Frank started his career in residential construction. He has worked as a maintenance supervisor for the Metro Nashville Housing Authority, as a maintenance manager for Gaylord Opryland, and as director of plant Operations for Nashville Rehabilitation Hospital.
Judy Shmerling Given arrived at Abe’s Garden with a diverse background as a psychotherapist and business owner. Judy returned to Nashville following 17 years working as the Director of Clinical Services and expressive arts therapist in a special education school in Baltimore, Maryland.
Upon returning to Nashville in 1997, she and her husband, Gil, owned and operated two Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream franchises beginning in 2002. They currently have two scoop shops in the Nashville area. She has worked with her brother, Michael Shmerling, and his team since 2006 to develop Abe's Garden in memory of their father, Abram Shmerling.
A certified Activity Director since 1991, Brenda has over two decades of experience serving senior adults in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and memory care communities. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, a licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and is NCCAP Activity Director Certified with a specialty in memory care. In addition, Brenda has served on the board of directors for Therapy for Animals Reaching Clients since 2012. Brenda especially enjoys including children and families in Abe’s Garden programming, as well as incorporating musical performances and pet therapy. Her newest venture at Abe’s Garden is developing and managing the Community Group for those with early-stage dementia.
Beverly S. Patnaik is a gerontologist with more than 30 years of experience in the field of aging issues. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Southern Wesleyan University in Central, SC and her M.A. in Studies in Aging from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. In May 2014 she was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from Southern Wesleyan University, Central, SC.
Her career has focused on academics and community services, serving as Executive Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Council on Aging, Charlotte, NC as well as Assistant Director of Services for Adults at the Department of Social Services in Charlotte, NC. She has served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, Livingstone College, and Duke University Medical School, Durham, NC. Nationally she was Director of Technical Assistance for the Community Partnerships for Older Adults, a $25 million Robert Wood Johnson grant. For the past three years she was Academic Director of the School of TransformAging, a graduate program at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.
Vicky Raines, Director of Resident Services, joined Park Manor in May 2002, and made the transition to an Abe’s Garden staff member in 2008. She brings to the organization over 27 years of experience in management, sales and marketing in a variety of fields. Vicky Raines has an extensive technology background, serving previously as an IT manager.
Vicky received her Assisted Living Administration Licensure Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is certified as a Home For The Aged/Assisted Care Living Facility Administrator by the Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities, State of Tennessee Department of Health.
Beverly Theis, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Beverly Theis has a wide-ranging career, working for 30+ years with older adults in health care, mental health, skilled nursing and community settings. Most recently, she worked at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Cardiology and Thoracic care.
In 1991, Beverly completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work at University of Maryland, with a specialization in aging.
Director of Marketing and Development and third generation Nashvillian, Beth Zeitlin previously served as Middle Tennessee director for the American Diabetes Association where she annually exceeded fundraising goals and launched the Father of the Year Awards Dinner. She has experience in development, sales, marketing and public relations, working with nonprofit and for profit organizations, including the Nashville Symphony, Shirley Zeitlin and Company Realtors, the Nashville Convention Center, and the Nashville Zoo. Beth has successfully led numerous fundraising campaigns, maintaining positive relationships with donor prospects and developing the requisite leadership and organizational skills.
Prior to his role at Abe’s Garden, Chad served as Director of Operations at Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery in Nashville, as well as Executive Chef at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Capital Grille, Serendipity 3, and The Cheesecake Factory. He has more than 20 years of culinary experience at multi-million dollar restaurants, including construction, menu design, consulting, and management training.
He received his degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in 1998. He is currently a member of the Animal Rescue Corp and the Make a Wish Foundation for Middle Tennessee.
Donna W. Coleman, MS, CFRE, Gift Planning Advisor
Donna Coleman has been a charitable gift planner since 1993. Prior to joining Abe’s Garden, she worked at Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices for 23 years, and served as the Vice President of Charitable Gift Planning during her last six years there, leading a team of six fundraisers across 14 locations, consistently raising $2M+ each year. Donna’s focus is on building relationships with those who are interested in deepening their connection to the Abe’s Garden and Park Manor mission through philanthropic support.
Donna Finto-Burks, Nurse Manager
Prior to joining Abe’s Garden, Donna was director of nursing at The Meadows, where she supervised assisted living and skilled nursing operations. She achieved the title of Nurse Practitioner upon earning a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University.
Walter Wilson, Manager, Park Manor Assisted Living
Prior to joining Park Manor, an operational department of Abe’s Garden, Walter worked at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute. His previous experience also includes being Baptists Campus Minister at University of Tennessee Knoxville and Vanderbilt University. He completed a BS in psychology at The University of Southern Mississippi, and MDiv at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his MSN/RN in Adult Psychiatric Nursing at Vanderbilt University.