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Meet our most precious resource.

Above any cutting-edge amenity or thoughtfully designed community feature, The Ridge Pinehurst is most distinctly defined by its people. Get to know the valued leaders hard at work setting a bold new standard for elevated senior living.

Complete the contact form to schedule a one-on-one conversation with a member of our team.

 

Every member of our team contributes to a culture of gratitude – working with purpose to deliver consistent attention to detail and a caring, customized approach to personal service.

Our Team
Katrissa Gates

Katrissa Gates

Executive Director

Katrissa started her health care career in 1982. She is a licensed registered nurse in multiple states, has her Colorado Nursing Home Administrator license, Assisted Living certification, Dementia Care certification, and is a Resident Assessment Coordinator–Certified (RAC-CT). She firmly believes in positivity, transformational leadership and team building, resulting in open communication and enhanced working environments. Katrissa graduated from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, with a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

Lori Closs

Lori Closs

Business Office Director

Born in Nebraska, Lori received her associate’s degree in accounting. She was raised in northwest Kansas and landed in Colorado in 2007, married her husband in 2010, and has one daughter and one bonus daughter. Lori has been in senior living for about 10 years, starting her career at The Ridge Pinehurst in February 2020. Professionally, she is extremely passionate about helping seniors. Her grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2017 and passed away shortly thereafter. It has been Lori’s mission in life to help families affected like hers. Lori brings a great attention to detail, organization and passion for taking care of others (staff and seniors). Her co-workers have called her quirky, energizing and passionate.

Cindy Vondenkemp

Cindy Vondenkemp

Sales Counselor

Filled with energy, enthusiasm, and drive, Cindy is described by friends and colleagues as always upbeat and positive, even in the face of adversity. She’s a people person with the soul of an artist. Leaving her native Austin, Texas, for the Community College of Denver’s Auraria campus, Cindy studied business and economics, and later earned certifications to become a licensed real estate agent and certified floral designer. She has a natural ability to connect with people and make things happen, and a passion for working with older adults. Her approach is to try to help seniors become comfortable with the idea of letting the past stay in the past, and embracing new possibilities for how they’re living now

Kendra McClister

Kendra McClister

Assisted Living Director

Kendra is an LPN who has been working with seniors for her entire 20-year nursing career. She has worked in several roles at various types of senior living communities as she’s grown into her current role of Assisted Living Director for The Ridge Pinehurst. This makes her especially valuable to both her team mates and residents because there is very little she hasn’t seen or experienced. She holds certifications in Rhythms Dementia Training, Montessori Dementia Training and Comfort Matters among other things, and uses that knowledge to benefit the residents in her care. While she’s lived other places, she’s a native of Denver and returned here because there is no place she’d rather be. She has three children who inspire her to do better and be better in every avenue of her life. She finds peace in attending a live music event or concerts as she knows music is an amazing way to open your mind, heart and soul and just be present in the moment.

Michelle Newitt

Michelle Newitt

Senior Director of Sales & Marketing

Michelle was born and raised on the East Coast, moving to Colorado in 2006. Growing up in Cecilton MD, many of her fond memories include her grandmother Lillian. While eating cucumbers straight from her garden, attending bingo nights at the local fire hall, and especially to working by her side at the local ice cream shop. Michelle’s grandmother taught her to appreciate the little things in life and to help other people whenever you can. As a Senior Sales and Marketing Director she is able to help people each and every day with making the best choice possible for their loved ones. Michelle has three amazing children and two grandchildren; together they enjoy adventurous road trips back to Maryland, eating blue crabs and putting their toes in the sand.

Rachel Van Horn

Rachel Van Horn

Sales Counselor

Originally from New Jersey, Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology from Ithaca College in New York, and her master’s degree in gerontological studies from Miami University of Ohio. Since leaving graduate school, Rachel has worked exclusively in senior living — as a partnership specialist for the Masterpiece Living organization in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and as sales counselor and then sales director for Christian Living Communities in Englewood, Colorado. In addition to her sales responsibilities at The Ridge Pinehurst, Rachel serves as an information resource for new residents, and most enjoys guiding them and their families through the world of senior living comfortably and effectively.

 

Brianne Meyer

Brianne Meyer

Community Life Director

Brianne is a Colorado native who loves the outdoors, her golden retriever, and trying new things. She has worked in Senior Living for about 10 years, graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a baccalaureate in Healthcare Management with a Minor in Marketing and is a certified lifestyle coach. Brianne’s passion is to empower seniors to age successfully in their own way, providing the tools for a well-rounded lifestyle. Working in senior living brings joy to her life and inspires her to support as many community members as she can.

Rebecca Jacobson

Rebecca Jacobson

Spa and Fitness Director

A fourth-generation Colorado native, Rebecca earned her bachelor’s degree in world dance and culture and religious studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Her postgraduate studies were in transformative counseling at Regis University in Denver. She completed the Dual Spa Program at Aveda Institute Denver, and is a licensed massage therapist, licensed esthetician, and a certified Zumba Gold instructor. Rebecca left her home state to travel internationally and has lived in Greece and the Czech Republic. She’s a dedicated, sincere, collaborative professional and a woman of eclectic tastes, uniquely qualified for Club Ridge, which delivers high-end spa and salon services comparable to the best you might find in metropolitan Denver.

Chef Chesney King

Chef Chesney King

Executive Chef

Chef Chesney is a classically trained chef who has worked nearly all front and back of house positions at various restaurants in the Denver area, while getting a culinary degree. He joined the Morrison team in 2013. He is highly passionate about high quality ingredients and food. He believes Colorado produces the BEST lamb in the world and people who use utensils while eating chicken wings can’t be trusted.

Richard Nix

Richard Nix

Director of Dining Services

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Richard was a “military brat” who was fortunate enough travel the world, attending high schools in Idaho, Germany, and Guam.  Richard graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor of science in hospitality administration.  Richard brings his 30 years of experience in hospitality to The Ridge Pinehurst and enjoys providing residents a second-to-none dining experience every day. In a reflection of our core values, he strives to say, “yes, of course” whenever possible to residents, their families, other guests, and team members. He is an avid sports fan of all sports but is fanatical about his beloved Florida State Seminoles and has already joined the Colorado Florida State Alumni group. He looks forward to following the local teams here. Richard recently moved here from Surprise, Arizona where he spent the last 22 years raising his two children, Teresa and Zachary.

Rudy Santuario

Rudy Santuario

Director of Building Operations

Rudy enjoys being a father, helping others, and has a passion for getting things done right. In his spare time, Rudy enjoys quality family time and tackling home projects. Rudy has worked for Radio Shack and AT&T Prime communications for several years in a supervisory position and store manager. He then worked for GTS, a technology/construction company. He learned about security, sound, and home automation systems and met a few notable celebrities through that job. After some years installing and wiring sound systems, he searched for a new opportunity to expand his already impressive vault of knowledge and had a chance to work for Shaw construction, where he could then move to the great state of Colorado. So, with several years of experience in a multi-faceted realm as a Field Superintendent, Rudy joined our ever-expanding family at The Ridge Pinehurst.

Austin Murphy

Austin Murphy

Community Relations Director

A self-described work-hard / play-hard veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Austin’s five-plus-year military career included deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was awarded Airman of the Quarter honors for his service as AGE mechanic, a member of the aerospace ground equipment team. Born in Pittsburgh, Austin earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati. He’s worked as a home care consultant for Home Instead Senior Care, and he served as admissions director for Genesis HealthCare before assuming his current post as director of community relations at The Ridge Pinehurst. Austin’s heart belongs to the seniors he works with. His pride and passion are in helping them transition to their new homes within the community, and he’s touched and inspired by the appreciation they show.

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