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Our Promise

At The Villages, we know finding happiness is the key to living the best life at any age. Taking time to build relationships with our residents, we give them the resources to embrace vibrant living full of connection, purpose, passion and love.

We don’t simply care for our residents—we care about them. At the end of the day we provide them not just with a place to live, but a place they can happily call home.

Together, The Villages is a community of communities where staff and residents alike can truly find their happy place.

Our Team


Lisa Hulse

Vice President of Operations

Lisa comes to The Villages with a B.S. in Nursing, a Public Health Nursing sub-specialty, a Psychology Minor, and a huge heart. With a list of previous experiences as wide as her sunny smile, Lisa has worked in hospital settings as well as home health care settings, and with all ages, from children to seniors.

Serving as both a direct-care nurse and later as director of clinical services across a broad range of communities, Lisa knows about the caring profession from every angle. She understands the importance of great communication, responsive management, ongoing training, and leading by example.

Surprised by the pervasive “friendliness” she found upon her arrival at The Villages from a large, national company, Lisa was smitten by the number of smiles and hugs exchanged on a daily basis in all four of our communities. She makes her home in Cambria with husband Hank and children, Amber and Jordan.

“My goal is simple,” she says. “To serve our residents well, in all ways, every day."

Liza Hix

Executive Director
As Executive Director for two Villages communities, Liza brings a lifetime of knowledge, experience, and compassionate support to both her residents and her staff.

With a working life that began as a young flight attendant, Liza Hix has a plethora of “real-world” experiences that prepare her well for her current position. In college, she studied Art and Psychology while raising her own family, before accidentally falling into Senior Housing. “I fell madly in love with the industry,” she says. “I had found my true calling in life.” But there’s more …

Liza’s youngest daughter was born with a severe learning disability that mirrored dementia in many ways. Her struggles to learn, and Liza’s efforts to help her, became the perfect education for working with seniors in a memory care setting.

Liza enjoys being surrounded by altruistic people with big hearts who find joy in helping others. She says, “I love knowing we get to make so many of our seniors’ last chapter in life a better one."


Rhoda Ramirez

Wellness Coordinator
Born in The Philippines and educated in California, Rhoda Ramirez has the perfect combination of life experiences for her position at Garden Creek. She got her “heart” for care-giving from her mother, who made her living helping others. And she trained for it with more than a dozen years of care-giving at another local assisted living community and at our own Sydney Creek.

Rhoda also completed a certificate program in medical billing and coding, and spent many years caring for various family members. Over time, she has developed the confidence, calm, and compassion needed to give our residents the best care possible. “I love getting to know each person here,” she said. “They all have such interesting lives and surprising stories.”


Jodie Sweeney, LVN

When her father needed round-the-clock nursing care during his final years, Jodie Sweeney decided to switch careers and earn her license in vocational nursing so she could care for him herself.

Today, Jodie is a Licensed Vocational Nurse with more than 20 years experience, including in-home care for the elderly, six years at the California Men’s Colony, and five years at the San Luis Obispo County Jail. As a result, she is well-versed and well-rehearsed in a wide range of health conditions and issues, as well as challenging emergencies of all kinds.

She loves working with the elderly because at the end of the day you know that what you do is worthwhile. And, she says,“They know everything … if you take the time to listen.”


Anastasia Camacho

Wellness Coordinator

A mentally challenged brother and a gravely ill grandmother gave Anastasia Camacho some valuable experiences that began at an early age. While still in high school, she volunteered at her brother’s school, and at just 18, she was tasked with caring for her terminally ill grandmother.  It was a lot to take on at such a young age, but it prepared her well for her current position as Sydney Creek’s Wellness Coordinator.

Anastasia’s work experience includes being a para-educator for the Santa Maria school district, as well as lead care-giving positions at two Assisted Living communities before coming to Sydney Creek. With her grandmother (who passed away from cancer at just 62) and her three children as major inspirations, Anastasia brings a huge heart, tons of experience, and a genuine passion to her work: providing the best care possible for the seniors with dementia who live at Sydney Creek.

In her spare time, Anastasia and her husband stay busy attending soccer games and the ever-changing interests of their three active children.


Susan Stewart

Community Relations Coordinator

A San Luis Obispo resident since she was 12, Susan Stewart has accumulated a lifetime of school mates, colleagues, and friendships that run deep and strong. She has been a published written voice in our community for two decades, telling the stories of the people, places, and adventures that make the Central Coast so uniquely appealing.

Susan has had a varied working life, beginning in hospitality (restaurants) to work her way through both her BA in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara, and her MA in Education from Cal Poly SLO. She has worked in several “helping” agencies as a counselor and health educator, was a teacher and public speaker in the crime prevention arena; is a writer for local and national publications; she even served a stint as a tour guide for Hearst Castle. Susan brings six years’ experience in the Senior Housing industry to her current position at The Villages, where she feels privileged to talk with, guide, and inform people who are seeking a change in their lives.

In her spare time, Susan loves to hike the endlessly beautiful hills, mountains, beaches and trails all along the Central Coast. She also reads, writes, gardens, and practices yoga to keep her body and her mind in shape. “I like to be flexible,” she smiles.


Spring Angelotti

Community Relations Coordinator

“I always planned to work with people,” said Spring Angelotti, whose easy smile and ready laughter puts everyone at ease, confirming she made the right choice.

Born and raised in the Hollywood Hills, Spring recalls a Girl Scout leader who nourished her natural creativity and taught her to believe in herself. She went on to earn two degrees—one in General Education and one in Human Services, plus a certification in Early Childhood Development—all of which serve her well in her current position.

As she works with residents and their families, she focuses on what is best for each individual. “I really believe in what The Villages offers people, and I love adding value to their lives in whatever way we can.”

In her off time, Spring has an active family life of her own, but she especially enjoys spending time with her grandson.


Ben Kelly

Director of Dining Services

“Nothing has the power to bring people together like a good meal,” says Ben Kelly, “and I relish the ability to provide that service for Villages residents.” Bringing 16 years’ experience to his position as Director of Dining Services for all four Villages communities, Ben understands the value of food as a “medium to highlight different cultures, celebrate heritages, or bring back a cherished memory.”

From menu-writing to staff development, Ben thrives on overseeing “all the moving parts” of his dining team, including special events, mentoring newcomers, and keeping his kitchen gleaming.

Ben funded his education (a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism) by working in restaurants and dining establishments, where he says, “I couldn’t be happier and more at home!”

When he’s not in the kitchen, Ben loves working with wood alongside his wife, Karen, and going on geographic treasure hunts with their two children, Kaitlyn and Jackson.


Michaela Empey

Community Relations Coordinator

Raised with two siblings who are autistic and non-verbal, Michaela learned early on how to “read” people, and to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. An early loss of a beloved sibling inspired her desire to really make a difference in people’s lives.

The residents at Sydney Creek and their families are the lucky beneficiaries of Michaela’s generous heart, her talent with people, and her genuine calling to work with the elderly, especially those with dementia. With her strong background in service, and previous experience in Life Enrichment, she brings an array of valuable skills to her position.

“Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to help people, but I was never sure exactly how to do that,” says Michaela. “Once I started at Sydney Creek, it just felt right.”


Unica Campos

Business Office Manager

Born in Templeton and raised in Nipomo, Unica is a true Central Coast native. She comes to Garden Creek with nearly 8 years’ experience at Community Health Centers of the Central Coast (CHC). She has specialized training in Medical Terminology and Health Information Technology. Unica began as Garden Creek’s Lead Receptionist and quickly rose to the position of Business Office Manager.

She developed her desire to care for others from her parents, who spent their lives adopting and / or fostering children with special needs. She was drawn to work in assisted living to learn more about how we age—the other end of life. “I enjoy being of service,” she says with a smile. “It makes me feel accomplished.”


Joanna Patch

Business Office Manager

Having spent 22 years as the Operations Manager for one of San Luis Obispo’s most beloved restaurants, Joanna Patch understands the value of true hospitality. At the Apple Farm, staff members were carefully selected for kindness. “If you don’t want to spend your days pleasing people, this is not the job for you,” is what they often told their applicants. At The Villages, we feel exactly the same way.

With her calm demeanor and strong organizational skills, Joanna brings all the right qualities to her position. As she helped care for her own aging parent, Joanna noticed how many older people are often left lonely, with little companionship or care. So, post-pandemic, she looked for a way to make a living that would help fill that hole.

Without hesitation, Joanna says her greatest strength is empathy, so she is truly in her “happy place” when she’s surrounded by people who need her.


Katherine Uhler

Life Enrichment Director

Raised right here in San Luis Obispo, Katherine has a lifelong connection to the city and to The Villages, telling us she used to swim here as a teenager back when the property housed Cal Poly students.

“Music and song kept me in school,” she says, having sung in honor and gospel choirs all her life. Katherine married her high school sweetheart and today, she’s the busy mother of four – all of whom live and work here, too. Her home is the hub, where great meals and family gatherings are frequent.

For someone who admits she is the one who never knew what she wanted to do when she grew up, Katherine says she has finally found the right fit as the Life Enrichment Director at Garden Creek. Filling the calendar with great entertainment, learning opportunities, exercise classes, trips and excursions, Katherine laughs, plays, and learns right along with her residents.

“I wanted to do work that would touch others,” she said. “And now I am the one who is touched and fulfilled every day through the friendships I’ve formed in service to our residents.”


Thomas Smith

Life Enrichment Director

Bringing nearly three decades of experience to his position, Thomas Smith knows a thing or two about planning a great activities program. Before taking the helm at The Villages, Thomas spent 11 years developing programs for the YMCA, running camps and sport leagues across multiple age groups. He would eventually land a job with Holiday Senior Living where he rose through the ranks to become General Manager.

As Life Enrichment Director for The Villages, Thomas uses his best organizing talents and a lifetime of finely tuned people skills to plan a calendar everyone enjoys. “I want to make sure that people are engaged with life, that they’re doing the things they love, that they have a voice in what we plan for them,” he says. Receptive and easy-going, Thomas says his door is always open for ideas and suggestions.


Yovana Genova

Life Enrichment Director

Raised right here on the Central Coast, Yovana is deeply devoted to her own large family, where five generations often gather under the same roof. Right after high school, she became the primary caregiver for her beloved grandmother, which sparked her interest in a career in the medical field.

Yovana earned two certifications; one as a Certified Nursing Assistant and the other in Medical Billing and Coding. She’s always been “crafty” and resourceful, as well as being the events and activities planner for her large family--all of which she puts to good use in her position at Sydney Creek.

“I use all my talents and bring my own unique touch to leading The Life Enrichment team,” she says. “It’s our pleasure to bring love, attention, and fun to all our residents.”


Jeff Ringer

Facilities Director

Born and raised in a small town in the central valley of California, Jeff started “training” for his current position early on. Right out of high school, he went to work as a plant production operator for 8 years. Next he learned the construction trade and spent 15 years honing all aspects of the building industry.

When he moved to the Central Coast, Jeff worked in construction for another 8 years, and then landed the second-in-command position at a local skilled nursing community. From there he was offered the top job at The Village at Garden Creek. Jeff was the primary caregiver for his own Dad during his long fight with emphysema, so he has a special affinity for the residents he works for. “I am very glad to be here at Garden Creek,” he says. “Helping them and keeping them happy is the best part of what I do.”

Married to his high school sweetheart Teresa, Jeff has two grown children: Kelly and Brandon. They’ve been camping together every year since they were kids at Huntington Lake near Clovis, California.


James Hortillosa

Dietary Manager

As the designated cook in his own family, where both parents worked full-time, James Hortillosa learned how to navigate a kitchen and create delicious meals at an early age. Later, he would hone these skills at the elbows of two culinary school graduates, including his older brother.

James spent several years in local restaurants before landing a position at Garden Creek—right before the pandemic hit. After the fast-paced pressure of large, successful restaurants, “I learned how to slow down and put extra finesse into my work,” he explains.
Understanding the importance of bringing familiar, comforting dishes to the table, James also loves to occasionally spice things up a bit, introducing our residents to something new and different. “I enjoy making wonderful meals for our residents just like I did for my parents,” he says, “and it brings me joy to see them happy.”


Bonifacio Aboites

Dining Services Manager

Bringing a broad-based set of food industry experiences to The Village at Sydney Creek, Bonifacio Aboites was part of the first kitchen crew in 2000, when Sydney Creek opened its doors to the community.

Born and raised in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, Bonifacio moved to California in 1992 when he landed a job in fresh produce. He was soon snatched up by the famous Apple Farm restaurant where he worked his way up from prep cook to line chef, and eventually to server. Preferring “the back of the house” to the front, Bonifacio spent the next decade in the kitchen of the popular SLO Brew as well as a long stint at New Frontiers grocery store before assuming the top job at Sydney Creek.

Well organized and meticulous, Bonifacio runs his kitchen with confidence and calm, and enjoys his daily interactions with residents, who always have questions for him.


Ken Chatham

Maintenance Director & Project Manager

Ken’s introduction to his current profession came early on at the elbows of his father and 2 older brothers—all builders and contractors. By 1987, Ken had earned his own contractor’s license in California and was trained in building inspection the following year. In a career that spans more than three decades, Ken has a breadth and depth of knowledge to meet all challenges, large and small, in our communities.

“My main goal is to serve The Villages with excellence in planning, execution, and efficiency … and to work harmoniously with staff and residents,” he said. “I want to take pride in the collective efforts and achievements of our entire staff.”

When he’s not on the job, Ken is an accomplished musician, playing guitar and singing with a classic rock band. He also loves hiking and camping with his wife, Annette. The Chathams have 3 grown sons and two grandchildren.


Michael Guinn

Maintenance Director
Michael Guinn has a long and varied background as the head “fix-it” man. First as a U.S. Marine / aircraft electrician during the Vietnam War, and later as a technician for a well known air conditioning company and two County Offices of Education. So he knows how to keep most anything in good working order. Having lived in an “over-55” community himself, he also has an affinity for working with the elderly, enjoying his role as the guy who can help.

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Guinn moved to the Central Coast where he spent time as the maintenance director for a large local retirement community before landing the top job at Sydney Creek. Here, he takes pride in keeping the building itself gleaming, with all its various parts running like a clock. But it’s the little jobs he does for residents that make him the happiest. “I really enjoy helping them out,” he says, “because I know how hard it can be.”


We are always interested in speaking with talented people who are interested in retirement living and share a commitment to excellence. Please stop in to The Villages of San Luis Obispo at any of our locations and fill out an application at your convenience.

The Villages of San Luis Obispo

55 Broad Street

San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

The Village at Garden Creek

73 Broad Street

San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

The Village at Sydney Creek

1234 Laurel Lane

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Get in Touch

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Retirement living at The Villages on California’s Central Coast provides an enriched, active lifestyle for seniors, and peace of mind for their families. Our community of residents enjoy superior independent living, assisted living and memory care among the wonderful sites and attractions of San Luis Obispo County. The primary retirement campus is comprised of two independent living facilities, The Palms and The Oaks, and an assisted living facility, Garden Creek. Alzheimer’s and dementia care is provided at Sydney Creek, just across town. The Villages unites compassionate staff, comfortable amenities, and a continuum of care for healthy living for our residents and their families. We welcome you to learn more, meet our residents and become part of The Villages community.

Garden Creek Lic. #405800467   |   Sydney Creek Lic. #405800577   |   © 2024 The Villages of San Luis Obispo.

The Village at the Palms BBB ID #778100   |  The Village at Garden Creek BBB ID #3000648  |  The Village at Sydney Creek BBB ID #3000884

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