The Guest Speakers for the Southeast Finance Conference 2018 will be posted shortly. Please check back soon.
Here are the SEFC Speakers from 2017:

finance design operations programming technology insurance
Finance Design Operations Programming Technology Insurance

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: KEITH SEELOFF (Partner – Dixon Hughes Goodman)

Keith Seeloff

Keith Seeloff is the leader of the Senior Living Practice and has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with a focus on the senior living industry. Keith and his team provide business and financial advisory services such as strategic planning, financial forecasting, market demand analysis, third party reimbursement, operational audits and systems review. He has been a key participant in more than 100 continuing care retirement community (CCRC) development projects, including startup communities, existing campus repositioning and obligated group financings.

Keith has conducted financial analyses of merger and acquisition transactions and financing structures to include valuations, due diligence, projection and market feasibility analyses for proposed and existing CCRCs, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and other retirement housing projects.Prior to joining Dixon Hughes Goodman, Keith worked for a Big Four accounting firm as a consultant in the long-term care industry and as an auditor for a Medicare Intermediary. Keith is a member of AICPA and LeadingAge. He is an accomplished presenter on topics affecting acute care facilities, skilled nursing providers and home health agencies. Keith holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Ball State University.


Keith Seeloff

Ron Galloway (Method Research)

Ron Galloway is a researcher and filmmaker. He studies the disruptive effects of new technologies in finance. He has a B.S. of Industrial Management from Georgia Tech. He was a research analyst for Smith Barney from 1985 until 1995, and then founded Method Research, an institutional research firm. He is the author of “Ambient Intelligence,” a study of the integration of sensors and data mining. He has produced 4 films and written 2 books. He has presented his research globally.

Ron directed the business documentary ‘Why WalMart Works,’ which was the first film to ever premiere in the U.S. Capitol Building. He has been featured on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, BBC & ABC World News Tonight. Print coverage includes the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and the New Yorker. He was featured on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. 


Mike Thomas (Thomas USAF)

Michael Thomas (CPA) is the founder, CEO and Investor in USAF I, II, III and Thomas USAF Group, LLC. In 2011 he founded his fifth USAF fund, McDonald USAF, LP and in 2015 he announced the formation of his sixth fund, USAF 6, LP which he currently manages. Mike has been in the government guaranteed loan business for over 35 years. He headed the Small Business Administration (SBA) Transition and Reorganization for President Jimmy Carter. As partner at Ernst & Young, he set up the Ethanol Guarantee Loan Program for the US Department of Energy. He founded USAF I, the original stripper of SBA and USDA loans, in 1986.

Mr. Thomas co-authored the SBA Model Service Provider Agreement. He founded and managed eight lending and investment institutions specializing in SBA and USDA loans, including B&I Lending, the #1 USDA RD Lender in the nation from 1997 to 2001. He also served as President of the National Rural Development Association in both 1999 and 2000.

Mr. Thomas is a frequent speaker on Rural Development forums. He currently functions as the CEO and Chairman of Thomas USAF and Thomas Financial Group, LLC.

Kathleen B. Shields (Health Financing Consultants, Inc.)

Company founder and President, Kathleen B. Shields, possesses over thirty years of underwriting experience in the healthcare industry, including ten years as a commercial lender.   Her academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics (magna cum laude) from Duke University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland (College Park).  For over twenty years Ms. Shields has specialized in providing financing services to the healthcare and senior living industries, assisting with new construction projects as well as refinancings and project acquisitions.  She has been a speaker at numerous seminars and conferences focusing on capital formation for senior living providers including:  ALFA, National Health Lawyers, Health Facilities Association of Maryland, VHCA, and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants.  She has also served as a visiting lecturer for the Johns Hopkins Masters Program.

Thomas R. Burton (Alex Brown Realty)

Thomas Burton is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Alex. Brown Realty (“ABR”).  Mr. Burton has been associated with ABR since 1992 and is a member of its Board of Directors.  He is primarily responsible for the firm’s day to day operating and acquisitions activities.  Mr. Burton previously managed the company’s asset management group.  Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Burton was an Asset Manager in the real estate division of USF&G and an auditor and consultant at Ernst & Whinney.  Mr. Burton received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from the University of Maryland.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant.  Mr. Burton  is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, where he serves on the Small Scale Development Council, and a Supporting Member of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School.  Mr. Burton is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland’s Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, where he teaches a course in Real Estate Structured Finance.  Mr. Burton has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he taught a course in Real Estate Private Equity.

Alex. Brown Realty, Inc. is a privately owned real estate investment manager organized in 1972.  ABR provides joint venture equity capital to real estate developers, operators and managers.  The firm raises capital via its proprietary commingled funds.  Since 1994, it has raised six such funds and currently has under management a diverse portfolio of real estate investments with a market value of approximately $1.3B.  The firm’s investment strategy is focused on value-added investments in small to mid-cap sized transactions, which typically require an equity commitment of $5 to $12 million.  The firm’s most recent commingled fund, Chesapeake Property Investors IV, was closed in June 2012 with $282 million of investor capital.

Kevin Oakley (Lancaster Pollard)

Kevin C. Oakley is a vice president with Lancaster Pollard, a financial services firm based in Columbus, Ohio that specializes in providing capital funding to the senior living, health care and affordable housing sectors. In addition to underwriting tax-exempt bond offerings, Lancaster Pollard provides a complete range of funding alternatives through its HUD-FHA/GNMA/FNMA/ USDA-approved, mortgage lender subsidiary. It can also provide bridge-to-agency lending, private equity, balance sheet lending and M&A services. Mr. Oakley is the lead investment banker responsible for clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Mr. Oakley held multiple positions with the listed derivatives trading desk and trade-clearing groups for North American interest rate swaps at Deutsche Bank in New York City.

Mr. Oakley earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame with a dual focus in corporate finance and investments. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree in economics with an international concentration and a minor in accounting from Marshall University. Mr. Oakley holds professional licenses through FINRA and MSRB as a registered limited investment banking representative (Series 79) and municipal securities representative (Series 52).

Greg Almquist (Almquist Hansen, LLC)

Mr. Almquist has been developing, financing and managing multifamily rental communities since 1987.  Since co-founding Almquist Hansen, LLC in 2005, Mr. Almquist has successfully developed four senior housing communities in greater Atlanta: The Lodge at BridgeMill (150 IL) located in Canton, GA;   Towne Club Peachtree City (153 IL & AL) located in Peachtree City, Georgia;  the recently opened Towne Club Windermere (142 IL, AL & MC) located in Cumming, Georgia;  and in March, 2017, The Glen at Lake Oconee (114 IL, AL & MC) located in Greene County, GA.  In 2009, the Towne Club Peachtree City community received the First Place award, nationally, for Best Multifamily Rental 50+ Community from the National Association of Home Builders.  

As the former President of GrandMarc, LLC and Vice President of Ambling Development Company,  he developed and financed off campus student housing, which included University Plaza  located at SUNY Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York;  GrandMarc at University of Minnesota located in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and GrandMarc at University of California located in Riverside, California. Mr. Almquist was also a former Executive Vice President and one of the founders of Pinnacle Realty Management Company, one of the largest third party apartment management firms in the United States, where he was responsible for national business development.  Prior to that, Mr. Almquist was a Vice President at Lincoln Property Company where he developed market rate multifamily apartments in southeast Florida and later expanding third-party fee management business for Lincoln across the country.

A member of the Florida Bar Association, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Wabash College and his law degree from Indiana University School of Law. He also studied at St. John’s College, Oxford, England.

Dominic Romeo (PruittHealth)

Dominic Romeo manages finance for a large post-acute care health system.  He has served in a financial leadership roles for organizations including Emory University and Marsh & McLennan.  Dom is a Certified Public Accountant and earned an MBA from the Georgia State, Robinson School of Business.  He is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, a member of the AICPA and the Georgia Society of CPAs. 



Walter Esquivel (Insignia Senior Living)

Walter Esqueval is known for his signature motivational expression: Bravoooo!! He is a natural leader bringing creative and teamwork to support all decision-making towards one central focus: The Insignia Mission, which is to produce a safe and joyful environment where Residents feel loved and valued.

Walter’s international entrepreneurial background is highlighted by his personal successes in the container and port operations business and is enhanced by academic experiences during his tenure at Babson College in Boston. His passion is to bring the entrepreneur spirit to corporate life by means of enabling innovation and continuous improvement.

As an integral part of creating the Insignia Culture, Walter deeply believes that embedding our values and principles into the everyday operation of associates close to Residents, they have created and live by behavioral attitudes that turn work into an authentic interest and pleasure. This provides clinical, personalized care and empathy to Residents.

Charlie Trefzger, Jr. (Affinity Living Group)

President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Trefzger, Jr. is the founder and managing partner of Affinity Living Group, and he has three decades experience in the development and operation of senior living and healthcare facilities, including the acquisition and development of nursing homes and senior living residences. During his industry tenure, Mr. Trefzger, Jr. has successfully developed more than Seven Hundred Million Dollars of Senior Housing Residences throughout the United States.  Mr. Trefzger’s experience includes the operation and management of Assisted Living and Nursing Home Residences.

Prior to joining the Senior Housing Industry, Mr. Trefzger, Jr. was employed by the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, Mr. Trefzger, Jr. is licensed to practice Law in the State of North Carolina. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

David M. Johnston (Beacon Communities, Inc.)

In 1988 David joined Laing Properties, an Atlanta real estate owner/operator.  As the Director of Retirement Housing, he was directly responsible for the operations of four senior housing communities with over 200 employees and 500 residents.  In 1997, David served as Co-Founder, Partner and Chief Operating Officer of EdenCare Senior Living Services.  In just three years, he guided this company to become the 15th largest assisted living operator and 9th largest Alzheimer’s provider in the US.  In 2000, David founded Beacon Communities, a Senior Living Management Company. By 2003, Beacon Communities was listed by Assisted Living Today as the 39th largest assisted living provider in the nation.  Beacon excels in the turnaround and management of troubled communities and has operated over fifty communities in fifteen different states.

In 1988 David founded and became the first president of the Senior Living Association of Georgia.  He participated on the first Board of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) from 1988 to 1991.  David co-founded the Assisted Living Association of Georgia (ALAG) in 1996.  He has served as Co-Founder and Past President and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Senior Living Association (GSLA).

David graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1977 and worked in public accounting for eleven years.  He obtained his CPA license in 1981 and taught the Becker CPA review course for 15 years.  David became the lead instructor in Atlanta and consistently ranked within the top five percent of all instructors in the nation.  His accounting career subsequently specialized in management advisory services with a focus on healthcare.


Lisa Legeer (DHG Healthcare)

Lisa Legeer is a Principal with DHG Healthcare and works with hospitals, health systems and post-acute care providers to develop and implement strategies to succeed as healthcare delivery evolves from fee-for-service (volume) to risk- and performance-based payment models (value). Lisa has more than 17 years of experience in the healthcare and senior living industry, providing strategic planning, operations assessment and performance improvement, market research, marketing, and other advisory services. Lisa has been involved in the development of numerous start-up communities, as well as expansion and repositioning projects. She is experienced in the preparation of market demand analyses for proposed and existing senior living and long-term care providers, including CCRCs, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and other retirement housing projects.

Marcus Van Ameringen, MBA (Colliers International)

Marcus Van Ameringen is Vice President Seniors Housing Investment Sales in Atlanta with over 20 years senior level experience in Assisted Living, Independent Living and Skilled Nursing Marketing, Operations and Development. Focused on brokerage, he facilitates the buying and selling of Independent, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing properties.  As a corporate manager, Mr. Van Ameringen served as VP Sales & Marketing for three Senior Living/Long Term Care Companies driving revenue, product mix and sales strategy. The companies he has served range from $40 million to $2 billion in annual revenues. Specific roles and companies include: SVP Marketing, Wellington Healthcare LP; VP Marketing Capital Care Management; VP Independent & Assisted Living, Ethica Healthcare & Retirement; Director Market Research, Life Care Centers of America. In these corporate capacities he restructured the entire sales and marketing functions generating millions of dollars of new revenues (Medicare, Managed Care, Private Pay), implemented customer service as a “product” (quantifiable, metric driven), created hospitality programs, and initiated new business niches to grow top line revenues. As founder of Marcus & Associates Senior Living, LLC, Marcus provided sales and marketing, and operational consulting to Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing providers for five years boosting NOI through strategic pricing, market intelligence, niche positioning and targeted marketing.  Marcus graduated with an MBA from Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University and BA from Auckland University, New Zealand.



Ed Handy (BrightPath GPS)

Edward Handy is an experienced professional in clinical and operational Healthcare Program Development. He spent twenty-nine years with the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry (Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, with specialty in Community Psychiatry). His extensive expertise in designing and developing integrated behavioral health programs, includes in-patient and outpatient program design, Partial Hospital Programs, Outpatient Clinics, Faculty Practice Development, and Comprehensive Evidence-Based Clinical Continuums of Care, as well as clinical architectural design of psychiatric/neuro-behavioral units with coordinated outpatient components.

He was the Principal Clinical Program Designer for Park Royal Hospital in Fort Myers, FL—a free-standing psychiatric hospital which opened with 76 beds and has expanded to 104 beds. There, Edward provided clinical advisement on Curriculum Design (inpatient and outpatient units), Medical Attending Staff Development (Psychiatrists and Hospitalist: recruitment/contracting and By-law composition), and Regulatory Compliance (State, Federal and Hospital Accreditation).

Stacey Cook-Hawk

The SalusCare, Inc. Board of Directors named Stacey Cook-Hawk, MSW, LCSW, President & CEO of the organization as of May 12, 2016.  Stacey had been serving as Interim President/CEO since October, 2015. For more than 28 years, Stacey Cook-Hawk has called Southwest Florida home.  She is a graduate of the Lee County Public Schools and earned her Master’s in Social Work from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2001 and was licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in 2003.

She began her tenure working in the behavioral healthcare field in 1993 as a volunteer with the Rieves Residential program at the former Ruth Cooper Center/Lee Mental Health.  In May, 1994 Stacey began her employment with the same organization, working as a behavioral health technician at the short term residential treatment program.  In February 1997, she accepted a clinical case management position and, in 1999, transferred to the David Lawrence Center (DLC) in Naples to work as a case management supervisor through a DLC/Lee Mental Health partnership.  Stacey also led the Naples FACT team for two years prior to returning to Lee Mental Health in 2005 as Director of Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.  In 2006, that role expanded to include directing the community treatment teams as well.

In June, 2008 Stacey was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Residential and Outpatient Services.  In 2012 and 2013, her roles and duties expanded as she began leadership of children’s case management, therapeutic behavioral on-site services, the children’s comprehensive community service team, outpatient psychiatry, outpatient substance abuse treatment, felony drug court and prevention.

Stacey has also served as a surveyor for CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) an international independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.  In 2014 and 2015, Stacey was a member of Allocations Team #10 for the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties. She brings more than 18 years of management experience to her role as Interim Chief Executive Officer of SalusCare.

Carol Reynolds, MAI, CCIM (Province Valuation Group)

Carol Reynolds is professionally recognized as an authority on valuation, operational overview, and market feasibility of senior housing and healthcare across the United States. These include psychiatric hospitals (adult and adolescent), rehabilitation hospitals, assisted living facilities, group homes and acute-care hospitals. Carol holds a BS in Real Estate from Georgia State University, obtaining her MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute) in 2000 and her CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) in 2002.


Lorraine S. Enwright, NCIDQ (THW Design Architects)

Lorraine is Director of Design at THW Design, an award winning Atlanta based Architectural design firm and leader in the Senior Living Industry.  She has been designing intuitive environments for the Senior Living, Mental Health, Hospitality and Residential markets for over 25 years.  She applies this significant cumulative design experience to evidence based design solutions for senior communities, as well as custom residences for seniors seeking to extend their independence in their own homes.  With an innate understanding of scale, character, social connectivity and the emotional well-being associated with thriving environments, Lorraine approaches each project with a passion for the seniors’ “sense of place”, vitality and wellness.  As a holistic designer in both architectural and interior design, Lorraine works collaboratively with all the design disciplines at THW (Land planning, Architecture and Interior Design), and strives to create well-conceived, experiential environments from the outside to inside.  She has a deep belief that rooted deep within the human spirit, is the desire to thrive where we dwell and that an individual’s connection to their environment can be transforming when it reflects their intuitive nature.

Melinda P. Avila-Torio, NCIDQ (THW Design Architects)

Melinda P. Avila-Torio is an Associate/Senior Interior Designer at THW Design, an award winning Atlanta based Architectural design firm and leader in the Senior Living Industry.  As a firm associate, Melinda has a strong background in research and product development.  She is experienced in all aspects of interior design and has been involved with numerous senior living communities.  She helped author a research and informational wellness guide relevant to designing for senior needs.  She is NCIDQ certified and has a Master’s Degree in Architecture.