Circle Leader Bios
Fueled by an understanding of the challenges of caregiving, our Circle Leaders listen carefully, keep it ‘real’, suggest out-of-the-box solutions and encourage participants to engage and share with one another. Many are experienced practitioners and thought leaders who care deeply and who are not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Listen. Learn. Guide. Act.
Christi has worked in healthcare for 30+ years and has been a nurse for just over 11 of those. My initial experience with dementia began when she was only 17 working as a nurse’s aide in a facility in Kansas. Since that time, she has worked with hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals and families living with dementia or caring for their loved ones with dementia. She specializes in geriatric care and has worked in many settings caring for the geriatric population including hospital, nursing home, assisted living, memory care, home health, private duty, and hospice care. Professionally, she has worked in leadership roles within senior care that include Director of Nursing, and as a Licensed Assisted Living Operator as well as worked privately for families as a Patient Advocate, Coach, and Consultant.
Elizabeth Miller, Certified Caregiving Consultant, created the Happy Healthy Caregiver site, podcast, and community because she craved a supportive community like this when her caregiver responsibilities took on a whole new level after her dad passed away in 2014, and she had no choice but to move her chronically ill mom to Georgia. She was stressed, overwhelmed, and often felt suffocated by her never-ending to-do lists. The Happy Healthy Caregiver mission is to help caregivers worldwide become happier and healthier while caring for others. We can do hard things but don’t need to do them alone.
Susan Rowe was a caregiver for her mother and has been leading programs at Daughterhood since its inception in 2015. She has a background in Information Technology and leading church congregations in worship. Susan serves on the front lines of Daughterhood’s service to its community, bringing a strong sense of empathy and a belief in building an authentic community of, “friends helping friends”. Susan is also an award-winning songwriter and has composed the music for Daughterhood The Podcast and the quarterly Daughterhood Policy Podcast.
Jodi Hempel is the founder and CEO of Success by Design. She is an entrepreneur, trainer, coach, and writer committed to helping women live a life they love. When Jodi was 19 years old, her mother suffered a massive stroke. Jodi instantly went from being an irresponsible college kid to her mom’s caregiver., a role she held for 20 years.That experience led her to co-authoring the book “Life: The Next Phase. Navigating the Issues of Caring for Your Aging Parents or Loved Ones” and creating the“Walking the Path with Your Aging Loved One” online training course. She has lived in Tucson for 9 years. She loves to travel to explore new places in the world.
Rosanne Corcoran’s journey into caregiving began with a dementia diagnosis of her fiercely independent mother, opening the door to a twelve year journey in sandwich caregiving. After experiencing first-hand the stress and isolation caregiving brings along with the lack of meaningful resources for caregivers, Rosanne created Daughterhood the Podcast: For Caregivers. As host of the podcast, Rosanne brings her authentic voice to each conversation and discusses challenges caregivers face with experts in all fields. She has been a Daughterhood Circle Leader since 2019 and has been featured in CNN Health, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Barron’s, Next Avenue and others. She also received caregiving.com‘s Visionary Award in 2021.
Kiki Reef has been involved with Daughterhood as a Circle Leader since November of 2016. She’s an experienced family caregiver, having cared for both her father who had Parkinson’s Disease and spinal cord issues (over a 10 year period) and her mother who had cancer (over a 1 year period). She has a background in corporate event planning and is a small business owner of a marketing consultancy with her husband. They currently live as digital nomads, but were previously based in the Los Angeles area. Kiki is an avid reader, dog lover, and has a sugar “issue”.
Nicole Smith is an author, speaker, and eldercare advocate. Nicole became immersed in the dementia dynamic when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2021. She released her first book, Diagnosis Dementia: Your Guide for Eldercare Planning and Crisis Management, in October 2023. Nicole is a distance caregiver for three aging parents and is the parent of five children. She prioritizes self-care to manage her space in the sandwich generation. Nicole shares thoughts on memory related memoirs, research, and resources on Instagram @dementiabookreview. Her book is available through her website www.njsmithbooks.com
Kara Curtis is fulfilling her life’s mission to support aged/disabled people to age in place as a thought leader who is advancing systems of care, advocating to support strategies to finance this care, and influencing state-level decision-makers across the U.S. In addition, Kara serves as a trusted advisor for the National Council on Aging guiding the national redesign of senior centers. She is a contributing team member of Tomorrow’s Women TODAY, a professional community of emerging and executive level female leaders. Plus, a committee member of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts board and a Daughterhood Circle facilitator in Massachusetts. Kara holds a BA from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in public administration from Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University focused on aging policy, and an executive leadership certificate from Cornell University.
Jessie Hillock has worked professionally serving the dementia population for the past 10 years in independent living, assisted living, memory care, long-term care, and home health. She has provided over a thousand cognitive assessments over the course of her career and is all too familiar with the lack of support families receive when facing cognitive decline challenges. Through these experiences, Jessie was driven to create her private practice, The Memory Compass, to provide individualized support services for families navigating a dementia diagnosis, picking up where our healthcare system drops off. Jessie was raised by her grandparents and her own village of support. She is a mother of one young son conceived via IVF, wife to an amazing cancer survivor, and dog mom to a rescue pittie.
Jean Ross is a nurse who has spent 20 years working in various roles on the frontlines of healthcare. Jean knows care is only getting more difficult for families, healthcare practitioners, and community-based organizations to coordinate together. She is the co-founder of Primary Record, an application built to replace the three-ring binder and file folders families rely on today to share their health story. Jean is the mother to three sons, a wife to an emergency room physician, and the eldest daughter to two amazing, stubborn parents.
Robin is Founder and Owner of My Pivotal Point, a corporate training, coaching and leadership development company based in the New River Valley of Virginia. Through this work she has met many caregivers struggling with the balance of caring for an aging relative and trying to keep their careers on track. As a former caregiver of 7 years for her mother she knows the stresses, worries, interruptions, questions, and compromises that occur. Her role as caregiver for her mother had a strong impact on her life and now her life going forward. No caregiver should have to do this alone!
Kathleen is a Care Partner Consultant and Certified Home Safety Specialist. She is a uniquely qualified professional with over 3 decades of experience as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant specializing in older adults. Kathleen’s mission is to improve the overall caregiving experience and optimize the well-being for both the care partner and recipient. She helps older adults and care partners navigate the oftentimes overwhelming and confusing journey of aging by providing support, guidance and solutions that help to calm the chaos, provide peace of mind and optimize healthy aging. Kathleen is a wife, mother of two adult children and “Bubby” to two amazing grandsons. She is the eldest daughter and long distance care partner of two fiercely independent parents.