WesleyLife Announces Key Leadership Hires

posted on Thursday, August 17, 2017

New leadership team members
JOHNSTON, Iowa — WesleyLife, Iowa’s most comprehensive provider ofservices for older adults, has announced the addition to its leadership roster ofindividuals with a breadth of experience in and vision for the future of seniorhousing.

They join the organization — celebrating its 70th anniversary this year — in roles that align to the organization’s growth and development strategy, further positioning it to help increasing numbers of individuals remain independent, wherever they call home.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to add individuals to our team who bring not only extensive and relevant experience, but energy, focus, and passion to our mission,” Rob Kretzinger, CEO of WesleyLife, said. “As increasing numbers of individuals seek our services, we have to ask ourselves: How are we empowering and enabling them to live their best lives? How are we encouraging them to live with purpose and meaning?”

“We’re called to support and encourage well-being by creating programs and services that don’t stop at our walls, and that weave through all we do to help those we serve live as healthily as they can, as long as they can,” Kretzinger said. “The experience and vision of our new team members, coupled with the strengths of an already strong and committed team, will keep us well poised to meet the challenges before us.”

WesleyLife welcomes the following individuals:

Jacci Nickell (top left) has joined the organization as Regional Vice President of Network Operations. She comes to WesleyLife from National Church Residences, where she served since 2014 as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Senior Living, Care and Services. Previously, Nickell held various executive leadership roles with The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. She holds a bachelor of science degree in political science from Oregon State University and a master’s of business administration from the University of Sioux Falls (South Dakota). She and her husband, John, are relocating from Hilliard, Ohio, to Des Moines. They have two grown children.

Damon Buskohl (top right) has been named Executive Director of Wesley Acres, WesleyLife’s flagship community in Des Moines. Damon has a long history with WesleyLife, having served in a similar capacity years ago at Heritage House, WesleyLife’s Community for Healthy Living in Atlantic, Iowa, and in executive roles at the organization’s Network Support Center in Johnston. In the interim, Buskohl served in executive roles with Brookdale, with responsibilities including oversight of a 600-apartment community in Colorado Springs. He also served in an executive role with Good Samaritan Society in Superior, Nebraska. Buskohl received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and psychology and a Master of Public Administration degree in health services management from the University of South Dakota. He and his wife, Brandi, live in Waukee with their three daughters.

Sue McEntee (bottom left) is the organization’s new Director of Philanthropy. She comes to WesleyLife with nearly 30 years of management and fundraising experience, most recently as Foundation Director for senior housing provider Lifespace Communities, Inc. McEntee has served in a variety of leadership capacities, including as Chief Operating Officer for a national nonprofit consulting firm and Director of Food and Nutrition for the Human Gene Therapy Institute. Her philanthropic experience includes securing major gifts, annual giving, online giving initiatives, and managing donor prospect pools. Sue earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in food and nutrition in business from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s of Public Administration from Drake University. She and her husband, Scott, live in Grimes. They have three grown children.

Ward Phillips (bottom right) joins WesleyLife as Director of Sales. Ward brings extensive experience in sales and marketing for the senior housing industry, having served as Assistant Executive Director and Marketing Director for Claremont’s Ramsey Village and Regional Sales Director for Watermark Retirement Communities. Ward earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts and sciences from Iowa State University and lives in Norwalk with his wife, Alyssa, and two daughters.

About WesleyLife
Guided by Christian compassion, WesleyLife is enhancing the independence, health, and well-being of individuals wherever they call home, transforming the aging experience so people live longer, healthier, more purposeful lives. We offer health and well-being services in 15 Iowa counties through our Communities for Healthy Living — including our newest community, Brio of Johnston, set to open in 2018 — award-winning Adult Day programs and an array of home- and community-based services. And new this year: WellAhead, a total well-being initiative based in our Communities for Healthy Living and open to individuals 50 and older in the Atlantic, West Des Moines, Des Moines, Indianola, Newton, Pella, and Washington, Iowa, areas. For more information about WesleyLife, please visit, or call (515) 978-2777.

Speak with a WesleyLife expert about our network of services: GET STARTED