Our leadership team.
Loyd S. “Chip” Utterback
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chip Utterback, Lt General, USAF, (Ret) leads six Blue Skies corporations that are dedicated to quality retirement living and superior health care for our residents. Daily, Chip guides this vibrant, multi-million dollar organization, driven by Blue Skies’ commitment, to provide residents with a comfortable, enjoyable home. Retiring from the USAF in 2009, he served in a civilian capacity as a Senior Mentor charged with training and mentoring very senior USAF officers in the art of leadership, corporate management, strategic planning, and operational execution. He continues his service as the director on several state and national level board of directors including Leading Age Texas and as a consultant in international affairs for the Rand Corporation. Gen Utterback earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University, a Masters of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry Riddle University and over his 34 years in the USAF completed numerous other senior military and civilian leadership and management programs.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Brian’s primary responsibilities include providing strategic and tactical direction needed to assure fiscal control, financial strength and effective stewardship of resources. He is responsible for analyzing and interpreting financial performance and communicating results with residents, management, the Board of Directors and external financial partners. Brian came to Blue Skies with thirteen years of experience working in the field of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s). He held the positions of President, CEO and CFO with Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest (PRCN), which consisted of three CCRC’s and a charitable foundation in Seattle, Washington. Prior to PRCN, Brian held key positions with the certified public accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, and the life and health insurance and real estate divisions of Safeco Corporation. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Executive Director – Health Care Operations and Wellness
Wendy Carpenter, BAAS, LVN, CALM, has worked in the long-term care field since 1987, with dementia specific experience since 1998. A Licensed Vocational Nurse and Certified Assisted Living Manager, she earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a Master’s degree in Health Administration at St. Joseph’s College. Wendy oversees all health-related services within the Continuing Care Retirement Community and has been instrumental in the development of the Freedom House program, a nationally recognized dementia care facility. As part of the effort to continually improve caregiver outcomes and resident and family satisfaction, Wendy develops programming and training that focuses on performance improvement and quality indicators. Wendy is a sought after presenter in the field of senior health care education, Dementia and Alzheimer’s care. She serves on the board of directors for the Leading Age Texas Educational Institute on Aging (EIA).
Chief Operating Officer
Fred Ryder, Colonel, USAF, (Ret) held senior USAF positions as a Mission Support Group Commander and as Commander of the Air Force Services Agency. After graduating from Boston State College with a degree in Sociology, he spent nearly 30 years in service to his country before joining our staff in 2009. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College, and has also earned a Master of Science degree in International Relations from Webster University in MO. Fred earned the prestigious title of Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP) from North Texas University, and served as a member of the Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services (CLAS) Advisory Group. As Chief Operating Officer at Blue Skies of Texas, Fred is responsible for oversight of all support operations for both campuses, to include Food Service, Environmental Services, Maintenance, Capital Improvements and Resident Support Services.
Director of Corporate Compliance
Kathie Estrada, Lt Colonel, USAF (Ret) joined the Blue Skies of Texas team in June 2007 as the Blue Skies – East (BST – East) Resident Services Director. She moved into the role of Executive Director in October 2007 and her current role as Director, Corporate Compliance in February 2014. Kathie hails from Louisville, Kentucky and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Western Kentucky University. She completed a Masters of Professional Studies in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Kathie is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. She is a Certified Aging Services Professional through the University of North Texas and has completed the Assisted Living Manager’s Certification Program through The Center for Health Services Education and Research, San Marcos, TX. Kathie is an accreditation surveyor for CARF International surveying under CARF-CCAC (The Continuing Care Accreditation Commission).
Kathie was a speaker at the 2012 Leading Age National Conference and keeps engaged with Leading Age, Texas as a committee volunteer. She has been active in civic support serving on the 2008 San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Rate Advisory Board and as a member of the San Antonio (SA) West/Southwest Sector Planning Team since 2010. During her time as Executive Director, she served as the Secretary for the Valley Hi North Neighborhood Association where she led the Neighborhood submission toward the SA 2012 Bond Initiative and helped to implement joint Valley Hi and BST – East neighborhood programs.
Kathie is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Director of Marketing and Sales
As Director of Marketing and Sales, Eric’s primary responsibilities include planning, development and implementation of all of the organization’s marketing strategies, marketing communications, and public relations activities, both external and internal. He’s responsible for articulating the organization’s desired image and position to all constituencies, by providing editorial direction, design, and production of all marketing channels. Eric brings more than 15 years of corporate marketing in Fortune 500 companies. He also has experience in corporate commercial real estate development and is a licensed Broker in Texas. Eric is a graduate of Texas Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, and he has an MBA with a focus in organizational management.
Director of Human Resources
Mike Deignan, Senior Master Sergeant, USAF, (Ret) is responsible for recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse and engaged team focused on enhancing resident quality of life and driving organizational success. He plans and directs all phases of HR activity, including employee relations, benefits, compensation, training, professional development, workers compensation administration, and recruiting and retention. Prior to joining us, Mike was Regional HR Manager for a national physical therapy and rehabilitation company headquartered in the Northeast. He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development and holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Personnel Administration from the Community College of the Air Force.
Director of Development, Charitable Foundation
Joy Woodruff oversees the day-to-day operations of the foundation and all aspects of fundraising for Blue Skies’ charitable programs. She provides direct support to the Charitable Foundation Board of Directors and focuses on building strong donor relationships and communicating the significance of our support for widowed spouses. She is a transplant to Texas from Georgia and has worked with San Antonio nonprofit organizations since 1999. A member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Joy’s been with us since 2007. She was named Director of Development in 2010.
Director of Resident Services, Blue Skies of Texas West
Lori DeWitt, Master Sergeant, USAF, (Ret) is the Resident Services Director at Blue Skies of Texas West. She is responsible for all day-to-day operations on the West Campus, comprising Food Service, Environmental Services, Maintenance, and Resident Support Services to over 400 residents, over 400 homes, on over 200 developed acres. Prior to coming to Air Force Village in 2001 Lori spent 24 years in the USAF, 19 of those years as an Air Traffic Controller and 5 years as a 1st Sergeant. She paved the way for other females in the Air Force by becoming the 1st female to become fully rated as an Air Traffic Controller at England AFB, LA. But, it was her years as a 1st Sergeant that kindled her passion for working with and serving people. That passion continues every day as she ensures services provided are of exceptional quality. This resulted in her selection as the Texas Association of Homes & Services for the Aging (now known as LeadingAge Texas) Customer Service award winner.
Director of Resident Services, Blue Skies of Texas East
Dave Anderson, Colonel, USAF, (Ret) held many senior USAF positions including Director of A1Strategic Plans and Integration Division (Pentagon), Director of Services Programs (Air Force Services Agency), and commander of three Services Squadrons across his career including a deployed command in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After graduation from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Business Marketing, he spent 27 outstanding years (14 assignments and five deployments) in service to the Air Force and our country before joining our leadership team in Jan 2014. He is a graduate of Air Command & Staff College, Air War College, and has also earned a Master of Business degree in Organization Management from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. As Director of Resident Services at Blue Skies of Texas East, Dave is responsible for oversight of all Independent Living support operations for the East campus to include Dining Services, Environmental Services, Maintenance, Capital Improvements and Resident Support Services.
Board of Directors
Maj Gen Bruce Smith, USAF (Ret), Chair
Mrs. Marilyn Looney, Vice-Chair
Col Bruce Johnston, USAF (Ret), Secretary
Lt Col Karen Cannon, USAF (Ret)
Rad Eanes, III, Ph.D.
Maj Gen Herb Emanuel, USAF (Ret), Honorary Member
Lt Col Jerry Hardy, USAF (Ret)
Mrs. Holly Jones
Lt Gen James Keck, USAF (Ret), Member at Large
Col (Dr.) Halifax King, USAF (Ret)
CAPT Bill Knehans, USN (Ret), Blue Skies East Resident Representative
Lt Col (Dr.) Robert Kruger, USAF (Ret)
Ms. Janice Lenz, CPA, MBA
Col Daniel Meyers, USA (Ret)
Col Josh Moran, USAF (Ret)
Brig Gen Robert Murdock, USAF (Ret)
Mrs. JoAnn Richardson, Resident Member at Large
Maj Gen Glen Shaffer, USAF (Ret)
Lt Gen Tommy Thomson, USAF (Ret), Blue Skies West Resident Representative
Brig Gen (Dr.) David Young, USAF (Ret)
Dr. Marie Leas, Blue Skies East Resident Council Chair
Col Wayne Erwin, USAF (Ret), Blue Skies West Resident Council Chair