Matt Fisher, President
Matt Fisher joined Poyner Spruill on June 1, 2014 from the firm of Bode Hemphill, LLP. His practice focuses on the representation of health care providers, with an emphasis on Certificate of Need law. Matt's practice centers on the litigation of Certificate of Need awards and denials and assisting health care providers with the development of Certificate of Need applications. He also represents health care clients on licensure and certification issues, including appeals challenging certification and licensure survey decisions and penalties, and issues pertaining to DMA provider payment denial.
Brigitte Specht, Vice-President
Brigitte Specht is an Area Account Manager for Sunrise Senior Living, responsible for business development and general public education in the Triangle market. She joined Sunrise Senior Living in 2007. Her background in senior living started in a Continuing Care Retirement Community where she held positions as Sales and Marketing Director, Assisted Living Coordinator, Memory Care Coordinator, and Housekeeping Director before joining Sunrise. Brigitte's passion lies in educating others. She has been a Virtual Dementia facilitator since 2009 and also teaches brain fitness classes. Brigitte is an alumni of East Carolina University and a Licensed North Carolina Assisted Living Administrator. She is very active in supporting Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center, Alzheimers North Carolina, and COPE Eldercare. Brigitte and her family live in Holly Springs and enjoy spending their free time at Lake Gaston.
Jackie Bedard, Secretary
Jackie Bedard's estate planning and elder law attorney and founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning, a practice focused on guiding clients through the complicated, often confusing, maze of balancing family protection, wealth preservation, and cherished family values in the planning process. Jackie is a member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Medicaid Planning Network. Jackie earned her Bachelor's of Science degree in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated law school magna cum laude at the University of Richmond School of Law. Jackie resides in Cary with her husband, Dan, and their two dogs, Kylie and Nelly.
Paul Immanuel, Treasurer
Paul Immanuel is a long time resident of North Carolina who retired from IBM in 2009. During his 25 year career at IBM, he held several positions in development of networking products and workflow management systems. Prior to working for IBM, he worked for ITT in Raleigh where he developed fiber optic transmission systems for telephone companies. Paul has experience in hardware and software technologies and has presented papers extensively in North America and Europe dealing with issues related to hardware and software development. Paul is an electrical engineering graduate of North Carolina State University and has completed graduate level computer science and electrical engineering courses under an IBM program. Paul immigrated to the United States (and North Carolina) in 1964. He is married to Phyllis, a Raleigh native and they have two grown twins, Camille and Heather. Both their daughters are in the medical profession. Paul's love for helping seniors comes from his experience with helping Phyllis with taking care of her parents towards the end of their lives. Paul is active in church and community activities in Durham.
Cooper Linton serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Transitions LifeCare, which was originally founded as Hospice of Wake County. In addition to his marketing work, he oversaw the design and construction of Wake County's first freestanding hospice home and end of life care campus. Cooper has worked in the healthcare industry for over 15 years with a focus on home and community based care. His experience includes successful administrator roles for two home health and hospice companies as well as several years of sales planning, sales force management and business strategy design. Additionally, Cooper has worked in quality improvement directly for healthcare providers and on contract with Medicare through the Medical Review of North Carolina. Mr. Linton holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he also completed his Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. When not working, Cooper is happily busy as a father and an avid outdoorsman.
John Thoma is a graduate of Boston University where he received a B. A. degree in Spanish. He continued studies at Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Non-Profit Institute and Tufts University School of Continuing Education concentrating in Community Economic Development and Non-Profit Management. John joined Hospice of Wake County in 1991 and has served in the capacity of Finance/MIS Manager and Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in August 2002.
Born in Austin, Texas and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, John has been a resident of Raleigh since 1990. In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer, John serves on the Board of Trustees for the Hospice of Wake County Foundation and is very active in promoting quality end-of-life care at the state and national levels. John served on the Board of the United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) and the NC Association for Home and Hospice Care (AHHC). Nationally, John serves as Secretary of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Board of Directors and chairs the NHPCO Governance Committee. He has previously chaired the NHPCO Quality and Standards Committee and served on the Membership Committee.