As we rang in the new year last month, we also welcomed two new directors to our leadership team at Residences at Deer Creek. Meet Rhana Sanders as our Director of Human Resources and Mike Willis as our Business Office Director. While we’ve had the opportunity to spend time with each since ringing in the new year, we thought it would be great to share their respective backgrounds, their shared passion for helping others, and a little about their lives when they’re not in the office.
Rhana Sanders is a current resident of Merrillville, IN, a “life-long learner” and has the very important responsibility as Director of Human Resources. She must be sure she has the most current information about employment regulations and standards from the state and must keep other members of the Leadership Team informed as well. She is responsible for payroll, ensuring accuracy and timely submission. Training, continuing education, license and certification requirements for nurses and aides are maintained along with personnel files for every employee. Rhana posts position openings, conducts recruitment activities, and conducts all initial interviews of candidates seeking opportunities to join the team at Residences at Deer Creek. Familiarity with benefits is a must. And then there are the daily routines and meetings that need her attention. Her experiences and background are serving her well in her new role.
Rhana lives the description “life-long learner” and has always strived for higher education. She earned an Associates Degree in Business Management followed by a BA in Business Applied Management, and ultimately Master of Business Administration with Health Care Management Specialization. She is currently planning to become affiliated with SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management.
Rhana spends time with her fiancé and three sons who enjoy another of Rhana’s passions—cooking and baking. She was featured in a NWI TIMES article when she was just age 10 for the business she created with her baking. The oldest of six children, she used her earnings to purchase Easter clothing and baskets for her family. She cherishes her family and emphasizes how she has always been supported by them in all her endeavors.
Rhana also has a passion for meditation and shares that ability with others for their personal improvement. Meditation skills have created what she feels is yet another stepping stone, one to lead her to becoming a life coach, using all her talents and abilities to help others.
Mike Willis, is a loving husband, father and grandfather –with a soft spot for German Shepherds– and has financial experience and business operational expertise that are essential for Business Office Director of Residences at Deer Creek. He brings more than 23 years of experience in accounting and business office management. His responsibilities are key to ensuring accounts payable and receivable are maintained and reported on in accordance with regulations. Mike is responsible for audits and all financial reports. A very important aspect of his monthly duties involves working with residents and families, offering explanations that are understandable and investigating any inquiries or changes that need to be made. He maintains the important resident information electronically and is able to retrieve information readily. Mike works with vendors of services necessary to operations and assists with contracts and agreements.
After obtaining a BA in Accounting, Mike completed study for an MBA in Business Administration. His experience includes 14 years in Accounting in Human Resources in local government for the Village of Dolton, IL and then he ventured into the not-for-profit senior living setting for three years. It was during his most recent six years at a skilled nursing facility that he discovered a newfound passion for working with seniors and their families. Mike is confident that using his business and accounting skills in senior living will prove even more rewarding as he continues his career at Residences at Deer Creek.
Mike, originally from St. John, IN has been a resident of Lake Village for the past 20 years. Mike and his wife cherish their time with their adult children—two daughters and a son—and especially their grandson. Mike enjoys the quiet life and especially his three German Shepherds, he describes as loyal and loving canines. The joy of helping people is extremely important and he notes that he is happy to be in an environment doing what matters and working as a team. Mike’s combination of business and people skills are appreciated by all.