The SageAge Team

WE bring it all together: Senior living specialists. Subject matter experts. Problem solvers. Innovative thinkers. Creative. Analytical. Responsive. Combining individual strengths into one talented team working with you – as one.

Melinda Schmitz Head Shot

Melinda Schmitz

CEO

Faith Turner

Founder and Chief Strategy Officer

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Melinda Schmitz

CEO

As CEO of SageAge, Melinda works closely with our client-partners to provide strategic expertise and experience to lead sustained profitable growth. In creating these strong, lasting relationships, she supports our client-partners with her substantial consulting expertise in key business disciplines such as strategic marketing, advertising and branding campaigns, new development and campus master planning, census assessment and enhancement, and sales oversight and best practices. A seasoned professional, Melinda possesses strategic consulting, customer service and marketing abilities, and has a proven record of accomplishment in successfully guiding client communities to increased occupancy and market growth. Prior to joining SageAge, Melinda held the position of director of strategy and planning at Zillner, a respected national senior living consulting and marketing organization. Today, in her executive leadership role, Melinda is responsible for organizational performance assessments, the creation and execution of integrated strategic marketing plans, client branding and identity development, service excellence strategies, and operational and sales consulting services.

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Faith Turner

Founder and Chief Strategy Officer

Faith has over four decades of experience in senior living growth strategy, campus master planning, market research, and program/service development. A recognized thought leader and highly sought-speaker in the senior living space, she has worked in every facet of the senior living lifestyle continuum, including Lifecare communities and CCRCs, assisted living and memory care communities, adult day centers, subacute and rehabilitation facilities, long-term care centers, hospice care providers, and home care services.
Faith has successfully guided an extensive list of client-partners in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. She has developed strategic business plans for new programs and services, blue-sky and new developments, and campus-expansion projects. She has identified strong market opportunities and guided clients in the successful implementation of market demand and feasibility studies, focus groups, and campus master-planning efforts.

Kendra Belzer

EVP of People

Malissa Illiano, MBA

Vice President of Market Research

Sally Kellam

Executive Vice President of Agency Operations

Sean Ochester

Executive Vice President Of Digital & Integrated Strategy

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Kendra Belzer

EVP OF PEOPLE

For over 20 years, Kendra has specialized in Client Services and Operations oversight. She spent the first 15 years of her career working with Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Starbucks, to name a few. In her role, she developed marketing strategies and executed product offerings across the retail industry. Most recently, she has partnered with senior living communities nationwide, leading agency client services teams from critical strategy development to operational support and execution. She has nurtured and overseen senior living community relationships while leading these agency partnerships to increase leads, sales and occupancy.

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Malissa Illiano, MBA

Vice President of Market Research

Malissa joined SageAge in 2005 as a Research Analyst, bringing market research expertise to the organization. Since then, Malissa has helped grow our Market Research Department, developing SageAge into a respected leader in senior living market feasibility and demand analysis. Malissa is primarily responsible for completing pre-market research and market analysis studies. Her expertise in consumer and market research, which includes surveys, focus groups, personal interviews and referral source assessments, guides the development of marketing strategy and messaging. She leads all market demand analysis efforts and related initiatives such as completing competitor analyses – functions that are essential to making informed recommendations for new business development and expansion. She also assists with the development, creation and implementation of strategic marketing proposals and plans.

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Sally Kellam

Executive Vice President of Agency Operations

In this key leadership role, Sally is a driving force at SageAge. Within the organization, she is responsible for ensuring connectivity and collaboration between teams, adherence to processes and efficiencies, and team strength and agility.

Her purview extends beyond our virtual walls. Sally actively establishes and nurtures relationships with client-partners, building rapport and trust that are valued on both sides. She participates in strategic planning and delivers high-level oversight of campaign and tactic development and deployment, tracking performance and ROI. Sally also builds and maintains relationships with vendors, evaluating their services, costs and value, keeping SageAge up-to-the-minute in capabilities and as efficient as possible.

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Sean Ochester

Executive Vice President Of Digital & Integrated Strategy

Sean is an influential, decisive and insightful business leader who fuses technology expertise with business acumen to build productive operations and technical solutions while driving continual innovation and profitable growth. Skilled at spearheading and managing digital initiatives and optimizing existing systems to create strategic and valuable processes, Sean expands operational and product capabilities, boosts market position, and supports growth objectives through strategy development and tactical implementation.

Kris Grazier

Executive Creative Director

Cristina Mank

Vice President of Client Service

Lori Colhouer

Account Director

Faith Franzen

Account Director

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Kris Grazier

Executive Creative Director

Kris leads the creative strategy, branding, and campaign development for our clients and is responsible for SageAge’s overall creative capabilities. Her expertise and perspective come from working alongside developers, managers and marketers in senior living for more than 20 years. To deliver powerful creative for our clients, Kris draws from current marketing trends and her experience directing award-winning campaigns for senior living and health care brands.

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Cristina Mank

Director of Client Services

Cristina’s focus is twofold: She works directly with our client-partners leadership teams to create lead-generation strategies and comprehensive marketing plans while providing exceptional leadership to our entire Client Services team.

With over 14 years in marketing and advertising – with most of that time focused exclusively on senior living – she brings insight, experience, and solutions to the table. Forging strong relationships with our client-partners, Cristina plans, strategies, and implements campaigns that not only identify and meet expectations; they exceed them. Analytical and creative, she uses customer data and insights as the foundation for marketing strategies.

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Lori Colhouer

Account Director

Lori works with our client-partners to develop marketing strategies that boost lead generation and promote lead nurturing to meet and exceed sales and marketing goals. Drawing on her experience and skills in senior living, Lori works with senior living leaders to develop and manage compelling integrated marketing programs that resonate with target audiences, develop marketing tactics to build brand equity and generate leads/sales, develop competitive offerings for clients that deliver strong points of differentiation and advantage in the competitive environment, and recommend annual budgets based on real-time data trends and forecasting.

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Faith Franzen

Account Director

Faith has been in the senior living industry since 2007 and has had the opportunity to witness the change in the senior living prospect from more of a passive participant in the process to an active seeker of information.  It’s with this transition she has come to understand the true omni-channel approach our senior living prospects and their families take to narrow down their search.  Now more than ever, senior living providers rely on targeted marketing campaigns along with robust data to not only assist them reaching high quality prospects but also keep them engaged during their decision making process.  Faith’s 13+ years of community based experience gives her a unique perspective into the customer journey and an intimate understanding of the sales process through all levels of care.  Seeing first hand the impact moving into a senior living community has on a resident and their health and wellbeing is what makes senior living her passion. 

Angela Hamilton

Account Director

Erin Zehner

Account Director

Sarah Boeding

Account Director

Beth Simos

Account Director

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Angela Hamilton

Account Director

Angela sets crystal-clear strategic marketing direction for her clients and makes sure they get results that support their sales and occupancy goals. She does this so exceedingly well because Angela began on their side: Her career started as a sales counselor for a Virginia Life Care community. From there, she advanced to director of sales and marketing for two other Virginia communities. And then, with her keen, field-tested, well-developed understanding of what it takes for a community to reach its goals, she moved to the agency side. Today, she’s known for her industrious partnerships with communities all across the country and at all stages of their life cycles – blue-sky to century-old. Angela takes a collaborative approach to partnering with clients to develop omnichannel marketing strategies that lead to the achievement of lead generation and sales goals. She places emphasis on finding the right audience and delivering the right message at the right time in that prospect’s buying journey.

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Erin Zehner

Account Director

Erin Zehner is a seasoned professional with over 16 years of expertise in Sales & Marketing, Strategic Planning, Strategic Communications, Content Strategy, Account Management, and Marketing Strategy. Her journey at SageAge began in 2019 as an Account Supervisor, and today she holds the pivotal role of Account Director, driving success for valued partners. Prior to SageAge, Erin honed her skills at VML as Supervisor of Client Engagement, further solidifying her commitment to the advertising industry through roles at Bernstein-Rein Advertising, PlattForm Advertising, and Zillner Marketing. Erin’s dedication to excellence, strategic acumen, and passion for building lasting client partnerships make her an invaluable asset to the SageAge team, setting the standard for excellence in the industry.

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Sarah Boeding

Account Director

Sarah has spent a significant portion of her career focusing on the senior living industry, cultivating relationships with client-partners, developing insightful marketing plans, and delivering seamless execution. Time spent in pharmaceutical marketing expanded her understanding of healthcare while also providing her with in-depth digital marketing experience. Sarah brings her expertise and a fresh perspective to the SageAge team. Approaching senior living as a cross section of data, art and empathy, Sarah dives into historical data to understand trends. As a result, she develops the targeted strategies, tells the best stories, and generates robust outcomes for her client-partners, all with the singular purpose of enhancing the lives of seniors.

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Beth Simos

Account Director

Beth Simos has more than 25 years of strategic marketing and communication experience, specializing in the senior living industry. She has over 15 years of leadership experience building effective teams and working hand-in-hand with clients on high-level operational leadership and strategic marketing efforts across many industries.

With over 25 years of versatile and innovative leadership combined with integrated marketing experience in both not-for-profit and for-profit sectors, Beth has honed her skills in various areas critical to success in today’s dynamic business landscape. Her experience encompasses brand and positioning development, strategic planning, B2B and B2C marketing, direct response marketing, digital strategies (paid, earned, organic), content marketing, affiliate marketing, and partnership development, all aimed at driving growth, revenue and innovation.

Cortney Watterson

Resource Director

Brett Dunahue

Director of Digital Strategy

Brandon Temple

Creative Director

Jason Williams

Creative Director

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Cortney Watterson

Resource Director

Cortney Watterson is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in client service, project management, and operations. Her journey in the world of client services began as an Account Coordinator, where she honed her skills in managing day-to-day plans and projects for a diverse range of clients. Over the years, Cortney’s dedication and expertise propelled her into increasingly responsible roles within the organization. She seamlessly transitioned into the role of Project Coordinator, where her meticulous attention to detail and commitment to excellence shone through. Her remarkable journey within the company continued, leading to her positions as Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, and Associate Director of Project & Delivery. In her current role of Resource Director, Cortney has demonstrated exceptional leadership and an innate ability to drive successful outcomes. Her strategic vision and knack for problem-solving have made her an invaluable asset to the team and the clients she serves.

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Brett Dunahue

Director of Digital Strategy

Brett brings 10+ years of experience to her role, overseeing digital strategy for the digital team at SageAge. Her career working in both agency and client-side marketing roles in a range of verticals has helped her hone her abilities and knowledge to work across a range of marketing disciplines. Brett’s professional experience and proficiency in many areas of digital  – including SEO, PPC, media planning, content creation, reputation management, data analysis, email strategy and web development have uniquely positioned her for her role as a Director Digital Strategist at SageAge, where she works with clients and the digital team to develop successful integrated campaigns that convert.

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Brandon Temple

Creative Director

Brandon is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of all things creative. Brandon has been the owner of a graphic design business in Kansas City since 2013 that focuses on brand management and implementation for a variety of clients. On every project, Brandon took the creative helm. Before that, Brandon spent 15 years as the Design and Print Manager for a non-profit membership organization for family doctors here in Kansas City. Brandon has worked for a number of advertising businesses, focusing on production and IT management. He is an expert in creative and production management processes with over 25 years of expertise in art direction for both traditional and digital media.

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Jason Williams

Creative Director

Jason has spent the last decade working in the advertising world as an Art Director and Technology Specialist. He is a unique blend of both artist and engineer who’s passionate about thoughtful design combined with innovative technology. His skills span traditional tactics to the latest in digital trends and techniques. Jason’s experience is a result of working on a wide variety of projects that range from brand development and website design/build to social listening analysis. His design skills and technological expertise  – combined with an artist’s eye allow him to dream up the big idea, execute the design, manage the development process and assist in launching the final product.

Emily Lane

Communications and Content Director

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Emily Lane

Communications and Content Director

Emily brings a 15 year career in marketing communications to her role at SageAge, where she oversees media relations, crisis communications, content creation, social media, blogs and reputation management. An avid storyteller, Emily is passionate about how we share the positive impact our senior living partners have on residents, families and the greater community. She built her career creating and executing marketing communications campaigns for live events in the arts and sports industries, and believes in the importance of knowing the best way to talk to your target audience in order to increase brand awareness and conversions. Adjacent to her work at SageAge, Emily serves on the Board of Directors for the Heart of America chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, a cause that is near to her heart and the senior living industry. She believes in the importance of high-quality senior living that is driven by compassion and purpose, and is proud to be part of an industry which enhances the quality of life for older adults.

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