Mitchell W. Warren, Chairman, CEO, and Co-owner of Autumn Leaves provides vision and drive, while focusing on overall corporate strategy, leadership development, diversification, long-term planning, and overseeing the creation of the company goals and budgets. Mitchell also spends much of his time working with and building relationships with the residents, residents’ families, and staff at the company’s communities. With over 15 years of experience in the senior living business, he has been instrumental in Autumn Leaves' growth and success.
Always having a passion to help others and explore new opportunities, Mitchell joined Autumn Leaves on a part time basis in 2000 as a Project Manager. He helped oversee several of the company’s initial senior living projects. In 2003, he started full time as Vice President of Development, where he helped found the design, development, and construction divisions of the company, and created and drove the business model for expanding the Autumn Leaves® Memory Care Assisted Living brand. Since then, the company has set itself apart as a leader in memory care, dedicated to providing the highest quality care and home-like atmosphere to seniors with all types of dementia.
In 2008, Mitchell became Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of Autumn Leaves. While managing the smart growth of the company, Mitchell continues to follow the founding principles of always putting the resident first, along with a strongly built foundation of hiring excellent people and implementing successful systems and processes. Throughout his career, Mitchell has worked in nearly all of the company’s corporate and community positions, gaining valuable experience and insight. Under Mitchell’s leadership, Autumn Leaves has grown from 1 to over 50 properties located in 9 states including Florida, Kansas, South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin; while maintaining an impeccable track record.
Mitchell graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of arts degree in political science (and additional concentrations in electrical engineering, business, and technical theater). Mitchell is very involved as a business, church, and community leader. He serves as a committee member at Las Colinas Country Club, a member of the CEO Advisory Board at Argentum, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), and a deacon and life group host at GracePoint Church Coppell.
Mitchell, his wife Kelli, and their three children reside in Coppell,Texas.
Mitch can be reached at 214-845-4550 or at Mitch@AutumnLeaves.com.
Jessica Akaah serves as Autumn Leaves’ Vice-Chairman with responsibility for ensuring the company remains focused on our mission and core values. She joined the company in 2007, opening the first Autumn Leaves community in the Chicagoland area, and served as Executive Director of Autumn Leaves of Vernon Hills for two years. With the company’s tremendous growth, she was promoted to Regional Director of Operations for the Midwest. She then progressed through several executive leadership roles before being elected Vice-Chairman in 2017.
Prior to joining Autumn Leaves, Jessica was a social worker for Thresholds in Chicago, a nonprofit organization providing healthcare and housing for the mentally ill. She also supervised two safe haven programs at the organization. She began her career as an outreach worker serving Chicago-area homeless and mentally ill clients.
Jessica is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and an active member of the Life Services Network of Illinois. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in social work from Michigan State University and her master of arts degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago.
John Barbee was named President of Autumn Leaves in January 2017, bringing more than a decade of experience with senior assisted living operations and 30 years in real estate development and construction. Since joining the Company in 2006, he has opened 45 Autumn Leaves communities, leading all aspects – from development, capitalization, and design through construction, operations, management, and marketing. He is both an experienced operator and entrepreneur, and is instrumental in the company’s growth and rise as an industry leader in standalone memory care.
As President, John leads the Company’s Management division, which entails execution of Autumn Leaves' strategic business and financial partnerships, as well as oversight of all community operations, including clinical quality, health and wellness programs, and hospitality. He also continues to oversee the Company’s Real Estate Development, Construction, and Design divisions and provides organizational leadership across the company as a member of the Executive Leadership Team.
Prior to his promotion to President, John served as Executive Vice President of Real Estate, Vice President of Design and Development, and Vice President of Construction.
From 1986 until joining Autumn Leaves, John was a business owner and general contractor, specializing in both commercial and high-end residential projects. His commercial projects included over 30 renovations, additions, and new builds at mid-tier and upscale hotels, retail strip malls, and office buildings.
Since 1999 and prior to coming on board at Autumn Leaves, John was president of Barbee Enterprises, providing commercial general contracting and custom home building services. The company’s commercial projects included medical/office plazas and professional buildings, and its customers included the City of Terrell, Texas; and Trinity Valley Community College. John attended Taft Community College in California and Steven F. Austin State University.
Bob Bezzant is Vice President of Finance and Asset Management. He has responsibility for overseeing investor and lender relations and reporting, as well as asset management for Autumn Leaves’ 40+ memory care assisted living communities. With a 30-year career in the senior living industry, Bob has extensive and broad experience in finance and operations, served as VP of asset management for Aureus Group; regional VP of operations for both Marriott Senior Living Services and Forum Group; and as VP of operations for Retirement Corporation of America.
A certified public accountant, Bob earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting and finance at the University of Utah. He joined Autumn Leaves in 2011.
Schekesia Meadough, BSN, RN, CDP, is Vice President of Health and Wellness. In this clinical role, Schekesia is responsible for establishing and directing nursing services for 40+ Autumn Leaves communities nationwide. Her role involves strategic planning to ensure seamless delivery of comprehensive, coordinated health services for Autumn Leaves residents. This includes development and implementation of training of the health care team across the organization, as well as review and evaluation of nursing protocols and administrative procedures.
Schekesia joined Autumn Leaves in 2015 as a regional director of healthcare, bringing more than two decades of experience in both clinical practice and education. Her prior assignments include nurse surveyor for Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS); regional program director and faculty member for Kaplan Higher Education; and evaluator for the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). She began her career as an emergency room/trauma nurse at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center and other Houston-area hospitals.
A registered nurse, Schekesia holds both a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree in nursing. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in clinical nursing education.
Tracy is Vice President of Innovation and Information Technology, overseeing the development and implementation of technology strategies for Autumn Leaves. Over the last two decades, he has held key strategic roles, including Chief Information Officer for a national medical products company and as Director for a leading digital transformation consulting firm serving Global 2000 and enterprise customers.
Tracy earned his master of business administration degree from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin with a focus on information management. He received his bachelor of business administration degree from Eastern New Mexico University.
Karon Porter is Vice President of Sales, responsible for development and management of the Autumn Leaves sales program, including sales team coaching and training. She also serves in a prominent consultative role in operations and investor relations.
Karon joins Autumn Leaves with 30-plus years of experience in marketing and managing senior living communities. Having worked for Brookdale, Sagora Senior Living, Senior Lifestyle Corporation, and other national and regional providers, her knowledge spans the care continuum from memory care and skilled nursing to independent and assisted living, including CCRC communities.
Karon holds certifications in both sales training and public speaking.
Barbara Lee is Vice President of People, responsible for aligning Autumn Leaves human resources programs with short- and long-term business strategies. In leading the company’s recruiting and training teams, she oversees workforce planning and management, talent acquisition, on-boarding, competency development, leadership development, and succession planning.
Barbara brings more than 25 years of HR experience in diverse industries to her role. She is a former Vice President of Human Resources for Aegis Communications Group, Xerox, and K. Hovnanian Homes. She also served as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Dallas, where she was responsible for developing program content and facilitating course instruction.
Barbara earned a master’s degree in educational HR development at Texas A&M University, and a bachelor’s degree in personnel administration from Lamar University.
Scott Chrimes is Autumn Leaves’ Associate Vice President, Controller, and Treasurer, with responsibility for all aspects of the Company’s accounting functions, including cash management, reporting, budgeting, and tax planning. While providing oversight of internal controls to ensure compliance with accounting rules and overall efficient financial operations, he also provides counsel to executive leadership regarding financing, re-capitalizations, and investments.
Scott brings extensive financial and accountancy experience to the Company. For 26 years, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Controller for Lattimore Materials Company, a privately owned investment firm comprised of multiple partnerships, trusts, and real estate holdings in Texas and Mexico. Prior to his tenure at Lattimore, he served as Controller at Valley View Holdings and in financial leadership for various other industries.
Scott is a certified public accountant. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from the University of North Texas. Scott joined Autumn Leaves in April 2018.
As Associate Vice President of Hospitality, Bobby Jeffrey oversees all aspects of culinary and hospitality services for Autumn Leaves. This includes innovative menu planning to meet/exceed dietary and nutritional standards; budget development; and selection and management of food and equipment suppliers across the country. He is also responsible for training in-market culinary teams, as well as providing operational oversight for our regional maintenance teams.
As a chef, he is equally accomplished and creative, with a special flair for the art of presentation. Bobby is known to dine with residents and families, listen to their requests and suggestions, and introduce special dishes and new takes on regional cuisines.
Bobby’s lifelong love of the culinary arts began in his family’s kitchen, where he observed and helped his chef-mother from a very young age. As a teen, his first job was a cook at Luby’s, during which time he earned his degree in hotel and restaurant management. He subsequently studied at the Culinary Institute of America. His nearly four-decade career includes an apprenticeship at Sodexho Marriott, as well as many culinary positions throughout the hotel and health care industries.
Bobby joined Autumn Leaves in 2004. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Texas Chefs Association, Argentum’s Chef Roundtable, and Intalere.
Stacie Herlihy serves as Associate General Counsel with responsibility for all legal functions for Autumn Leaves. She joined Autumn Leaves in 2015, having previously served as in-house counsel for a Dallas-based employee benefits firm.
An attorney since 2005, Stacie earned her juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University.
Stacie also currently serves on the board of directors for Plano Community Home, a nonprofit group that manages residential communities for low-income seniors.