Our Compassionate Team of Senior Living Professionals

Meet professionals who lead with heart.

Here, everything we do starts with you. From our leadership team to housekeeping to nursing staff taking care of a loved one, each person you meet truly cares about your happiness and well-being. We’re proud of the compassionate, dynamic associates who are dedicated to enriching the lives and supporting the needs of all who call Walnut Place home.

If you’d like to talk to someone on our leadership team, reach out to us at 972-845-8118 or use the contact form on this page.

Mapu Lemanua

Executive Director
mapu-lamanua-executive-director

Mapu has over twenty years experience in senior living operations. She began her career in admissions and marketing in senior living and found that her compassion for seniors enticed her interest in pursuing her administrator’s license. Mapu earned a Bachelor of Science from Emporia State University and majored in Finance. Beyond her formal education, Mapu volunteered for the Kiwanis Club where she served for a few years, and for Meals on Wheels. She is active in her church and volunteering there as well.

Brooke Biggerstaff

Administrator

Brooke began her senior living career as a caregiver and today serves as Health Center administrator. She’s passionate about providing a safe, homelike environment where seniors can be taken care of. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and a concentration in long-term care.

Dr. Ravi Patel

Medical Director
Dr. Ravi Patel headshot

Dr. Patel is an internal medicine specialist and hospitalist, board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He oversees on-site medical care for residents. Serving as an in-house physician for the skilled nursing residents allows him to provide continuity of care and convenient access to medical care. Dr. Patel earned his medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine. His residency in internal medicine was at New York Medical College, where he completed his training with a fellowship in geriatric medicine.

Yolanda Messick

Director of Nursing

Yolanda is passionate about serving the elderly community and providing quality care to residents. She began working at Walnut Place as an LVN in 2007. She’s worked in the long-term care field for more than 15 years. Yolanda is a graduate of North Texas Career Institute and Lamar State University.

Mia Fite

Assistant Director of Nursing

Mia has been with Walnut Place for over 18 years. She’s a certified dementia professional, fiercely loyal to our community and our residents. She actively advocates for residents in our short-term rehabilitation care to ensure they’re consistently receiving the high-quality care Walnut Place is known for.

Julie Gaitin

Life Enrichment Director

Julie has served as a certified activity director since 2005. She began her career in the healthcare field as a CNA. Her passion has always been to provide top notch customer service to her patients. She takes pride in creatively planning monthly activity calendars full of engaging events, games, friendly competitions, and social and community gatherings that entertain residents.

JJ O’Boyle

Life Enrichment Director Assisted Living

After completing his post-graduate degree in Hospitality Management JJ found his passion working with the seniors. As the Life Enrichment Director, he strives to empower residents to set goals, make friends and have fun. Seeing residents smile and laugh fuels JJ’s passion working with seniors.

Samantha Jones

Community Relations Director

Samantha earned her Bachelor of Arts in sociology and is a certified dementia practitioner. She is committed to supporting families searching for assisted living or memory care for their loved ones. Click here to view her bio video.

Katrece Lee

Admissions Director

Katrece’s passion for helping others and delivering a high quality of life to those she serves has led her to work in both the for-profit and nonprofit industries throughout her career. She is dedicated to helping families make a smooth transition when finding short-term rehab or longterm skilled nursing to care for your loved ones’ needs.

Maria Martinez

Healthcare Liaison

The journey to find the right fit for your loved one can be difficult. Maria takes pride in being a resource to help families find quality skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation care. With over 10 years of experience in the healthcare field, her main goal is to help residents find happiness, comfort and joy at Walnut Place. Watch Maria’s video bio.

Svetlana Santic

Admissions Concierge
Svetlana Santic, Admissions Concierge

Svetlana started as a medication aide in 2010 and moved into her current role as admissions concierge in 2016, a role in which she most enjoys the community’s friendly environment. Her goal is to make sure residents’ stay is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Watch Svetlana’s video bio.

Todd German

Director of Therapy Services

Todd attended Macomb Community College, where he earned his degree in occupational therapy. He is a seasoned practicing therapist with more than 10 years of experience, and is also a certified lymphedema therapist. Check out Todd’s video bio.

Ashley Epting

Dining Services Director

Ashley is passionate about food and helping people. She enjoys sharing love and comfort through food, and her motto is, “Food is healing, food is happiness and food brings back memories.” In her role, she works directly with residents to better understand their preferences, so she can tailor menus to meet their expectations.

Charles Sinclair

Plant Operations

Charles moved to the United States from Jamaica in 2012. He has over 20 years’ experience in plant operations, working at a college in Jamaica for 23 years, and then at a warehouse his first year in the U.S. He enjoys repairing items for residents to ensure they have a comfortable environment to live in.

History and Mission


We began with an honest commitment to the health and well-being of residents and our families in 1980. Decades later, we continue to go from strength to strength.