Culture Shifts: The importance of Perspective and Perception in Shaping Inclusive Communities

June 1, 2022 | 7:30 – 8:45 am Concurrent Block A

A-3  Culture Shifts: The importance of Perspective and Perception in Shaping Inclusive Communities

CE Credits: HRCI, NAB, LNHA Ethics, Service Coordinators Certificate

Seven years ago, this team started a hard conversation called “Culture Shocks: Creating Inclusive Communities.” The subject resonated across our field (and quite literally the world) since that first conversation as we have watched scores of social justice events demand our collective attention. With each presentation, we say “this topic is so timely, so necessary.” Never has it been more fitting or more important to our communities and our workforce to continue this conversation. DEIB – diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging – need to be at the heart of our service and, having leaders who speak the language of these ideals, who have committed to understanding the perspectives and perceptions of their workforce, is how we will move our cultures forward.


Cecily Laidman

Bio: Cecily Laidman, Executive Director of Springpoint Choice, an affiliate of Springpoint, has been in the senior living field for over 18 years.  She currently sits on the Board of Trustees for Leading Age NJDE. Ms. Laidman has presented  at LA national conferences including “ Leading Age Home & Community based services study” panel , “CCAH: Complimenting the Community Model” and  “Culture Shocks: Creating Inclusive Communities” at the national and the International Global Ageing Conference in Montreux, Switzerland in 2017. Before joining Springpoint Choice in 2012, Cecily was Director of Marketing and Sales at The Evergreens, in Moorestown, NJ and Director of Sales and Marketing at Stonebridge at Montgomery, a Springpoint Life Plan Community. Before entering the senior living field, Cecily managed her own marketing and communications consulting firm as well as Laidman Fine Art, Inc., a corporate art consulting firm.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the State University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, New York.

Jeremy Neely

Bio: Jeremy Neely serves as Senior Vice President of Senior of Community Operations, Northeast Region for Acts Retirement-Life Communities. Mr. Neely has more than 25 years of healthcare management experience and is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator. He has served Acts in a number of roles since 1999. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the LeadingAge PA board of directors and is a Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP). Mr. Neely has successfully completed the LeadingAge Leadership Academy and has served as a coach facilitator for the program. He co-facilitated leadership retreats at the IAHSA conferences in Perth Australia, Lyon France and Monteau Switzerland. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Eastern University

Pegeen Sullivan

Bio: Peg joined Benchmark Senior Living in October 2020 as an executive director for their South Windsor, CT community. She also serves as a member of Benchmark’s Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Council. Prior to joining Benchmark, Peg was the Vice President, Community Life, for Seabury Active Life Community in Bloomfield, CT for 15 years. Peg is a Fellow of the Leading Age Leadership Academy, where she began her journey of creating inclusive communities through her SPARK project, Culture Shocks. Partnering with her co-presenters, the original program has been presented at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting, LeadingAgePA, LeadingAgeNJ, and The Global Ageing Network in Montreaux, Switzerland. Pegeen’s professional experience also includes more than 10 years with the Department of the Air Force’s Services Division where she served as a Command Marketing Director; serving as Executive Director with the American Heart Association in Tampa, FL, and as Customer and Business Services Manager for the City of Sunnyvale, CA. Pegeen has a B.S. in Recreation and Park Administration and an A.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from Eastern Kentucky University.