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Lions Gate welcomes health, senior care veterans

DeVinney, Popper bring years of experience to executive roles

Lions Gate recently announced the appointments of Tom Devinney (right) and Phil Popper to executive roles at the senior-care facility.

Lions Gate Life Plan Community has announced the appointment of Tom DeVinney as Independent Living Marketing and Sales Director and Phil Popper as Assisted Living Sales and Marketing Director. 


DeVinney, a resident of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was born in Delaware County and comes to Lions Gate with more than 20 years of experience in senior  living, having been a consultant for senior communities on the East Coast and also as sales director of a senior community in Moorestown.


Popper was born in Philadelphia but grew up in Cherry Hill, and has worked for more than 18 years in the state’s health-care industry. He began in health-care staffing, then moved to managing his own home health-care company.


Popper served as the executive director at Artis Senior Living of Evesham, an assisted living facility, then worked for a hospice company before joining Lions Gate.


“I got into health care because of my mom,” he said, referencing the care she got as a force in his career. “I didn’t really have much of a background. My mom was sick for a very long time and when she passed away, I said to my wife, “I’m going to jump into health care and see where it takes me.’


“The big thing for me was dignity, care, and respect,” Popper added. “That’s what I saw my mom getting on every level … so jumping in and not really understanding what health care entailed, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed to do this.”


DeVinney has two decades of experience, and the ability to give back to the  community is something working in the industry has taught him.


“I really enjoy working in [these types] communities, just letting people see how fulfilling their life can be once they move through,” he explained. “I always tell  them, “It’s like, ‘You’re on this side of the fence; how can I get you over on the other side to see the bright light that comes on when living in a community …’” 


While DeVinney and Popper will have similar roles, they will head different departments at Lions Gate: DeVinnery will work in the independent living department and Popper will be in assisted living. 


“We’re building relationships, we’re getting people who are thinking about moving in, to [actually] moving in and making that process as seamless as possible,” said DeVinney about new residents. “We set up movers for them … We’re taking all that stress away.


“Once they get here, we make sure there are enough activities and food to actually enjoy once they are [settled] here,” he added. “It’s sort of like a three-part  plan really.” 


“For me, the way I’ve always done this is, [I act] like a social worker, trying to figure out what is best for them,” said Popper. “You have to let them talk, let them tell you what their needs are … 


“It’s huge to be a part of a community like Lions Gate, where you have this continuum.”

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