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Experience you can believe in

Meet the leaders of the SearStone community

Vinson Bankoski
Executive Director

Vinson Bankoski has joined SearStone Retirement Community in Cary as Executive Director. A transplanted New Englander, Vinson is a life-long leader in the Hospitality and Senior Living industries. Vinson earned his BA from Florida International University, in Miami, FL, and his MA at the Erickson School For Aging at the University of Maryland. In addition to his professional commitments, Vinson has served on non-profit boards supporting both aging services and the arts, and also serves as an adjunct professor for the Erickson School. Vinson has also been an active leader in support of programs that teach peace, tolerance, and the celebration of diversity

James Souter
Brittany Place Administrator

James is originally from Montezuma, Georgia; however, he has called North Carolina home since 2013.  James has been a nursing home administrator for 5 years and has practiced in both North Carolina and Georgia.  He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Major in Finance and Minor in Management from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. James also spent a summer studying Finance in Innsbruck, Austria. He is recently engaged to be married and enjoys the outdoors as well as spending time with family and friends.  James is strong in faith and has a passion for business and helping others. 

Leigh Roach
Marketing Director

Leigh Roach, native to Cary, joined the SearStone team in January of 2010 and has over 15 years of experience in the Continuing Care Retirement Industry. As a marketing associate at both The Forest at Duke and Glenaire, Leigh is a great believer in establishing caring and long-lasting relationships with her clients while assisting them in planning their retirement and future health care needs. Leigh and her husband Andrew have four children: Samantha, Tristan, Jackson and Clay.  She is an active member of Good Hope Baptist Church, and enjoys spending time with family, riding bikes, traveling, and eating sushi whenever she gets a chance! Leigh is looking forward to getting to know you, as you learn more about SearStone!

Jason A. Chautin
Chief Financial Officer

Jason is a finance and accounting professional with more than 20 years of experience working for public and private companies, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.  His work has spanned many industries including the energy sector, manufacturing, consulting, and senior care.  Jason’s previous senior care work was with Sunrise Senior Living as their Director of Financial Operations for their home care business, Sunrise At Home.  

Jason received both his Bachelor’s degree in Finance as well as his MBA from The George Washington University.   Originally from Acton, Massachusetts, Jason now resides in Cary with his wife, Stefanie, and his twins, Melanie and Kyle.  He enjoys traveling with his family, scuba diving, and “playing” the stock market.

Jeff Wardenfelt
Environmental Services Director

Before joining SearStone, Wardenfelt spent over 12 years as facilities manager at Carroll Lutheran Village, a CCRC in Westminster, Md., with more than 700 residents. He has also served as maintenance director of a nursing home and district facilities manager for a small chain of seven nursing homes. He and his wife recently moved from Maryland to the Triangle area.

Aurora Susana Zahourek, BSN, RN, CDP
Director of Nursing

Aurora joined SearStone on January 2014.  She was born and raised in the Philippines.  A trained ER and OR nurse back home, Aurora brings more than 10 years of long term care experience.  She had assumed various nursing roles to include Charge Nurse, Nursing Supervisor and Health Care Coordinator.  Aurora has recently earned her certificate as a Dementia Practitioner and is a member of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care.

On a personal note, Aurora enjoys traveling, watching movies and spending quality time wiht her husband and their furry kids.

Nancy Broadwell
Social Worker

Nancy Broadwell, CSW, joined SearStone as the community’s Social Worker in September 2014. Prior to joining the SearStone team Nancy was a social worker at Alzheimers North Carolina in Raleigh where she provided counseling, education, and resources on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for family caregivers, professionals, and individuals with dementia, and led support groups for caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer’s. She graduated from Meredith College with a Social Work degree.  Originally from West Virginia, Nancy has been in the Wake County since 1989 and currently resides with her family in Fuquay-Varina. Nancy volunteers with the Wake County Sheriff Department’s Senior Wellcheck program, Alzheimers North Carolina, the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves on the Fuquay-Varina Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Advisory Board. She has previously volunteered with the Flight of Honor and Operation Omaha. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Her hobbies include running, gardening, and RV-ing.

John Scali
Director of Security and Transportation

John brings over ten years of public safety experience to the Director of Security and Transportation position at SearStone.  John has worked as a Security Supervisor at Duke Raleigh Hospital since 2011. His prior work history also includes serving twelve years as a Sherriff (Lieutenant) in Monmouth County New Jersey and eight years as an electrical contractor foreman. 

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, John now resides in Fuquay Varina with his wife and two daughters.

Tabitha B. Pace, PHR
Human Resources Director

Tabitha Pace began working for SearStone as the Human Resources Director in September 2013. She is responsible for all areas of the Human Resources and Payroll department which includes bi-weekly processing of the company's payroll and daily running of the personnel office.

Previously, Tabitha worked for McLaurin Parking Company as the Human Resource Coordinator for the Special Events division. While there, she managed the staffing of events as well as high volume seasonal hiring.

Before that, she spent 5 years as a Lead Merchandiser for Bell Nursery whose client is national home improvement retailer, Home Depot. In this position, she fell in love with the personnel side of her role and knew Human Resources was where she needed to plant her feet.

Tabitha stays active in industry trade groups as a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is also a Notary Public and a member of the North Carolina Museum of History Associates.

She is one of the few remaining Raleigh natives and a graduate of Meredith College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management.

On a personal note, she is not only a supporter of numerous pet rescue organization but has two dogs of her own, Liam and Mia.  

Also of note, as she started her time at SearStone, she was also busy planning her wedding to her now husband, Brian, and on July 4, 2015 they welcomed Caleb Pace to the world.

Allie Ligay
Sales Manager

Allie has worked in senior living for the last 10 years. "I've had the privilege of helping families and their loved ones make the very big decision to move into a senior living community. I’ve loved being a part of a solution for so many people."  She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised (and currently lives) in Cary, NC.  Allie met her husband during their time at NC State - they are big Wolfpack fans!  They welcomed their first son in May 2015.  "I’m so excited to be a part of the SearStone team!"


Mark Johnson
Wellness Director

Johnson was most recently wellness coordinator for the Glenaire retirement community, where he had also served as wellness assistant and wellness instructor. Prior to that, he was a wellness instructor at Rex Wellness Center.

Johnson is certified as a personal trainer by Interactive Fitness Trainers of America (IFTA) and as a group exercise instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). He is also an aqua arthritis and land arthritis instructor. Johnson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in health fitness specialist from East Carolina University.

Now residing in Fuquay-Varina with his wife and newborn daughter, Johnson loves to participate in Triathlons. He has also volunteered with the Arthritis Foundation and Alzheimer’s NC.

Shannon Hoffman
Resident Life Services Director

Before joining the SearStone Team Shannon worked at a Skilled Rehabilitation Center, in Durham NC, as the Activities Director. Prior to that she worked for the Parks and Recreation Department in Columbia, SC as a Park Ranger. She has over 12 years of experience in the Recreation field including an internship with Vagabond Cruise, located in Hilton Head, SC.

Shannon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Management from East Carolina University. While at ECU she volunteered with the Alumni Association’s Ambassador Program where she assisted in voluntary services around campus with new students and other organizations associated with the University.

She now resides in North Raleigh with her husband, and her two four legged children. Shannon enjoys sailing, biking, and is currently training for her first ½ Marathon.

Debbie DeRosa
Marketing/Move-In Coordinator

Debbie DeRosa joined the SearStone team in May of 2005 as part of the pre-sale team.  Debbie, as Move-In Coordinator, enjoys working with SearStone residents as they make their move into their SearStone home.  She served for 11 years within the shopping center industry and was Marketing Director at Cary Towne Center.  Debbie studied Business Management at St. Leo University in Virginia and earned the professional designation of Certified Marketing Director from the International Council of Shopping Centers.  She is an active member of the Justice Theatre Project.   Originally from New Jersey, Debbie has made North Raleigh her home for the past 14 years.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Karen S. Lawrence

Karen has always worked with quality customer service as a top priority. She spent 21 years with IBM supporting customers in many capacities. She studied at Marshall University in Huntington, WV and continued her education with service, planning, and marketing skills with the IBM education service.

Karen lives in North Raleigh with her husband, Tony. She enjoys working on her new home, spending time with her family, especially the grandchildren, and entertaining friends.

Teresa Tackett, RN
Clinic Manager

Teresa Tackett, RN joined SearStone in August 2014 as a Clinic RN. She is now the Clinic RN Manager for the community. Teresa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008. While pursuing this degree she found her true calling, and she graduated in 2011 with her nursing degree. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association.

Teresa recently got married and resides in Pittsboro with her husband and their two dogs. She enjoys travel and spending time with family and friends.

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