Board Members & Committees

Board Members 2023-2024

Chair: Glenn Panzer

Glenn Panzer, M.D., C.M.D., F.A.A.F.P.

Dr. Panzer is a Board-certified Family Physician with added qualifications in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Practice. Most recently, he was Chief Medical Officer Emeritus of The Elizabeth Hospice. He has been affiliated with The Elizabeth Hospice for 16 years. He was Chief Medical Officer from 2007 to 2017. Dr Panzer prides himself on being a Certified Medical Director through AMDA (the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine).

He is treasurer of the San Diego Coalition for Compassionate Care and on the executive committee. He is also president of the San Diego Dementia Consortium. He was chair of the Medical staff Ethics and Palliative Care committees at Palomar Health from 2007 to 2017.

He is a graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at The Wyoming Valley Family Practice Residency Program in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania where he practiced for more than 20 years. Dr. Panzer moved to San Diego with his wife Lori in 2003. 
(760) 644-6051

Co-Chair: Glenn Shimer

Glenn Shimer

Glenn has been in the field of aging services since 2010 and currently serves as Community Marketing Director at Oakmont, Escondido. Previously he was Director of Sales and Marketing with Atria Senior Living of Escondido. Glenn serves residents and families in Assisted and Memory care by understanding their needs for a safe and engaging lifestyle.

He is originally from Escondido and earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from San Diego State University. Glenn started his career in operations management, facilities, and sales management more than 20 years ago. He  transitioned into senior living after “understanding that the call to serve others and his community is best for all.” Glenn’s understanding of different family dynamics has earned him and his community the Pinnacle Award and the Senior Advisor Award.   

Glenn resides in Valley Center with his wife and family as a “gentleman farmer” growing avocados and enjoying the outdoors.

Treasurer: Hank Kurtz

Hank Kurtz

For over 14 years, Hank owned and operated Olivenhain Guest Home. Born out of a passion for finding his parents the best possible memory care and assisted living for Alzheimer’s and dementia, Hank considered his ownership of the community more of a calling than a job.

“My mother needed help after her husband died. She lived in our home on and off for ten years. When it came time to find a warm, caring place for our parents there were no facilities that met their diverse needs. We later found Olivenhain and fell in love with the spirit of the owner’s approach. After working with them for several years, we decided to purchase the community and continue the tradition of providing the highest quality care and a safe, loving environment for other North County San Diego families.”
Mobile: (760) 717-3117

Secretary: Brenda Lee Smith

Brenda Lee-Smith

Brenda-Lee Smith empowers the seniors of San Diego by providing personalized choices in home placement through Oasis Senior Advisors. Utilizing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with a specialty in mental health care, and an extensive professional networking system, BrendaLee finds the right solutions for sustainable support as care needs evolve. Whether independent or assisted living arrangements are needed, or memory or residential care, her personal relationship with those she serves facilitates life transitions with respect and dignity. Skilled in creative problem solving, she understands what it takes for client satisfaction, using her expertise in intuition and communication to streamline this important process. A confident public speaker, Brenda-Lee shares her knowledge as a compassionate, informative leader in the senior care placement industry.

Brenda-Lee is a member of several local and national organizations, including the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, San Diego County Council on Aging, Golden Age Interactive Network, Estate Planning Group Network, and the San Diego Dementia Consortium. 
Phone  760.688.7618
Mobile 760.692.4609 

Membership: Paula Jane McKenzie

An experienced business development and education manager, Paula Jane Mackenzie joined The Elizabeth Hospice in January 2024. She is a compassionate healthcare professional who creates long-term, solid relationships with community partners through innovative, education-focused projects. Paula’s diverse experience includes working at San Diego Hospice in various capacities, including program management, sales and marketing, administration, international education, and community and associate education. Her lifelong passion for helping others and improving the quality of healthcare through education has contributed to her success in connecting with local nursing programs, hospitals, and community partners.




Manager, Brain Health Forum: Laura Barish

Laura Barish

Laura Barish, owner of Aging Planning, has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of handling the many issues that tend to arise as we age. Whether you live in your own home or in a residential community, it is important to have someone who understands what it takes to manage the conditions of aging.

Laura is an expert in managing the conditions associated with dementia and what is needed at each stage of the progression. She is also experienced in maximizing health through diet, supplementation, and the support of medical providers. Much of her work has been related to assisting older adults and their families who are dealing with dementia.

Laura owned a caregiving company for over 13 years. During this time she also ran an adult day care center for people with dementia. Her expertise in working with dementia has been enhanced by training and the many community resources she leverages to provide the best possible support to her clients with their ongoing needs.


Education: Dan Sweiger

Dan Sweiger

Dan Sweiger is an accomplished executive, public speaker, community educator and industry leader who owns and operates BrightStar Care of Carlsbad, an award-winning home care agency in North County San Diego.   

BrightStar helps seniors age in place comfortably, safely, and independently, by providing top-quality medical and non-medical assisted living services at home.  His company has been recognized with “Best of Home Care” awards for achieving the highest levels of customer and employee satisfaction, and his director of nursing was also recognized nationally as BrightStar Care’s 2021 Nurse of the Year. 

Prior to starting his home care agency, Mr. Sweiger had a distinguished marketing career that spanned a range of industries from food to entertainment and hospitality.  His work has been recognized with numerous awards including Gold Effies, Clios, Edisons, Adriens, and more.  During his nearly 20yrs in hospitality, he developed a passion for inspiring brand purpose, fostering a highly motivated team culture, forging personal and collaborative relationships, and delivering a more personal customer experience. 

Mr. Sweiger is a thought leader who serves on the National Aging In Place Council and on the boards of the San Diego Dementia Consortium and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).  He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Minnesota State University Mankato. 


Webmaster: Todd Benton

Todd has more than 20 years of marketing, public relations, and media experience and a history of obtaining media coverage for clients on CNN, CBS, ABC, and in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Business 2.0.

In the area of website design, Todd launched his first client website in 1997 for renowned acrylic furniture designer Charles Hollis Jones. Since then, he and his team have developed nearly a hundred websites for authors, artists, consultants, teachers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. His natural instinct for visual design was cultivated by working with his father, a four-time academy award-nominated set decorator for feature films.

Todd holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in communications from San Francisco State University.