Waltonwood Lake Boone, a family-owned senior living community, is pleased to announce the hiring of seven new members of its management team. The team will play a strategic role at Waltonwood Lake Boone, which is expected to open this summer. The community’s executive director, Allison O’Shea, is proud to announce Richard Hiatt, marketing manager; Gail Honeycutt, marketing manager; Lauren Higdon, independent living manager; Katie MacGilvray, business officer manager; Shelly Levin, life enrichment manager; Bryan Minton, culinary services manager; and John Carr, Environmental services manager. The community will have 121 independent living apartments, 39 assisted living apartments and 23 memory care apartments. The team brings years of experience to respected positions and shares a deep passion for providing seniors with a greater quality of life.
“We have a well-rounded team that is eager to serve seniors in Raleigh,” said O’Shea. “They bring experience and passion that is unmatched in this industry. The team doesn’t just see this as a job, but rather as a calling to make a difference in the lives of seniors. With their help and dedication, Waltonwood Lake Boone will redefine senior living. I am proud of the team we put together and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish. With the grand opening approaching quickly, our goal is to provide engaging amenities, independence and the best care in a safe environment for the residents.”
Richard Hiatt joins the team as marketing manager. He has experience in senior living and health environments. He also worked with nonprofit organizations in the state of North Carolina to set and reach fundraising, volunteer and attendance goals. He attended Appalachian State University where he double majored in health education and physical education.
"My family's experience with Alzheimer's and dementia made an immense impact on me personally," said Hiatt. "My mom and three aunts have been caregivers for my grandmother since 2011. That inspired me to make a difference and to help seniors. I'm looking forward to working in the three areas of senior living we offer consisting of independent living, assisted living, and memory care.
Raleigh native Gail Honeycutt has been named marketing manager at Lake Boone. She previously spent eight years at a sister community, Waltonwood Cary Parkway. Honeycutt says this community will fill a void in the area.
“A church member first told me about Waltonwood Cary Parkway opening, and I noticed my parents aging and wanted to educate myself more about senior living,” said Honeycutt. “I fell in love with the industry and the company. I developed a passion for helping seniors. It’s rewarding to make an impact on their lives, and I enjoy doing that every day.”
Lauren Higdon is excited to join the team as independent living manager. Born and raised in Virginia, Higdon moved to North Carolina after graduating from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development. She brings nearly a decade of senior living experience to her new role. Higdon initially worked as an activities coordinator at a senior living community, but soon transitioned to social work, which was a better fit with her passion for building supportive relationships and advocating for older adults.
“I became interested in this field after volunteering at a senior center and completing an internship at a retirement community. Most of my time was spent helping with activities and engaging in conversation with the older adults,” said Higdon. “When I began college, I knew I wanted to have a career helping others in some fashion. These experiences with older adults led me to the niche I enjoy most: senior living. I am eager to build meaningful relationships and support the residents at Waltonwood Lake Boone in any way they need.”
Katie MacGilvray has been named business office manager. Originally a Wake County native, she graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology, and then attended University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she earned her Master of Science in Gerontology. MacGilvray is a certified dementia care practitioner and loves everything senior living has to offer. She most recently worked as an activity coordinator and gerontologist in Richmond, Va., and is thrilled to return home to help older adults in Raleigh age successfully.
“Waltonwood Lake Boone is the perfect place for me to continue serving seniors,” said MacGilvray. “We offer the highest quality of care and tremendous opportunities for resident to enjoy the best aspects of life. I deeply value the care and passion that goes into helping older adults and can’t wait to establish relationships with residents of Lake Boone.”
Shelly Levin is excited to join the Waltonwood team as the life enrichment manager. Originally a New York native, North Carolina won her heart over a decade ago. She brings with her a strong and comprehensive background in life enrichment and the creative arts world. As a former owner of a Paint Your Own Pottery studio, it was her mission to engage a diverse group of people and teach art in a variety of medias not exclusive to pottery. Her previous senior living experience with life engagement resulted in the implementation of new programs that were consistently well attended.
"Creating camaraderie and a sense of community through meaningful interaction are my pillars of success, and I look to instill a sense of delight and fulfillment within the residents I serve," said Levin. “In my role, I will be responsible for developing the monthly activities which will include residents' hobbies, excursions, entertainment and elegant galas catered to the community's desires. My goal is to help foster an atmosphere that caters to the life interests of individual residents and to the community."
Taking on the role as culinary services manager is Bryan Minton. The chef, who cooked for troops overseas, has 15 years of experience in the food service industry and is looking forward to elevating residents’ taste buds through his cooking. He loves creating community through food and using the freshest ingredients possible to produce unique dishes.
“I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve had in the food service industry, and I am really excited to serve seniors at Waltonwood Lake Boone,” Minton said. “It feels like I am giving back again, and that’s a great feeling. I want to get to know all the residents and learn their preferences. It’s exciting that Waltonwood Lake Boone provides high-caliber dining for the residents to enjoy. It shows they care.”
Rounding out the team is John Carr, who will serve as the Environmental Services Manager. The Pennsylvania native has 30 years of experience in residential and commercial building maintenance and construction. He successfully owned his own HVAC company before selling it and moving to Raleigh. When he arrived in North Carolina, he started his own construction company and ran it for 17 years before getting back into maintenance.
“I love spending time with seniors and hearing all of their stories,” said Carr. “I worked in retirement communities for the last eight years and have learned so much about different residents and about myself. I am thrilled our doors are about to open, and I look forward to meeting each resident and providing a place they love to call home.”
Located in the heart of Raleigh, the community will offer a wide variety of amenities ranging from state-of-the-art fitness equipment specifically designed for seniors to massage therapy, scenic courtyards with relaxing gazebos, elegant dining areas and much more.