Since 2015 I have been honored to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Senior Life. This position has given me the opportunity to combine my passion for older adults, the agency and our community with my professional endeavors, which included 30 years in the practice of commercial real estate law in Michigan, Arizona and Illinois. Prior to assuming this position, I served on the Board of Directors of Jewish Senior Life where I fulfilled roles as Chairperson for several committees and ultimately served as President. There is no greater privilege that I could be afforded than to lead this organization which has served older adults with compassion, respect and kindness for more than 100 years. I am honored to uphold the legacy of Jewish Senior Life and its mission of enriching the lives of the older adults we serve.
A part time job drawing blood in a hospital inspired my interest in health services administration…and eventually in senior living. Of all the patients I encountered, I found I most enjoyed talking with the older adults, as their experiences, serenity and sense of humor made a deep impression on me. I started my professional career with the Veterans Administration. Many of my assignments involved numbers and to my great surprise I liked it, which encouraged me to become a CPA. I continued to work with various health agencies as an auditor, eventually moving into finance for senior living. This seemed the perfect blend for me and I’ve now been in the industry nearly 20 years. I admire the community’s commitment to serving its elders and am pleased to be a part of it here at Jewish Senior Life.
I have been with the agency for over 20 years. I am a past winner of the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Award for Outstanding Professional Service. This award is given to an individual who is recognized for the highest professional standards in Jewish Communal Service. I am actively involved with LeadingAge Michigan at the state level and serve as an Officer on its Board of Directors. I am also an alumna of the national LeadingAge Leadership Academy. My background and training is in social work, and my degree is from the University of Michigan. My husband and I have two sons who enjoy schlepping us around the city for all sorts of fun activities.
I am unabashedly passionate about ensuring that every aspect of human resources incorporates the vision, values, and culture of the organization. I believe this is achieved by cultivating an employee-oriented culture that emphasizes trust and team-work, while seeking to continuously improve how we service our communities and residents. In 2015, I joined Jewish Senior Life as the Director of Human Resources. In my role, I have had the great fortune of working beside a group of individuals who daily exhibit a level of talent, passion and dedication that is unparalleled in our industry.
Growing up, I remember coming home from school to amazing aromas in our house. Pasta sauce, soup, bread baking in the oven…it was incredible and I knew creating delicious food was in my future. I earned my degree at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and I have now been in the hospitality and food service management field for over 25 years. I began working in a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in Detroit, then at The Detroit Athletic Club and Marriott Hotels. Prior to coming to JSL I was the Dining Director for Henry Ford Village. I like to compare my position to leading a sports team. I love the energy, excitement, and hard work our team brings every day to the workplace and the ‘win’ is the gratification we receive from our guests when they enjoy their meal! Food connects us all and I am thrilled to work with such a dedicated and hardworking JSL team who make every dining experience special.
In memory of my parents, Lloyd and Bert Strausz, I am honored to serve as Executive Director of Development for Jewish Senior Life where I raise awareness and funding that supports programs for health, wellbeing and activities for our older adults in Assisted and Independent Living.
Prior to joining the JSL team, I had the privilege of building relationships with generous Detroit donors who have changed the world with their philanthropy. For nine years, I was a Director of the American Technion Society supporting world class research. Then, I was employed as Michigan Director of Planned Gifts for the American Cancer Society where I helped fund cures to ease the pain and suffering for those with cancer.
After graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in early elementary education, I combined my love for teaching with my passion for art. I continue to paint in my spare time, often in my backyard studio with my 4 grandchildren. My wonderful children and their spouses live locally, and I reside in West Bloomfield with my husband Andy Nickelhoff, an attorney.
Immediate Past President
Carol Weintraub Fogel
Dr. Rob Robins