Kinton Friend is the new executive director of the Illinois Presbyterian Home Communities, located at 2005 W. Lawrence Ave. in Springfield. She started her new role on Sept. 21 and relocated from Kansas City, Missouri, where she had served as an administrator for a nursing facility specializing in skilled care.

Friend was born and raised in the Chicago area, but said she moved to Kansas City to pursue a professional licensure program that wasn’t available in Illinois. She has a daughter, 18, and son, 23, along with a three-year-old grandson, and said the move to Springfield was “a great opportunity for advancement and to get back closer to home.”

Friend also has a three-year-old Schnauzer who serves as a therapy dog. “He’s so intuitive and engaged with the residents; he loves going to work with me,” she said.

“We welcome Kinton and her therapy dog, Marshall,” said Marci Irvine, board president. “She brings a wealth of experience, in-depth knowledge of senior living and wonderful vitality to IPH Communities.”

Friend holds a master’s degree in health care administration from Grand Canyon University and has an MBA in progress from University of Missouri.