The CERTUS logo was created with great care and thought directed toward those we serve. We believe our communities will become your loved one’s home – a place where they feel loved, empowered, and where they’ll create wonderful memories. Thus, the yellow home. Throughout life we each strive for a healthy balance in all that we do. The Yin and Yang image represents the complementary forces that interact to create that healthy balance. Our dynamic team provides balance to each resident’s life providing the most beneficial amount of opportunities for socialization, physical wellness, intellectual stimulation and nutritional support. And lastly, the beautiful blue sky which represents our philosophy that every day is a new day to create opportunities for success where every moment matters.
We lead with integrity.
We engage with compassion.
We foster creativity.
We serve with pleasure.
We inspire learning.
We treat everyone with respect.
We strive to understand one another.
Get to know the team behind CERTUS
CERTUS was founded in 1999 by Glen Pawlowski. Over the next 10 years, through a combination of new construction and acquisition, CERTUS grew to 10 independent and assisted living communities. Located in Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, the CERTUS portfolio included over 1500 apartments. CERTUSs success has been rooted in a philosophy of maintaining a flat organizational structure, hiring great associates, and creating a culture of accountability and transparency. Going forward, CERTUS Senior Living is committed to stand alone memory care communities. We believe that memory care is very specialized, and we have a great blueprint for our purposely architected buildings. We have 7 sites under various stages of acquisition, and will commence construction of all these communities by 2018.
Glen Pawlowski, Founder/CEO
Mr. Pawlowski received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Administration from Iowa State University in 1979. Mr. Pawlowski has held sales, marketing, operation management and project development positions primarily in retirement housing and telecommunications industries for over 30 years. Prior to founding CERTUS, Mr. Pawlowski was Regional Director of Operations for Merrill Gardens, a national retirement housing company. He was responsible for management of their retirement communities in the southeast United States. He has been responsible for all aspects of senior housing, including market analysis, site acquisition, project planning and development, marketing, and operations management. Leaving Merrill Gardens, Mr. Pawlowski founded CERTUS Development and CERTUS Management in 1999 and ran it as President and CEO. He is directly experienced with over 3,500 units in 16 communities.
Samantha Hollister, President
Samantha Hollister leads the CERTUS operations team with her 20 years of experience in the assisted living industry. Previously, she has served as an Executive Director, VP of Operations, and Director of Corporate Administration and Quality Assurance. Samantha’s knowledge and leadership are creating new standards for memory care communities by blending research principles, innovative building design and a unique approach to creating associate culture. Samantha’s passion is to meet the needs of an ever-burgeoning population of seniors, and their families, who seek a home like environment that will embrace their unique memory care needs while enabling each senior to thrive through experiencing a sense of purpose, individual engagement and quality care. Samantha earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Western New England University. Samantha is a certified Florida Assisted Living Administrator, holds two dementia certifications and one leadership certification.
Joshua J. Freitas, Vice President of Program Development
Joshua is an award-winning memory care program developer, researcher, and author. As the Vice President of Program Development at CERTUS, Josh creates our unique programs and engagement initiatives. Over the past decade, Josh has always taken a hands-on approach to serving those living with memory care loss whether working as a Program Manager, Corporate Director of Memory Care or as a national board member for various associations. He holds five certifications related to dementia care and has studied at some of the world’s most renowned colleges and universities including Lesley University, Harvard University, and Berkley College of Music. Joshua is pursuing a Doctoral degree in Clinical Gerontology and Aging Neuroscience. Joshua believes a dementia diagnosis should not be viewed as the end of life and to break the stigmas that impede progress and quality care we must all advocate for those with memory loss, and support their families and friends.
Dennis Vandendriessche, Vice President of Asset Management
Denny earned his MBA from Rollins College in 1995. Throughout his 25 year career, he has held account management, sales, marketing, and operations management positions primarily in senior housing and wireless telecommunications industries. Having served as VP of Operations for an industry leading senior housing provider, Denny brought a personal commitment and moral compass to how he lead his team in successfully ensuring the highest standard of service excellence in all facets of operations. Recently, Denny obtained his NIDE Dementia Certification, is a certified Florida Assisted Living Administrator, and a Certified Dementia Practitioner.
Kim Smith, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Kim joined the CERTUS team with vast experience in sales and marketing that extends over twenty years. She successfully blends her past community operations experience with her divisional sales management for solid outcomes. Her strengths are cultivating talent and market development. Ultimately Kim’s chief focus is to build teams that are reminded to lead with their heart while having success. She uses her knowledge as a Board Certified Educator to train our associates to advise and guide our resident families who are navigating the need for care and resources. Kim has earned the distinction of being a servant leader who leads by example and believes in valuing relationships. Having this mindset allows Kim to be a committed driver of not only sales efforts but also company culture.
Susan Sundell, Vice President of Operations
Susan brings over 20 years of assisted living experience to the CERTUS team. Having served as an ED, Regional Director of Operations, Regional VP Operations and VP of Operations, she has extensive experience in both operating and developing sales relationships for multi-site facilities. Her passion for identifying creative and flexible solutions for families and their loved ones diagnosed with dementia continues to be at the forefront in her leadership style. Valuing residents is Susan’s top priority and is instilled in how she manages and develops her operational teams.