Three UMRC & Porter Hills Team Members Receive Awards in Aging Services



United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) & Porter Hills is proud to announce that three of its leadership team members were honored at a recent LeadingAge Michigan conference. Courtnee Knepley, Lisa Lea, and Lori Potter were each recognized for excellence in their roles. These awards were presented at the Member Awards Gala, held on Tuesday, September 28, at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Courtnee Knepley, Assisted Living Administrator at Chelsea Retirement Community, received the Emerging Leader Award. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated aptitude for and commitment to professional growth as a leader and has successfully assumed expanded leadership responsibilities within a LeadingAge Michigan member organization in the past three years.

“Courtnee has served in increasingly more responsible roles at Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) in her 12 years here, including Dining Services, Environmental Services, Independent Living, and Assisted Living,” said CRC Executive Director, Kathy Russell. “Courtnee is a dynamic, driven, and thoughtful emerging leader who exemplifies the future qualities the aging service industry needs.”

Lisa Lea was honored as a Hometown Hero for her work as Community Manager at UMRC & Porter Hills’ Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta, Michigan.

Bruce Lyons, Executive Director of Cook Valley Estates and Meadowlark Retirement Village, said, “This award recognizes Lisa’s demonstrated dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm in making a significant impact in the lives of older adults. Lisa is a true Hometown Hero in the small-town setting of Sparta where she serves as a resource, problem solver, caretaker, and mentor for families, residents, team members, and the greater community. Her leadership and attitude embody the true spirit of both communities and those they serve.”

Lori Potter, Chief Operating Officer for UMRC & Porter Hills, was also honored as a Life Member of LeadingAge Michigan. Lori, who has announced her retirement in December 2021, has three decades of experience in senior living, the last thirteen years at UMRC & Porter Hills.

Along with her strong background as a Licensed Practical Nurse and licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Lori also has degrees in management and organizational development and public administration with a healthcare emphasis, which have combined to make her a successful Chief Operating Officer, according to Nicole Maag, Vice President of Operations for UMRC & Porter Hills.

“During her tenure, the organization has experienced incredible growth while maintaining a firm commitment to quality in all it does,” said Maag. “Lori has played a key role in launching three PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) programs across the state, facilitating the addition of The Thome Rivertown Neighborhood in Detroit which provides affordable assisted living for older adults of limited means, and extending Home Health services from the west side of the state to the east. Lori has left an indelible and positive impact on UMRC & Porter Hills.”

President and CEO of UMRC & Porter Hills, Steve Fetyko said, “We are delighted that LeadingAge Michigan has recognized the talents of these three incredible leaders and their commitment to the older adults we serve at UMRC & Porter Hills. Congratulations to these very deserving members of the UMRC & Porter Hills team!”

To learn more about UMRC & Porter Hills, visit our website at


Building on a foundation of 165 years of combined service to older adults, United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) & Porter Hills is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is: Welcoming all, partnering together, enriching lives. Its vision is: A world in which all are empowered to age well. Together, UMRC & Porter Hills represents the second largest nonprofit senior living organization in Michigan. With a tradition of exceptional quality and a commitment to cutting-edge care, UMRC & Porter Hills and its affiliates combine to serve over 7,400 older adults each year, from 24 locations and service lines, across 22 counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula.|734.433.1000 and 616.949.4975

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