Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Tom Hofmeister brings over thirty-five years of experience in founding and operating multiple successful business ventures. In 2007, Tom channeled his passion for elder care to become the visionary for the Living Well Lodges™ brand of Assisted Living and Memory Care communities. As the driving force behind Living Well Lodges™, Tom spearheaded every aspect of brand, from concept to architectural design and construction, business planning, marketing, corporate and cultural development to sales implementation. Under his leadership, Living Well Lodges successfully built the inaugural senior community, Osprey Lodge in Tavares, Florida, along with Cranes View Lodge in Clermont, Florida and Stuart Lodge in Stuart, Florida.
The heart and soul of Tom’s Lodge brand is creating beautiful communities where residents receive unparalleled care and opportunities to not only live, but thrive and connect with their community.
Today, Tom has built on the success of the Lodges with the formation of ElderFire Lodges™, a management and development team that manages all aspects of Assisted Living and Memory Care. As Founder and CEO of Elder Fire Lodges, LLC., his goal is to continue to open care homes across the United States providing a brand new culture of care that celebrates and empowers the elderly while providing a workplace environment that supports and enables staff to perform at their very best.
In addition to being on the Board of Directors for Florida Hospital Waterman, Tom enjoys mission work, having done so in Haiti, Guatamala, Mexico and Peru. He is a founding director of Lake Community Foundation and Florida Choice Bank of Florida, and was a member of Vistage International for over ten years. He is active in Rotary Club of Lake County Golden Triangle, First Presbyterian Church of Eustis, Friends of Good News, and other civic and non-profit organizations. Today Tom recognizes that all of his experiences have been preparing him for his calling to improve the life of elders. Tom and his wife, Dawn, have been married for 32 years, and have two adult children, Tracy and Bernie.
Board of Directors
Kevin Ahmadi is a senior executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience in post-acute healthcare. He possesses strong leadership ability, including highly effective turnaround skills, human resources management, financial management and teambuilding expertise. He is well known for establishing collaborative relationships with physicians, boards, and other community and business professionals. In addition, he is a very visible hands-on leader who develops excellent working relationships with management, staff, residents and families. Currently, he serves as Executive Director of Operations with Gulf Coast Village. Gulf Coast Village is a 28 year old non-profit continuing care retirement community with an annual budget of $26M with more than 400 employees. Gulf Coast Village is located on approximately 36 acres and consists of 156 independent living apartments, 80 assisted living apartments, 48 assisted living memory support apartments, 85 skilled nursing beds, Certified Home Health Agency, Outpatient Rehabilitation, and a Foundation. More recently the community became the first continuing care retirement community in the state of Florida to deliver a life care contract in a personal home. A full time resident of Cape Coral, Florida, Kevin originally came from the area of Cleveland, Ohio and graduated the University of Toledo with a degree in Healthcare Administration. Kevin enjoys playing and watching sports, gardening, reading, fishing and spending time with his wife of 16 years and his fourteen-year old son and thirteen-year old daughter.
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Administrative Officer
● For over thirty-five years Dawn has handled the day-to-day financial and business administation oversight of Elderfire Lodges’ current and past affiliates, and is CORE trained as a Licensed Assisted Living Facility Administrator in the State of Florida. Dawn earned her degree in Business Administration from Lake Sumter State College. Through her years working in the senior care, development and construction industries she has extensive experience in financial administration, accounting and account management, cost analysis, budgeting, auditing, human resources, systems organization and development, and software support. She is known for her strong attention to detail, and gracious, team-oriented approach to success. Elder care is a passion for Dawn, who is also a trainer of Registered pet therapy dogs. She takes her furry friends to visit elderly and sick patients in hospitals and nursing facilities, and will implement and manage the pet therapy component in all Elderfire communities.
Chief of Culinary Services
Chef Andy Williams is an award-winning, creative, business-minded culinary professional with proven success in the hospitality industry. He is a consummate professional whose experience has been driven by the successful opening of multiple, diverse hospitality properties throughout his career. A highly qualified and polished culinary professional, Chef Andy’s background has been influenced by working side by side with these great chefs: Chef Norman Van Aken, heralded as the “Father of Fusion Cuisine”, one of the only chefs in America to have won the James Beard Award, the Robert Mondavi Award, and the Food Arts Silver Spoon for lifetime achievement. Chef Mark Militello, James Beard Foundation “Best Chef of the South”. Chef Tim Anderson, Food and Wines Top Ten Chefs in America. Chef Oliver Saucy, Chef Charles Saunders and Chef Charlie Brown, all distinguished chefs in our industry. From September 2009 through August 2013 Chef Andy was a Culinary Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Florida, winning many awards and accolades from students and administration. In 2014 Chef Andy participated in the development and opening of Cranes View Lodge. He was instrumental in implementing cutting edge culinary procedures in menu development, and using locally sourced ingredients and wellness strategies executed throughout the lodge. Since 2000 Chef Andy has been operating his signature culinary arts company, specializing in private/personal chef services, private chef dining services, culinary consulting, and fueling performance athletes. He has also created a successful personal chef brand featuring customized and seasonal menus, locally-sourced organic foods, fair trade practices, and extraordinary customer service. Chef Andy has appeared at the famous James Beard House in New York City, as well as being recognized in national and local periodicals. Some of the notable restaurants that Chef Andy has developed and/or opened and operated include: Michael Jordan’s “23” Restaurant, Chapel Hill, NC - Executive Chef Hollywood Brown Derby, MGM/Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida - Specialty Chef Dakotah 624, Delray Beach, Florida - Executive Chef Sheraton Hotel’s “Moondance” Restaurant - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Mgr./Executive Chef Martha’s Tropical Grill, Hollywood, FL - Chef De Cuisine Stars and Stripes Restaurant, South Beach/ Miami, FL - Chef De Cuisine
Jennifer Dodd is the VP of Operations for Front Burner Brands, serving as VP of Operations for The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., a franchise system with more than 125 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Jennifer has enjoyed a seasoned career as an executive in the restaurant, retail, and education industries, defining her leadership brand through performance acceleration in operations and business development. Jennifer delivers profitable growth by empowering people, pursuing excellence, forging strategic partnerships and incorporating a vigorous problem-solving acumen. In addition, she has served the following industries throughout her consulting career: Hospitality, Restaurants, Senior Living, Education and Retail. Jennifer resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband of 32 years, Jesse. Jennifer was appointed as an advisory board member with Elderfire Lodges in April, 2017.
Healthcare Administrative Consultant
Dori Hanna has 15 years of experience as an LPN in the state of Florida. Eight of those years have been dedicated to geriatrics where her passions lie as a strong advocate for the elderly. As a Nurse Care Manager and Administrator, Dori has a combined 8 years of managerial experience in Assisted Living and Memory Care. She is CORE trained, ECC Certified and is certified in the state of Florida as an Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Trainer. Dori has been actively involved in ALF start-ups and has even developed her own library of policies and procedures. She worked for Brookdale Senior Living as an auditor for healthcare compliance for multiple facilities and has an ongoing record of deficiency free surveys.
Chief Marketing Officer
A graduate of The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, majoring in Advertising Design, Ray opened his own Advertising and Graphic Design Firm in 1984. Grayford Design, Inc offered clients a wide variety of services including; corporate design, brochure, collateral materials, publication ads and direct mail marketing. Additional services include product, sign and exhibit design including illustration and architectural renderings. Client list has included; Hospitals, Retirement Communities (Independent, Assisted Living & Skilled Nursing), Government Agencies, Physicians Offices, Residential & Commercial Developers, Land Planners, Realtors, Food and Botanical Ingredient Companies, Restaurants, Print Shops, and a variety of small businesses.
Ray enjoys a personal “hands on approach”, taking projects from the beginning to end which include, assessing sales and marketing options, branding, design, layout and print production and event planning. Working closely in association with other independent business partners, he also oversees the development of video, social and web media.
Social Media & Website
After 20 years of working in the non-profit world in the capacity of a social worker, Sue left to follow her passion. From the age of 12, she had made social commentary videos. In 2003, Sue formed a video production company and vowed to only focus on the positive by making videos that would bring about social change. In her first year of business she made a video for the American Cancer Society that won a "Gordy Award." She continues to make videos that highlight the good in people and their community. Her goal is to change the perception that seniors have nothing to give, and to show the beauty that lives within.
Today Wild Zebra Media produces video for the Internet, cable TV, social media, in-house TV "stations", personal documentaries and websites.
Research and Development
Mr. Hargroves began his professional career as a Realtor specializing in residential properties and vacant land. For close to a decade, he also served as a Construction Administrator and Real Estate Agent for Hofmeister Design & Construction, Inc., which designed and built high-end custom residential and boutique commercial properties. Known for his positive attitude and superior time management and multitasking skills, Kevin has a deep belief in the power of motivation, and the capacity of the human spirit to accomplish great things. These attitudes are known to positively influence co-workers and clients alike in achieving their goals and exceeding expectations. Kevin’s extensive real estate background, expertise in construction management, “can do” attitude and 25 years of experience in serving people has uniquely equipped him to excel in the area of Research & Development for Elderfire Lodges. Upon joining the Elderfire Lodges team, Kevin remarked: I can’t think of anything more rewarding than participating in changing the culture of elder care. What if my parents and following generations of elders could have the opportunity to fully engage in living out their dreams until the Good Lord is ready for them?
Cathy Jones began her career in the Hofmeister corporation’s architectural design department in 1996. She started out working on custom residential and commercial architectural drafting and design, then transitioned to the architectural development of Assisted Living and Memory Care facilities for Elderfire Lodges. Today she is Elderfire’s Director of Architectural Development. Cathy’s education includes a B.A. from The University of Missouri at Kansas City, and a Certificate in Architectural Drafting and Design from Lake Technical College. She has extensive knowledge in AutoCad architectural plan creation and interacts with Architects, Designers, Engineers, Contractors and Project Managers. She is excited to work with a team that wants to make positive changes to the elder care industry especially the place they call home.