- Chef-prepared meals with daily open dining
- High quality and nutritious ingredients
- Opportunity to collaborate with the culinary team on resident’s own recipes
- 24/7 snacks and drinks
- Various events hosted throughout the month including ice cream socials and wine tastings
- Fresh herbs and vegetables for use in the kitchen
- Lovely area to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather
- Residents welcome to tend the garden throughout the season
- Large activity room dedicated to community events
- Full calendar of educational, social, and cultural activities
- Medium sized dog park for our residents’ furry friends
- Staff is available to assist with pet care
- Easy for residents to schedule and attend physical therapy sessions
- Equipment is also available for exercising
MEMORY CARE ASSISTED LIVING
Chief operating officer
Melissa began her career in senior living over 26 years ago. She grew up in New England and met her husband of 25 years, Andy, at Johnson and Wales University where she studied Travel and Tourism. Her parents and grandmother, whose suitcases were always packed and ready to go on an adventure, had influenced her love of travel. While working in the travel industry she took senior groups on tours across the United States and this is where she learned about senior living.
Melissa started as a Resident Lifestyle Facilitator at Westminster Towers where she spent 17 years creating experiences for over 300 residents, writing articles for the senior living industry, and giving speeches on how to create a well-rounded wellness program for all to enjoy. After serving as her next company’s interim Executive Director, she moved into an Executive Director/Regional role at Plantation Oaks Senior Living for 5 years. She joined Legend Senior Living as their Area Director of Operations for North Florida and moved in the Regional Director of Operations for Florida overseeing all operations aspects of 10 Assisted Living and Memory Care communities for the last 3 years.
Melissa’s commitment to have seniors enjoy life to the fullest is evident in the work she does to create environments for residents to thrive. Melissa enjoys volunteering at Central Florida organizations and is passionate about the Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity. Melissa and her husband have one son, Holden, who is a graduate of American University and works for the Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC.
Tami Milliner is the Executive Director for Strive at Fern Park. She handles the facility budget, oversees marketing activities, implements plans to maintain occupancy all while achieving financial goals, managing staff, and maintaining a community that is conducive to the wellbeing of the residents. Seniors are truly her passion and she couldn’t imagine working in any career other than senior living.
Tami has worked in the senior living industry since she was 16 years old and has worked in almost every position as she worked her way up. In her 14 years of working with seniors, she has been blessed with so many opportunities to build herself professionally, and to build relationships with the residents and families that have allowed her to be a part of their lives. She is certified in the state of Florida as an Alzheimer’s trainer, and really enjoys that part of her job
memory care Director
Melissa began her career in the health care field over 20 years ago. She has a wide range of experience with behavioral health, mental health, medical fragile, as well as the senior population. Both of Melissa’s grandmothers had Alzheimer’s/Dementia, which has inspired her to re-focus back into working with seniors. Melissa has a genuine passion to care for others and is committed to enriching the lives of seniors. Melissa was born in Upstate New York and relocated to Florida in 2018, where she now calls home with her Fiancé and her dog, Hope. Melissa has her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at SUNY Brockport College in NY. Melissa enjoys sunflowers, chocolate and diet coke.
Ojanay Jones is the Nursing Director for Strive at Fern Park. He was born and raised in Florida and has been a nurse for approximately 12 years. He began his career as a nurse for a memory care facility in Tallahassee, Florida. He has worked in assisted livings, hospice, home health, behavioral health, and nursing management throughout his career. Ojanay has a passion for the elderly and has spent the majority of his life working with the geriatric population. He moved from Tallahassee, FL in 2011 with his wife and began working in Orlando at Emeritus in Wekiva Springs. He has completed his RN and is currently waiting to sit for the NCLEX to make it official. He has a wife of 12 years and a son who is 6 years old. Ojanay is very family oriented outside of work and enjoys distance running and trying to remain as healthy as possible.
Regional Executive Chef
Brandon Rowley is the Regional Executive Chef for Strive Senior Living and Strive at Fern Park. He is responsible for developing and planning menus, managing food cost and inventory, maintaining quality standards, and leading, mentoring, and managing the culinary team. Brandon’s vision for Strive Senior Living’s dining experience is to craft simple cuisine that enlivens the senses and surpasses your expectations.
Brandon graduated high school in 2002, and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, Florida where he graduated in 2005. He started his career working in country clubs and hotels before entering the senior living industry in 2008. Brandon believes that serving meals and caring for seniors is perhaps the greatest reward we have.
Meg Wilson is the Marketing Director for Strive at Fern Park. Meg is often the first person to
meet a family or a potential resident when they are looking for information about the
community. Meg meets with the families, offers tours, and is a resource in developing the partnership between families, residents, and the community as a whole. Meg believes that by building relationships with families, you create trust. These relationships can be with the family, the children, or the new resident depending on the circumstance. Meg is a firm believer that Strive Senior Living is truly about “one family, one community, one Strive.”
Meg has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee. She has been working in the senior living industry in Orlando since 2009. Prior to joining the senior living environment, Meg worked as a Regional in the Apartment industry. Meg has her CDP (Certified Dementia Practitioner) license, and she is always looking for new ways to increase her knowledge on dementia and Alzheimer’s. Meg participates in many workshops and trainings so that she can offer better support to families as they work through the process of understanding the disease and how it affects their loved ones.
Lori recently moved back to Florida from the Nashville area to continue her career in the health care industry. Previously, she was in the retail world for 25 years serving in a variety of roles including safety, compliance and talent development.
Lori enjoys the interaction with our residents and learning about their diverse experiences. It is important to her to ensure we maintain a safe, clean, neat and fun environment for our residents and their homes.
Lori has an adorable Westie named Xeva (Z-vah) and 4 cats, Lou C., Purr C., Sydnee and Tucker. She enjoys designing landscapes, remodeling homes and golf. She is also a globetrotter, having visited 46 of our 50 states, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and many of the Caribbean Islands.
Business Office director
Veronica Chery-Rosa’s passion for enriching the lives of others is a family trait. She is one of three children, all of which hold careers in healthcare. Veronica began her senior care journey in 2001, in an assisted living facility in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. She served as a med tech and caregiver in this community for 12 years. She then worked for Legend Senior Living at the Windsor-Ortega community. In 2014, her path quickly transitioned from part-time receptionist/caregiver into a full-time Business Office Manager for Windsor- Ortega. She was a key player in Legend’s successful launching of their independent living community in Jacksonville, Florida in 2021. Veronica’s person-centered approach with team members and residents alike has led to successful retention of staff and regulatory survey outcomes. She is embracing the next chapter of her professional career with Strive Senior Living and is looking forward to building the Strive brand within the healthcare continuum!
Life enrichment Director
Meet Dessary Francis. Dessary was born in St.Lucia and was raised in Naples, FL. She has always had a passion for art, activities, and planning events. Although she enjoyed the arts, Dessary decided to pursue a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at Florida Atlantic University. With this degree Dessary became a Substance Abuse Counselor but felt unfulfilled creatively. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida where is learning the cross section of arts and health. With this degree, Dessary wants to teach how art can be a source of healing, improved wellness, and inspire others creatively. In her free time, Dessary enjoys gardening, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, sunrises/sunsets at the beach, and painting. In 2016, she launched a small business on Etsy selling art prints, stickers, and paintings and has participated in local art shows. Dessary loves sunflowers and all things yellow, navy, and coral colored. She has been a vegetarian for 21 years and hopes to continue this lifestyle throughout the rest of her life. Dessary is beyond excited to become the Life Enrichment/Activities Director at Strive! She is looking forward to enriching the lives of the residents through creative activities, events, and outings. Mostly, she is eager to get to know, learn from, and be an asset to the residents/staff and be apart of the Strive family.
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