Residences at Deer Creek Team

The Residences at Deer Creek team is a dynamic group with a passion for serving. We believe in maximizing the lives of those we serve and of their families through respect, compassion and excellence.

Director of Life Enrichment

Emily Aguilar

Emily Aguilar discovered her true passion, working with seniors, while she gained experience planning general therapeutic recreation programs for the Northwest Special Recreation Association in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Now Emily brings that expertise to Residences at Deer Creek as Life Enrichment Director, as well as her special gift in connecting with residents, families, and peers.  She and her team  lead the design and implementation of outstanding  programs developed to meet the psychosocial needs of our residents, including their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual needs. Born in Warington, UK, Emily’s family came to Naperville, Illinois when she was age four. She obtained a BS degree in Recreation and Parks Administration with a Sequence in Therapeutic Recreation from Illinois State University. Emily is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Certified Club Wellness Trainer, and is certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention. Emily has been trained to use the “Snoezlen Room,” a distinguishing feature of Residences at Deer Creek’s Memory Care community. Continuing staff education on using this controlled multisensory environment to create either a soothing or a stimulating experience will be an important skill she will share. Emily values family; to be closer to her sister and toddler nephew, she not only made the move to Dyer, but also recently married.  She enjoys swimming—especially diving and water polo. She also finds time to read, enjoying the ethical dilemmas of Jodi Picoult novels. We welcome Emily’s drive to “always be doing something of value,” however the way of making others happy comes to her. We believe she will find many ways to serve with passion and expertise at Residences at Deer Creek.
Executive Director

Karen Ayersman

Karen Ayersman is the Executive Director at Residences at Deer Creek in Schererville, Indiana, and has more than 20 years of experience and specialized knowledge in long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living.

Prior to joining Residences at Deer Creek, Karen was a Licensed Health Facility Administrator and preceptor (trainer) of senior living administrators in Wisconsin. In 1996, she moved to Schererville where she met her husband Brian and has since served the Northwest Indiana community.

Karen’s role as Executive Director is to develop an outstanding leadership team with the same high level of compassion and desire to serve the residents and their loved ones. She prides herself on making positive changes in the lives of seniors, their families and her staff in the communities she has served.

Passionate about continuously engaging in professional training, Karen feels the insight provided alters perspectives and changes the way staff approaches caregiving, along with giving the gift of greater empathy to families who have a loved one with dementia and other chronic conditions. She is a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT), meaning she is equipped to prepare front line staff and train health care professionals to become Certified Dementia Practitioners.

Karen is most passionate and alive when creating solutions to better the lives of our seniors. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and grandson, traveling with her son to his sporting events, reading and staying active by taking her dog Sasha on long walks.

Director of Sales and Marketing

Jim Barrett

Jim has over 30 years of experience as an award-winning sales executive for Northwest Indiana newspapers, TIMES and Post Tribune, specializing in print, digital interactive, E-blast and specialty publications. His education in Communications and Public Relations from Marquette University and Purdue Northwest, where he continues to engage as a senior member of the PR Alumni Advisory Board,  pave the way for serving as a liaison to the Schererville and surrounding communities. Jim is adept at relationship building and proficient in using customer relationship management data.  He values most his ability to connect with others.  Jim especially enjoys working with seniors and their families and sharing stories of new and old experiences. He strives to understand a family’s concerns and care needs, providing the very best solutions and helping the transition to a beneficial senior lifestyle.

Jim, his wife, and son who is studying at IUNC, are residents of Crown Point along with what he deems two “spoiled” pets—a Goldendoodle and a Cock-A-Poo. An enthusiastic music fan, Jim has been attending live concerts and collecting recordings of favorite performances for many years, especially Bluegrass. The family also enjoys traveling, “fishing adventures” and forest hikes with the dogs.  Jim loves to cook, especially with the fireplace going and “the game” on; his personable nature makes others feel comfortable and “at home.”

Director of Plant Operations

Bill Reiser

Bill Reiser is the Director of Plant Operations at Residences at Deer Creek in Schererville, Indiana, and has more than 30 years of experience in positions of increasing responsibility in building and facility maintenance at health care facilities in Northwest Indiana.

In his role as Director of Plant Operations, Bill ensures that the residents are safe, happy and comfortable. Bill prides himself on being a reliable resource to both residents and staff.

Bill is most passionate about going above and beyond to problem solve in a creative way. He enjoys the tangible way he can help to improve the lives of our seniors by crafting custom solutions to meet their needs.

He also enjoys connecting with and getting to know the residents, learning about their lives and their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Bill enjoys spending time with his wife, children and five grandchildren. He loves being outdoors; hunting, fishing and playing recreational baseball are some of his favorite pastimes.

Executive Chef

Vanessa Schiola

Vanessa Schiola is the Executive Chef at Deer Creek in Schererville, Indiana. She has more than 20 years of experience with fine dining, catering, and menu planning and development, as well as in senior living.

As Executive Chef, Vanessa creates and provides beautiful, delicious and healthy meals for residents, guests and employees. Her culinary philosophy is that food and shared dining experiences bring people together, creating an opportunity for community, laughter and joy.

Passionate about bringing joy to our residents through food, Vanessa enjoys creating a menu that appeals to everyone. Her menus typically reflect a fusion of familiar classics with a surprising twist. She loves seeing families join their loved ones in the restaurant for meals, laughing and chatting as they enjoy “food for the soul.”

With Vanessa’s expertise, Residences at Deer Creek has won awards through the Taste of Care food competition for three consecutive years. Vanessa feels strongly that the community wins so many awards because the team cares so much.

In her free time, Vanessa enjoys keeping up with industry trends in food, healthy cooking and senior living. She also enjoys animals, movies, concerts, muscle cars and traveling with her husband – especially on their annual Disney vacation.

Director of Social Services

Lindsey Sherron

As the Director of Social Services, Lindsey assists residents and their families in identifying and dealing with social, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental factors as they affect overall well-being.

Lindsey brings nearly twenty years of social services experience working with the senior population in a variety of settings such as home health, hospice, assisted living, memory care, and outpatient therapeutic services.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Indiana University.

Lindsey enjoys spending time with her family and watching her daughter play softball.

Business Office Director

Mike Willis

Mike brings more than 23 years of experience in accounting, business office management and human resources to Residences at Deer Creek.  After obtaining a BA in Accounting, he completed study for an MBA in Business Administration. His MBA has led him through careers in local government, the not-for-profit sector, and skilled nursing where he discovered a newfound passion for working with seniors and their families. Mike encourages questions, helping all to understand the complexities of finances for seniors as well as options and resources. Additionally, he ensures a safe and high-quality work environment for the Residences at Deer Creek team and recruits those who are passionate about serving and improving the lives of seniors.

Mike has been a lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana. He is married and has adult children—two daughters, a son, and a grandson.  Mike enjoys his three German Shepherds and says they are loyal and loving canines. He believes the joy of helping people is extremely important and 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.

Join Our Team

Not only is Residences Senior Living a great place to live, but it’s a great place to work! Join the Residences at Deer Creek team today.

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