Meet the Team


Maria Ruggieri

Executive Director

Originally from Chicago, Marie Ruggieri has lived in Phoenix since 1998. Her previous career in education facility management perfectly prepared her to take on the position of Executive Director at Casa Del Rio. Her day-to-day responsibilities include helping to support all departments at Casa Del Rio in the shared goal of providing residents with exemplary service. Her primary focus and her team is making sure all residents are happy. Marie enjoys coming to work every day to a new challenge and a new opportunity to interact with residents. Outside of work, Marie enjoys bowling, golfing, playing cards and spending time with friends and family. Her motto is “never sweat the small stuff.”


Cindy Powell

Director of Life Enrichment

 Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Cindy Powell came to love working with seniors during her time as a physical therapy tech, where the senior patients always seemed to touch her heart. A Physical Education major, Cindy has been involved in teaching and coaching for most of her life. As Director of Life Enrichment, Cindy gets excited about finding what makes each resident special and then finding ways to bring out their individual talents to keep them moving and challenging themselves every day. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, paddle boarding, and playing her new obsession, pickleball. Her guiding principle is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


Jenifer McClendon

Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing, Senior Division

Jenifer McClendon is a Detroit native who has been in the Senior Living industry for over 20 years. She has over 20 years of experience working in sales and marketing, and over 10 years of management experience. Jenifer’s day-to-day responsibilities include training, developing and coaching sales team members as well as standardizing and implementing best practices, processes and programs. Jenifer loves working with seniors and seeing firsthand the way residents thrive when they’re involved in a community that encourages them to stay independent and active and truly enjoy their retirement years. When not at work, Jenifer enjoys music, traveling the world, theatre and spending time with family. Her guiding principle is “Pursue your dreams. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.”


Daniel Novak

Corporate Director of Food and Beverage, Senior Division

Daniel Novak a native Detroiter has been working in management, food service, and senior living for over 20 years. His day-to-day responsibilities include working with our culinary teams developing dining programs, setting and maintaining standards, verifying food safety compliance and ensuring quality. Dan treats each day as an opportunity to exceed our residents expectations by creating a spectacular dining experience from start to finish inclusive of food, ambiance, décor and service. When not at work, he enjoys cooking for family and friends, dining out trying new restaurants, and fishing and spending time at his cottage in Northern Michigan.