- 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
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.
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!
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Rebecca Root is the Director of Operations for Sanctuary by Strive. In her current role Rebecca works with the team members to handle all the human resources and payroll needs, as well as all accounting
needs for the communities. Rebecca believes in advancing the mission, teamwork, collaboration, integrity, and being a champion for both the residents and the staff who are providing care and services.
She is competitive and always wants the team to excel and exceed expectations.
Rebecca brings over 25 years of experience in the senior living industry. She received her master’s degree in health care administration from Utica College. Rebecca is also a licensed nursing home
administrator in the state of Florida.
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.
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.
Alva Arrington is the Nurse Administrator for Sanctuary by Strive. Her knowledge base comes with overseeing all operations and ensuring residents receive the care they need in compliance with state and federal regulations. Alva’s compassion for our residents comes from years of experience, care, devotion, and continued education of Alzheimer’s disease for the well-being all residents.
Alva’s nursing career began in the Emergency Department of Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago, IL. She remained there for 7 years and obtained experience in many medical areas. Later, Alva worked with the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Family Support Coordinator for 11 years.
After her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she became interested in learning more about the disease. Her desire to help residents and families then led her to specialize in this area. Alva has worked in assisted living/memory care for the last 15 years as a Health & Wellness Director.
Alva has one daughter and two lovely grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with them and introducing them to new experiences in life.
Kalub is the Move-In Coordinator for Strive at Fern Park. He is originally from Texas but made his move to Florida at 17-years-old to be closer to his mother. He graduated high school in 2012 and thought he had figured out what he wanted to do for his career. He started studying to become an attorney at 18 years old and made it to becoming a certified paralegal and notary and was at the Gordon law firm for 5 years. He decided to change careers and moved into the sales field with retail and then moved on to the restaurant industry. He is a jack of all trades as many people would say, he is meticulously organized and is passionate about the work that he does no matter what position he is in. He is new to his senior living career but feels that the possibilities in this career path are endless. His main goal in life is to help people live the best life they can, and he has found that senior living is the best fit for what he wants to do. His hobbies include training horses, swimming, and cooking for big family parties. Family is the most important thing to Kalub it means everything to him, which is why he has chosen Strive, we are one big family.
Growing up in a family that loves food, Matt Godfrey finds himself wanting to create food that his family will love, inspiring him to become a chef. In high school I excelled in a culinary arts course where I discovered my love and passion for food and my talent for preparation and presentation. This led to an after-school job in a local restaurant where I worked my way up from dishwasher/ busser to lead cook. Attended Lincoln culinary graduate top of his class. With fifteen years of professional experience in the kitchen, Matt Godfrey was born in the New England area. Was raised by a single mother of four. Trained in multiple cuisines and preparations and extremely knowledgeable of basic, advanced cooking techniques. Able to prioritize safety in the kitchen while upholding high standards for meals and ingredient preparation. Taking direction well can work under extreme pressure while maintaining a positive attitude. Passionate about the culinary industry. I cook from my heart and soul while creating all the dishes and using the skills and techniques I’ve acquired from my years of traveling. I especially enjoy sharing my talents in a more personal setting. When I’m not creating meals and memories, I’m spending time with my 8-year son.
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.
Life enrichment Director
Andrea grew up on a farm in New Jersey. At the age of 9, her family moved to Florida. She has always had a strong passion for community. As a teenager she would spend at least 3 days a week doing community service and outreach. Once she became a mother, she dedicated herself to raising her three children. She worked for Disney for many years before moving into Food Management as an event specialist. A few years ago, as her kids became grown, she started looking for a more fulfilling career for herself. Starting off as a receptionist in the senior living community, she quickly started to grow as this career became a passion. She then moved to Activity Assistant, then to Lead Activities Assistant. She is extremely excited to now be the Life Enrichment Director here at Strive. The happiness and overall well-being of our Strive residents is truly a passion.
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