MEET THE TEAM AT

ATIVO SENIOR LIVING OF YUMA

Deborah Ludington

Administrator

Edward Thompson, RN

Health Services Director

Luis Chang

Maintenance Director

Kody Grode

Memory Care Coordinator

Jesse Rivera

Sales Marketing Director

Deborah Ludington

Administrator

Edward Thompson, RN

Health Services Director

Edward Thompson, known to the community as E.J., began his career in senior living in 2006 as a Certified Caregiver. Discovering his passion for helping seniors, he was soon promoted to Medication Aide and finally Lead Medication Aide. With the experience he gleaned over the years working in a community setting, he knew the senior housing industry was where he wanted to be permanently. He left the industry briefly to achieve a nursing degree from Arizona Western College in 2017 and became a Certified Dementia Practitioner in 2018. As a registered nurse, RN, and with his background training in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, E.J. began working as a Memory Care Director for two years, until he accepted the position of Director of Nursing at a community that coincidentally was led by Deborah Ludington, Ativo’s Administrator. Born and raised in Yuma, E.J. not only enjoys spending time with seniors at work, but he also cared for his grandparents until they passed. Because of the care and love he gave to her, his grandmother passed away peacefully at the age of 101. When not leading our care partners as the Health Services Director, E.J. is an avid reader, loves following current events, and is a big Star Wars fan. 

Richard Aguilar

Business Office Manager

Over 13 years ago, Richard started his career path in assisted living. While working at a doctor’s office, he was offered a position to “pass meds” at an assisted living. He started as a caregiver, then Medication Tech, and then he was promoted to Lead Med Tech, where he happened to hire our current Health Service Director, E.J., R.N. to be a caregiver. Eventually, he moved to Phoenix for 7 years to get additional training to be a C.N.A. and Medical Assistant. When he came back to Yuma, he was offered a position as a Quality Care Coordinator. In December 2021, Richard joined Ativo Senior Living of Yuma. He had worked in the past with Deborah, Administrator, and E.J., Health Service Director, and knew the incredible foundation that was being built with the leadership team. Richard started as a Lead Med Aide and then was quickly promoted to Business Office Manager. He loves listening to music, singing, and even plays the guitar. Though he has 18+ years of experience playing the guitar and singing, he was initially shy when performing in front of others. With a lot of encouragement, he has now become known for it, and you will often find him performing for the residents. He likes to travel on his time off, especially to the beach. As often as he can, he travels to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico, where he has family

Luis Chang

Maintenance Director

Though Luis’s career in senior living housing began in 2018 as a Maintenance Technician at another community, he has truly found his calling as the Maintenance Director here with us at Ativo. Luis enjoys helping residents adjust to their new apartment home and especially loves hearing the stories about their lives. Luis is a native of Arizona and grew up in San Luis. He appreciates every aspect of his role. In particular, he relishes the transformation of an empty apartment to a home full of memories. Luis joined the Ativo of Yuma family in May of 2022, and he previously worked with Deborah Ludington, Administrator, for 2 years at another community. When he heard about the opportunity at Ativo, he was thrilled to be a part of the newest community in town. When Luis isn’t busy helping others, he enjoys restoring classic vehicles. He owns a 1971 Chevelle, and though it is hard work, he really delights in seeing the fruits of his labor. He has been married to the love of his life, Sandra, for the last 5 years, and they have two beautiful daughters, Alanna, 4, and Elenne, 2. They also have two cute pups named Mika and Popcorn. Luis’s passion for helping others shines through, and we are so appreciative to have him as part of our team. 

Thomas Wright

Dining Services Director

This is Thomas’ first time working with the senior community which began in March of 2022. Thomas’ passion for cooking began as a child watching cooking shows with his mother and dreaming of visiting big cities where quality ingredients were easier to access compared to the rural community he grew up in. He began taking culinary arts classes as a junior and senior in high school. Shortly after graduating, Thomas joined the United States Marine Corps. While serving his country for just over nine years, he traveled throughout the country and visited others as well. After his honorable discharge, Thomas moved to Los Angeles to experience cooking with fresh food. Eventually Thomas returned to Yuma, where he was last stationed to raise his kids. After working with many cuisines and eating even more, his passion for quality and fresh ingredients culminates at Ativo. This allows Thomas to not only work with a farm to table influence but to also share his passion with the employees and residents. On the weekend Thomas spends his time with family, whether at the pool, having dinner or just watching sports. Thomas recently graduated from Arizona Western College with his Associates Degree in Hotel Restaurant Management. He is currently enrolled for the fall semester at Northern Arizona University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Kody Grode

Memory Care Coordinator

Genelyn Taliao

Activities Director

“She always shows up with vibrant energy and a lively smile.” Friends and acquaintances describe Genelyn as a kind person with a radiant personality who lights up the room that she walks into, which is why she is a perfect Activities Director for Ativo. Originally from the Philippines, Genelyn moved to Pusan, South Korea and then assimilated into the United States in 2012. She is multilingual and is fluent in English, Korean, Tagalog and a few of the Philippine’s dialects. Genelyn finished her bachelor’s degree of Public Administration at Cagayan State University, and then she graduated with her Associates Degree in Korean Literature at Pusan National University. Eventually, she got her Associates Degree in Business Administration in West Valley College in Saratoga, California. She also minored and received certificates in Marketing, Professional Selling and Business Communications while finishing her degree. While putting herself full-time through college, she was also working full time hours in a senior living community as an Activities Assistant to provide for herself and for her young son. Genelyn is also an accomplished painter, and though her medium is mainly oil paints, she also loves to paint with acrylics. Genelyn plans and executes all the fun events and activities which are both entertaining and beneficial to all the residents. With her positive attitude towards life, she vows to tirelessly bring her sunshine and kindness everywhere she goes!

Jesse Rivera

Sales Marketing Director

Ten years ago, Jesse’s career with seniors began in Arizona. He recently relocated back to Yuma from Colorado Springs, CO, after being gone for 8 years. He first worked in Home Health Care as a Community Liaison, where he eventually moved on to an Administrator role. While being in that role, he learned so much about the industry and about the intricacies of senior living. It wasn’t until the last 5 years Jesse made a transition to senior living, and he hasn’t looked back. Jesse always interacted with several communities while in Colorado and knew he would eventually end up in senior housing since the first time he walked into a community- he absolutely fell in love. His passion for the industry continues to grow, and he loves serving our seniors in Yuma. In April of 2022, Jesse joined the Ativo family and was given the amazing opportunity to help grow the community. He felt like Ativo was the answer to everything he had been looking for in senior housing. His passion to help and serve alongside the other leaders at Ativo resonated with him. When he is away from work on the weekends, you can find Jesse visiting friends and family in California. He loves going on hikes and being at the beach. His other hobbies include anything DIY, such as refinishing furniture. When not traveling, he also serves his community as a member of the Yuma Rotary Club.