Management Team

David Johnston

David Johnston CPA, CEO and Founder

  • Founded Beacon Communities in February 2000
  • Veteran of over 30 years in senior housing industry beginning as an auditor, subsequently prepared market and feasibility studies
  • Joined Laing Properties in 1988, as owner-operator of various real estate properties with direct responsibility as Director of Retirement Housing:
    • Operations of four senior housing communities
    • Over 200 employees
    • 500 residents
  • From 1997 to 1999, served in capacity of Co-Founder, Partner and COO of Eden Care Senior Living Services, guiding it to:
    • 15th largest assisted living provider in U.S.
    • 9th largest Alzheimer’s/Dementia provider in U.S.
    • 39 communities
    • 2,695 units
    • Seven states
  • Founded Senior Living Association of Georgia in 1988, first President
  • Co-founded the Assisted Living Association of Georgia in 1996
  • Co-founder, past President, and current Board Member of GSLA – Georgia Senior Living Association
  • 1982-1995, Johnston became lead instructor for Atlanta Becker CPA Review Course:
    • Taught over 4,500 CPA Candidates
    • Consistently ranked within top five percent of over 350 U.S. instructors
    • Valuable teaching experience for developing effective employee training programs/techniques
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration -University of Tennessee
  • Certified Public Accountant

John M. Elliston

John M. Elliston, Chief Operating Officer

John’s success in senior living operations is based on his demonstrated commitment to professional leadership, his detailed attention to operational excellence, his people centered approach to customer service, and all of this built on values of personal character and integrity. John has successfully led teams starting new properties and solving operationally challenged properties during his career with Beacon Communities, Thrive Senior Living and Eden Care Senior Living Services. John actively engages with property leadership teams in the management and oversight of all operational aspects to ensure exceptional communities are developed, managed, and become thriving homes for our residents.

Prior to his 19 years in senior living, John had an extensive career in the building industry.

John graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. He has served in leadership positions in his church, his local community and has led organizational efforts in civic responsibility. John currently serves on the Board of Directors, and is a Past President for the South Carolina Association of Residential Care Homes.

Brenda Kennedy

Brenda Kennedy, RN, BSN, MA, Vice President of Resident Care and Risk Management

  • Joined Beacon in 2011 as Vice President of Resident Care and Risk Management:
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Quality management
    • Community operations
    • Development of clinical/resident care systems and programs
    • Risk management
  • Served over 25 years as clinical leader in several senior care organizations:
    • Vice President of Clinical Services for Bell Senior Living
    • Vice President of Clinical Services with Vantage Senior Care
    • National Director of Resident Care for Marriott Senior Living
    • Area Director of Resident Care for Sunrise Senior Living
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership Liberty University
  • Licensed Assisted Living Administrator
  • Licensed Nursing Home Administrator
  • Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) Clinical Roundtable and ALFA Advocacy
Pamela Polley

Pamela Polley, Controller

  • Joined Beacon Communities as Controller in 2017:
    • Budgets and pro-forma for current and prospective properties
    • Community owner and business office manager financial operations support
    • Financial reporting
    • Regulatory compliance
  • Served over 20 years as chief financial officer / controller in real estate organizations
    • Chief Financial Officer of Goodman Properties Inc
    • Controller, Property Manager of Collins Goodman Development Company
    • Vice President, Controller of Interstate Business Corporation
  • Certified Commercial Investment Member Candidate (CCIM)
  • Certified Property Manager Candidate (CPM)
Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson, Senior Marketing Consultant

  • Joined Beacon in 2017 as Senior Marketing Consultant:
    • Develops marketing strategy and guidance to communities
    • Provides training development and implementation to Marketing Directors
  • Served over 20 years as a multi-site manager in the senior housing industry – Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.
    • CEO/Principal of Impact Senior Sales
    • Senior VP Sales and Marketing, Capital Health Group Management, LLC
    • Vice President Sales and Marketing, Bell Senior Living
  • Opened 25 communities from the ground up as well as tackled turn-around properties with strong positive results.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy – College of Charleston