A message from our CEO & President and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

Living at Verve during COVID-19

About Us

Retirement living can be inspired, and inspiring.

Every day our residents prove that the historical definition of senior living can be reshaped and rethought. Aging doesn't mean that life should suddenly cease to be fulfilling or lived without spirit and vitality.

  • This isn't a job, it's a calling

    Each of our residents touches our lives, and we give back with equal measure, doing whatever we can to enrich their quality of life, every single day.

  • A place to call home

    Creating an environment where mind, body, and spirit can flourish means having programming, amenities, and staff that are second to none.

  • Live, Love, Local food

    Good food is made even better when it's locally sourced, expertly prepared, and enjoyed with family and friends, all in a setting that promotes comfort and conversation.

  • Living with Verve

    We age but we should never stop growing. That's why we focus on spirit first and encourage participation in activities that promote mental and physical health.

  • We stand at the forefront

    We continually reinvest in staff education and training at our communities in an effort to stay at the forefront in terms of programming and services that we offer.

  • This isn't a job, it's a calling

    Each of our residents touches our lives, and we give back with equal measure, doing whatever we can to enrich their quality of life, every single day.

  • A place to call home

    Creating an environment where mind, body, and spirit can flourish means having programming, amenities, and staff that are second to none.

  • Live, Love, Local food

    Good food is made even better when it's locally sourced, expertly prepared, and enjoyed with family and friends, all in a setting that promotes comfort and conversation.

  • Living with Verve

    We age but we should never stop growing. That's why we focus on spirit first and encourage participation in activities that promote mental and physical health.

  • We stand at the forefront

    We continually reinvest in staff education and training at our communities in an effort to stay at the forefront in terms of programming and services that we offer.

Meet The Team

David Bird Leila  Burden Nixon Denise Achonu Millie Christie Scott Quinney Shawn Ouellette Karen Kotanko Denise Kato Gary McGillivray Dameion Reid Stephanie Hanchar Bruce Schell
David Bird
David Bird

President & CEO

As our senior executive, David collaborates with our Board to set the strategic direction for the company and, in conjunction with the leadership team, is responsible for execution of Verve’s strategic plan. David is active in all business aspects including people resources, project development, acquisitions and dispositions, operations, finance and accounting, and sales and marketing, fulfilling our brand promise of delivering inspired senior living across each and every Verve residence in Canada.
Prior to his appointment as President, David held the role of Chief Operating Officer since joining Verve in 2015. David previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Operations at a leading hotel and resort brand.

Leila  Burden Nixon
Leila Burden Nixon

General Counsel

As general counsel, Leila manages the legal and corporate governance matters relating to Verve’s operations and growth across Canada. She works to maintain and promote the goals of an inspired senior living business in a way that combines the highest standards of integrity, inclusivity and functionality while mitigating risk and providing responsive and practical approaches to further Verve’s strategic plan.

Prior to joining the team at Verve, Leila was a member of the real estate and financial services group at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP for over 15 years. Leila earned a Bachelor of Science from York University and her MBA and LLB from Dalhousie University.

Denise Achonu
Denise Achonu

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Denise is responsible for instilling a financial approach and mindset throughout the Verve community in order to enhance performance and stewardship. Denise works actively with the other business leaders at Verve to guide and support strategic and key business initiatives.

Denise has served in senior finance positions in a number of public companies and has a proven record of financial leadership and effectiveness. Before joining Verve, she most recently served as Vice President Finance at one of the largest lodging real estate companies in Canada.

Millie Christie
Millie Christie

Vice President, People

Responsible for Human Resources & Labour Relations, Millie leads a talented team dedicated to ensuring that our passionate staff lives and breathes the Verve promise of delivering inspired senior living every single day. Millie is devoted to supporting and nurturing our unique culture while ensuring that the company remains an employer of choice.

Millie has a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She serves on the Board and is a past Board President for the Ontario Retirement Communities Association, where she is active in developing legislative outcomes that are positive for the industry.

Scott Quinney
Scott Quinney

VP Operations, Western Canada

As the Regional Manager, Operations for our communities in Western Canada, Scott ensures that Verve’s commitment to being resident focused, shines through at each community he supports. Collaborating with our General Managers and corporate resources, Scott works to inspire managers and staff to provide the highest levels of service in senior living for our residents. Prior to joining the Verve team, Scott worked as Regional Director, BC Interior and Alberta for Pacific Reach Seniors Housing Management (formerly Retirement Concepts) and as General Manager for Amica Mature Lifestyles where he helped to open Amica’s first operation in Alberta.

In his off time, Scott enjoys long distance running, having completed 9 marathons, hiking, cycling and spending time with his five godchildren.

Shawn Ouellette
Shawn Ouellette

Vice President, Operations – Ontario

As our Vice President, Operations - Ontario, Shawn provides leadership and support to our retirement residences in Ontario and is dedicated to Verve’s initiatives to ensure the delivery of the highest quality of service to our residents.

Collaborating with our Corporate Operations Team, Area Managers, and General Managers, Shawn works to empower our team members to exude vibrancy, spirit, life, and passion in every one of our residences.

Prior to joining Verve, Shawn held senior leadership roles in retirement living and long-term care throughout Canada. Shawn holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree and Master of Health Studies degree. In his time off, he loves to travel and experience new cultures around the world.

Karen Kotanko
Karen Kotanko

National Director of Sales & Marketing

Karen oversees our marketing and sales activities, and in so doing, she ensures that the Verve story is told in a clear and compelling manner. She also collaborates with the sales and marketing teams at our retirement and long-term care communities to share their remarkable stories with others.

Karen’s educational background includes Public Relations, Sales, Marketing and Business Development in hospitality and healthcare. Her wealth of previous experience includes positions as Corporate Sales Executive for a national hotel chain, Director of Community Relations for an international retirement/assisted living company, and Branch Director for a national home care agency.

Denise Kato
Denise Kato

National Health and Wellness Leader

Denise earned her RPN Diploma from Centennial College and has continued her education by taking related courses at Centennial and Durham College. She joined the senior’s living sector in 1997 working for Diversicare as an RPN at Altamont Nursing Home. Denise was an Instructor of the Resident Centered Care course for five years and in addition to that she worked with Centennial College as a content developer. She has held positions at 2 Verve residences before joining Stouffville Creek in 2012 as the General Manager.

Denise’s professionalism in nursing, along with her passion for the health and well-being of our residents will strengthen the foundation and grow our health and wellness programs.

Gary McGillivray
Gary McGillivray

National Lead Environmental Services

As our National Leader Environmental Services, Gary influences all aspects of the buildings and their complex modern systems. Gary works with each communities’ environmental supervisor to ensure best practices in areas of maintenance, renovation, construction, comfort and all aspects of staff and resident safety.    Gary also works with our new development projects to ensure we remain best in class.

With 11 years of retail construction management experience and 14 years of seniors’ care construction management, Gary works to enhance the art of living well and share our vision of being “resident centric”.

Dameion Reid
Dameion Reid

National Director, Information Technology

As our National Director of Information Technology, Dameion brings over 23 years of professional experience in driving Technology and Business Strategy. Dameion is responsible for not only keeping the "lights on" when it comes to technology but also has a track record of matching technology to improve the lives of our residents and staff. Dameion leads Verve's Information Technology team that is responsible for the day-to-day operations as well as the overall execution of strategies that support the vision of inspiring our seniors.

Prior to joining Verve, Dameion lead IT teams in various industries from Sports and Entertainment at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Senior Living at Chartwell Retirement Residences as well as a Managed IT Services at TNT Technical Services. In his off time, Dameion enjoys traveling, mentoring and coaching youth basketball.

Stephanie Hanchar
Stephanie Hanchar

Director of Operations Finance

As the Director of Operations Finance, Stephanie provides key financial leadership in overseeing the Accounting team at Verve.  With a passion for service excellence, collaboration, continuous improvement and internal controls, Stephanie and her team establish and execute financial initiatives which benefit our Verve communities.

Stephanie has a proven record of financial leadership and developing others through her extensive experiences from across the globe. Her skillset and accounting knowledge provided the opportunity to work in a senior finance capacity in countries such as Australia, England and Germany. Prior to joining the Verve team, she most recently served as a Senior Manager in a pharmaceutical company overseeing finance, tax and treasury.

Bruce Schell
Bruce Schell

Food & Beverage Manager, Western Canada

Bruce has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has worked at many high-quality hotels and resorts throughout Canada and has earned the distinguished credentials of Certified Chef de Cuisine from the Canadian Culinary Federation

As Food and Beverage Manager for Western Canada, Bruce leads our western team of Executive Chefs and Dining Services Managers, creating the highest quality dining experience for our Verve residents, every day.

  • David Bird

    David Bird

  • Leila  Burden Nixon

    Leila Burden Nixon

  • Denise Achonu

    Denise Achonu

  • Millie Christie

    Millie Christie

  • Scott Quinney

    Scott Quinney

  • Shawn Ouellette

    Shawn Ouellette

  • Karen Kotanko

    Karen Kotanko

  • Denise Kato

    Denise Kato

  • Gary McGillivray

    Gary McGillivray

  • Dameion Reid

    Dameion Reid

  • Stephanie Hanchar

    Stephanie Hanchar

  • Bruce Schell

    Bruce Schell

Community

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