Meet the Staff at Oaks at Ashton Hills
The Oaks Senior Living communities are staffed with professionally trained caregivers, selected for their knowledge, compassion and understanding of residents’ needs.
Kathy Hope Executive Director
Growing up in Georgia, surrounded by my family, I was taught early that respect and care should be given to seniors. Grounded by the Christian example shown to me by my family and their service to others, I chose to enter Piedmont Hospital School of Nursing. My education at Piedmont has been valuable to me in the workplace, as a Registered Nurse and then as a Mother. I later learned how valuable it was as a daughter assisting in the care of my parents.
I worked for several years as a nurse then found myself home raising wonderful children. When I returned to the workplace, my job led me to vocations that were centered around seniors. I had worked in Covington in the senior healthcare industry for over eighteen years when I was introduced to my first position in Assisted Living. I was so fortunate to serve as Executive Director for over three years before joining the Oaks family. Oaks Senior Living builds beautiful communities, but their best quality is their culture where residents and staff all become a part of the family.
I now have found a home here at the Oaks. My family, both professionally and with my husband, three children and three grandchildren now shape my Christian life and provide me the opportunity to serve seniors here in Covington.
Therese Boutwell Community Relations Director
When I was a little girl, I would visit my step-dad at work, and I remember running around the Oaks’ first community, the Oaks at Woodstock, and playing “office” with my siblings and cousins. People would tell my mom that I was an “old soul,” and that I could strike up a conversation with anyone, regardless of their age. Being around seniors at such a young age has not only shaped who I am as a person, but has shaped my career path, and allowed me to build relationships with families and their loved ones.
I have lived in Georgia my entire life and grew up in Cherokee and Forsyth counties. Following high school, I attended Georgia Southern University, where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. After college, I moved to Atlanta and started looking for Public Relations jobs, all the while serving and bartending to afford to live in the city on my own. I applied and interviewed for multiple jobs in the Atlanta area looking to find my dream job. It wasn’t until I started my internship with Oaks Senior Living that I found my passion—serving seniors and their families.
I have been with the Oaks since February of 2016 and have been blessed to have been able to spend a little bit of time at each of our sister communities. I started in March of this year as the Community Relations Director for the Oaks at Ashton Hills. I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful team, and to be working in the close-knit community of Covington.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend, Jake, and our “fur-family.” Together we have 2 dogs, Scarlett and Ponce, and a cat named Leon. We enjoy spending time outdoors with our pets, and have date-nights at various restaurants around Atlanta.
Cynthia Patrick Assisted Living Wellness Director
My family and I relocated to Covington from Atlanta when I was 6 years old. It was a big change, but we quickly fell in love with the small community. Upon High School graduation, I enlisted in the Air Force and was off to explore the world. During my enlistment I was blessed to live 2 years in Spain and 2 in New Mexico. During this time, I also married and had my first son. As Desert Storm was winding down, I chose not to re-enlist. Motherhood had definitely changed my perspective.
We ended up settling in Central Pennsylvania, due to my husband’s brother, who was ill and needed care. I began working as a Nursing Assistant in Long term care, and knew I found my fit. I also soon realized, I wanted to learn and do more. I enrolled in a local LPN program and graduated with Excellence in Critical Care award. I continued to work on my RN and am day by day, closer to that goal.
I went on to have another son and daughter. The boys were off to college and my daughter graduated High School, being recently divorced, I wanted to move back home. July 2015, my daughter and I began our adventure, back in Covington. From 2015-2018, I worked with pediatrics. I became a part of so many wonderful families, but my heart remained in Geriatrics.
The Oaks offered me an amazing opportunity to serve as Wellness Director. This role is exciting, in that, it gives me the opportunity, to work with and educate family and staff to provide the highest standard of care, centered around individual needs and goals. I look forward to helping you or your loved ones in transitioning to a new home.
Wahnita Berrocal Assisted Living Lifestyle Director
I was born and raised in New York until I turned 16 and relocated with my parents and siblings to Florida. My professional career has always been in the entertainment world. I started in Professional Musical Theatre when I was 16 years of age. I have been blessed to have over 30 years of teaching and performing in some of the most amazing theaters around the country. In my early twenties my love for dance increased when I began to instruct and compete in Ballroom Dancing. During those years I gave birth to 5 precious children. 4 boys and 1 girl. My children are the light of my life. They have blessed me with 8 grandchildren!
At the age of 48, I found my life’s journey going in a complete different direction and needed to rely on my Christian Faith to guide me. I struggled through a divorce, my father was soon going to pass and be with the Lord. Not sure of what to do with my new journey, I ended up at a job fair. Here is where God opened a new door for me. I recall standing in the room at the job fair and realizing I didn’t qualify for anything! What an eye opener but the Lord had different plans. In the corner of the Job Fair hall was a booth that hosted an Assisted Living Community that my grandfather had been a resident. As I was thanking them for taking such good care of my loved one, they suggested I go to their community and become an Assistant Activities Director. So, I did! I immediately fell in love with my new career and found myself filled with love and joy in heart for the Senior Community.
During this period, I was truly blessed to meet the most amazing man, my husband Jimmy. Our journey together has been blessed with so many adventures and gifts from God. I am humbled and blessed to have him walk by my side. Due to my husband being a part of the military our journey has taking us to many places in the country. We have finally found our home in Georgia. I drove past the Oaks while it was in the building stages and a voice from inside said, go there! So, I did! The second I stepped foot in to this community, I knew I was at home. I am excited and blessed beyond words to be your Life Style Director. My mission statement is: I can’t add years to your life, but I can add LIFE to your years! Thank you for my new journey!
Gina Sheppard Horizons Wellness Director
A native of Georgia, I’ve resided in Conyers, Georgia for most of my life, however I recently moved to Covington, Georgia in January 2018. My family and I have a very close relationship, as we spend lots of time together watching games, eating Sunday dinner, and traveling. I believe in spending time with loved ones because we never know how long we’re going to have together; therefore, it’s important to cherish those times that we have together.
I have a 26-year-old daughter, Briyana, whom I love dearly, that currently resides in Washington, DC. My mother and grandmother live together in Covington, Ga. I also have 4 sisters and 3 adopted brothers. My family members are my heartbeat and they mean the world to me.
Whenever I’m not spending time with family, I love exploring different beaches, snorkeling, attending sporting events, and sightseeing during my “me” time.
I’ve had a desire for nursing from the time of visiting my grandmother’s place of employment as a young kid. She worked at a nursing home in Conyers, Ga and I would go with her to work and mix and mingle with all the seniors. I had so much compassion for them and I always held a special place in my heart to care for them.
After graduating from high school, I attended Ga Southwestern College on a basketball scholarship, therefore I couldn’t pursue a nursing career because I spent a lot of time away from campus playing basketball games. I decided to study Business Management, however it wasn’t fulfilling, and I left college after 3 years and began working in manufacturing. After working for many years in the manufacturing field and receiving many accomplishments, Ford Motor Company closed its doors in 2007 and it was time for a career change. I decided to pursue my nursing career and graduated from Dekalb Technical College as an LPN and class Co-President in 2009. I’ve worked as a Charge Nurse for 2 years and as a Restorative Nurse for 7 years.
I’m truly blessed to be a part of the Oaks family and be given the opportunity to explore another area of nursing as a Wellness Director. I really enjoy spending time with the elderly and I know I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Traci Walden Horizons Lifestyle Director
I was born and raised in Georgia. I spent my early years growing up in Lithonia, Georgia. My family moved to Conyers when I was in the 9th grade, and I spent my high school years in Conyers. I married my best friend 34 years ago and moved to Covington. My husband and I have to wonderful boys Garrett and Leyland.
My career path has gone in many directions. I started my career as a Master Cosmetologist and continued to do so for 15 years. I quickly realized it’s hard to work every Saturday when you have children, especially when one of them is playing ball. I was missing at many of those games. So, into the office world I went.
In 2012 I found myself unemployed due to a plant shut down. I went back to school, and I obtained my Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician and EKG tech certifications. Upon graduation, I began working in a facility as a CNA. After a year on the floor, I started doing activities for our memory care unit.
I feel I can use my skills to enhance the quality of life for my residents because it is truly my passion. Each resident is very special to me. Leaving my residents was the hardest part of leaving the community I was at. Our residents become a big part of my life, and I feel blessed to be able to join the Oaks family.
Saba Tanner Business Office Manager
Growing up in Maine, of my fondest memories was meeting family down on the coast where we ate a ton of lobster which is my favorite food! After graduating, I moved to California where I worked for Rockwell International in the Human Resource Department. I spent several years in Los Angeles and then decided to move to Destin Florida where I worked at SunDestin Beach Resort in the Marketing Department. After 7 years in Florida, I decided to relocate to Georgia where I met my husband of 25 years, Jimmy Tanner.
My husband and I moved to Covington in 2006 where we raised our two amazing children, Nick & Sydnie who and now are off on their own. I was a Pastor’s Assistant at First Baptist Church of Covington for 8 years where my husband and I have been members for over 10 years.
I have always had a heart for senior adults and love to hear their stories of life and experiences. I am blessed to be working at the Oaks at Ashton Hills and look forward to hearing lots of fun stories from the Oaks residents!
Ed Fricker Maintenance Director
I grew up in Philadelphia, and after graduating from High School worked as an electrician’s helper for 2 years, before being drafted into the Army and serving 12 months in Viet Nam. After returning from the service, I started a 4 year electrical apprenticeship and went on to work in commercial and industrial construction for 10 years. I then started working in the manufacturing area as an electrician, supervisor and a manager, where I learned to repair equipment both electrically and mechanically; although, these positions were not rewarding to me personally. I was given an opportunity to join an assisted living community which I embraced wholeheartedly. Eventually, I was given another opportunity to open a large Independent and Assisted Living community in New Jersey, and loved every minute—especially interacting with the residents.
I met my wonderful wife, Irene, in Philadelphia and we lived there for 5 years and had our first 2 children there. We then moved to New Jersey and had 2 more children, and we continued to live there for many years. We have a son and daughter who still live in NJ., a daughter who lives in VA and a daughter who lives in Ga. My wife and I share 5 grandchildren as well.
After living in NJ we moved to Georgia, and we decided we would retire, close to my daughter. I always thought if the right opportunity came along for a new community close to my home, I would apply for it. Luckily, I found out about the Oaks’ newest community, the Oaks at Ashton Hills. I did research on the other Oaks’ family owned communities, and was really impressed with their story and all the positive reviews that the communities received. This is my ideal position, and it doesn’t feel like work. It is a joy to work with a great team, and again to interact with residents, in an outstanding community.