Maplewood Senior Living Leadership


Gregory D. Smith

Chairman and CEO

Mr. Smith’s career spans nearly 20 years in the real estate industry. He has developed healthcare, hospitality, residential and office properties nationally with a collective value exceeding $500 million. He is currently involved in the development, construction, finance, and management of all Maplewood Senior Living communities. The Maplewood brand founded by Mr. Smith in 2004 consists of assisted living and memory care residences throughout Connecticut. In addition, the company maintains a portfolio of professional office properties as well as projects that are also in varying stages of development for medical office use.

Mr. Smith also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Ability Beyond Disability, a non profit organization currently employing over 900 associates, engaging over 500 volunteers and has an annual operating budget in excess of $53 million. Mr. Smith is also proud to sit on the board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut, where he also serves on the Development Committee. He is also a board member of the Western Connecticut Health Network Development Fund, Inc, and a member of the Network's Planning Committee, which is tasked with strategic planning for Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital. A native of Western Massachusetts and Western Connecticut, Smith currently resides with his wife and children in East Norwalk, Connecticut, where he remains active with civic and community based organizations.

Thomas Y. Gaston

Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Development

Mr. Gaston has worked for 25 years in real estate development, including 16 years dedicated to the senior housing sector. Gaston began his career with Leggat McCall Properties and Amicus Healthcare. The breadth of his experience involves managing the development of more than two thousand senior living units over his career. Gaston’s experienced also includes executive leadership roles at Benchmark Senior Living in Wellesley, Mass., where he oversaw Development and Acquisitions, as well as underwriting and capitalization of new projects. Additionally, Mr. Gaston co-founded Northbridge Assisted Living in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Shane Herlet

Executive Vice President of Operations

Mr. Herlet oversees all daily operations for Maplewood Senior Living. With a master’s degree in Gerontology from Miami University of Ohio, his career spans nearly 20 years in the senior housing industry, including executive leadership roles at Benchmark Senior Living and HCR Manor Care. He has managed over 1,600 units of senior housing throughout his career. Herlet’s experience includes extensive focus on turn-arounds and start-ups. He is known as a catalyst for operational excellence in the senior housing industry, including specialties in revenue growth, price leadership, residence satisfaction, resident care, and occupancy gain and stabilization.

Scott Thelen

Chief Financial Officer

With over 25 years of experience in finance and accounting, Scott Thelen is responsible for all aspects of financial management for Maplewood Senior Living and its communities.  Scott has served in financial senior leadership positions with multiple senior living operators, including Masonicare, where he served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance, as well as with Erickson Retirement Communities, LLC, where he served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller.

Arthur E. Miller, Esq

General Counsel

Mr. Miller joins Maplewood with over three decades of experience practicing law in Connecticut. Mr. Miller will handle all legal issues pertaining to Maplewood Senior Living, its entities and related businesses. His specialties include commercial real estate and commercial lending. Most recently, he was a partner at Tierney, Zullo, Flaherty and Murphy, PC in Norwalk. A Stamford native, Art has lived in Newtown for nearly 20 years.

Michael Toce, RN

Vice President of Clinical Operations

Michael Toce brings his extensive healthcare experience to lead the clinical operations for Maplewood Senior Living. Mr. Toce is known for establishing and managing high performance clinical teams, focused on superior service delivery, resident safety and quality care. Previous to his time at Maplewood, he was Director of Healthcare Operations at Benchmark Senior Living. Prior to that, Mr. Toce spent time at Yale University School of Medicine, Aetna and Travelers.

Sandra Van Allan-West

Vice President of Sales

A sales and operations professional, Sandra Van Allen-West has over 15 years of experience in the luxury senior housing industry. Responsible for overseeing all areas of sales and community relations for Maplewood Senior Living, Sandra is an award-winning leader, receiving multiple distinguished awards for excellence. Her vast experience includes both Sales and Operations management roles, with a focus on customer satisfaction and team leadership.  Sandra is a life-long Cape Cod resident.

Andrea S. Ellen

Vice President of Marketing and Communications

In two decades as a marketing and communications executive in the luxury senior housing and healthcare industry, Andrea Ellen has served as an executive or consultant to Hillhaven Corp., Vencor Corp., Kindred Healthcare, Sun Healthcare Corp., CareMatrix Corp., Benchmark Senior Living, Five Star Quality Care, The Mediplex Group, and others. Ms. Ellen is responsible for all communications and marketing initiatives for Maplewood Senior Living and its communities. Ms. Ellen serves on the board of The Continuum of Care in New Haven, a not for profit foundation providing psychiatric, housing and healthcare services to adults throughout Connecticut.

Mary Underwood

Vice President of Memory Care & Resident Experience

With more than 22 years of memory care experience, Mary Underwood is a Mark T. Sheehan Hall of Fame inductee for work with those with dementia, is a repeat recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Outstanding Caregiver Award and has presented at the statewide, national and international Alzheimer’s Association conferences. She is a support group leader and Memory Walk committee member, and has previously served as an Alzheimer’s Association board member and Secretary.

Andrew Deery

Vice President of Acquisitions & Development

Mr. Deery has been in commercial real estate investment, development and operations for over 30 years. With a focus on a variety of assets including senior living, office, residential and medical office in national markets, Deery oversees all of Maplewood’s sourcing, underwriting, and deal structuring while creating value for both senior living and healthcare real estate projects. Prior to joining Maplewood, Deery has led nationally recognized firms such as Lincoln Properties, Opus Corp, and CBRE. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a licensed broker in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He lives in New Canaan, Conn.

Kelly Mazza

Director of HR and Organizational Development

With over a decade of experience in operations and leadership in the senior housing and healthcare industries, Kelly’s career includes strategic planning and implantation of organizational development programs.  Kelly is regarded for building strong team culture and has received multiple awards for excellence and achievement as a Senior Executive Director over the course of her career, receiving national attention within the industry.  Kelly has also served as the Director of an Employee Engagement Fund for a leading senior housing provider. In addition, Kelly proudly served as a Combat Medic for the United States Army National Guard. Kelly is a licensed nursing home administrator in Connecticut and Vermont and has a Masters of Arts in Teaching.

Jill McGroarty

Director of Human Resources

Jill oversees human resources for Maplewood senior living, including its corporate and community entities. She has over 12 years of general human resources and employee relations experience, including organizational effectiveness, team performance and benefits. Jill is a University of Michigan and Michigan State University alumna with a masters in labor and industrial relations. Working for both Fortune 500 companies and smaller regional ones, Jill is an adaptable, critical thinker with a broad range of skills focused on elevating organizational effectiveness, improving team performance, and relationship building. A proven self-motivated leader, Jill is capable of driving strategic initiatives including tactical execution.