Meet Our Team

Kelly Gilligan
Co-Founder of Inspired Memory Care
Connect with us at 973.556.5990
Mary Farkas
Licensed Creative Arts Therapist
Connect with us at 973.556.5990
About Kelly
Kelly Gilligan has had the privilege of being surrounded by inspiration from a young age.  She began her own unofficial career in eldercare early on -- as care partner to two generations of live-in grand and great-grandparents.   Older adults have been a source of advice and energy since those very first interactions.  Kelly's background includes a degree in English and Psychology from Fordham University, certification as a Validation Worker through the Validation Therapy Institute, and a decade of experience training home health aides, volunteers, and managers in the elder and memory care industries.  

Professionally, Kelly began in the assisted living field, where she grew as a case manager, trainer and mentor to department coordinators in the fields of Resident Life and Memory Care.  Kelly's role expanded as she became a member of the regional Quality Assurance Team, and was further called upon to assist coordinators with strengthening their programs at times when culture change was needed.

Kelly most recently served as Executive Director of a Residential Treatment Center and Regional Trainer for an avant-garde memory care organization at the forefront of research-based dementia care practice.  She and her co-founder, Nettie Harper, shared responsibility for the implementations of training, the development of innovative programs, and the incorporation of the interactive, experiential techniques that make their courses unique.  As a certified Validation Worker, Kelly shares a validation-based approach to the achievement of Everyday Inspiration.  
Nettie Harper
Co-Founder of Inspired Memory Care
Connect with us at 917.705.8260
About Nettie

Nettie Harper was unexpectedly inspired to work with elders while rounding out an application to law school with volunteer work. The magical moment she walked through the doors of an adult day program and met the wonderful people on the other side changed her life forever. Nettie developed a passion for working with elders with memory impairments over the next six months. She was inspired to swap her future in law for a future in eldercare, becoming a Recreation Therapist so she would have the honor of both working with individuals living with memory impairment and learning from their wisdom.  Nettie's career focus has been to highlight elders' strengths and self-worth through well-designed programming.
Nettie holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Masters of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Florida.  Nettie is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional and a Certified Online Training Professional.  For over 20 years, she has been a leader in the fields of memory care and recreation therapy, securing New York State grants to improve the quality of dementia care services in skilled nursing facilities, developing globally-implemented training programs, and holding the positions of Vice President of Operations, Director of Recreation, Alzheimer's Unit Director and Dementia Specialist for some of the most well-regarded memory care programs in Florida and New York.  Nettie has worked in a variety of settings including Home Care, Skilled Nursing Homes, Adult Day Cares, Assisted Living Residences and Managed Long Term Cares (MLTC).   Nettie's goal is to continue to offer programming to elders living with a memory impairment and encourage them to live a full life within their community.
About Mary

Mary wholeheartedly believes in the capacity of the healing arts to support meaningful change in the lives of people across the stages of life development.  While her work has spanned the life spectrum, her passion is working with older adults.

She is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist by the New York State Board of Mental Health Practitioners, a Registered Drama Therapist by the North American Drama Therapy Association, and a Certified Dementia Practitioner by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama and Applied Theatre, and a Master of Arts degree in Drama Therapy, both from New York University.  

She has worked in both psychiatric care and residential care settings supporting people living with mental illness, trauma and physical illness including hospitals, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities.  Past positions include Psychiatric Rehabilitation Therapist, Memory Care Program Coordinator, and most recently, Director of Therapeutic Arts and Enrichment Programs. Mary has also collaborated with multiple museums to design and facilitate intergenerational art programs for people living with dementia.
For the last decade, Mary’s focus has been on the intersection of geriatrics, dementia, end of life care and mental health.  Mary also has a strong interest in developing programming for and fostering resilience within both personal and professional care partners. In addition to creative arts therapies, Mary’s strengths-based approach emphasizes trauma-informed care and mindfulness.

Mary is also a therapist in private practice.