Meet Our Staff

Kathy Bernetti, CPA

Senior Vice President of Finance

Kathy has been with Lifespan Network since January, 1996. She was involved with the merger of the Maryland Assisted Living Association, the formation of Lifespan’s educational arm, The Beacon Institute and Lifespan Products and Services.

Prior to Lifespan, Kathy owned a CPA practice concentrating on Nonprofit consulting. She was SVP at SouthTrust Bank in Atlanta as well as several national banks in Washington DC concentrating on business lending. Kathy graduated from the University of Delaware and obtained her CPA in 1995. Kathy volunteers at many local organizations including St Louis Church, St Francis Church, Archbishop Spalding and The Food Pantry at St Benedicts. She has been the finance chairman of several local charities and homeowner associations. She has been married to husband David since 1991 and has 4 children. She is an avid runner and sports enthusiast.


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Donna Bonum

Director of Human Resources/Business Affairs  

In 2005, Donna joined the MANPHA/LifeSpan as an office manager.  Prior to this, Donna gained experience in Radiography.  She then transitioned to the Association for International Practical Training.  Donna now holds the title of Director of Human Resources/Business Affairs and coordinates all things LifeSpan and Beacon. 

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Rose Diggs-Jones


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Lesley Flaim

Vice President, The Beacon Institute

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Annmarie Gordon

Education Program Manager

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Kevin Heffner


Kevin Heffner has served in the role of President and CEO of LifeSpan Network since March 2017. Prior to this, Kevin served as Director, External Relations, with UMBC’s Management of Aging Services Program/The Erickson School. Before joining the Erickson School, Kevin served as Executive Director of The Beacon Institute, the Educational Affiliate of LifeSpan Network, from its founding in 1997. He oversaw the creation of The Beacon Institute's Handelman Learning Center, The Mid- Atlantic Wellspring Program, and The Beacon Institute's scholarships program, among other responsibilities. 

Kevin is a Member of Maryland Governor Wes Moore’s Work Force Development Board (GWDB) and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Patient Safety Center. Kevin’s areas of professional certification include association management (CAE) and fund development (CFRE). He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and Past Recipient of McDaniel College's Community Service Award and The Beacon Institute’s Hall of Fame Award. Kevin has a BA in Communications from McDaniel College and an MA in Management of Aging Services from UMBC.


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Jamie Jaegers

Manager of Membership and Business Development

Jamie has worked at the LifeSpan Network since April 2022 as the Manager of Membership and Business Development. Prior to joining the LifeSpan team, she worked in Independent Living at Riderwood Village, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, MD. She is a graduate of UMBC's Health Administration and Public Policy undergraduate program and earned her M.A. in Management of Aging Services from the Erickson School at UMBC in 2016. After graduating, she worked for the Erickson School of Aging where she helped foster relationships with alumni, taught the undergraduate internship course and managed educational programs for the school. 

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Danna Kauffman, Esq.

Public Policy Consultant

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Kim McCracken

Program Coordinator

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Paul N. Miller, CPA

Chief Operating Officer

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Cierra Derato (O'Keefe)

Manager - Marketing and Communications

Cierra joined the LifeSpan Team in June of 2023 in a brand new position. Prior to this, she climbed the higher education ladder at various institutions including University of Maryland, Baltimore County, University of Maryland, College Park, and most recently, Mount St. Mary's University.  Her responsibilities included recruiting and marketing to both prospective and current undergraduate students, as well as planning and executing campus events.  In her current role, she manages all e-communications, print media, social media, newsletter, and SEO initiatives for LifeSpan in the spirit of sharing the good news about the senior living industry. Cierra is a proud graduate of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and resides in Taneytown with her fiance and kitten.

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Eric Shope

CRISP Liaison

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