My Story

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Heidi Brown, MSW, ACSW, CMC

Member of National Association of Social Workers

Member of Aging Life Care Association, Advanced Professional

Member of National Academy of Certified Care Managers

I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. My commitment to community service and life-long dedication to helping others began by participating in my family’s weekly charitable giving (always putting something aside for those less fortunate) and while serving as a young leader in B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) of Western New York. 

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany with a Bachelor of Art (BA) in Psychology and from the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in both Clinical Practice and Administration. 

My career began as a front-line case manager working with socially, academically, and economically disadvantaged individuals and families. My work took me to various settings including State psychiatric facilities, Boys & Girls Clubs, County jails as well as enabled me to create linkages with various social service agencies.

Professional opportunities took me from social services to working for several years in behavioral health.  I was a director of adult services, adolescent services, and outpatient services at a psychiatric hospital in Washington, DC and then became executive director of Partial Hospitalization Programs in suburban Maryland. After opening a program for older adults, I was immediately drawn to working with seniors and was captivated by their stories.  

For 16 years, I served as executive director, senior executive director, and regional director of operations with Sunrise Senior Living. I led several senior living communities (independent living, assisted living, dementia care and skilled nursing) and was dedicated to championing the life of seniors, especially those most frail and not able to advocate for themselves. I joined Charles E. Smith Life Communities (not-for-profit, senior living campus in Rockville, Maryland) where I served as the administrator for assisted living and dementia care.

I moved to Sarasota in April 2014 and became the CEO of Aviva, previously Kobernick-Anchin-Benderson, the Jewish supported not-for-profit senior living campus serving Sarasota-Manatee. 

In February 2017, I was named President and CEO of Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of the Suncoast and held this position until June 2020.  While there I continued to work closely with seniors and was thrilled to continue my life’s work and fulfill my passion to build relationships, help people, and establish important connections to improve the community.  

As a breast cancer survivor, and care giver for my father, who had significant health issues and resided in my home until he passed away, I have a unique perspective in providing customer service compassionately to those who are vulnerable and in need.