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The Pines Welcomes Vernon Baker, Bids Farewell to Heather McKee

by | Mar 23, 2021

Vernon Baker, the new CEO of The Pines at Davidson.

The Board of Directors of The Pines at Davidson is pleased to announce the arrival of Mr. Vernon M. Baker – the organization’s new President/CEO and Executive Director.

Baker has worked in the senior living industry for more than thirty years. He most recently served as the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of Williamsburg Landing, Inc. in Williamsburg, VA. At Williamsburg Landing, he is one of three officers responsible for the overall operations and managing a $35.6 million budget, 422 employees, and care for approximately 550 residents on a 152-acre campus. He participated in the organization’s $43 million expansion and renovation of the Assisted Living Facility, Memory Support Home, Adult Day Center, as well as Health and Rehabilitation Center.

From 2002 to 2017, Baker was Administrator of Dogwood Village of Orange County, a senior living community in Orange, VA that provides long-term nursing care, rehabilitation services and assisted living. At Dogwood Village, he was responsible for overall operations, managed a $17 million budget, renovated, and expanded the Health and Rehab Skilled Nursing beds and built a new Assisted Living facility. Prior to this, he served at American HealthCare, L.L.C. in Roanoke, VA, as Senior Vice President of Operations for one year where he oversaw operations for 18 facilities with 2,100 beds, 2,000 employees and a $100 million budget and Regional Director of Operations for three years responsible for overseeing operations for nine facilities with 1,049 beds and approximately 1,000 employees. For three years, Baker was an Administrator at Eldercare Gardens in Charlottesville, VA, which is part of ServiceMaster Diversified Health Services in Memphis, TN. For nearly twenty years, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Health Care Association/Virginia Center for Assisted Living, most recently as Immediate Past Chairman from 2018 to 2019.

Baker is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1987 and completed all course work for a Master of Science in Education.

“With the opening of its new and renovated facilities in early 2021, The Pines is superbly positioned to meet the needs of residents for many years to come,” said Baker. He added, “The safety protocols put in place to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic reflect a deep commitment to protecting residents and staff. I am grateful for Ms. McKee’s leadership during this interim period, particularly given the construction process and challenges of 2020.”

“The Pines’ community welcomes Mr. Baker,” said Barb Neidinger, Chair of The Pines’ Board of Directors Executive Director Search Committee. “He brings a wealth of leadership experience, enthusiasm, and thoughtful consideration of resident needs.”

Heather McKee has led The Pines as the Interim President/CEO and Executive Director since November 30, 2020. Residents recently presented her with the following Resolution of Appreciation:

“Whereas Heather McKee served as the leader of The Pines during one of the most challenging periods of its history, with COVID-19 threatening friends and closing down community activities, massive construction projects disturbing our tranquil setting, and a change in executive leadership about to take place;

Whereas Heather quickly reached out to resident sand staff to establish an atmosphere of listening to, encouraging, protecting, and nourishing our community; and

Whereas Heather brought both professional skill and personable style to the challenges of leading our community in myriad ways to reinforce, enhance, and celebrate the valued quality of life at The Pines:

Therefore be it resolved on this 19th day of March, 2021, that the residents of The Pines express their heartfelt gratitude for the leadership, engagement, and service that Heather has provided and their hope that she, as a Davidson neighbor, will continue to be part of this community that has taken her into our hearts as she has taken us into hers.”

Baker arrived on March 22, and McKee’s last day is March 24.


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