Lisa Newcomb, Executive Director
Lisa Newcomb joined ESAAL in 1986 as the Association’s director of member services, growing the size of the Association by enhancing membership value through personalized customer service and the development of high quality and cost saving member programs. Lisa has been the Empire State Association’s Executive Director since 1998. In that capacity, she represents the Association and its members by serving as an appointee on the Adult Care Facility/Assisted Living Residence Task Force created as part of the 2004 Assisted Living Reform Act. She also participates in numerous other Department of Health workgroups and committees designed to address assisted living and home care topics.
Karen Thornton, Director of Member Services
In December 2016, ESAAL welcomed Karen Thornton as Director of Member Services. Karen is responsible for assisting members with day-to-day Adult Care Facility and Assisted Living operational questions as well as navigating the Health Commerce System. In addition, she will coordinate the NYS Department of Health – ESAAL Emergency Preparedness grant initiatives. Karen has extensive experience in not-for-profit association management in the aging services sector as well as many years in fundraising and development for not-for-profits.
Cara Groff, CMP, Event Coordinator
Cara joined the ESAAL staff in February 2017 as the Event Coordinator and is responsible for organizing the annual conference, including sponsorships & exhibitors, as well as other meetings & conferences. Cara brings many years of meeting and conference planning experience from the hotel industry. She comes to ESAAL most recently as the Director of Sales at the Park Manor Hotel in Clifton Park, NY where she was responsible for all aspects of booking and coordinating group events. Previous to Park Manor, Cara was the Event Coordinator/Conference Services Manager at the Courtyard by Marriott & Excelsior Springs in Saratoga Springs, NY for twelve years. In 2018, she earned the CMP credential. The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the meeting, convention, exhibition, and event industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education, and a rigorous exam.
Jim Kane, Finance Coordinator
Jim joined ESAAL
in 2018 and is a former owner/operator of Adirondack Manor, comprised of six
residences in upstate NY. Jim has 34 years as an operator in assisted living, an
accounting background and is ESAALs former board president and treasurer.