The VTI Board of Trustees is an 11-member body that meets quarterly, normally by teleconferencing since we are spread out over 9 time zones and two continents. The Board is responsible for long-range planning and problem solving. Board members come from the health, education, technology and marketing sectors. Currently the board is made up of five women and six men from the U.S., Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Board members do not receive remuneration their work.
Frances S. Bulloff, Board President
Fran is retired from a career in teaching college level English and practicing law. Her legal specialty areas were Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability, primarily representing injured workers as an attorney with the law firm of Weiner & Suit, Co. L.P.A. She previously taught basic writing courses at Cleveland State University, Lakeland Community College, and Cuyahoga Community College. Fran joined the Board of the Validation Training Institute in 1989. Currently she serves as its President. In addition to her service to VTI, Fran is an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau and an active volunteer serving various charitable and philanthropic causes in Cleveland, Ohio. Fran received her BA with High Distinction in English from the University of Michigan (1970), her MA in English from Cleveland State University (1972), and her JD cum laude from Cleveland State University (1978).
Kevin Carlin, MS, Board Treasurer
Kevin is Principal and Chief Sales and Culture Officer of Meridian Senior Living. He is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Meridian’s national sales, marketing, and culture development. He is the creator and owner of The WOW! Experience which is a registered Culture and Sales Training system currently used in the United States and China. In addition to driving sales and marketing programs, Kevin is responsible for branding, public relations, market research, and sales training. He brings over two decades of experience in the Senior Living Industry as an owner operator, consultant, Executive Director, Regional Director of Operations, Divisional Director and Vice President for one of the largest Senior Living providers in the Country. Kevin served on the Board of the Utah Assisted Living Association for 4 years and was involved in the rewrite of the Assisted Living Regulations that govern the industry in Utah today. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and German as well as a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from the University of Utah.
His professional affiliations include the Gerontological Society of America, American Society of Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association and he sits on the Board of Directors for Caring.com. He first learned of Naomi Feil’s Validation method while studying at the University of Utah and has actively had Naomi teaching workshops for his caregivers all over the U.S and now in China for the past 7 years.
Edward G. Feil, Ph.D., Secretary
Edward handles many of the organization’s technology issues and research efforts. He currently lives in Oregon.
Ed has a PhD from the University of Oregon, a B.A from University of Michigan. He is an educational psychologist and Senior Research Scientist at Oregon Research Institute. His research has focused on early childhood and incorporating internet technology into the delivery of evidence-based interventions to hard to reach populations. Ed is the son of Naomi Feil and following in the footsteps of his father Edward R. Feil creating new videos for the Validation Training Institute.
Rita Altman, MSN, RN, CVM
Rita Altman, M.S.N., R.N., C.V.M., is senior vice president of Memory Care and Program Services for Sunrise Senior Living where she uses the latest evidence-based research to design and oversee the implementation of their memory care and assisted living programs. She earned her B.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania, and Master of Nursing Science degree, in Nursing Leadership and Management from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She has more than 35 years of nursing experience which includes nursing education, staff development training, intergenerational programming, and management in childcare, adult day care, assisted living and skilled nursing settings.
Rita is one of thirteen Validation Masters worldwide, and studied under Naomi Feil, who developed the Validation Method. She has presented nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor on topics related to senior care and memory loss such as Sunrise Senior Living’s Ask Rita blog and Senior Podcasts. A former regular contributor to the Huffington Post, she has appeared on “The Doctors,” contributed to HBO’s Alzheimer’s Project and been quoted in The New York Times, Kaiser Health News, and other publications.
Rita volunteers her time to educate and advocate for improved dementia care services and quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s disease. She is a board member of the Validation Training Institute (VTI), founding board member of the North American Validation Association, forum delegate for the International Council of Active Aging, member of Argentum’s Memory Care Roundtable, and a member of Alzheimer’s Dementia Care Provider Roundtable.
Molly Balunek, CFP®, AEP®Molly Balunek has practiced as an advocate for successful financial management for over 24 years. She is passionate about helping people take charge of their personal finances. She believes that financial planning is much more than reviewing a balance sheet, tax returns and brokerage statements, and that asset management is much more than meeting a benchmark rate of return.
Molly has found that striving to help clients make smart money decisions begins with building a foundation based on an understanding of what truly motivates each client and the individual core values and beliefs which drive their goals. She founded Laurel Tree Advisors with the belief that there is a growing need for values-based financial planning for people who seek financial freedom.
She is frequently invited to present and comment on personal finance and has been quoted in various publications, including Newsweek, Investment News, and the Akron Beacon Journal. In 2019, she served as an Ambassador at the FPA NextGen Gathering conference. In the community, Molly serves on the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Molly and her family volunteer as puppy raisers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Raisers care for the puppies and equip them with the skills they need to prepare for guide dog training.
Molly enjoys nature and travel with her husband, Peter, and their two daughters, Emma and Sophia.
Charles De VilmorinCharles de Vilmorin is the CEO and Co-founder of Linked Senior, Inc, the leading resident engagement platform for senior care based in Washington, DC. He holds a Master’s Degree in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University, and a Master’s Degree in International Management from Dauphine University, Paris.
Hedwig NeuHedwig has been a board member since 2008. She is a Validation Master and representative of one of the three AVOs in Germany, Authorized Center for Validation at Diakonissen Speyer. Hedwig is VTI representative to the European Validation Association (EVA). In this function, she relates VTI activities to EVA at their annual meetings and brings information from those meetings to the VTI Board.
Mariska PraktiekMariska Praktiek works as Manager Internal Communications Functions at Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with an average of 86,000 employees in more than 70 countries. She has been with Shell for over ten years, working in various global communications roles, coaching leaders in their communications with staff and managing special projects like internal reorganizations, outsourcing, acquisitions and employee behavior change. Before this, she has held international communications roles at financial services company CMC Markets plc in London, United Kingdom, oil & gas company OMV Aktiengesellschaft in Vienna, Austria, insurance company The Medical Defence Union and IT company Systems Union, both in London, United Kingdom. She is currently based in The Hague, The Netherlands. Mariska has a Master’s Degree in Business Economics and also trained as a Pilates teacher.
Rudolf RodenburgRudolf is an independent brand and marketing strategy consultant. He works with marketing, communication, digital and HR teams to define and sharpen brands in response to changing market conditions. He works on corporate brands, as well as packaged goods and service brands. 10 years in London taught him how to deliver a clear, insight-based and multi-faceted brand identity, developed cross-functionally, that acts like a hub for marketing, content and communication. The result: internally an aligned, digitally enabled and motivated workforce – externally a differentiating, authentic and relevant user experience along a seamless customer journey.
Rudolf has worked for companies like British Airways, Nestle, Credit Suisse and Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical. He has lived and worked in London, Hamburg, Vienna, Innsbruck and Zurich and is currently dividing his time between Zurich, The Hague and New York.
Harvey L. Sterns, PHDProfessor Emeritus of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology at The University of Akron. He is also a Research Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. He is a faculty member in the Psychology of Adult Development and Aging and Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate programs` and chairs the specialization in Industrial Gerontological Psychology. He has served on the Board of the Validation Training Institute since the 1980’s and has served as a consultant on curriculum and research.
Currently he is serving as Chair of the Research Committee and Member of the Executive Committee. He is a licensed psychologist in Ohio and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the Ohio Academy of Science. He has served as president of the following organizations: Division 20 Adult Development and Aging of the American Psychological Association., Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Sigma Phi Omega National Academic and Professional Society in Gerontology, Ohio Network of Educational Consultants in the Field Of Aging, Jewish Family Service, Akron, Mature Services, Inc. and serves as Chair of the City of Akron Commission on Aging to the Mayor and City Council.
He was a Board of Trustee Member of the American Society on Aging, and Advocacy and Protective Services, Inc. Currently he is a Emeritus Board of Trustee Member of the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education. He is President of the Board of Governors, Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council. He is Vice President of Business Development for Creative Action, LLC.