Leadership focused on serving seniors.

Our leadership team follows the servant-leadership philosophy. A servant-leader promotes the growth and well-being of people by sharing power and putting the needs of others first. When we help them develop and perform at their highest potential, we all succeed. That’s why we see our communities, residents, owners, investors, suppliers and employees as partners helping us better serve seniors.

To see our servant-leadership in action, contact us today.

Executive Team
Experience Is Everything. Hear our team discuss the key principles to a culture of partnership.



Joel Nelson

Joel Nelson, president and chief executive officer of LCS, is responsible for executing the business strategy across all business lines in the LCS Family of Companies. In his role, Joel provides leadership and direction for business growth, service excellence, and enhancing the company’s stability and value among financial partners, property owners and other stakeholders in the senior living field.

Joel joined LCS in 1986 and has held several executive roles. He is responsible for the oversight of serving more than 40,000 seniors in more than 140 communities.

Joel serves on the board of managers for Life Care Companies, LCS Holdings, and is a member of the audit committee. He also serves on the Hexagon (insurance captive) board of directors and is a trustee for the company’s 401(k) benefits program. Outside of LCS, Joel serves as co-chair of Argentum’s public policy committee and sits on the National Investment Center operator advisory board. Joel is past chair and current board member of ChildServe, Inc. and he serves on the health services advisory board at Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa.

Joel holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and health care administration from Simpson College.

Bridgewater_Diane_2016As a high energy, results-driven executive, Diane Bridgewater directs all financial aspects and operating infrastructure at LCS to ensure corporate, field and community team members have the resources necessary to provide exceptional customer satisfaction to residents. Serving as executive vice president/chief financial and administrative officer at LCS, Diane is responsible for directing all financial and business operations in addition to overseeing the company’s insurance business line, information technology, compliance, regulatory and legal matters. In her executive leadership role, Diane helps to drive strategy development and execution resulting in strong financial performance and growth.

At LCS, Diane serves on the Board of Managers, Life Care Companies LLC; Board of Directors, LCS Holdings, Inc.; Audit Committee, Life Care Companies LLC; 401K Administrative Committee, Investment Committee and Enterprise Risk Management Committee. Outside the organization, she is a member of the Argentum – CFO Roundtable. In addition, Diane sits on Casey’s General Stores board, audit committee and compensation committee. She is also a member of the board and audit committee at Guide One Insurance. Diane holds bachelor’s degrees in accounting and French from the University of Northern Iowa.


Rick Exline headshotServing as executive vice president/senior managing director of Life Plan Communities, Rick Exline leads a team of highly skilled professionals dedicated to elevating senior living experience. With over four decades of knowledge and expertise, Rick oversees the company’s Life Plan Community management services, national marketing and sales, and the LCS health care group. Collaborating with the LCS leadership team, Exline identifies growth strategies that maximize market opportunities for single site, affiliated, and third-party managed communities. With a precise focus on performance excellence, Rick’s team developed and launched the next generation opportunity platform for third-party managed Life Plan Communities. This innovation transformed the regional operations support model by relocating regional and corporate support staff.

At LCS, Rick serves on the board of managers for Life Care Companies LLC, the board of directors for LCS Holdings, Inc., and the executive leadership and senior living management teams. Rick is also a trustee for the company’s 401(k) benefits program. Outside the organization, Rick serves on the Simpson College Board of Trustees and is a board member for Above & Beyond Cancer. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in business administration and health care leadership.

Capitalizing on his reputation as a change agent, Chris Bird brings his expertise to the communities LCS serves. By leading operations, building community occupancy, fostering capital partner relationships, and developing new business, Chris implements strategies to deliver on the expectations of owners and shareholders. As executive vice president, director of rental at LCS, Chris focuses on meeting the needs of residents by ensuring community leaders and staff have the tools and resources necessary. His ability to analyze issues, devise continuous process improvements, and incorporate business process initiatives drives performance improvement for the overall operation.

At LCS, Chris mentors future leaders by providing guidance, expertise and resources to develop professional skills in the senior living industry. In addition, he is a member of the LCS Board of Directors and the LCS Audit Committee. Chris is a member of the Argentum Advisory Council and the Argentum Chief Operating Officer Roundtable. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Memphis, Tennessee.

Chuck Murphy

As the executive vice president/senior managing director of development and real estate, Charles Murphy is responsible for the strategy and performance oversight of LCS Development and LCS Real Estate. Capitalizing on his experience in developing, acquiring and managing commercial real estate for more than 30 years, Chuck directs the investment strategy and builds strategic partnerships that enhance the services LCS provides. Applying his expertise of working with a range of property types including hospitality, residential, land development and health care within private equity, public and entrepreneurial platforms, Chuck leads his teams to create special three-dimensional experiences for senior living communities and the seniors they serve.

At LCS, Chuck is a member of the LCS Investment Committee. Outside the organization, he is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association and he serves as a board member of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at The University of Wisconsin. Chuck earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in real estate investment analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Monica FriedmanIn support of the LCS vision, Monica leads the human resources team to ensure the LCS Family of Companies has an appropriate holistic talent strategy. In her role as senior vice president, chief human resources officer, Monica oversees effective recruitment, employee engagement, professional development, and the delivery of a competitive compensation and benefits program. Her focus on fostering a highly engaged workforce and environment ensures that LCS is the employer of choice in the senior living industry. By effectively executing on the Extraordinary Impressions framework, Monica assures LCS is well-positioned to create opportunities for purposeful living filled with rich experiences for its employees and senior living residents.

Monica holds a bachelor degree in industrial relations human resources with highest distinction from The University of Iowa along with SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations. In addition, she is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Community Leadership Program and was named to the Des Moines Business Record’s Forty under 40. Monica was recognized as a Women of Influence honoree and awarded the American Red Cross Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership. She sits on the MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center board and is a past member of the Business Education Alliance board. She served on the United Way of Central Iowa board and is the past board chair of the American Red Cross Iowa Chapter.



Frank VedderFrank Vedder is responsible for providing the technology, data and information security strategy for the LCS Family of Companies. He has more than 20 years of experience in the technology field working in a variety of industries and most recently served as the chief technology officer for a global insurance corporation. Frank joined LCS in 2019 and his focus is on maximizing employee efficiency, providing differentiating solutions, and protecting data. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska, and his MBA from the University of Iowa.

Earl WadeEarl Wade is the vice president/senior director of business development for LCS. He is responsible for assisting the LCS Family of Companies with structuring strategic relationships, establishing new partnerships, and expanding into new territories. Before founding CRSA in 1989, Earl served as a partner with the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young), where he led the firm’s senior housing consulting practice. He has served on the board of directors of CRSA Holdings, BayWoods Cooperative Housing Association and Trezevant Episcopal Home. He’s been a member of the advisory committee to the National Continuing Care Data Base and the NIC owner operator advisory council. Earl holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Alabama and he’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and LeadingAge.