Mike Silverman is new president at Ovation Communities | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Mike Silverman is new president at Ovation Communities 

Honoring thy father and thy mother has a personal meaning for Mike Silverman. Both of his parents passed away in the last few years, and their picture on his workplace computer screensaver reminds him daily of his commitment to them and to keeping Jewish senior citizens safe and respected. 

Working in Jewish senior living facilities for his 27-year career, Silverman joined Ovation Communities, a Jewish senior living organization in Milwaukee, as its new president in the beginning of January. Silverman said he operates with the goals of enhancing residential experiences and maintaining a well-supported workforce. 

Silverman started his career at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield, Connecticut for five years. From there, Silverman became the executive director of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home in Omaha, Nebraska where he helped lead a major remodel of the facility and eventually became the chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. 

Continuing his passion for Jewish senior care to the West Coast, Silverman became the chief executive officer of Heritage Pointe in Mission Viejo, California — the only facility serving Jewish seniors in Orange County, California — for seven years. 

Silverman said that while he enjoyed working with the residents in California, he longed to get back to the Midwest.  

“The people in the Midwest were just very genuine, very nice, very kind, extremely supportive, extremely philanthropic,” Silverman said. “There’s not as much of a community feel and philanthropic feel [in California]. In the Midwest, every Jew matters. Everybody is trying to help each other. If you’re new in the community, it’s like you’re getting a hug from everybody, because they feel that you’re going to be able to add to what is already here.” 

Silverman saw the job opening at Ovation and knew it was a perfect fit. As president, Silverman aims to enhance the experience for the seniors who reside on campus. He prioritizes staff training and techniques to increase the quality of care and sees value in elevating all aspects of the facility.  

“I’m looking at it as if my parents were here, would it be acceptable for my parents? And I like to consider everyone that lives here as being my parent,” Silverman said. “If it’s not good enough for my parents, it’s not good enough for them — that’s my philosophy.” 

For his work style, Silverman said he understands the importance of personal touch. He conducted all-staff meetings on every shift to introduce himself, field questions and emphasize Ovation’s enhanced referral program, which he said led to a few referrals for staff, which is important since Silverman aims to reduce the need for agency nurses and instead rely on staff who knows residents and can develop a relationship with them. 

Silverman closed on a home in Mequon in mid-April. His family hopes to join a synagogue and become active members of the Jewish community. 

Throughout his career, Silverman has worked exclusively at Jewish senior care facilities. While he said he is not a very religious person, his commitment to his parents and his Jewish heritage makes him passionate about this line of work. 

“If I’m going to work this hard, my commitment is to make sure that our Jewish community seniors are well cared for — that’s what I’m most passionate about,” Silverman said. “It’s not an option for me to get out of the Jewish world.”