At The Highlands at Wyomissing, our passion for exceptional care starts at the top and continues through every department and team member.
With a leadership team of highly-skilled and knowledgeable professionals from a variety of backgrounds, we use an interdisciplinary approach when managing our community. This allows us to approach situations and opportunities in a unique and creative way that leverages our decades of experience together.
Our leadership team is passionate about helping both residents and fellow team members, nurturing a family-like workplace which encourages longevity.
Kevin P. DeAcosta, President and CEO, joined The Highlands in September 2000, and was promoted to the positon of CFO in January 2004, served as Interim President and CFO from January 2012 through March 2013, and was appointed President and CEO effective March 2013. Mr. DeAcosta received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Alvernia University in Reading, PA. Prior to coming to The Highlands Mr. DeAcosta spend ten years in the banking and public accounting industries. At The Highlands Mr. DeAcosta plans, directs and manages all operations of The Highlands. He develops and maintains effective business and professional relations with members of the Board of Directors, residents, clients, industry organizations, hospitals and churches. Additionally, he works in cooperation with the Governing Board in developing the strategic vision for the organization.
Jodi Gibble, Director of Marketing, joined The Highlands at Wyomissing in 2009. Prior to The Highlands from 2004-2009, Mrs. Gibble served as the VP of Marketing & Community Relations for Luthercare in Lititz, Pa overseeing the sales and marketing efforts of three retirement communities and five childcare programs. Mrs. Gibble was previously employed as the Regional Marketing Director of Newton Senior Living from 2002-2004 and the Regional Director of Marketing for Genesis Elder Care from 2000-2002 developing and facilitating marketing & sales strategies for assisted living communities. She also served in an operational role as an Executive Director of Mifflin Court (Genesis Eldercare), Shillington, Pa from 1997-2000. Mrs. Gibble holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pa.
Heather Hetrick, Personal Care Administrator, joined The Highlands at Wyomissing in January 2016 and has been a Pennsylvania Personal Care Administrator since August 2008. Ms. Hetrick obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Long Term Care Administration from York College of Pennsylvania. After working for a small, family owned, non-profit Personal Care Home, she began working for Sunrise Senior Living in 2006, where she worked in several positions over her almost 10 years with them. She specialized in dementia support for residents and their families and provided on-going guidance and training to her staff in several leadership positions. Ms. Hetrick is certified by the Validation Institute as a Validation Teacher, which is an approach to serving and communicating with senior adults with dementia. In Ms. Hetrick’s current position, she is responsible for the regulatory and day to day operations and care of the residents and staff in the Personal Care Department.
Lorena Lazarchick, Director of Community Life and Engagement, joined The Highlands at Wyomissing in November of 1987. Mrs. Lazarchick provides leadership, oversight, management, development, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations for the following departments/areas: Residential Living Programming, Security, Fitness Center, Pastoral Care, and Social Services. She also serves as the liaison between the Board of Directors and Administration.
Stephen R. Murray, Director of Dining Services, joined The Highlands at Wyomissing in March 2006, and holds an Associate Degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and is certified by the State of Pennsylvania for Food Service Supervisor in Long Term Care Facilities. Mr. Murray began his career as an Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at the Sheraton Berkshire Inn, Reading, PA, managing two restaurants from 1979 to 1981. He worked as an Assistant Manager at the Hanover Restaurant in Reading, PA from 1981 to 1983 and was promoted to Opening Team Member for restaurants in NJ and Philadelphia, finally being promoted to General Manager. From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Murray was the General Manager of Bakers Garden Restaurant in Willow Grove, PA. After this term, he worked as the Food Service Director for The Wood Company at the Lutheran Home at Topton from 1985 to 1990. In 1990, Mr. Murray was promoted to Senior District Manager for The Wood Company, being assigned to work at The Highlands at Wyomissing, and during that time developed and implemented marketing programs targeted for retirement communities. From 1997 to 2005, he worked for Cura Hospitality. Steve oversees dining operations in all levels of care at The Highlands.
Mrs. Pessognelli, Chief Financial Officer, joined the Corporation in July 2013. Mrs. Pessognelli brings 30 years of experience in health care financial management. Mrs. Pessognelli was previously employed by Barclay Friends, a Kendal affiliate, as Director of Finance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware and a Master’s in Business Administration from West Chester University, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Pessognelli oversees resident and medical billing, accounts receivable and payable, preparation of the financial statements, risk management, budget preparation, cash and investment management, external reporting and analyzing strategic initiatives.
Kristen Santangelo is Administrator of Skilled Nursing and Compliance Officer for The Highlands at Wyomissing. In this role, Kristen is responsible for planning, organizing and administering the daily operations of The Highlands’ Skilled Nursing Center; overseeing the administration of all therapy services; maintaining a professional level of confidentiality in all organizational, employee and resident issues; providing high quality care; and maintaining compliance with all regulatory requirements, budgetary guidelines and policies and procedures established by The Highlands at Wyomissing. Kristen is a member of the Senior Leadership team that plans, develops, supports and implements strategic initiatives. Prior to joining The Highlands, Kristen served as an NHA with ManorCare. She also spent part of her career as the Vice President of Operations for Genesis Healthcare. Kristen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Kutztown University and is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator (NHA).