Michael D. Shmerling, Founder and Board Chair
A native of Nashville, he began his career 41 years ago as a Certified Public Accountant (now “Inactive”) with the Nashville office of Ernst & Young, formerly Ernst & Ernst CPAs. Mr. Shmerling has founded or co-founded multiple businesses since leaving the practice of public accounting, four (4) of which were ultimately sold to publicly traded (NYSE or NASD) companies. Following the sale of Background America, Inc. to Kroll Inc, in 1998, he joined Kroll – eventually serving as a member of the Board, EVP, Chief Operating Officer of Kroll Inc.; and subsequently a Senior Advisor to Marsh Inc., following the sale of Kroll to Marsh. He currently serves as Chairman of private equity firm Clearbrook Holdings Corp, formerly known as XMi Holdings.
He has received numerous Nashville Business Journal Future 50 – as well as INC. 500 Awards for companies in which he was involved. In addition to this recognition, he received the Tennessee Society of CPAs – Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry Award in 1999. In 2007, he was awarded both the Tennessee Society of CPA’s; and the American Institute of CPA’s Public Service Award. In 2009, he received Community Nashville’s Human Relations Award.
Mr. Shmerling currently serves as Founder and Board Chair of not for profit, Abe’s Garden. In addition, he serves on the Nashville Public Television Board and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. He currently serves on two public company boards; Renasant Bank (“NASD – RNST”), and HealthStream Inc. (“NASD – HSTM”).
Chris Kincaid, Executive Director
Prior to his role at Abe’s Garden, Kincaid held the position of Regional Operations Director of Tennessee at Americare Senior Living, Inc. There, he was responsible for operations of 12 assisted living and memory care communities in Tennessee, including 260 total units generating approximately $17 million in annual revenue.
His assisted living, retirement, and memory care community experience includes senior leadership roles at Rivermont Retirement Community, CCSC Franchising Systems, Inc., Copper Lake Estates/Certus Management, and Sterling House/Alterra Healthcare Corporation – all located in Oklahoma.
Kincaid earned a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies and Business Management at University of Central Oklahoma, and currently resides in Franklin, TN.
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.
Jeannie Davis, Housekeeping Manager
Jeannie joined the Park Manor team in 2005 as a part-time housekeeper after moving from South Carolina, where she was a caregiver and owned a home-cleaning business. In 2012, Jeannie was promoted to Abe’s Garden and Park Manor housekeeping manager. In addition to leading the 6 person housekeeping team, she is responsible for housekeeping supply efficiencies and inventory, managing Helping Hands and resident personal shopping services, as well as Park Manor guest room and model apartment interior design. In 2013, LeadingAge Tennessee honored Jeannie with its “Whatever it Takes” award.
Angela Farmer, SHRM-CP, Director of Team Development firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela brings over 20 years of human resources experience to Abe’s Garden and Park Manor, including 17 years in the healthcare industry. During those years, she worked in the areas of radiology management, hospice and specialty pharmacy. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and earned Certified Professional designation from the Society of Human Resource Management. Her career has spanned all aspects of HR, with strengths in leadership development, performance management and employee relations.
Donna Finto-Burks, Director of Nursing
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.
Judy Shmerling Given, Director of Campus Development email@example.com
Daughter of Abe Shmerling, after whom Abe’s Garden® is named, Judy worked with her brother Michael to found the organization in memory of their father. Judy helps families determine which programs and services at Park Manor and Abe’s Garden best meet their needs and lends support through the transition process. She also identifies unmet needs of families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease to develop new community-based programs.
Judy brings her experience as a Clinical Professional Counselor and business owner, as well as 22+ years working as a clinician, expressive arts therapist and administrator in special education and private practice. She has been working at Park Manor and Abe’s Garden since 2008.
Alex Grainger, Director of Culinary Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex comes to Abe’s Garden and Park Manor with 20 years of hospitality industry experience, most recently as owner and chef of Little Moskos and executive chef of Silo, both in Nashville. He also served as executive chef at restaurants in Southwest Florida and New York City, and launched Music City Sauce in 2017. Alex is skilled in team development, branding, and business expansion and profitability. He earned an Associate of Arts degree in business administration from Edison State in Fort Myers, FL; and is recognized for his focus on food quality, continuous improvement, and commitment to earning resident trust.
Bob Himes, Controller
Bob oversees Abe’s Garden’s accounting and financial reporting. He has over 30 years of financial management experience, including serving as XMI’s Controller for almost 15 years. His previous roles include public accounting and Controller for numerous other private industry companies. He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Louisiana State University.
Brenda Nagey, ADC-MC, CDP, Director of Life Engagement and Volunteer Services email@example.com
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.
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.
Jacob Pursell, Director of Maintenance
Jacob joined the Park Manor team in 2008, when he was hired as a maintenance technician. His role expanded to Director of Maintenance in 2018. In this role, he is responsible for facility management of the entire campus. His Journeyman Electrician and HVAC Technician certifications and repair skills are valuable as he ensures the Park Manor and Abe’s Garden communities perform at optimum functionality.
Vicky Raines, Director of Resident Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicky joined the organization in May 2002. Her role focuses on Park Manor Independent and Assisted Living, which is an operational department of Abe’s Garden.
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.
Kylie Stratton, Director of Home Care email@example.com
Kylie manages our in-home care offering Independence Plus. In the coming months, we will announce a new home care initiative that she will be launching. Kylie comes to Abe’s Garden and Park Manor with nearly 15 years of industry experience, most recently as Regional Operations Manager at Accredited Home Care in California. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an option in Health Services Administration from California State University, Chico (CSUC).
Beverly Theis, LCSW, Director of Resident and Family Support
Beverly has a Master’s Degree in Social Work at University of Maryland, with a specialization in aging. Her career has involved working with older adults in health care, mental health, skilled nursing and community settings. Prior to Abe’s Garden®, she worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Cardiology and Thoracic care.
Walter Wilson, Nurse 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.
Beth Zeitlin, Director of Marketing & Development firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth, a third generation Nashvillian, 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 fundraising, board development, strategic planning, sales, marketing and public relations with organizations including the Nashville Symphony, Shirley Zeitlin and Company Realtors, and the Nashville Convention Center. Beth has successfully led numerous fundraising campaigns, maintaining positive relationships with donor prospects and developing the requisite leadership and organizational skills.