MorningStar Senior Living is a leading developer, owner and operator
of premier communities
Our portfolio encompasses 40+ communities in operation or under development representing 5,000+ units with an ownership interest in the majority. Whether for a new build, acquisition or turnaround property, MorningStar consistently delivers operating margins above industry norms and exceptional overall returns to investors and partners.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, MorningStar executives support local operations with a significant degree of touch and an array of centralized resources for its geographic footprint in the western half of the U.S. (Find Your MorningStar). Offering independent living, assisted living and memory care, MorningStar is privileged to elevate life for those who taught the rest of us how to live.
In pursuit of excellence, MorningStar resolves to be a company of
servant-minded, purpose-driven leaders in our senior communities and throughout the world.
7555 E HAMPDEN AVE, SUITE 501 | DENVER, COLORADO 80231
PHONE: 303.750.5522 | FAX: 303.750.3376
Ken Jaeger founded MorningStar Senior Living on a basic, but profound truth: to honor God in all aspects of our business practices and relationships, which transcends to a superior quality of life for MorningStar’s residents. With a principled approach and adherence to our original mission, MorningStar has enjoyed prodigious growth since inception. As a reflection of that success, Ken was named a recipient of the prestigious EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 award in the Mountain Desert region in the Healthcare and Lifesciences category.
Ken brings over 35 years of operational experience in the senior living industry, including successful startups, acquisitions, turnaround of distressed properties and multi-site leadership. Earlier in his career, he held executive level positions where he was responsible for operating 50 communities in the western United States. From 1998 to 2002, Ken served as VP of Operations for Sunrise Senior Living, where he was responsible for the successful startup of 17 new communities. Read More
Heavily involved in serving the poor around the world, he has given much of his time and resources over the last twelve years to building, funding and serving at an orphanage in Nicaragua and in providing clean drinking water in Ethiopia and other African countries. Read more at Serving Globally. Ken attended University of Minnesota at Moorhead where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Care.
Matt Turner and Ken Jaeger were drawn to each other as business partners as much by their complementary skills in senior care as by their shared calling to serve the poor in developing nations. (More on that at www.morningstarseniorliving.com/foundation)
Their united efforts have propelled MorningStar to national prominence as a brand that is successfully blending margin and mission. The platform has become a fully integrated developer, owner and operator of first-class senior living communities.
Today Matt serves as Managing Partner of MorningStar and Ovation, MorningStar’s affiliated real estate investment and development arm, which he founded in 2011. Under his leadership, the portfolio has grown to over 30 properties in the western half of the U.S., comprising over 4,000 units for independent and assisted living and memory care. Read More
Before joining MorningStar, Matt held various positions in private equity, real estate development and consulting, beginning his career with Arthur Andersen and Deloitte. He is a certified public accountant (inactive), and completed undergraduate and graduate studies in accounting and business.
Matt invests time in several non-profit boards, including ACE Scholarships and Denver Institute for Faith and Work. He was selected in 2018 as one of Denver’s “40 under 40” by The Denver Business Journal and as a “Senior Living Leader under 40” by Argentum. He is an active member of the Colorado Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a graduate of the Leadership Denver program.
As Chief Operating Officer, Steve Martin brings to MorningStar 36 years of experience in senior housing and long-term care. Through executive positions with several major brands Steve has proven himself to be a creative, culture-driven leader, recognized for superior performance in functional management, increased sales, operating income, market penetration and customer service.
Steve speaks to his underlying motivation: “Boyhood summers were spent with my grandparents in East Tennessee. My deep admiration and love for “Mamaw” and “Papaw” was formative not only of my character but of my life’s work. In college I sealed my professional path on discovering a new program in the School of Business for Long-Term Care Administration, the first of its kind in the nation. Read More
Following graduation from Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga, TN, Steve entered his chosen field, promoting through the ranks of Apple Healthcare in Atlanta to become Regional Director of Operations. Three years later he joined Laing Properties as Director of Senior Housing, managing communities throughout the Southeast. For Atria Senior Living he served as Regional Director of the Southeast Division, moving on to Alterra Healthcare as Senior Regional Director of Operations.
In 2001 he began a 19-year journey with Brookdale as Senior VP of Regional Operations, overseeing 90 communities. Over the last few years he served as COO for Harmony Senior Services in Charleston, SC, leading operations for 42 communities, and as Chief of Strategic Growth for ProsperCare, proprietary software focused on recruiting in senior care.
Of the population he strives to serve, Steve remarks, “Seniors teach me wisdom to pray and carefully weigh important decisions; to listen more than you speak; and to seek understanding of other’s opinions and ideas.” And of colleagues he strives to lead, “I work diligently to embody the qualities essential to team-building: a tenacious spirit, a servant’s heart, and a contagious energy that builds a fun and supportive workplace.”
Steve was powerfully drawn to MorningStar on seeing its guiding principle is based on honoring God. “People need to be supported and coached in how to be successful. That success is made possible only in a culture-rich environment where servant-leaders model the Golden Rule of treating others the way you would want to be treated.”
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Eric Spencer offers this on his calling to serve, “Seniors have mentored me throughout my life, helping me in times of need with critical decisions. Carrying their words of wisdom, I’ve replayed them in my mind when seeking the best path. My Grandmother Jocelyn was an inspiration in many ways by her modeling of how to give, love and connect with others. She put a lot of energy into keeping our family close, which returned great joy to her and everyone around her. Mine is a deep respect and strong connection with seniors. I’m honored to be in a position that serves them through giving back.”
Eric’s career in finance and accounting spans over 25 years. Early in his career, at Great West Life, he led a financial analysis team that identified and corrected system issues that impacted clients group health insurance plans. Next, he served as Assistant VP of Budgeting and Forecasting and as Assistant Controller for GMAC/CapMark which ranked #3 on the Fortune 500. There, Eric performed modeling and forecasting within its real estate investment banking division. Read More
As Manager of Accounting for AIMCO, a Fortune 100 company in the REIT sector, Eric handled the complex accounting for over $2 Billion of dispositions and other transactions such as acquisitions, tenders, mergers and 1031 exchanges. In subsequent years he served as VP of Finance and Accounting for a private equity firm with assets of $400MM in gross value and $50MM in annual revenue. As Senior VP and Controller of a residential mortgage loan servicer, Eric oversaw the accounting and finance departments with a staff of 25. His last position was CFO of SALT Lending, a FinTech company offering innovative blockchain-backed lending solutions and products.
Eric was drawn to MorningStar Senior Living by its alignment in mission and purpose. “MorningStar’s core values echo through its halls, reminding and guiding the team in our joint calling. These principles build and perpetuate a healthy culture that extends far beyond simple profitability measurements.” For Eric, there is pride in being a part of a company that understands the importance of seniors living their years in a community filled with loving care, security, warmth and fun.
He earned a BA in economics at Rutgers University and an MBA at the University of Louisville, and holds an active Colorado CPA license.
CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER
Chris Livesay joined MorningStar in January 2020 as VP of Human Resources, becoming Chief HR Officer in April 2023. Remarks Chris, “MorningStar leadership is clear in its shared vision and mission, making this a culture where we’re encouraged to live by our Core Values: love, kindness, honesty, goodness, fairness and respect.
An accomplished and impassioned professional, Chris has worked in his chosen field since 2001, managing the many facets of human resources for companies with upwards of 50,000 employees. Among them have been nonprofits and property management firms with multi-state operations. For a year he was Director of HR for PreCare, engaged in the design of safe workplaces, then investing another two years as Regional HR Director for a large hospice. For five years Chris was HR Director for PASCO, a home healthcare company with 1700 employees. Read More
“In that time,” says Chris, “I’ve seen that success is almost always rooted in good people aligned toward a common goal. I feel blessed to help with those initiatives at MorningStar, where the common goal is loving and caring for seniors. The beauty of serving is not just what you give but what you receive in exchange. Nothing brings me more joy than being in a community and sharing a meaningful moment with residents. Their wisdom, perspective and authenticity inspire me.”
Chris’ best childhood memories trace back to Grandma Bea. “As a boy, I thought every grandparent was like her, only later realizing I’d won the lottery. She modeled how to love and serve God, how to be silly, how to treat others, how to write a letter…and how to be a gracious loser at Checkers.”
At MorningStar, Chris has implemented tools and systems to increase HR and community efficiencies with recruiting, screening and onboarding a high volume of candidates; developed KPIs to align HR operations and measure healthy personnel functions; restructured the HR department to support rapid growth patterns; and redesigned comprehensive benefit plans.
His undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership was earned at Purdue University with a Master’s of Divinity from Denver Seminary. He is a certified Senior Professional In Human Resources (SPHR).
CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER
Brandon Lesniak joined MorningStar as Senior VP of Investments in 2017 and in 2022 he was promoted to Chief Investment Officer. In his nearly 20-year Senior Living career, he’s operated and/or managed over $5 billion of real estate assets, 500+ communities and 50+ developments across the US. Over his career, he’s lead development, acquisitions, capital structuring, underwriting and asset management.
“I want to be a part of something that’s more than a thriving business enterprise. My personal values insist upon it, and MorningStar is on such a course. Our values are more than just words, our authenticity and integrity are at the root of what we do, and our faith and actions are there for all to see. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far together and I’m proud to work alongside a team that’s committed to hold ourselves to the highest standard. Read More
His introduction to senior living started with HCR-ManorCare working in marketing and operations at the communities before expanding to a regional role throughout the Midwest. “While I enjoyed the business model of post-acute and long-term care, what impacted me the most was seeing the goodness of people, caregivers going above and beyond to do the right thing and become family to the residents. That was inspiring. I knew this was where I wanted to invest my own skills.”
Brandon then joined Welltower (formerly Healthcare REIT) as Vice President of Investments where he led a team from underwriting through asset management resulting in $3 billion of real estate assets and 400+ properties over a five-year span. The following two years Brandon served as Vice President for PNC Real Estate, and prior to joining MorningStar, Brandon served as Senior Vice President of Senior Living and Healthcare for Kirco. Brandon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Michigan State University and earned an MBA from the University of Detroit–Mercy.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES
As Executive VP of Sales Javi Arceneaux is responsible for driving sales strategy and growth initiatives, leveraging 15 years in senior housing sales and operations, real estate, project management, financial analysis, asset management and business development. Throughout her career, Javi has demonstrated a keen ability to build and lead high-performance teams whose solid strategic performance drives revenue, increases market share and improves profitability.
With positive intensity and a dynamic style, she approaches challenges head-on and leads with heart. The exceptional results of her teams are a credit to Javi’s analytical skills rooted in a focus on healthy, collaborative culture. Read More
Before joining MorningStar, Javi held executive roles at several leading brands including Atria, Holiday and Sunrise. At each she was instrumental in driving revenue growth and improving sales operations. She cut her teeth as a local Director of Community Relations for Sunrise Senior Living, where she first experienced the joy of senior advocacy through exceptional customer service and dedication to helping older adults live better. As a Regional Director of Sales and Operations at Holiday Retirement, Javi supported teams that won awards for outstanding growth and performance. She also served variously as Regional Director of Sales, Regional Director of Operations, Vice President and Senior Vice President, scaling her portfolio from 12 communities to over 150.
Javi graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Political Science, later receiving an Executive MBA with a focus on Strategic Planning from Golden Gate University. She is committed to continuing education and has received certification from Cornell University in Asset Management. She also holds an RCFE license from the State of California.
One of the reasons Javi was drawn to MorningStar is its commitment to supporting the Casa Bernabe orphanage in Nicaragua, where she was born before immigrating to the U.S. at two years old. Javi is an enthused volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry and with Cake 4 Kids, baking designer cakes for children living in shelters and foster care. “I’m strongly committed to giving back in thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me.”
MELISSA CLEMENT, RN, MSN
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF WELLNESS
Melissa Clement traces her calling to serve seniors to the grandparents who figured large in her girlhood in small town Nebraska. In high school, Melissa became a certified nurse aide, soaking up more of the wisdom seniors have to offer. “Through the years they have taught me the importance of relationships, to never take a moment for granted, to embrace the days.”
Melissa joined MorningStar in 2020 with proven executive leadership in project management, staffing, budgeting and finance, team building, strategic planning and decision making. She reflects, “I was drawn by the company’s core values and its emphasis on servant-leadership. Ours is such a collaborative team, always looking for the next opportunity to improve.”
First as a Regional, now as Senior Vice President, Melissa engages in multi-state oversight of clinical programs, works with risk management to strengthen resident outcomes, implements QAPI programs and coaches a growing team of nurses and care managers in 11 states. Read More
Skilled and dedicated in regulatory compliance, Melissa has led our communities through countless (often deficiency-free) surveys. She is passionate about elevating clinical training and education, and advancing MorningStar’s wellness initiatives.
The early years of her career were invested in large hospital settings before transitioning to senior care in 2018. Melissa is a member of the Colorado Health Care Association, Assisted Living Nursing Association, Colorado State Nursing Association and American Nurses Association. For the last eight years, she has found satisfaction in volunteering with YHC Clinic, a free public health center in Metro Denver.
Melissa earned her BSN degree from Platt College School of Nursing, three years later earning a Master’s in Nursing Leadership from Grand Canyon University. She is a certified dementia practitioner.
“Every once in a while I get to work with and meet people who have something very special and very right going on. There is a tone here at MorningStar and you can feel it. I want to congratulate you for that, and encourage you to move forward. And keep doing it.”
– Dr. Nathan Mellor, Strata Leadership
7555 E HAMPDEN AVE, SUITE 501 | DENVER, COLORADO 80231
PHONE: 303.750.5522 | FAX: 303.750.3376