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Meet Our Staff
Karen Van Gorden, CDP, Executive Director
Karen brings a youthful vitality and enthusiasm, along with maturity and a dedicated sense of purpose, to her position as Executive Director.
Born and raised in Smithfield, RI, Karen is the mother of two active sons, 11 and 16 years of age. Whenever she’s not assisting families with the important details and considerations of quality senior living, she can be found at an ice rink or traveling with her family for a hockey tournament. She also enjoys her time as the President, raising money for Smithfield High School Hockey Booster Club.
Pamela Tetreault, Business Office Manager
Chloe Mete, Director of Marketing
Ernie Parfitt, Director of Maintenance
Ernie was born and raised in Pawtucket, RI. He was influenced at a very young age to respect his elders and admire their accomplishments. His beloved grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when he was eight, so Ernie feels especially close to the mission here at The Highlands.
He has fond memories of visiting his grandfather on weekends, first at home and, eventually, in a nursing home. Like his father and father before him, Ernie is a hands-on, can-do kind of man. Ernie can fix just about anything and enjoys doing so!
Ernie worked in the maintenance department for HallKeen Management for over four years when he jumped at the opportunity to transfer to The Highlands. His skills, knowledge and dedication to our residents are invaluable. If your television remote is not working, Ernie will fix it. If you need a picture hung, Ernie will hang it. In short, he can do it all and is happy to do it.
Nigel Orr, Food Service Director
Nigel joined the Highlands team with over fourteen years of culinary experience. He brings a sense of professionalism, skills and passion to the team. Nigel strives to create a positive experience and a dynamic dining experience for the residents.
At the age of seven, Nigel fell in love with cooking and he never strayed far from his profession. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu with a degree in Culinary Management, he later went on to pursue his culinary career. Nigel says that food is love and it shows whenever he presents his dishes.
When not working, Nigel enjoys spending time with his family and creating new recipes for his recipe book.
Highlands Vaccinated Employees: 100%
last updated 12.17.2021