working with faculty to sponsor pioneering research in Integrative Leadership. My passion for health care innovation originated from working with students interested in careers in health care and the advancement opportunities that I observed at the intersection of health care and business.
I have a Master’s Degree in Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Arizona. I’m a Tucson-native with two grown children and love all aspects of the spectacular desert and culture of the Southwest as well as travel to other interesting cultures across the globe.
Greta brings more than fifteen years of senior housing experience to Watermark Retirement Communities. She began her career in senior housing as a Senior Analyst, conducting operational analyses as well as financial and market feasibility assessments, including valuations of potential purchases. Greta served as Vice President of Operations with The Fountains and created and managed standards of operational performance that address every detail of operation, including resident and employee satisfaction, community financial performance and staffing, as well as health care and regulatory compliance.
Greta earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Arizona with a concentration in finance.
Jim has recently rejoined David Barnes and David Freshwater at Watermark Retirement Commnities after spending the last several years working as a Development Officer for Sunrise Senior Living and was integral in the start-up of their Renovation Division. Prior to joining Sunrise, Jim was an Assistant VP of Design for The Fountains along with consulting for The Fountains while owning The Goebel Design Group.
Jim attended Arizona State University and holds a degree in construction management.
I had the pleasure of spending two years volunteering at a local senior living community while I was finishing college. I fell in love with seniors and with the philosophy that the retirement years could be so much more than what I had experienced with my own aging grandparents. Once I graduated, I was hired to open a new community as the community life/programming director. It was an immensely rewarding and challenging role. Through the years I had the opportunity to learn the business through a variety of experiences in multiple positons. I have spent the last 25 years in the senior living industry and have served in sales and operations roles at the community, regional, and national level.
For the last seven years I have been opening new senior living communities, and have opened well over 20 communities during that time. Keeping in mind that every opening should be better than the last, I have learned that focusing on what we can control and being a flexible problem-solver in the face of a multitude of challenges leads to successful openings.
I was drawn to Watermark because the mission and operating principles align with my own. Living the culture is important to me and as industry leaders, Watermark is known for strong culture. The innovation and design being offered in our newest communities is second to none. I am thrilled and excited to be part of the future communities opening at Watermark.
I live in Annapolis, MD with my husband John and our sons Jack and Justin as well as two dogs. We love boating on the Chesapeake Bay, running, traveling and spending time with our extended family.
I’ve spent over two decades in Information Technology (IT) and every day I love the fact that what I do connects people to information and to each other. I started working with Watermark Retirement Communities in 2010 as Director of IT and I appreciate the unique challenges of serving both those who live and work in the communities. My passion is to help as many people understand technology in a way that makes it useful in their lives.
I earned my BS in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) and a Masters of Arts in Management. My degrees have led me to an increased, and ongoing, curiosity of discovering new technologies and seeing how they can benefit everyone at Watermark Retirement Communities. I am particularly proud of our Engage – Powered by Google initiative which brings residents and technology together in a way that is beneficial and meaningful for each individual.
In my free time I love to travel with my family, whether it is cruising, camping or otherwise. I am also an amateur Craft Brewer and an avid University of Arizona basketball and football fan.
After consulting with Watermark on several projects over the years, I was thrilled to join the company in August 2021 — it’s an honor to lead the team responsible for sharing our story with the world.
I bring a unique combination of creative and analytical experience to my role, with diverse experience in healthcare, technology, and media. Before joining Watermark, I was the head of marketing and communications at Accelerate Diagnostics, a global medical device company fighting infectious diseases. Prior to that, I cofounded Medical Referral Source, a healthcare technology company that modernized the patient referral process and is now the most widely used patient referral system in the U.S. In 2002, I founded MetaFoundry, a New York–based digital design, development, and marketing firm that I led until the company’s acquisition in 2012.
I began my career as a theater and event producer and director in New York City after earning a BA in History from the University of Michigan. I also have an MBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.
My experience is primarily in procurement, contracts, technology, and engineering. With a background in business administration and communications, I bring Over 30 years of experience to Watermark Retirement Communities, LLC.
My passion at work is to help everyone learn, succeed and thrive in everything they do. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel for work to 14 countries implementing and training people on advanced technology systems including Concur, Corcentric, and SAP. Some of my most memorable work travels included a boondoggle here and there which was key to the success of the projects. I carry long lasting relationships with many of the people I worked with throughout my travels for work.
The first time I interviewed at Watermark and walked into a community, I had an overwhelming feeling of this was my place to be! It made me smile to see all of the happy residents enjoying their community.
I’ve been leading procurement at Watermark for close to five years now and I’m very proud of my team and our projects we’ve completed.
It’s rewarding to be surrounded by an innovative executive management team who takes the time to support and commend my team!
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, attempting to walk my three incredibly goofy Great Danes, golfing, swimming, Jiu Jitsu, playing Fantasy Football, baking and drinking a glass of chardonnay.
I am pleased to have joined the Watermark family in January, 2010. My focus within Watermark is ensuring that our community-based business offices are equipped to handle the multi-faceted requirements of this industry. Training, trouble shooting and filling in during vacancies are my passions. In my opinion, our business offices are critical in providing leadership with the information they need to effectively manage day-to-day operations.
When I’m not working, I enjoy reading, travel and music of all types. My favorite quote is from Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
I am very proud to have been a part of the Watermark family since 2005 when it was only managing two communities to where it is today. It would be an understatement to say how humbled I am to be surrounded by such a remarkable, extraordinary and talented team. We believe in friendships, investment in each other, we operate in a culture where we are not afraid to experiment and fail in order to continually improve.
My role at Watermark, I oversee all aspects of sales including training, coaching, referral development, software systems, pricing methodologies, analytics, reporting solutions, customer engagement and more. I am passionate about innovation and always challenging the status quo. Through our experimentation, we learn and continually refine ourselves and always remain in the question of, “what’s next?”
I am also passionate about fostering and preserving the unique Watermark culture of which we are well-known in the industry. In addition to being certified in training our leadership program, I am actively involved in equality programs to ensure inclusion for everyone. As Watermark’s first transgender woman at the home office, I have enjoyed the support of hundreds of my fellow associates who celebrate my transition and my commitment to be my true self. It truly is an extraordinary company.
I got my nursing home administrators license in Pennsylvania in 1992. In 1993 I came to work at Logan Square East.. It was so encouraging to see that people can grow old so gracefully; there was something magical about Logan and the residents that lived here that made it a pleasure to come to work every day. In 1999 we had the good fortune to become part of The Fountains, and I was afforded the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally with this amazing organization.
The Fountains and Watermark allow me to think out of the box and fulfill my visions of what senior housing can be. As a part of this team I am able to meet and exceed my goals and focus on the residents, to empower them to express their passions, learn new things, stay physically fit and keep active.
I also have the privilege to sit on the board for Watermark for Kids. Our not-for-profit organization empowering kids to express their true selves. I am passionate about what I do and grateful that Watermark shares and encourages this passion.
My accounting career encompasses over sixteen years, including thirteen years in the healthcare industry. I started with The Fountains as a Regional Accountant in 1998 and feel very fortunate to be serving in my current role as the Director of Financial Services for Watermark Retirement Communities. I lead a talented team of accountants working with our communities to prepare accurate and timely financial information.
Additionally, I concentrate on the financial analysis of community data to promote increased profitability so as to better serve our residents, associates and economic partners. For me, the best part of working at Watermark, is being surrounded by inspiring people who truly enjoy working together as a team.