About the Society of Certified Senior Advisors

About the Society of Certified Senior Advisors
About the Society of Certified Senior Advisors

CSA Journal Board

The award-winning CSA Journal is the leading professional publication in the senior market focusing on critical issues for aging adults. This academic journal offers articles on the latest trends in aging in the areas of health, social, legal, finance and ethics. Meet the members of the CSA Journal Board:

Kelly O’Connor, MA, CDP, CPRS, CSA - Chair

Kelly O ConnorKelly O’Connor is an elder care consultant based in Denver, Colorado. For most of her 20s, Kelly cared for older and ailing family members and was responsible for making critical healthcare and estate decisions during a time of crisis. She worked in almost every area of the senior care field - independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, hospice and home care – before starting her consulting agency in 2015, Senior Care Authority Denver Metro, which Kelly is the founder of. To date, she has supported more than 1,000 families with moves and transitions. Kelly's dedication to elders and their families is paramount in her life.

She holds a master's degree in Spiritual Psychology and a Professional Advancement Certification in Gerontology. She also received her Certified Senior Advisor designation and is a Certified Eden Associate with the Eden Alternative, an international organization dedicated to transforming how nursing homes operate worldwide. In addition, she is a graduate of the Masterpiece Living Academy for Successful Aging and completed associate training through Naomi Feil’s Validation Training Institute. Kelly is a former board member of the Society for Certified Senior Advisors Denver Leaders Network, the Senior Coalitions, and is a founding member of the National Placement and Referral Alliance’s Denver Chapter. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and one of the first Certified Placement and Referral Specialists in the country. Contributing to her field nationally, she served on a task force to design the first certification program for senior living placement agents across the country. In 2017, she was honored with the Young Professional in Aging award for the state by the Colorado Gerontological Society, and in 2019, the Unsung Heroes Foundation’s Woman of the Year.

John Alagood, PhD, CSA, CPRS

John AlagoodJohn is a gerontologist specializing in senior living decisions and enhancing quality of life in later years.

As owner of Senior Care Authority in Dallas - Fort Worth, he leads a dedicated team empowering families to make informed, courageous decisions regarding senior living and care.

In his role as an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration at Texas Woman's University College of Business, he is passionate about educating and inspiring the next generation of healthcare leaders. I bring real-world issues into the classroom, connecting theory with practice.

His research explores aging-driven residential transitions, senior living choices, and the burgeoning senior placement industry, with a focus on creating actionable strategies to improve the senior living experience.

With over 20 years of business experience spanning crisis management and consulting, John’s had the privilege of working with more than 100 diverse entities across four continents, enhancing organizational resilience and strategic decision-making.

Melinda Caughill, CSA

Melinda CaughillIn her companies, 65 Incorporated and i65, Melinda strives to help people with Medicare – a very confusing and complex program. Just one Medicare mistake can cost a person hundreds – even thousands – of dollars out-of-pocket and follow a person for life. Her team provides Medicare guidance through pay-per-use software tools and fee-for-service one-on-one consultations. Unlike other resources, 65 Incorporated and i65 are NOT affiliated with insurance companies or the sale of insurance products. They work directly for their clients and their guidance is always in the client’s best interest.

John D. Frenzel, CSA, CFP, SRES, CLTC, CMFC

John D. FrenzelSkip Frenzel, owner of Agape Long Term Care, is a Realtor (SRES), a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Generational Housing Specialist who works in the senior market with a focus on helping realtors and sharing his knowledge of long term care.

Since getting his real estate license in 1977 and broker’s license in 1979, Skip has been a realtor with the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (formerly San Jose Real Estate Board). During that time, he worked for Stevens Creek Realty. Now owning a brokerage, Agape Real Estate, he does referral business only.

In 1992 Skip became a Certified Financial Planner, obtained his securities licenses, and received his life insurance license allowing him to sell Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) and annuities and sell CA Partnership LTCI. Skip worked with Reinhard, Werba, Bowen of San Jose and later with Royal Alliance Associates, part of AIG Group. He left Royal Alliance in 2007 to start his own business, Agape Long Term Care, specializing in services to seniors, realtors, and providing service in Long Term Care (LTC).

Through planning, education and consulting, Skip works with a team of professionals to help realtors assist their senior clients and the children of these clients with senior related problems. Skip is an instructor for the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation and shares his expertise through volunteer and advocacy work with a variety of organizations. Through his specialties as an SRES teacher, a CSA, and a CFP, he brings a broad range of knowledge to realtors.

Born in Waynesboro, PA, Skip attended the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Aerospace Engineering, moved to California in 1970 and graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Meteorology and an Aerospace minor. He was hired by The Flying Tiger Line in 1978, later bought by FedEx flying worldwide as a pilot on DC-8’s, Boeing 747’s, and finally MD-11’s. He retired from FedEx in 2004.

Skips awards include the 2013 recipient of Society of Certified Senior Advisor(r) Service to Seniors award in Community Citizen category and the 2013 Recipient of Senior Real Estate Specialist(r) Outstanding Service Award.

Rick Gow, CSA

Rick GowAs president of Life Plan Retirement Partners, LLC, Rick primarily works as a financial planner with two groups of individuals, the first being with seniors, their caregivers and family members, related to all aspects of financial planning for long-term care needs. We help develop all-encompassing long-term care plans, tax efficient wealth transfer structures and retirement strategies. Most plans start with our Long-Term Care Financial Assessment that addresses various components: from income generation, Medicaid & Veteran’s Administration compliant insurance products to real estate transfer strategies, tax mitigation and principal protection, just to name a few. This approach helps seniors and families develop an action plan to address their long-term care plans, create a foundation based on their goals and set a financial plan in place for themselves and their loved ones. The second group are individuals who are either sports figures, celebrities or business owners. The company uses their Life Plan to educate them on areas of concern and to then develop a strategy bringing in other professional partners to address areas from estate structures, wealth accumulation, income generation, business valuation, succession planning, asset protection and risk mitigation. Each client’s situation is completely unique to them, so Rick and his team work to provide a plan that incorporates their specific goals and needs, while working hand-in-hand with their agents, business managers, attorneys, and accountants to maximize the estate for the long-term, if that is 60 years for an athlete, 30 years for a retiring business owner, or 10 years for a senior.


Helen KeitHelen Keit is a licensed real estate broker and part of the ownership group of Keller Williams Realty Landmark-the #1 real estate company in Queens, NYC, for the past 7 years. The Keit Team is the top producing team for the company and Helen has been responsible for the sale of over 2000 properties over the past 25 years.

Helen has developed many niche specialties over the years and created customized programs to ensure top-bar service for those she works with. Designations include: Certified Relocation Professional, Global Mobility Specialist, Certified Senior Advisor, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. Helen also has an MBA in management and finance from Baruch College NYC.

Althea T. Kippes, Esq., MA, SRES, CSA

Althea T. Kippes is an attorney, gerontologist, and real estate broker. As an experienced plaintiff’s trial lawyer and federal court litigator, Ms. Kippes successfully litigated a number of high-profile cases in both state and federal court. Ms. Kippes presently focuses her practice on elder law, estate planning, real estate matters, and animal law.

After obtaining a master’s degree in Gerontology, Ms. Kippes focused her practice to meet the unique real estate needs of older adults and their families. As a Gerontologist, Certified Senior Advisor®, Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, and a certified Administrator for California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, Ms. Kippes understands the legal and real estate challenges facing older adults and creates comprehensive solutions. As a full-service real estate broker, she provides a higher level of service to her clients.

Given Ms. Kippes’s experience with senior housing options, she is able to assist her clients in identifying appropriate retirement communities and reviews continuing care agreements, explaining complex contract provisions so that her clients can understand their options and rights. By focusing on the legal aspects of the real estate transaction, she negotiates the best terms for her clients and helps them avoid liability.

Ms. Kippes is also a professor and teaches a variety of legal and business courses at various colleges, universities, and law schools. She also frequently speaks before legal, real estate, and business associations. She has served as editor of Plaintiff Magazine and her articles have been published in a variety of national and state periodicals. Ms. Kippes has also been featured on local, state, national, and international media, including CNN, the BBC, Good Morning America, and All Things Considered.

Ms. Kippes is a graduate of the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. She earned her law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law, and she holds a master’s degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University.

Scott Morrison

Scott MorrisonEleven years ago, Scott Morrison became the Owner/President of BrightStar Homecare in Johns Creek, GA. BrightStar is a national franchise and Atlanta’s trusted, premier provider of private duty, in-home healthcare. Services range from companion care to skilled nursing.

Scott is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and is a ready reference resource for all things “elder”. He is a charter member of Design and Technology for Healthy Aging (D.A.T.H.A.) and is a frequent guest lecturer on a variety of aging issues at Georgia Tech , Georgia State and Kennesaw State Universities. Scott is an active member of the National Aging in Place Council (N.A.I.P.C.), Atlanta Chapter and is on their speaker’s bureau. He frequently councils elders and adult children on what is takes to “age in place” and how to finance care in the home.

Chris Orestis, CSA

Chris OrestisChris Orestis, CSA is President of Retirement Genius, and is a nationally recognized financial, health/LTC, and retirement issues expert. He has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance and long-term care industries and is credited with pioneering the Life Settlement Annuity and Long-Term Care Life Settlement over a decade ago. Known as a political insider and senior issues advocate, Orestis is a former Washington, D.C. lobbyist who has worked in both the White House and for the Senate Majority Leader on Capitol Hill. In 2007 he founded Life Care Funding, in 2017 he founded the LifeCare Xchange, and in 2020 he founded Retirement Genius. Chris Orestis is author of the books Help on the Way and A Survival Guide to Aging. In 2019, Chris was named one of the twenty most innovative people in the insurance industry by the National Association of Independent Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA). Chris is on the Board of Directors for the NAILBA Charitable Foundation where he founded the Industry Foundation Partnership initiative, a founder and member of the Board of Directors for Insurance Marketing Coalition, and is a member of the Editorial Board for the CSA Magazine. He has been speaking for two-decades across the country about senior finance and the secrets to aging with financial and physical health and dignity. In 2019, Chris was named one of the twenty most innovative people in the life insurance industry by the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA). He has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, NBC News, Fox News, USA Today, Kiplinger’s, Investor’s Business Daily, AARP Magazine, PBS, and numerous other media outlets, is a frequent columnist for NewsMax Finance, Broker World, ThinkAdvisor, IRIS, and has been a guest expert on over 100 radio programs and TV appearances.

Aaron Terwedo, ChFC®, ChSNC®, NSSA®, FPQP®

Aaron TerwedoAaron entered the US Army at 19 and served for eight years, including three deployments overseas during the Global War on Terrorism. After that, he worked at a VA counseling center in Mesa, Arizona, during which he also earned an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Mesa Community College. He is now a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™.

Aaron has lived in multiple states and countries over the last ten years, but landed back in Washington, where he now lives with his wife, Emily, and their sons, Graham and Channing and their daughter, Oakley. They enjoy camping, sports, and helping fellow veterans in their local community. They are also diehard Seattle Seahawks fans. Go Hawks!

Gordon Walker, MS

Gordon WalkerGordon Walker was the Chief Executive Officer for the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) in Charlottesville, Virginia from 1982-2012, presiding over all the operations, finances and development activities of JABA and nine subsidiaries. These non-profit and for profit entities provided a continuum of services including health care, housing, intergenerational community centers and assisted living. During his tenure, JABA received numerous national awards for its planning and service delivery initiatives. In 1995 and 2005 he represented the State of Virginia at the White House Conference on Aging.

He was an adjunct professor in the School of Nursing and the School of Education at the University of Virginia. He has served as president of several local and statewide organizations and was Chair of the Albemarle County School Board.

Currently Gordon is a project consultant to Senior Navigator’s Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving, to the Society for Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA), and AARP- Virginia and for Just Partner’s Inc., a Baltimore based non -profit, engaged with developing age friendly communities.

Prior to working at JABA, he was associate director of the Gerontology Center at Georgia State University, the deputy director of the Vermont Office on Aging and a legislative aide to the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging.

Gordon has a MS Degree from San Diego State University in City Planning and Urban Studies where he also received a BA in Public Administration. Additionally he has a certificate in gerontology from Georgia State University and he is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA).

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