President's Message


After many months (and years) of planning and development, LifeSpan Network recently hosted its new headquarters grand opening celebration. More than 200 leaders from the Maryland and Washington, D.C.-area senior services profession participated in the event, and the crowds that filled our classrooms, boardrooms, and hallways had us bursting at the seams with pride.

The official ribbon cutting, which was as much a celebration of MANPHA and LifeSpan’s significant past as it was an official inauguration of the new offices, felt like a homecoming of sorts. Many of MANPHA’s founding members were in attendance, as were many current and past board and committee members. Also present were new board and committee leaders. And both of MANPHA/LifeSpan’s previous CEOs, Ann MacKay (1985-1994) and Izzy Firth (1994-2017), joined in the festivities.

As we were joined by Dr. Scott Rifkin, Debbie Handelman, Dennis Hunter of Brooke Grove, Carmel Roques of Keswick, Ann MacKay and Izzy Firth, to officially cut the bright blue ribbon in recognition of our transition, I couldn’t help but think about the power of partnerships and collaboration, and their role in getting us all to this place together.

LifeSpan is, and always has been at its core, a collaborative hub where leaders can come together to innovate, to discuss ideas, to network, and to develop new programs together. As I said in my remarks prior to the ribbon cutting with this great group of leaders: 

"LifeSpan is the largest and most diverse senior services association in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and we’re proud of our history of including all voices across the spectrum of services for older adults. Whether you represent a continuing care retirement community, skilled nursing organization, assisted living organization, senior housing provider, home and community-based services organization, hospice provider, service provider, or most recently, a village movement community member, you have a place and a voice here. We believe strongly that whether you represent non-profit, for-profit, or somewhere in between, you have a place at the LifeSpan table, because you provide services and support to seniors in the region. We believe that our diversity and history of inclusion is what makes us uniquely positioned to lead in our space, particularly as we enter the total cost of care environment, in which we will all need to communicate and collaborate in order to be successful. So please engage with us, raise your voice, and be involved. We have room for you, and we welcome your ideas about how we can better serve you."

Today, the Handelman Conference Center and the Rifkin Board Room are hosting classes and meetings every day—and they both have that “new” smell, by the way! It is our plan to invite associations and organizations across the spectrum of services to use the conference center and the boardroom for their own meetings.

We believe strongly that putting people together, where introductions can be made, relationships developed, and partnerships launched, is at the core of what associations are all about. We invite you to be part of this as well. As a member, you’re free to drop by and use one of the available offices for meetings and conference calls of your own. When you do that, please stop in to my office as well as our other team members’ offices to say hello. We’re proud to serve you . . . and we’re open for business!


Kevin Heffner, President, LifeSpan Network