Kian Saneii, Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
“I experienced first hand the difficulties and related anguish of providing care to an elderly loved one, and set out to create an offering that would allow caregivers to “be there” regardless of their physical distance. This is long overdue, but now our partners and customers can improve their businesses while also improving the lives of those in their care, and the family members who support them.”
Kian Saneii brings more than 25 years of leadership experience to Independa as our CEO. Prior to Independa, Saneii was GM of Websense Wireless from 2005-2008. From 2001-2005 Saneii held roles as VP Marketing and VP Business Development at Websense, responsible for all aspects of global marketing, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, OEM sales, and business development through new strategic channels.
Before joining Websense, Saneii served as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Business Development for IMA, Inc and IPNet Solutions, 1997-2001. From 1985 – 1997, Saneii served in management positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, DIS Research and FileNet Corporation (acquired by IBM).
Saneii is a board member of The United Way of San Diego. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with Honors, from New York University, Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, NYU President’s Award; also a Master of Computer Science from Rutgers University.
Gary Gilmore, Chief Financial Officer
“Independa is improving the care and quality of life of our beloved elders as they navigate and manage the escalating health care costs. Enabling caregivers and their loved ones to maintain contact, no matter the miles between them, empowers the caregivers and brings great comfort to their loved ones, that’s why I’m excited to be part of this great company.”
Gary Gilmore has over 25 years’ experience leading corporate finance and operations of companies focused on developing and commercializing emerging technologies in the life science, software, medical technology and manufacturing industries. Prior to Independa, Gary was Chief Financial Officer of Naviscan, Inc., Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (Nasdaq: ASPX), Althea Technologies, Inc. (acquired by Ajinimoto), Preventys, Inc. (acquired by Mcafee) and Holocom Networks, Inc.
Gary received a Master of Science in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business, San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Kentucky.
Richard Della Penna, MD, Chief Medical Officer
“I spent the entirety of my career in the elder care segment of the healthcare system. When I learned about Independa, I could not pass up an opportunity to help them succeed. The need is so great in the marketplace today and Independa is the only company I have found that is truly solving the critical issues facing caregivers and their loved ones.”
Richard Della Penna, MD, brings more than 32 years of medical experience to Independa as our Chief Medical Officer. He was a physician with Kaiser Permanente from 1977 until November 2009. From 1999 until 2009 he was on the staff of the Permanente Federation and the Care Management Institute in Oakland, California. During that time he held the positions of Medical Director of the Kaiser Permanente Aging Network and the National Clinical Lead for Elder and Palliative Care. In these roles, Dr. Della Penna collaborated with Kaiser’s regional elder clinical care leaders and Kaiser Health Plan’s Medicare leadership in strategic efforts to improve the care of Kaiser’s nearly one million older adult members. His clinical and care improvement activities have focused on depression, dementia, interdisciplinary team training, long term care, transitional care, and palliative care.
He is a member of the Veteran Administration’s National Geriatrics and Gerontology Advisory Commission and was on the Board of Directors of the National Alzheimer’s Association from 2005 thru 2013. He is a member of the advisory board of the Practice Change Fellow Program, which provides leadership training to early and mid career physicians, social workers and nurses specializing in geriatrics and gerontology. He is the 2010 recipient of UCLA’s David H. Solomon Award, which recognizes influential leaders in the field of Geriatrics.
Della Penna earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross, M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine and was an Intern and Resident at Harvard Medical Service, Boston City Hospital.
Jennifer Willey, Chief Business Officer
“Making a difference in the world to improve the lives and health of others is important to me. Helping build Independa is the best way to leverage my experience in healthcare and technology to help people provide care when they are not there… and to make it easy and simple to provide support and services for those who need it most.”
Jennifer Willey brings more than 20 years of experience building innovative, strategic partnerships across healthcare, digital, media, and marketing to Independa. As Chief Business Officer, Willey is responsible for commercial and consumer growth across strategy, sales leadership, marketing and business development.
She most recently served as Vice President of Consumer Strategy and Partnerships for WebMD. Willey has a proven track record of fostering innovation, driving growth, and building long-term strategic relationships in a variety of roles for companies like Yahoo, AOL/Huffington Post, Sharecare, RealAge, Everyday Health and TV Guide. Prior to joining the digital media industry, Willey was a Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, specializing in the media industry. Willey started her career as a TV News Anchor and Reporter at CBS and ABC affiliates in South Carolina and New York.
Willey has served on the Boards of the Consumer Health Products Association and the NY Chapter of the Alliance for Women in Media. She is the founder of numerous women’s business empowerment networks, an advisor and mentor to CSweetener (an executive mentoring platform for women) and has been a presenter and panelist at a number of industry conferences and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Willey is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
AMY JOHNSON, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
“I spent my early career in the community nursing field, caring for the elderly and the disabled in their homes. I know firsthand how vitally important independence is to seniors and peace of mind is to caregivers, which is why I’m passionate about improving the lives of seniors and their families with Independa.”
Amy Johnson provides overall direction and guidance to the operational activities of Independa, with the primary objectives of maximizing growth, retaining business and delivering outstanding service to customers.
Prior to Independa, Johnson served as Director of Client Services at NCE Computer Group where she oversaw the activities of the Program Manager / Client Service Manager department, Customer Command center, and Customer Service Call Center department. Before joining NCE Computer Group, Johnson managed a customer service call center of 500+ calls per day at BREG, Inc. From 1998-2009 Johnson’s management career at SingTel Optus in Australia spanned a variety of different business functions including Business Retention, Collections, Operations and Outsourcing, both on-shore and in the Philippines.
Dan Markham, Senior Director of Engineering
“My great grandmother is 92 years old and I have a 12 year old daughter – being able to capture 4 generations of women in a family photo is a beautiful thing. Being part of Independa is a gratifying opportunity to enrich the lives of our loved one by helping to keep them happy, healthy, and well taken care of as well as to use technology to bridge the gap between time, distance, and generation.”
Dan Markham leads the charge on innovation and technical efforts at Independa, providing architectural vision and direction to ensure delivery of the best product and experience to customers.
Markham comes to Independa from local digital media startup eventful, where he directed the technology team from its inception in 2004 to its acquisition by CBS Local in 2014. Following the acquisition, he absorbed leadership of CBS Local’s New York based technology group and managed bi-coastal cross-team development efforts until joining Independa in 2016.
During his tenure at eventful, Markham was a trailblazer in the research and implementation of platform architecture and infrastructure, employing algorithms in tandem with available and emerging technologies to create a data-driven, scalable application with millions of users. Prior to eventful, he cut his teeth in engineering during the prime years of dot-com giants mp3.com and Napster.
Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls to the Independa TV, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!
You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!
I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.
I’ve been using Skype and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also Skype with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.
I live in California, my 80 year-old Dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My Daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my Dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.
We use the Skype feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then call their family on Skype. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via Skype and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.
My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!
Skype on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!
When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the Skype call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!
I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using IndependaTV. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.