Meet Our Team

Kendall Oliver

Owner

Anita Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer

Deborah Gaynor

Corporate Accounting Officer

Lea Kilpatrick

Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer

Stuart Clark

Project Manager

Pier Vernaza

Project Manager

Sam Murray

Executive Director

Teresa Sawyer

Director of Optimal Living

Katina Faulkner

Marketing Director

Melissa Hicks

Business Office Manager

Bobby Senter

Executive Chef

Patrick Schrader

Wellness Director

Nathan Lambdin

Front of House Manager

Sam Kelly

Community Relations Coordinator

Michele Cox

Resident Relations Coordinator

Allison Bailey

Lifestyle Director

Terrie Lepore

Reception Coordinator

Leslie Kelly

Housekeeping Manager

Azia Herring

Salon Director

Nicholas Shyne

Maintenance Director

Katie Manning

Executive Director

Kevin Mullins

Assistant Executive Director

Kristi O’Brien

Business Office Manager

Pierrette Cortner

Community Consultant

Brittany Sykora

Marketing Director

Kelley Mullins

Resident Relations Director

Blake Shepard

Director of Health Promotions

Karen Weir

Enrichment Director

Andrew DiMauro

Maintenance Director

John Jacob Phillips

Chef

Susan Rowland

Front of House Manager

Diana Rollins

Housekeeping Director

Jamie Mondragon

Salon & Spa Director

Casey Thomas

Salon & Spa Manager

Kelly Suggs

Reception Coordinator

Kendall Oliver

Owner

With more than 20 years in the senior housing industry, Kendall Oliver has an insider’s perspective on what it takes to design, build, staff, and market a community for older adults. His in-depth operational knowledge comes from firsthand experience. He is a licensed nursing home administrator and opened his first assisted living facility, Cambridge Hills Assisted Living, in Roxboro in 2000. After Cambridge Hills proved a success, Kendall was convinced that he could extend his vision and operational experience into independent living for active older adults. In 2008, Kendall and his partners launched what has now become the Cambridge Village Optimal Living Brand, beginning with Cambridge Village of Apex. Cambridge Village of Wilmington followed in 2015, and The Cambridge Brier Creek is currently under development for a planned 2021 opening.

Kendall’s diverse skillset has enabled him to venture into a variety of other real estate projects, including office, commercial and land development. He and his family live in Raleigh, NC, and attend Crossroads Fellowship Church.

Anita Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer

The passion to serve, along with the desire to assist with designing and developing senior living communities, led Anita to Cambridge Village. Having been in hospitality since graduating from Campbell University, Anita finds great pleasure in exceeding the expectations of those she serves. Creating a culture and building teams dedicated to service, trust and compassion that withstands the test of time has been Anita’s motivation throughout her career. Her experience as a controller, general manager, director of human resources and marketing director has given her a solid foundation for her role as Chief Operating Officer. Being able to bring her passion, knowledge and experience to the leadership of Cambridge Village is a true blessing for Anita as she continues to serve, lead, teach and design Optimal Living® communities.

Deborah Gaynor

Corporate Accounting Officer

Deborah Gaynor is the Corporate Accounting Officer for Cambridge Village. Originally from Boone, NC, Debbie was the daughter of a Navy Seal, so she grew up living all over the country. After receiving a degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University, she returned to her hometown in the NC mountains. Following a successful 20-year career as a Medical Practice Manager, she moved to Raleigh with her husband. She came on board with Kendall Oliver in 2006 and has witnessed, and contributed, as Cambridge Village grew from a dream into a reality. Debbie thoroughly loves her work and also enjoys genealogy, photography, gardening and spending time with her three grandchildren.

Lea Kilpatrick

Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer

Native to North Carolina, Lea grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, NC.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2015 with a BSBA in Business Management.

In 2016, Lea moved to Wilmington where she began her career with Cambridge Village working in the Wilmington location as the Assistant Front of House Manager and shortly after was promoted to Front of House Manager. In 2018, Lea was relocated to the Corporate Office in Raleigh, NC where she served as the Corporate Administrative Coordinator. At the end of 2019, Lea transitioned to our Apex location as the Assistant Executive Director where she helped oversee the operations of the building. In May of 2020, Lea returned to the Corporate Office where she is currently assisting with the opening of our third location in Brier Creek.

Stuart Clark

Project Manager

Stuart joined the Cambridge Village team in December of 2018 as the Corporate Project Manager.  Having graduated from Wake Tech Community College with an Associate Degree in Industrial Systems Technology, Stuart comes from a diverse background that includes working in tobacco, residential construction and the food and beverage industry.  Prior to joining Cambridge, Stuart was in Utility Construction Management for the past ten years. Helping to build the Optimal Living® vision and managing the expansion of the company is an exciting undertaking for Stuart as he strives for and promotes “Teamwork”.  He understands that a business is only as good as the team players with a positive attitude striving for the same vision. Stuart enjoys spending with family and considers his friends his extended family.  He and his wife Caitlin have been married for four years and are expecting a son in September 2019. He and Caitlin attend his hometown church, Theresa Baptist Church in Roxboro, North Carolina. Stuart enjoys most outdoor activities which include training his bird dog, gardening, deep sea fishing, grilling and traveling. He is excited to learn and participate in the explosion of Optimal Living® through Cambridge Village.

Pier Vernaza

Project Manager

Pier Vernaza is our newest team member as a Project Manager for Cambridge Village. She is originally from Perú and moved to United States in the early 2000s. The tenets that influences Pier’s work ethics are human kindness, respect, and integrity; hence, aligns with Cambridge Village’s mission to provide and promote an optimal-mindful livelihood to our residents. After Pier attained her graduate and undergraduate degrees from Campbell and Webster Universities, she acquired a diverse background in the public and private sectors. Pier served 2+ years with the Peace Corps in Eastern Albania in the community development field. Her passion to serve others landed her career with AmeriCorps, another voluntary civil society program funded by the U.S. federal government. Formerly, she worked for seven years as an Urban Planner with Cumberland County in NC in the land Use Codes and Comprehensive Planning.

Katina Faulkner

Marketing Director

Katina is a marketer by nature, passionate about people, places and storytelling.  She is a native Virginian that currently resides with her family in Holly Springs, NC. As a mother of 2 teenage sons, she is forever on the run, cheering them on at soccer matches or volunteering with athletic boosters and the PTA. Katina is a graduate of Radford University and holds a BA in Media Studies. She has worked in advertising, marketing, and sales for over 20 years, most recently as a Marketing Consultant for The News & Observer. Having worked in the real estate and senior living verticals at the N&O, Katina was thrilled to take on the role of Marketing Director at Cambridge Village of Apex. When Katina isn’t working, you’ll find her spending time with her family, reading Elin Hilderbrand novels, or working on Sudoku puzzles. She loves the beach, strong coffee, and true crime podcasts!

Leslie Kelly

Housekeeping Manager

Leslie is from a small town called Moncure, NC, where she has lived all her life, although she briefly moved to Georgia while her husband was serving in the military. Leslie has three sons and three grandchildren, with one on the way.  In her spare time, Leslie loves spending time with her family, keeping up with her grandkids, and listening to music. Leslie has been employed here at Cambridge for 8 years where she has grown to love and care deeply for our residents. 

Allison Bailey

Lifestyle Director

Allison was raised in Columbia, SC where her family’s roots run deep. Allison has an older sister and younger brother. She attended the University of South Carolina and earned her Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University. Allison spent three years living with her sister and working for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Then, on a lark, Allison left for the NC coast and soon met her wonderful husband. They now have a teenage son and daughter. As a family, they like to hike, enjoy downtown Cary, stay involved with their church, and entertain. Allison’s hobbies include bird-watching, gardening, and exercising. She also teaches water aerobics and is a Certified Personal Trainer.  Allison is thrilled to be able to serve as the Lifestyle Director of Cambridge Village of Apex where she can bring her enthusiasm for a happy and healthy quality of life to our residents.

Teresa Sawyer

Director of Optimal Living

Teresa is enjoying her third career as the Optimal Living Director for Cambridge Village after serving as the Wellness Director at another senior living community in the Cary area. Teresa is a co-founder of Dementia Capable Cary, a group of local senior advocates, caregivers, and businesses that recognize the varied and serious impacts dementia has on our area of North Carolina and who are committed to educating and engaging our region in a grassroots effort to create a more dementia-capable community. Part of Teresa’s story is that 15 years ago, she weighed 350 pounds and was in a motorized scooter. She changed her lifestyle, began training with a personal trainer, and started to eat differently. Now Teresa’s passion is help people get active and see the possibilities of living well. She passionately believes that any person, at any age, can make the decision to change their health. She is a certified personal trainer and a registered yoga instructor with 300 hours of training including 100 hours of training for Trauma and PTSD. She is also certified by AFAA, AEA, and ATRI. Prior to becoming involved in senior living, Teresa taught at a hospital-based wellness center as a wellness instructor and still works at the local YMCA teaching yoga, indoor cycling, and aquatics. Teresa has a degree in music and taught music and theater for a decade. Prior to her fitness career, she was a high school and middle school principal. Teresa has been married for many, many years and is mother to two adult children, with one beautiful grandchild. She loves reading, hiking, traveling, and a good Shakespearean comedy. 

Sam Murray

Executive Director

Sam was born and raised in Durham, NC before attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He graduated in 2016 with degrees in Political Science and International Studies. While attending UNCW, Sam began working for Cambridge Village of Wilmington as a restaurant server. After graduation, he spent time working as the Front of House Manager, then Marketing Director for the Wilmington location. Sam moved to Apex in 2018 to begin working in an executive role. What he enjoys most about his job is building meaningful relationships with residents and staff. When Sam is not at work, he enjoys trying new restaurants, attending concerts, and rooting for Duke!

Terrie Lepore

Reception Coordinator

Terrie has been with Cambridge Village for 6 years as the Reception Coordinator. She has a BS in Special Education and managed a residential facility for adults and children with Autism. Terrie was born and raised on Long Island, NY and is a mom of three boys and one girl. Since starting work at Cambridge Village in April 2014, she has come to think of the staff and residents as an extended family. Terrie thoroughly enjoys when people stop by the reception desk just to say hello.

Melissa Hicks

Business Office Manager

Melissa was born in Anchorage, AK and lived in many different states throughout her childhood. Her family moved to North Carolina in 1992, when she decided to finally plant roots. Melissa married her husband in 1995 and raised her sons in Wake Forest, where they still live today. She has an identical twin sister and two younger brothers. Melissa’s academic degree is in Recreational Therapy, although she spent almost twenty years of her career in the IT Services industry. When the opportunity arose to work at Cambridge Village, she was oh-so-excited to accept. It is her pleasure to serve our residents and to be a small part of their lives. Melissa enjoys scrapbooking, exploring new towns, and spending time with her family and sweet dog, Diesel.

Patrick Schrader

Wellness Director

Patrick is originally from upstate NY and lived the Utica/Rome area for most of his life. He attended the State University of New York at Oswego, where he earned a BS in Biochemistry with a Health Science minor in 2010. He then continued his academic career at the University at Buffalo with an MS in Exercise Science MS in 2012. After spending the next four years in a management position, Patrick refocused his professional career in health and wellness as an Assistant Personal Training Director with LA Fitness in Buffalo, NY. In May 2018, he relocated to North Carolina to take a position as an Exercise Physiologist at a physical therapy clinic where he supervised the wellness and aquatic programs. Outside of his role as Wellness Director with Cambridge Village of Apex, Patrick enjoys staying active with strength training, hiking, obstacle course racing, and spending time outdoors. He is also a live music enthusiast and has attended more than 300 concerts! In January 2019, Patrick adopted a plant-based lifestyle so, if you’ve ever been curious about veganism, he’d be happy to answer any questions!

Sam Kelly

Community Relations Coordinator

Sam is originally from Cary, NC and has lived in the Triangle area for almost 28 years. He is a graduate of nearby Green Hope High School and has a BA in communications from Elon University. While in college, Sam gained experience in the marketing industry by working at multiple internship settings. After school, Sam traveled overseas to Australia for 2 years where he worked and traveled throughout the South Pacific, meeting new people and learning about unique cultures along the way. With his marketing and travel background, Sam helps Cambridge Village to establish connections with local businesses and spread the word about Optimal Living. In his free time, Sam loves nature and the great outdoors. You may find him camping, kayaking, snowboarding, scuba diving, traveling, photographing wildlife or playing sports. Should you need local insight or want to swap adventure stories, stop by his office and say hi!

Michele Cox

Resident Relations Coordinator

Michele has a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of New Hampshire and an extensive background working with residents who have dementia. In her early career, she worked in a physical rehab setting focusing on brain injury/stroke patients. After staying home for 19 years raising her children, Michele decided to incorporate her love of travel with a second career in the hospitality industry. She was able to use her skills in preparation as a corporate and private event planner in a hotel setting. Michele has been married for 30 years and has two adult sons. She has lived in the Cary area for 15 of those years. Since becoming empty nesters, Michele and her husband built a home in downtown Cary where they have recently opened an Airbnb. In her leisure time Michele enjoys yoga, dancing, travel, and the culinary arts.

Bobby Senter

Executive Chef

Bobby has been working in kitchens since he was only 18 years old. His dedication and determination moved him slowly up the ladder to Executive Chef. Bobby is a native of Raleigh, NC and has lived his entire life in North Carolina. He spent 10 years in Wilmington, where he first joined the Cambridge Village team as a kitchen manager in 2016. Bobby is a huge sports and music fanatic. He loves the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Tar Heels. He has a very broad taste in music and has been to over 20 music festivals and countless live shows. Bobby’s most recent hobby is wildlife photography, which he picked up in 2019. Bobby is currently engaged to be married in Montana in September 2020. The couple recently purchased a home, and their two cats, Taco and Luda, are enjoying the new space as much as they are. When he’s not at work, you’ll find Bobby planning his next big trip to explore the world.

Nathan Lambdin

Front of House Manager

Nathan is a North Carolina native from the Raleigh area. He has over 14 years in the food and beverage industry, joining Cambridge Village of Apex in Summer of 2019. He was previously the General Manager of this wife’s restaurant, MOFU Shoppe, in Downtown Raleigh. Nathan is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington with a B.A. in Political Science. When not at work, he spends most of his time with his wife, Sophia, or tending to his gardens.

Azia Herring

Salon Director

Azia has a true passion for the hair industry and for making people feel good about how they look. Azia is a North Carolina native who currently resides in Fuquay-Varina. As a mother of two wonderful children, she’s always on the go. Azia has traveled the world, styling and spreading knowledge of the hair industry for over 10 years.

Nicholas Shyne

Maintenance Director

Nick was born and raised in Louisburg, North Carolina. At the age of 12 he moved to Raleigh and has been there ever since. He has been in the maintenance industry going on 14 years. Nick grew up doing home repairs with his father and learned many different trades at a young age. At 17 he began working in the field servicing swimming pools. By the age of 20 Nick had become so proficient in the swimming pool industry, that he became a specialist in his trade and would resolve issues that most technicians could not.

Aside from working and fixing things with his hands, Nick also enjoys competitive swimming, computer repair, gaming, billiards, and spending time with his close friends and family.

Nick has been with Cambridge since November of 2016. As the Maintenance Director, he loves his job and loves being able to help the residents while also learning more and more every day.

Susan Rowland

Front of House Manager

Susan has spent nearly her entire working life in the hospitality industry. She believes wholeheartedly in the value of customer service and seeks to provide every resident with the optimal experience. After 25 years in the Outer Banks, she moved to Wilmington in 2012. Susan is a mother and was the primary caretaker for both her parents and her grandparents. She brings what she has learned from those experiences to work at Cambridge Village. Susan knows how special every one of our residents is.

Jamie Mondragon

Salon & Spa Director

Jamie loves to spend her day helping others feel good, inside and out. As the head of Cambridge Salon & MedSpa, she brings a personal touch to every resident’s experience. Jamie grew up in Nevada and spent 13 years in Southern Utah before settling down in Wilmington, NC. When she’s not at work, you might see her outside exercising, searching for shark’s teeth, or cooking for her family.

Karen Weir

Enrichment Director

Karen believes in the power of lifelong learning and is proud to lead enrichment activities for the wonderful residents of Cambridge Village. Considerate communication, a friendly disposition, and respectful, honest relationship-building are the key components of her life’s work. In 2018, she, her husband, and her twin sons moved to Wilmington from the suburbs of Chicago, searching for a more mild climate and the more relaxed pace for which North Carolina is famous. She feels honored to be a part of this lively, interesting, and thoughtful community.

Casey Thomas

Salon & Spa Manager

Casey came to Cambridge Village in July 2018 with a degree in Sociology from Massachusetts and a banking career already in her past. She chose Wilmington for a change of pace and is proud to say she found what she was searching. In her downtime, Casey enjoys reading, the beach, and spending time with her family.

Kristi O’Brien

Business Office Manager

Kristi grew up in Greenville, NC but moved to Colorado at the age of three. As a young adult, she fell in love with a Marine who was stationed at Camp Lejeune. After years of bouncing back and forth between NC and CO, they both hated snow and moved, with their children, to Wilmington in November 2019. Kristi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in accounting, payroll, and human resources. She spends her free time riding motorcycles through the countryside or visiting Wilmington’s #1 attraction: the beach!

Kevin Mullins

Assistant Executive Director

Kevin is married to our Resident Relations Director, Kelley Mullins. He was born and raised in Louisville, KY but moved to NC in 1993 to pursue his Masters of Divinity. He and Kelley spent twenty years ministering in a Youngsville, NC church, where he grew to know Kendall Oliver, the owner of Cambridge Village. Kevin has served in many roles for CVW but is especially honored to be Assistant Executive Director, as it allows him to combine his business experience in operations and ministerial training through personal relationships to help both the employees and the residents. Kevin believes there is a unique advantage to living as a village. He knows that what makes CVW special is not its amenities but its culture of mutual respect: a culture that includes residents, their families, and the CVW team.

Kelley Mullins

Resident Relations Director

Kelley has two children and three amazing grandchildren with her high school sweetheart: our Assistant Executive Director, Kevin Mullins. She served for 20 years as a minister in Youngsville, NC and has also worked as an administrator in both the construction and communication industries. Kelley believes that the key to a rich, full, and healthy life is to live in fellowship with each other, giving encouragement when others need it, and letting ourselves be encouraged as well. She is truly thankful for the opportunity to serve and to be part of this terrific team.

Katie Manning

Executive Director

Katie joined the Cambridge Village Team in 2014 as the Director of Marketing for our Apex, NC community. She came to Wilmington in July 2016. Originally from Florida, Katie has a degree in Marketing from the University of Kentucky. She began her career as property manager for a large, multi-family housing company, then moved to work in business development for a health care services company. She is honored to now be a part of Cambridge Village and to play an active role in enriching other people’s lives. Her love for this industry stems from a close relationship with her grandparents and in helping to care for her grandfather, who had Alzheimer’s. Since North Carolina is a 10-hour drive from her biological family, she likes to say that the staff and residents here are her ‘family away from family.’ When she’s not at work, you’ll find Katie working out, scuba diving, exploring the beach, or caring for her pets.

Blake Shepard

Director of Health Promotions

Blake’s interest in healthy living began at age five, when he started gymnastics. Through more than twenty years in the sport, Blake accrued a number of injuries and experienced, first and, the importance of exercise, nutrition, injury prevention and rehabilitation. His personal experience with the body’s healing process led him to East Carolina University for a degree in Exercise Physiology. As a Physical Therapy Technician, he worked to create wellness programs for patients who were recently discharged from therapy and discovered his passion for working with seniors to help them understand proper form, technique, and progressions to stay strong and flexible as they age. He is a Functional Aging Specialist and brings that knowledge to a number of different programs: CrossFit, cross training, Olympic weightlifting, cycling, swimming, calisthenics, and running. At Cambridge Village, Blake works hard to make fitness accessible. He knows a great trainer should be encouraging and friendly and seek to motivate every client while staying aware of their limitations. When he isn’t at work, Blake enjoys exploring on his bike and kayak or checking out the local parks with his wife, son, and two dogs.

Kelly Suggs

Reception Coordinator

Kelly has more than eighteen years’ experience working in Home Health, Senior Living, and Assisted Living. She is a certified nursing assistant who came to Cambridge Village in 2015. Born and raised right here in Wilmington, NC, she is avid beach lover and a frequent ‘cruiser.’ Over the years, she has enjoyed the opportunity to visit many different islands and countries. Kelly is exceptionally proud of her adult daughter and loves to go for short road trips on the weekend.

Andrew DiMauro

Maintenance Director

Andrew is your go-to guy for maintenance and repairs. Originally from Higganum, CT, Andrew moved to NC in March 2014 with his wife and two children. He came to Cambridge Village in 2015 and has since become a vital part of the CVW team. Andrew describes himself and his wife, Rachel, as “simple folk” who love just being outdoors and on the water. When he isn’t at work, you’ll find him fishing or firing up the grill.

Diana Rollins

Housekeeping Director

Diana was born and bred in Brooklyn, NY and is the mother of two sons, ages 14 and 24. Diana has held a huge range of jobs in her life, from residential summer camp counselors to a position at Vernon Valley Great Gorge Resorts in NJ, which launched her long career in the hospitality industry. She has worked at many of the best hotels in Wilmington. Diana absolutely loves to travel. Her favorite places are St. Andrews in Scotland, Bath in England, and Montserrat in the Caribbean, although she regularly finds herself in Canada as well.

Brittany Sykora

Marketing Director

Brittany joined the Cambridge team in 2017. She absolutely loves her current role as Marketing Director because her responsibilities allow her to constantly build on the strong relationships she has established with the residents and her team. Her motto is, “If you can brighten one person’s day, then you have enriched your own.” Brittany strongly believes that being able to help others is the core of who we are as humans, and Cambridge Village is the perfect place to practice this belief. Outside the office, you may find her exploring the outdoors, participating in group exercise classes, creating some inspo worthy interior design, or just spending some quality time with her husband, family, and friends.

Pierrette Cortner

Community Consultant

Pierrette joined Cambridge Village Wilmington as a member of our opening team. She previously worked in marketing and sales for Marriott and Intercontinental Hotel Group. Championing the guest experience has always been at the center of her focus, so senior living is a great match for her strong hospitality background. In her role as our Community Consultant, Pierrette works with prospective residents to align our unique offerings with their individual needs. Pierette came to Wilmington more than 20 years ago and is a passionate ambassador for the coastal community. Outside of work, you might find Pierette keeping up with her personal quest: the push-up challenge.

Maggie Tucker

Assistant Front of House Manager

Maggie joined the Cambridge Village community in July of 2016. Originally from Albemarle, NC, she is a UNCW graduate with a B.A. in International Studies. Maggie calls CVW her “home away from home.” She is endlessly dedicated to serving our community and giving our residents the optimal quality of life. In her free time, she likes swimming, traveling, and playing with her two feline fur-babies, Lola and Arrow.

John Jacob Phillips

Executive Chef

A Charleston South Carolina native, Chef Phillips has received his culinary degree from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University at Charleston in 2001. Chef Phillips started his career off with the Marriott International which has brought him to Baltimore, Charleston and West Virginia. While in West Virginia, he has had the opportunity to work with the health care sector under the capacity of Executive Chef / Food Service Director with Charleston Area Medical Center and the Mayo Health Care Systems in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Chef Phillips actively participates in projects such as the March of Dimes celebrity chefs’ auctions and local community and charitable events.