Nollau Graduate Watson One of Three Tapped for Leadership Roles at Embrace Living Communities

Nollau graduate Greg Watson is Embrace Living’s new vice president of operations.

UCC-related Embrace Living Communities, based in Oak Brook, Ill., announced in November the appointment of three new leadership team members. Leading the list is Greg Watson, former director of plant operations, who has been promoted to vice president of operations. Watson is a 2018-2019 graduate of CHHSM’s year-long Nollau Leadership Institute and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister during CHHSM’s 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago.

As part of his new role, Watson is responsible for the oversight and management of Embrace Living’s 33 properties including operations, physical plant, compliance, and budget management. He also will continue to lead Embrace Living’s efforts in compliance training, EIV coordination, Section 504 coordination and oversight, and management of consultant contracts.

“With Embrace Living Communities, I have been encouraged to grow and develop with the organization,” says Watson. “In my new role, I look forward to continuing our mission and assisting in the development of others to serve the underserved.” 

Watson is a licensed broker in the state of Illinois and holds several certifications with the National Center for Housing Management. Additionally, he holds the Housing Credit Certified Professional designation with the National Association of Home Builders and is a certified property manager candidate. Watson also is a LeadingAge Leadership Academy alumnus.

The Nollau Institute was created to help leaders from CHHSM ministries, United Church of Christ-related ministries, and partner organizations discern their call to servant leadership. In late 2018, Watson’s Nollau class was interviewed for CHHSM’s Diakonie newsletter. At the time, he said of the Nollau training, “The best part is not only beginning the process of clarifying your calling; but also, understanding and accepting one’s personal strengths. Recognition of one’s ‘true’ self enables us to serve from a place of wholeness.”

Jennifer Truppa

Rounding out Embrace Living’s leadership team are new hires Jennifer Truppa, director of social services and quality assurance, and Alina Serban, Embrace Living’s new chief of staff.

Truppa is responsible for the design, development and implementation of strategies to strengthen resident services within Embrace Living’s housing communities, including advocacy efforts, ensuring high standards through quality assurance and grant writing. She previously held posts at Mercy Housing, Inc. and Franciscan Ministries.

Alina Serban

Serban oversees internal and external communications, human resources, and marketing and communications strategies as well as provides operational support. Originally from Romania, she was a broadcast journalist before feeling a pull towards philanthropy. She holds an MS degree in human resources development from George Mason University.

“We continue to strengthen our organization with experienced professionals who have demonstrated the leadership and management expertise it takes to deliver superior results,” says Ralph Gaines, Embrace Living CEO. “Our new strategic direction requires an alignment of our mission and people, and Greg, Jennifer, and Alina bring the skills necessary to help assure our continued success.”

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