Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors are responsible for the management and operation of the organization. The DAA is privileged to have the following talented and dedicated Board members.


Jan Bays, PT is currently the Director of Program Development and Education at Jill’s House Memory Care in Bloomington, IN. Opening Jill’s House in 2016 was a dream come true – the ability to create and nurture a warm, caring living environment for individuals who have dementia. Jan is a physical therapist who has been pioneering person and relationship centered dementia caring practices in physical therapy for decades. She is the Chair of the DAA’s Optimizing Well-Being Workgroup, the DAA’s Liaison for the Cognitive and Mental Health Special Interest Group of the Geriatric Academy of Physical Therapy, and an Eden Associate.


Board Vice Chair

Sandy is currently Principal of Douglass Consulting, after 24 years of dedicated service as the CEO of Forest Hills, an award-winning retirement community in Washington, DC, where she was a well-respected leader in aging services locally and nationally. Sandy is a licensed nursing home administrator with expertise in long-term care operations, policy, construction management, assisted living, skilled nursing and dementia care. Sandy also brings to the DAA her personal experience leading care teams for her mother, mother-in-law and other family members living with dementia.


Since her diagnosis at age 57 with Vascular Dementia, Paulan has been an active advocate, serving as a mentor with Dementia Mentors;  on the panel for “Dementia Chats”; and frequent cohost for Alzheimer’s Speaks radio shows. She has written a short booklet about vascular dementia which is available on Amazon to download free for Kindle Prime members and $.99 for all other downloads. She was interviewed for the Nashville Public Television documentary , “Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia”, and she serves on DAA’s Advisory Council.  Her mission is to educate and help individuals with dementia and their care partners understand and learn compensatory strategies for living well with dementia.


Josh grew up on the campus of a large senior living provider in Cedar Falls, IA. During the late 90’s and early 2000’s Josh and his grandfather did construction and remodeling related work for the community and for the residents. Josh began providing tech support for the residents and staff, and eventually became the technology director for the community in 2004. Around 2008 Josh’s grandfather received a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia. Wanting to help enhance his grandfather’s life, Josh began identifying technologies that would be beneficial and found that the technologies were also helpful for others living with dementia.

Josh was the Product Innovation Manager for “It’s Never 2 Late” and recently started his own consulting company. Josh hopes to enhance the lives of those living well with dementia, wherever they choose to live. Josh is also the Chair of the DAA Technology Workgroup.


Karen Love is a gerontologist and a nationally known expert in aging supports and services with a specialty in dementia care.  She was a long-term care administrator for many years.  For the last 17 years, Ms. Love has worked at the intersection of research, policies and practices that enhance the well-being of individuals living with dementia and for those who care about and for them.  She co-founded four national aging advocacy organizations (CCAL-Advancing Person-Centered Living, the Direct Care Alliance, the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living, and the Dementia Action Alliance).  Ms. Love is the Alliance’s Executive Director.


At a young age, Jessica learned how important a role friends and family members play in supporting people living with dementia. This personal experience led her to become invested in learning more about addressing the stigma and misperceptions society has of those living with the condition. She works to bring a greater awareness about the lived experience of dementia through partnering with people living with dementia, family care partners, and key stakeholders. Her work experiences have given her insights needed to develop and mobilize education and programs that best advance the creation of more compassionate, understanding and inclusive living and working environments.

Jessica is the Director of Membership, Policy and Professional Development for the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA). She is committed to contributing to the DAA’s advocacy and educational efforts. As a Canadian, she is a bridge between Canadian dementia advocates and those within the DAA network. Jessica also sits on the Pioneer Network board and on ORCA’s Dementia Task Force.


Chris Perna joined The Eden Alternative, Inc., as its CEO in June, 2010. Since joining Eden, Chris has led the organization to expand their person-centered care training and educational offerings and most recently has led the organization’s efforts to grow through large grant projects funded with CMP funds. Under his leadership Eden has developed the most complete package of person-centered tools and trainings available in the market today to support deep organizational culture change across the continuum of care.


Board Chair

As current Board Chair of DAA and past Chair of CCAL-Advancing Person-Centered Living, Jackie is a well-respected national advocate to advance person-centered dementia care, services, and supports. Her mission to enhance inclusion and meaningful engagement for all individuals living with dementia has spanned research, policy, practices, and community living since 2001.  She has co-led national Thought Leader Summits and co-developed DAA’s first North American “Re-Imagine Life with Dementia” Conference” in June 2017.  As an M.Ed. with certification in special needs populations, Jackie serves on the Advisory Council for Rutgers University School of Social Work.


Board Treasurer

Lon has been involved in changing health care management and service provision with a focus on utilization of emerging technologies. He applies his expertise in sales and marketing, marketing communications, product development and organizational systems to assist start-up companies in enhancing their bottom-line success. Lon has served on the board of CCAL and is an active advocate for people living with dementia.


Dr. Allen Power is an internist, geriatrician, the Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel—University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging in Ontario, Canada, and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, NY.  He is an international educator on transformational models of care for older adults, particularly those living with changing cognitive abilities. An Eden Alternative educator he is a former member of The Eden Alternative Board of Directors.  Dr. Power’s book, “Dementia Beyond Drugs,” was named a 2010 Book of the Year by the American Journal of Nursing.  He was named one of “Five Leaders of Tomorrow” by Long-Term Living Magazine in May 2013. His second book, “Dementia Beyond Disease,” was released June 2014.


Laurie was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s & FTD in August of 2013 at the age of 55. Unable to continue a professional career she turned her focus towards helping others through their dementia journey. Laurie and her husband Roy work continuously to identify triggers that cause her confusion and they make adjustments to overcome obstacles.

Laurie is a Dementia Mentor and active in many support groups. On her website,, Laurie shares her feelings, challenges, symptoms and adjustments in hopes of encouraging other individuals and families living with dementia to explore ways to live beyond dementia.


Teepa Snow is one of America’s leading educators on dementia. Working as a Registered Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, she has a wealth of clinical, teaching, and research experiences that have informed and influenced her philosophy, approach, and practice. Teepa currently has clinical appointments with Duke University’s School of Nursing and UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine. Teepa is an advocate for those living with dementia and her personal mission is to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with the challenges and changes that accompany various forms of the condition so that life can be lived fully and well. Teepa founded her company, Positive Approach, LLC in 2005.


Board Secretary

Regina E. Sofer, a care partner for her mother living with dementia since 1995, advocates for person-directed and person-centered care. She serves on the Consumer Workgroup of the Florida Pioneer Network, the Board of Directors for Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee, Florida, and has served on state and local committees including the Strategic Planning Committee for the Alzheimer’s Project, a non-profit organization that provides valuable support and relief to care partners. Dr. Sofer is a seasoned consultant and speaker whose motto is “Serve Your Way to The Top!”


Susan Wehry, MD is the Chief of Geriatrics at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a physician, educator and advocates passionately about promoting healthy, meaningful aging. Dr. Wehry is a geriatric psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience. Prior to her current position, she was the Commissioner for the Department of Disabilities and Aging in Vermont.

In 2009 Dr. Wehry and a colleague developed an interdisciplinary person-directed care training curriculum informed by their experiences and the research of Thomas Kitwood and Jiska Cohen-Mansfied. The curriculum, Oasis 2.0, is now used in over 1200 nursing homes, helping residents with dementia enjoy a higher quality of life.