Thom Wright, who has more than 20 years experience in senior living services, took the helm as Executive Director of the Lathrop Communities, a Kendal affiliate, in August 2013. Recognized for his strong interpersonal and team leadership skills, Wright has extensive experience with long-range planning and fiscal management and has opened several new retirement communities during his career. He has also consulted for, helped develop and operated freestanding and multi-site independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled and sub-acute nursing accommodations, as well as home and community-based services for older adults. Wright has a doctorate in organization & management from Capella University in Minnesota, a master’s degree in health care administration from Western New England University in Springfield, MA and a bachelor’s degree in classics and Italian language from Boston University. Born and raised in Pittsfield, MA, Wright says he is looking forward to returning to western Massachusetts. He and his wife, Robyn, currently live in Connecticut, less than an hour from the Lathrop Communities.
Director of Finance
Director of Human Resources
Susan Weldon has been the Director of Human Resources at Lathrop Communities since 2012. She is responsible for all human resources functions for the organization. Her areas of responsibility include recruitment and staffing, benefits, compensation, learning and development, and employee relations. Susan has over 15 years’ experience in human resource management. Prior to coming to Lathrop, she worked in human resources at Hampshire College as an Employment and Compensation Specialist. Weldon holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Tulane University. She also is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Michael Harvey relocated from South Florida in March of 2013 to join the Lathrop team. He entered the senior living industry over ten years ago after helping his parents make the move into a continuing care community. Michael brings with him over 35 years of Sales and Marketing experience, which included business to business marketing in the floral industry, security and investigation sales, and sports marketing. He is passionate about building community spirit and culture.His successes in promoting the sport of volleyball in Florida lead to an invitation to officiate at the 1996 Summer Olympics where he served as Supervisor of Field of Play for the first ever Beach Volleyball Competition at the Atlanta Games. He loves living in the Northampton area, where he resides with his wife and four cats.
Director of Facilities
Michael Strycharz joined the Lathrop team after 12 years with Hartford Hospital. He entered the senior living industry after a long career spent in healthcare. Michael brings with him over 20 years of facilities management experience, including transportation management, housekeeping, security, construction, JCAHO surveys, disaster preparedness, and environment of care. Michael graduated from Westfield State College with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Michael was born and raised in western Massachusetts and has spent his entire life in the area. He also is a certified healthcare environmental manager.
Director of Dining Services
Paul Westerfield assumed the position of Director of Dining Services at Lathrop in December of 2013. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and brings a wealth of knowledge and a breadth of experience in both the hospitality and the senior living industries. As a seasoned chef, Paul is passionate about serving residents at Lathrop by enhancing menu choices, cooking meals to order using only the freshest ingredients, locally grown whenever possible, and expanding the range of dining services and hours. Paul is equally committed to mentoring, educating and developing his teams.
Lathrop Care Coordinator
Rob Olmsted has been appointed to the newly created position of Lathrop Care Coordinator. Rob comes to Lathrop after serving the last eight years as a case manager for the Cooley Dickinson Hospital Visiting Nurse Association. His roots are in the Midwest but he set his branches in California, earning a BA in communications from UC San Diego. Rob has lived in the valley since 1991, originally here as a Class Teacher at the Hartsbrook Waldorf School. After earning his RN, he was a nurse in the Cardiac monitoring unit at Holyoke Medical Center. A natural performer, Rob has spent several seasons with the Hampshire Shakespeare Company and has found a new passion for musicals. In addition to song and dance, Rob has a daily yoga practice, enjoys cycling, gardening and film. Rob has two sons, one in college and one ready to graduate from Amherst Regional, an empty nest is looming.