History and Mission

Why We Are Here.

In 1996, a group of citizens founded Blakeford, a nonprofit provider of quality senior lifestyle solutions and health services to senior adults. The organization that we have become since that time owes its existence first to that personal desire, but as our vision and the needs of our community have grown around us, we have grown to meet those wider needs. Today, as record numbers of adults enter retirement age here in Greater Nashville, we are thinking ahead about how we can continue to ensure that their lives will be rich, that their value and contributions will be recognized, and that they will have the peace of mind in retirement that they have earned over a lifetime.


When it comes to your well-being, you want an expert, caring professional who is constantly updating their skills. The experienced Blakeford team ensures that we offer consistently high-quality care at our retirement community in Nashville that enriches the lives of our residents, clients, and members. These dedicated professionals are committed to creating an environment of exceptional healthcare and a place of true belonging and community.

Brian Barnes


President and CEO

Brian Barnes has served as President/CEO of Blakeford Senior life since 2018. Mr. Barnes has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in finance and operations of not-for-profit senior living and healthcare organizations. His background includes new campus development, campus repositioning, merger and acquisition transactions, and financing and operating HUD low-income senior living properties. Mr. Barnes has also launched and managed home and community-based services including home health and hospice.

Mr. Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas Tech University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. He also completed from the Long-Term Care Administrator program through St. Joseph’s College of Maine.


VP and COO

Allison Griffith joined Blakeford as director of human resources before she was promoted to her current position in 2007. Previously, she served as human resource manager for Federal Express in Memphis, Tennessee. Allison is a licensed nursing home administrator and brings more than 17 years of long-term care experience to Blakeford, as well as more than 23 years of experience in management with a focus on operations and employee relations.



Al Griffin, a native of Rockwood, Tennessee, has been in the healthcare industry for his entire career. A graduate of Lipscomb University, Al joined our team from Crossville, Tennessee, where he worked for two-and-a-half years. Prior to that, he served as Controller at the hospital in Crossville for 17 years.

Jane Kelley

Jane Kelly, FACHE

Executive Director | Community & Home Services

Jane Kelley serves as the Executive Director of Home & Community Services which includes LiveWell By Blakeford, a Life Plan at Home program unique to Middle Tennessee and Blakeford At Home, our CARF-CCAC accredited provider of at-home services. Jane has been responsible for the development and successful launch of both of these programs, from concept forward during her tenure at Blakeford.

Clark Shawn


Chief Technology Officer

Shawn Clark has been with Blakeford since 2009. He oversees both the corporate business systems and infrastructure, and technology services for our residents. Using his experience in operations, Shawn also directs the Resident and Guest services team including reception, transportation, and security. His passion is providing technology systems that are secure, stable, and usable. Shawn began his technology career while serving in the United States Marine Corps being part of the team that provided technology and security services to high ranking dignitaries.

Carolyn Picton

Carolyn Picton

Director of Sales & Marketing

In 2024, Carolyn Picton joined Blakeford Senior Life as the Director of Sales and Marketing. She brings a diverse background that spans across pharmaceutical, hospital, and hospitality sectors plus over 15 years of dedicated experience in senior living. Carolyn graduated from the University of Florida (UF), where she earned a degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

Our Board of Directors

  • Joey Harwell, Chair
  • Virginia Betts
  • Sandra Bledsoe
  • Tammy Boehms
  • Janet Connor
  • Fred Ewing
  • Andrew Fawaz
  • Terry Frisby
  • David Gregory
  • Mark Pierce
  • Mary Clare Pyron
  • Chris Was