Management Team

The Northbridge Companies attracts and retains the best and brightest in the industry. We are fortunate to have such a talented, driven and enthusiastic team of professionals committed to the company’s mission and continued success.

James Coughlin


Prior to co-founding Northbridge Companies, Jim was a partner at Newton Senior Living, LLC.

As part of the senior management team, Jim was instrumental in growing Newton from a single community to a 27-community portfolio that at the time of sale to Atria, was the 19th largest assisted operator in the United States. Prior to Jim’s tenure with Newton, Jim was a partner at Peacock Associates, an advisory firm that oversaw the permitting, financing and development of senior housing assets sponsored by non-profits and for-profit operators nationwide.

With over 20 years of experience in the senior housing business, Jim is skilled at acquiring, developing, financing, structuring, management and disposing of senior housing. Jim has completed more than       $2 billion in transactions over the course of his career.

Jim earned a B.A in Communications from Stonehill College and holds an MBA in Finance/Strategic Planning from Suffolk University. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to senior housing, most recently speaking at The MIT School of Real Estate, Argentum’s (formally Assisted Living Federation of America) national conference and Stonehill College Health Care Association’s annual meeting.

Jim is a current Board Member of Caritas Communities, a local non-profit that specializes in the development and management of housing for the working poor. Jim also serves on the boards of Beth Israel Deaconess – Needham and the MA-SALC Fund.  Additional philanthropic activities include annual participation in the Pan-Mass Challenge that benefits Dana Farber Cancer Institute and serving as a mentor to Stonehill College healthcare majors.

Wendy Nowokunski


Wendy is co-founder and President of the Northbridge Companies. With over two decades of experience, Wendy is credited as being a key player in the senior housing industry as it has evolved over the past 20 years. This experience includes the development, acquisition, start-up, and management of over 50 senior housing projects throughout her career including Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), independent living, assisted living, and specialized assisted living for the memory impaired. In addition, Wendy has advised non-profits and lenders in the areas of due diligence and project assimilation, corrective operations and marketing for non-performing communities and asset management. Wendy brings her vast knowledge to the vision and operation of the Northbridge Companies.

Wendy holds a B.A. in Psychology and Media Communications from the University of Framingham. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of MassALFA, an active speaker and member of ALFA and NIC, and a faculty member of the MIT Center for Real Estate Professional Development Institute. Wendy is also Co-Founder and member of the Board of the One Angel Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to making a difference in under-privileged children’s lives worldwide by providing resources to stabilize housing, water, educational and health needs, one community at a time.

Renee Scudder

Chief Strategy Officer

Renee Scudder has worked for more than 20 years in senior management positions in strategic planning, business development and consulting. The majority of her career has been spent in the healthcare space in the Boston and San Francisco areas. As a consultant with the Hay Group, Renee had the opportunity to work with industry leaders in a variety of segments including insurance (State Farm), automotive (Toyota), and technology (IBM) industries. Renee holds a Masters Degree from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2015, she completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Certification Program in Strategic Market Management. Renee was voted the 2014 VIP Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women. She has held adjunct professor positions at the University of San Francisco’s School of Management and Dominican University’s Barowsky School of Business and she was a member of Rotary for over 10 years and has a passion for outdoor leadership being a former Outward Bound Sea Staff instructor.

Stephen Puliafico

Senior Vice President

With over 20 years of experience in senior housing, Stephen leads the overall operations of Northbridge Senior Living. Stephen was previously co-founder and managing partner of LCB Senior Living and Newton Senior Living. As Executive Vice President/COO at Newton Senior Living Stephen was instrumental in the start up and growth of the company from 21 communities in 8 states. Stephen was responsible for building a cohesive management group focused on a team approach, resident care and service while maintaining focus on the bottom line. As the President/COO of LCB Senior Living, Stephen had a pivotal role in the company’s growth from start-up to over 20 communities in 6 states. Stephen has a unique perspective on human resource management, marketing and operations through his experience in both senior housing and, prior years in retail management. Stephen is former vice chairperson of the Rhode Island Assisted Living Association.

Shawn Bertram

Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Development

Shawn Bertram is the Senior Vice President of Operations for Northbridge, overseeing the start-up operations of new communities and the due diligence and assimilation of acquisitions.
With over 17 years of experience, Shawn is highly skilled at building top notch management and operations teams to achieve the highest performance possible. His experience includes overseeing day-to-day operations of communities, start-up operations from ground-up to stabilized, and establishing policies and procedures. Shawn is the leader in creating and implementing associate retention and growth initiatives as well as ensuring resident and family satisfaction within the company to fulfill our purpose of many roles, one purpose – live well, love life.

Erin Gowdy

Senior Vice President of Asset Management

Erin Gowdy has over 15 years of experience in senior housing, commercial real estate finance and deal structuring.  As Vice President of Finance for Northbridge, Erin focuses on equity and debt origination, joint venture structuring, and investor and lender relations.  Prior to joining Northbridge in 2010, Erin worked as a senior financial analyst at Nordblom Company in Burlington, MA and at RMA in San Francisco, CA. Her prior experience includes acquisition and portfolio management work, as well as asset management for a $650 million real estate portfolio.

Erin has run the Boston Marathon three times on Dana-Farber’s Marathon Challenge team, which raises funds for innovative cancer research.  She has also participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge in support of Dana-Farber.

Tom Sexton


Tom has over 20 years of experience in accounting and finance. He has held senior finance positions in healthcare, services and senior housing. His responsibilities include managing the financial operations of Northbridge. Prior to joining Northbridge, Tom was the corporate controller at Hebrew Senior Life and regional controller at Quest Diagnostics. Additionally, Tom held positions at Deloitte and Touche and PWC in auditing and consulting. Tom earned a B.S. in Business Administration/Accounting from Salem State University.

Deb Bradshaw

Vice President of Human Resources

As Vice President of Human Resources, Deb oversees company-wide benefits, training and development as well as all other employee related programs.  Deb has over 17 years of experience in human resources supporting health care organizations and brings her passion for developing innovative programs and practices to inspire growth and development for all of the Northbridge team.  Prior to joining Northbridge, Deb worked as Vice President of Human Resources for Steward Healthcare.  Deb graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a B.S. in Psychology and has her Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Business from Lesley University.

Jennifer Hastings

Vice President of Marketing

Jennifer Hastings joined Northbridge Companies in 2009. As Vice President of Marketing she oversees the implementation of all Northbridge marketing, branding, public relations, graphic design, social media and digital media planning. She has over a decade of experience in real estate and senior housing marketing. Prior to joining Northbridge, She oversaw the marketing for Apartment Realty Advisers, New England, a nationally affiliated multi-family housing brokerage firm. Jennifer earned a B.S. in Business with a focus on Marketing from the University of New Hampshire.

Jennifer is and Ambassador and co-chair of Caritas Communities Young Leaders Group, a local non-profit that specializes in the development and management of housing for the working poor.

Mel Horan

Vice President of Sales

As Vice President of Sales, Mel oversees sales training, hiring, recruiting, overall sales initiatives, sales of all start-ups, and sales oversight of the Northbridge community portfolio traveling between sixteen Northbridge communities throughout Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Mel has over 30 years of experience in the senior living industry. Prior to joining Northbridge Mel worked as Regional Vice President of Sales for Brightview Senior Living as well as The Salmon Family of Services and Newton Senior Living. Mel also operated her own Geriatric Care Management business, and opened the first true Assisted Living on Aquidneck Island. Mel earned a B.S. from Salve Regina University.

Marilyn Stasonis RN BSN

Director of Resident Care

Marilyn Stasonis is the Corporate Director of Resident Care for The Northbridge Companies. Marilyn has over 30 years of experience in senior housing. Marilyn has held several senior management positions in regional senior housing companies and is considered a Alzheimer’s Care specialist. She developed and operated the first Alzheimer’s Day Program in Massachusetts from which state program standards of Alzheimer’s Day Programming were created. Marilyn oversees the training and education of all Northbridge Resident Care Directors.

Heather Duval

Human Resources Manager

Heather Duval joined the Northbridge Companies in 2012.  As Human Resources Manager, Heather is responsible for leading the Human Resources functions within Northbridge.  She oversees recruitment, training and development, employee relations and benefit administration for both the Corporate Office and Communities.  Heather brings with her over 10 years of experience in Human Resources within the service industry.

Linda Adams

Accounting Manager

Linda Adams is Accounting Manager at The Northbridge Companies. Linda is responsible for the oversight of the accounting functions within Northbridge. In addition, she implements and oversees the financial controls, produces financial reporting to internal and external partners and oversees the payroll processes. Linda brings with her over 20 years of accounting experience with 7 years working within the senior living industry. Linda received her Masters of Accounting from Suffolk University.


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