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.
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."
Kirk Klotthor comes to The Villages with more than 20 years experience caring for seniors in community settings. With licenses in Residential Care for the Elderly and Rehabilitation Therapy, Mr. Klotthor has worked in such renowned hospitals as Orthopaedic Hospital in Los Angeles, St. Luke Medical Center in Pasadena, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills.
Most recently, he was the Executive Director of Buena Vista Care Center in Santa Barbara, a 150-bed community where he restructured departments and implemented new processes and programs, resulting in numerous awards and accolades.
Kirk understands the value of team-building and goal-setting, believing that when each member of the team feels comfortable, confident, and happy, then residents will get the best care possible.
“Come see me,” he invites. “Let me know your thoughts.”
With a calling to help others, Jennifer joined the Army National Guard right out of high school, where she became a Military Police officer. For three years Jennifer assisted in numerous raging California fires and other natural disasters that swept the state.
During this time, she also trained with the Red Cross and earned her CNA license. She worked various years for Visiting Angels, gaining experience and skills. Her love for the medical field brought her to Garden Creek, where she trained and worked as a Med Tech, learning the med room inside and out. Currently working towards her RN, Jennifer is now leading our care team as Wellness Coordinator.
Helping our residents to achieve the best quality of health possible, Jennifer says, "I love making our residents happy."
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.”
With not one, but two of her grandparents affected by dementia, Heather Chapman sees first-hand how it affects them and her family. With a decade-long background in Behavioral Health, supplemented by university courses in Special Education, Heather is uniquely well-qualified for her position at Sydney Creek.
Heather started as a Med Tech, was promoted to Assistant Director of Wellness, served as our Business Office Manager, and was then offered her current job as Wellness Coordinator. “Whether it’s family members, residents, or co-workers, just knowing I’m helping to make things easier on them makes me happy,” she says. Toward that end, Heather will soon have her R.N.
When she’s not at Sydney Creek, Heather likes spending time at one of our pretty beaches, hiking our hillsides, and hanging with family and friends.
Carolyn Stewart, LVN
When Carolyn Stewart was offered a chance to change careers and be paid to train, she volunteered to leave her mid-management position with a newspaper group and switch directions entirely. And the direction she chose, nursing, was the best decision she ever made. She took a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a Skilled Nursing Facility that offered dementia care. The time she spent in that unit convinced her that this field was what she truly loved. So she asked to stay on in the unit, and soon earned her LVN license.
As the Licensed Vocational Nurse at Sydney Creek, Carolyn shares her considerable skills and compassion with residents and co-workers alike. She loves caring for the elderly, especially the ones who have very few family members (or perhaps they live out of the area) that visit regularly. “They need to feel loved and important in their last days,”
Director of Community Relations
Jane’s affinity for the older, wiser generation began with her grandmother, who shared the house where she was raised. Continuing in that tradition, Jane’s own mother now lives with her, in a cottage nearby. Even her father was older than most, being 50 when Jane was born. “I guess you could say I’ve always been comfortable with older people,” she smiles.
Jane has a long career in sales and marketing, with many years helping seniors and their families find just the right fit for their unique needs. “Working in the senior housing industry is very special. I love a job that’s built on relationships,” she says.
Born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area, Jane found her way to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly. She raised three children here, Amanda, Courtney and Taylor, but now finds herself with an empty nest. She makes her home in Templeton where she loves to welcome friends for dinner or a weekend getaway. And with ancestral roots in Europe, she also loves to travel when time permits.
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.
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.
Business Office Manager
“The minute I walked into The Villages, it felt like home,” said Linda of the day she interviewed for the Lead Receptionist position at our Assisted Living community, Garden Creek.
Bringing her trademark calm and playful sense of humor to the demanding tasks required of the first person our residents and families see on any given day, Linda took to her new job like a duck to water. A keen sense of organization and order won her a quick promotion to Assistant Administrator.
More recently, Linda was promoted to Business Office Manager for our independent communities. Now, she’s not only the first friendly face we see every day, but she’s also the go-to person for residents, families, and staff alike.
“I was looking for a way to be of service, to help others,” she says. “And working for The Villages gives me that, plus a big bonus: Even after many years, I am still learning about life and love from our residents on a daily basis.”
When she’s not at work, Linda can often be found knee deep in pots and plants at the home she shares with her husband and her mother in Nipomo.
Life Enrichment Director
Close relationships with her grandmother and great-grandmother gave Mary Jacobs an abiding respect for the elderly, and a deep appreciation for the wisdom and guidance they offer. So it was natural that she would take a class called The Psychology of Aging on the way to her degree in Philosophy (with a minor in Psychology) that she earned in 2019. A program from that class put her in direct touch with residents at The Villages, an experience that led her to apply for, and win, her current position.
That combination of life experience plus education made her the perfect choice for a job that celebrates elders every day. Having lost both her parents at far too young an age, Mary understands better than most that life is truly a gift, to be honored and celebrated as often as possible. She loves finding new and innovative ways to keep our residents active, happy, and healthy. For example, her own love for Zumba prompted her to invent a cardio dance class just for us. And she will definitely keep the Lunch Bunch program going that pairs college students with residents for mutual understanding and fun.
“I knew I wanted a career where I worked hands-on with older people,” she said. “It’s like this job was made for me!”
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.
Dinora got to know our residents first as a dining room server. She was immediately smitten with our fascinating elders and soon she was promoted to the Front Desk. Smart, efficient, kind, and patient, Dinora became our Lead Receptionist in short order.
Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Dinora has always enjoyed being around older people—an uncommon quality in a young twenty-something. Her grandfather, Eladio, is a beloved elder who taught her to read and count when she was a little girl. At The Villages, Dinora enjoys the wisdom and experience she encounters here every day.
In her spare time, she loves to travel, having already spent time in Italy and The Netherlands. She says her work at The Villages has inspired a desire to make working with seniors a long-term career.
Clay Poynter brings a lifetime of experience to his position as Maintenance Director at The Villages. Born in Turlock, California, and raised in the very small town of Hughson, Clay grew up in construction. Nearly every member of his family is involved in the building business in one way or another.
During high school, Clay played several sports and went to work right after graduation. He soon formed his own construction company which thrived in the Lake Chelan area of Washington State for 18 years. He and his wife Colleen, a middle school teacher, moved to California to escape the snowy winters.
Clay had been serving as Maintenance Director for a large health corporation in our county for seven years when he agreed to take the top job for The Villages. His long and varied experience makes him an ideal fit professionally; and his warm, can-do attitude helps him to “lead by example,” he says, and to “steer my team in a positive direction.”
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. “It makes me feel accomplished, and I do it with a smile.”
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.”
Born and raised in Santa Maria, Kevin Avila grew up with the deliciously familiar, “from-scratch” dishes his mother cooked every day for her family. He began his cooking career as a teenager at popular chain restaurants like El Pollo Loco and Pizza Hut, quickly moving into management positions.
Wanting to expand his knowledge beyond fast-food, he went to work in two of our county’s best gourmet restaurants. Kevin supplemented his culinary education by reading and practicing on his own, developing recipes that would later become Villages favorites.
“I love hearing all the compliments from our residents,” he smiles. “They tell me they can really taste the difference.”
Kevin works hard every day to provide all our residents with delicious choices for every palate, and always with an eye toward fresh, local ingredients and as much scratch cooking as possible.
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.
Community Relations Coordinator
Danny Danbom knows a thing or two about loss. In her young life, she has been the primary caregiver for her grandfather, her grandmother, and her own mother in their final months—each suffering from their own degenerative illness.
“Watching their decline gave me the courage and the confidence to speak about illness and death,” she said. “That’s a trait most people struggle with.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation & Hospitality Management, and ten years in the finance industry, Danny (short for Danielle) brings a wealth of knowledge and a sincere desire to be of service to her current position at Sydney Creek.
“I want to be the advocate our community needs,” she said. “It’s my pleasure to articulate who we are, what we do here, and how we might help.”
Business Office Manager
As a member of the fifth generation to live and work on her family’s Southern California citrus ranch, Ann Larkin grew up learning about business. With parents who were active in their community well into their 80s, she also learned the value of service to others.
Ann earned her B.S. in Business Administration and spent the first part of her career in the high tech world of Silicon Valley. She and her husband moved to San Luis Obispo for its beauty and its slower pace. Ann has a special affinity for those living with or affected by dementia, having witnessed it in her own family.
“The best things about working at Sydney Creek,” she says, “are the sense of community, and the fulfillment that comes from being part of the dedicated team that cares for our residents, their families, and our co-workers.”
Life Enrichment Director and Administrator in Training
Laura Green thinks she might have been born 60 years too late. She’s always loved history, old styles, old music, old TV shows. And spending time with the elderly, including her own grandparents, one of whom died with Alzheimer’s Disease. In college, she did her senior internship at an Adult Day Center where many of the participants had dementia. And her first paid job was as a Life Enrichment Assistant at an elder community in Seattle. As Sydney Creek’s Life Enrichment Director, Laura looks forward to coming to work every day where she finds her “second family.” She is also training to become an administrator, wanting to learn all she can about her chosen field. “I feel lucky that my job is love people,” she says.
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.
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.”
Even when he’s not at work, Simon Ford loves to spend time with growing green things. Whether it’s in his own flower and vegetable gardens at home, or out in the wilderness as far from civilization as possible, his first and lasting love is for flowers, plants, and trees. Which explains why the courtyards, pathways, and grounds at The Villages always look so lush and beautiful.
Born in Tennessee, and raised in California, Simon started gardening at the age of one. Since then, he has achieved 40 years personal experience, 25 of those as a professional. He studied horticulture, botany, and marine and terra biology at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine before opening his own thriving business, where he specialized in English Cottage Landscape Design for private residences.
Upon retirement, Simon wanted to continue working for the benefit of others and found himself at The Villages. In four short years, he had earned the top spot. Around every corner, in the calming greenery, and in every new and surprising burst of color, you can just tell: Simon has been there.
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
Meet with one of our Community Relations Coordinators, request more information or schedule a tour.
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.
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