Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 4:00 PM EDT

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Hilton Norfolk The Main 
100 East Main Street
Norfolk, VA 23510

Driving Directions 


Virginia Assisted Living Association (VALA) 

Jeanne Grady


 "Navigating the Waters of Leadership”


Virginia Assisted Living Annual Fall Conference 

October 10-11, 2017

Norfolk, VA

Inviting assisted living professionals from all across Virginia to join together for this two-day conference providing updates and best practices for Virginia's assisted living industry. Attendees will be provided with CEUs and great networking opportunities.

Attendees Register Here!

Attendees can download and mail in a paper form here

Conference Sponsors: CLICK HERE to download the Sponsorship Application Form and to reserve your preferred sponsorship level and exhibition booth. Scroll down past the agenda to view a listing of current sponsors.

Preliminary Agenda: Conference times are subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

VALA Board of Trustees Meeting

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Attendee Registration / Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

General Session

Matt Paxton, Legacy Navigator, TV Icon from Hoarders

“Finding Stability in Letting Go:
Helping Older Adults Make Difficult Transitions”  

Matt Paxton, the star of A&E’s hit show Hoarders, has experienced firsthand how difficult transitions can be, especially for older adults. From mourning a perceived loss of freedom to struggling with letting go of physical items, the transition from independent living to an assisted living community can be a traumatic experience for some. Matt combines humor and honesty to explore the ways we can extend compassion and practical assistance to older adults struggling physically and psychologically with the challenges of moving to assisted living.

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Assisted Living Trade Show / Networking Break

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

General Session 

Douglas Panto, Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter 

Katie McDonough, LCSW, Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chus of Science, Public Policy, Care & Support”apter

“Ending Alzheimer’s: The Vital Nexus of Science, Public Policy, Care, & Support"

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and of the top ten leading causes of death it is the only disease without a treatment, cure, or way to prevent it. This presentation features an overview of the latest developments in research, including a discussion of disease biomarkers, an overview of clinical trials, and recently updated diagnostic guidelines. It will also explore the vital role of public policy to advance these research efforts both domestically and globally. Finally, the presentation will discuss how the latest science impacts the care and support we provide to those living with the disease.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Assisted Living Trade Show / Networking Luncheon 

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

General Session 

Jenny Inker, MS (Gerontology), MBA, LALFA VCU Department of Gerontology

“Disrupting Ageism in Assisted Living”

Ageism is a well-documented, systemic phenomenon whereby prejudice toward aging and older adults is expressed explicitly through actions and behaviors and implicitly through attitudes, beliefs and values. Ageism is perpetuated through the common use of certain words and phrases that normalize age-based prejudice into culturally accepted, everyday discourse. In short, ageism is contagious, it is transmitted socially through a process called relational ageism. The momentum to expose and eradicate ageism is mounting on a national level and decades of research devoted to the study of ageism is being translated and disseminated to wider audiences. There is still much work to be done to create a “new lens” in which we challenge society’s long standing view of aging as deterioration and decline.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Assisted Living Trade Show / Networking Break 

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

General Session Jonathan M. Bowman, President & CEO of Clear Picture Leadership

“The Fine Art of People Power”

In this compelling, inspirational presentation, Jonathan uncovers three hidden benefits of your support system that can help you achieve this goal. This is the power of people in your lives. Jonathan teaches how “People Power” helped propel him from living in public housing projects and homelessness as a child to becoming an accomplished attorney and award-winning leader. Plus, Jonathan’s message is made even more memorable by his powerful, fine art photography, which he uses as a metaphor to graphically illustrate key points. Your attendees will be emboldened to use their support system – not to merely surmount obstacles – but to ascend far beyond them into a future of success. 

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

PAC Event: Spirit of Norfolk Cruise on Elizabeth River (Boarding begins at 6:30 PM)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Attendee Registration / Continental Breakfast 

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

VALA General Membership Meeting

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

General Session 

Paul Mellor, Success Links

“Memory Power”

In today’s business world, having the ability to remember names and faces, beat absent-mindedness, and recall facts and figures puts you at the head of the pack. In this fun-filled session you’ll learn time-tested techniques for recalling names, speaking without notes, and gaining control of your day without the fear of forgetting.  When you’re skilled in memory all your other skills get better. This program shows how the interactive program accomplishes three objectives:

  • Creates excitement on building a trained memory to easily recall information.
  • Proves everyone can increase their memory power.
  • Generates humor and entertainment on a subject so vital, yet often overlooked.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Assisted Living Networking Break

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Concurrent Session

Micah Hunt, Founder/Owner Connect AGING Consulting, LLC

“Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare"


  • How to best utilize Social Media in the Healthcare industry.
  • Giving points on what to post and not post in reference to HIPPA guidelines. 
  • Coaching them on best practices to reach and share information on their company and personal sights. 

Eric Page, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin, & Mellott, LLC

“We’re From the Government and We’re Here to Help: Dealing with ALF Regulators.”

With the Department’s complete overhaul of the regulations governing ALFs, it is even more important for ALFs to be extremely vigilant when dealing with the Department in licensing, compliance, and enforcement matters.  This presentation will walk through the licensing and enforcement processes and will provide helpful and practical suggestions for dealing with regulators at all levels of the process, from initial licensing, through inspections, as well as formal and informal adjudicative hearings held under the Virginia Administrative Process Act Description:  Virginia Assisted Living Facilities are closely regulated by the Virginia.

Jenny InkerMS (Gerontology), MBA, LALFA, VCU Department of Gerontology

“Reducing the Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Assisted Living Facilities”

This session will present the initial findings from an ARDRAF-funded research study on the use of antipsychotic medications in assisted living facilities in Virginia. The research findings will be discussed in the wider context of policy and practice considerations in Virginia, including what next steps may be helpful. Insights into researching a community identified need will also be shared.

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Discovering the Diamonds of the Assisted Living Industry Leadership Luncheon

William Howell
Speaker of the House, Virginia General Assembly

Delegate Howell will share his leadership expertise in encouraging providers to stand firm in doing the right thing as leaders and to train up new generations of quality leaders. Attendees will also view videos showcasing stories of best practices within assisted living communities from throughout Virginia to gain ideas on how to improve quality care within their own assisted living communities. This years VALA Diamond Award winners will also be honored and presented with their award. 

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Concurrent Session (10:00 AM - 11:00AM repeated) 

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Assisted Living Networking Break

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

General Session

Dan Cohen, MSW – Founder and Executive Director

“Enhancing Care through Music & Memory

Participants will learn about the current evidence-based protocol for using personalized music to optimize quality of life and quality of care for older adults, especially any stage of those with dementia. Cohen will present how personalized music is benefiting residents, staff and administrators in assisted living communities nationwide.

3:30 PM - until

Safe travels home!

This educational offering has been approved by the National Continuing Education Review Service (NCERS) of the National Association of Long Term Care Administrators Board of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators (NAB) for continuing education credits. Some sessions at this educational offering will be eligible for contact hours relevant to the practice of nursing as authorized by the VA Board of Nursing.