Chief Executive Officer, Alex Salabarria was born in Miami, Florida in 1967 to Nelson and Miriam Salabarria. The Salabarria family immigrated from Cuba when the Fidel Castro Revolution toppled the Batista regime. The youngest of three siblings, Alex resided for most of his childhood in Ocala, Florida. He graduated from Ocala Forest High School in 1985 and went on to attend college at the University of Florida and Florida State University.
After college, Alex worked in the restaurant industry managing for Steak & Ale and Brinker International in Florida and Georgia for 7 years. In 1996, Alex moved to the Atlanta area to work with his father, Nelson Sr., to achieve his dream of developing and managing an assisted living community for the elderly. In 1998 their dream came to reality when they opened their first community in Woodstock, Georgia.
Alex is currently developing and managing multiple assisted living and memory care communities in Georgia. His brother Nelson and brother-in-law Douglas Shook have joined him over the past few years in the family business to manage the financial and development side of the company.
Alex married Denise Duhe’ in 2000. They share three children; Brock O’Neil, Therese’ Marie and Caylee Jade. Their passions are travel, the beach, diving and Florida State Athletics. The are also active members and volunteers at North Point Church. “The lives we lead in this day and age are so hectic. We so often lose sight of the priorities in our lives. Our Lord, our families, friends and our commitment to our careers. To have such a wonderful family, a great God and the ability to make a difference in so many lives as we do for our residents is a blessing and a responsibility we keep close to our hearts. We hear so many times from families about the difference we make in their and their loved one’s lives. What they don’t realize is that they make a much bigger impact on our lives.”
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer, Nelson Salabarria immigrated to the US from Cuba at an early age, growing up primarily in Florida. His early years in Miami and later in Ocala, graduating from Forest High School. Mr. Salabarria attended Auburn University where he attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management, and met his wife, Melissa. Having been involved in the construction industry all of his life, he moved back to Ocala and worked with his father in the construction and development business. In 1987, Nelson and his wife moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He worked for a national consulting company providing cost management services to the architectural, engineering and construction industry primarily involved in large commercial/industrial projects for private and government clients.
Nelson joined the family business in 2006 heading up development and construction, then transitioned to CFO in 2008 due to the company’s growth. He remains involved in development and construction working closely with Douglas Shook, President of Acquisitions and Development. “We are a very tight knit family. It was only a matter of time before we all joined the family business and applied all our talents and resources to our father’s dream of creating a loving and faith-based environment for the seniors of our community. This dream or philosophy still drives everything we do today.”
Nelson and Melissa have two daughters, Christina and Danielle. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf and being an active member of Woodstock City Church.
President of Construction and Development
President of Construction and Development, Douglas is a lifelong resident of Forsyth County, Georgia. He received a BBA from Georgia State University in 1988. After being in the construction industry for many years, he started S&C Construction. He met his wife to be, Mirian Salabarria, in 1988 and they later married in 1991. Their beautiful daughter, Alexandra, was born in 1992 and five years to the day they were blessed with their son, Gabriel. After running his own construction company for 20 years, Douglas joined Oaks Senior Living in an effort to expand the family business. His entire family are UGA bulldog fans, where Alexandra graduated in 2014 and Gabriel began attending in the Fall of 2016. The Shook family attends and actively serves at Browns Bridge Church in Cumming, Georgia. “I was blessed to marry into a very close and loving family. When you marry a Salabarria you marry the entire Salabarria family. We are a family that genuinely cares for one another and is there to support and love through good and bad times. You see this in our organization. We believe as Christians, that we are called to serve, love, and give. We see it as our mission and duty to serve our communities by providing a loving and caring home for the seniors that are entrusted into our care. What we do is a calling envisioned by our founder, my father-in law, Nelson Sr., and is put into practice every day by my brother-in-law, our CEO, Alex. I saw a quote by Albert Einstein on the wall of the Emory Hospital, ‘Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.’ This quote perfectly expresses what is in our hearts, and is truly the core of what we do.”
Chief Operations Officer
Chief Operations Officer, Linda Bennett, has worked in the senior living industry since 1998. She joined the Oaks Senior Living family in 2001. Before becoming VP of Operations in 2013, she worked as a Community Relations Director, VP of Marketing, and VP of Operations. As Chief Operating Officer, Linda’s primary responsibility is to oversee the operations of each of the company’s communities and to assure that every day, resident care meets the high standards set for Oaks Senior Living communities. She enjoys every minute she is able to spend with residents, family members, and the staff who care for them at each of the communities. Linda and her husband share four extraordinary adult children, three astonishing grandchildren, and a remarkable dog. She enjoys time with her family just as much as she enjoys time with the Oaks Senior Living family.
VP of Sales and Marketing
VP of Sales and Marketing, Denise Salabarria was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and raised in Southern Louisiana. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1987 to pursue a career in sales and marketing with a focus on healthcare. In 2002, she was introduced to A Place for Mom, today’s largest eldercare referral agency. She joined the Seattle-based company with a sole purpose of introducing their services to the Southeast and building their market presence in the Atlanta area. For eight years she worked closely with thousands of senior housing and care providers in additional to consulting and advising families during their search for senior care, earning many accolades and company awards during this time. She was promoted to a Regional Manager role in 2010, where she trained and assisted advisors across the Southeast to success. She joined the family business in 2014 bringing 18+ years of sales and marketing experience to the Oaks family.
Comptroller, Tammy Gonyea came on board as the corporate office manager in September 2013. She has over twenty years of experience in handling the accounting and human resource needs of small businesses. Her career began while still in high school when she worked for a public accounting firm. Most recently she worked in the home health industry, assisted living, and property management fields. Tammy is originally from Cambridge, Wisconsin, a small dairy farming community. During her high school years her family relocated to Littleton, Colorado where she graduated high school and later met her husband, who she married in 1983. Tim and Tammy’s lives are blessed with four beautiful daughters: Lindsey, Courtney, Jenna, and Kendall. Over the years her family has lived in Virginia, Texas, and Georgia. “I could not be more happy and blessed to be a part of the Oaks family. Everyone truly makes you feel special. I thank God for bringing this opportunity into my life.
Deidra Scales is our Director of Human Resources and is currently going to school to attain a degree in accounting. To get through school and help provide for her family, Deidra started working as a Caregiver at the Oaks at Hampton. Her hard work, schooling, and knowledge of the company got her a life changing promotion. Deidra was born and raised in North Georgia. She graduated Dawson County High School in 2013, then took some time to be with her babies. Deidra started school for accounting in August of 2016 and is working toward a degree. She is married and has been blessed with twin boys and a little girl. “Everyone is so accepting, I already feel like part of the Family!”
Director of Clinical Services
I remember visiting nursing homes with my church group as a child. While other children cowered into my Sunday school teacher’s legs, I felt drawn to those wrinkles of unknown origin. I don’t know if it was the warmth in their hugs, wisdom in their faces, or sheer appreciation of someone wanting to visit with them that drew me in, but it was that very feeling that engulfed my soul for the many years to follow. I went on to receive a degree in nursing and theology.
I started my nursing career in long term care in 2003. During that time I worked as a charge nurse, wound care nurse and MDS Coordinator. I then expanded my skillset as an employee of Northeast Georgia medical Center for four years as a Medical/Surgical nurse before being recruited into the float pool program which entailed working in the areas of oncology, hospice, cardiology, pulmonology, orthopedics, bariatrics, neurology, mother/baby, pediatrics, and interventional radiology as well as specialized departments including ER, ICU, CCU and one of Georgia’s very few Congestive Heart Failure units/Diaphoresis Clinic. Over the years, I could never deny that nagging feeling of not fulfilling God’s perfect will for my life. I had many unique and rewarding experiences but I knew that I had not yet stepped into the calling that that the Lord had been preparing me for.
After much prayer, I joined the amazing team at Oaks Senior Living in November 2012. During my time with the Oaks I have served as Wellness Director, Executive Director and currently the Director of Clinical Services. My husband, Danny, and I currently reside in Barrow Co. with our four children, Chase, Sydney, Will and Truett. We spend most of our free time camping, traveling, and shuffling our children to sporting events. I can now say that I feel like I am truly fulfilling God’s calling for my life.
Oaks Senior Living Executive Team
The Salabarria family has been faithfully providing senior living in Georgia since 1998. We are committed to serving with faith, knowledge, compassion, and love.
Chief Executive Officer, Alex Salabarria was born in Miami, Florida in 1967 to Nelson and Miriam Salabarria. The Salabarria family immigrated from Cuba when the Fidel Castro Revolution toppled the Baptista regime. Alex is the youngest of three siblings.
Chief Financial Officer, Nelson Salabarria joined the family business in 2006 heading up development and construction, then transitioned to CFO in 2008 due to the company’s growth. He remains involved in development and construction working closely with Douglas Shook, President of Acquisitions and Development.
President of Construction and Development, Douglas Shook is a lifelong resident of Forsyth Co. and a graduate of Forsyth County High School in 1982. He received a BBA from GSU in 1988. After being in the construction industry for many years he started S&C Construction in 1987.
Chief Operations Officer, Linda Bennett has worked in the senior living industry since 1998. She joined the Oaks Senior Living family in 2001. She held positions as a Community Relations Director, VP of Marketing, and VP of Operations.
VP of Sales and Marketing, Denise Salabarria was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and raised in Southern Louisiana. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1987 to pursue a career in sales and marketing with a focus on healthcare.
Comptroller, Tammy Gonyea came on board as the corporate office manager in September 2013. She has over twenty years of experience in handling the accounting and human resource needs of small businesses.
Deidra Scales is our Director of Human Resources and is currently going to school to attain a degree in accounting. To get through school and help provide for her family, Deidra started working as a Caregiver at the Oaks at Hampton.
I remember visiting nursing homes with my church group as a child. While other children cowered into my Sunday school teacher’s legs, I felt drawn to those wrinkles of unknown origin. I don’t know if it was the warmth in their hugs, wisdom in their faces, or sheer appreciation of someone wanting to visit with them that drew me in.