Barbara Matteson is the executive director of the Palms at Ponte Vedra.
Please tell us about your background and what brought you to the Palms.
I hold a master’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Prior to my relocation to Jacksonville, my family resided in upstate New York, and I had my own practice as a marriage and family therapist. Prior to establishing my private practice, I worked as a director of social services in the nursing home industry. Upon my move to Jacksonville, I knew that I was ready for a change and fortunately, I found that change with Marriott Senior Living, where I became an administrator of an assisted living facility in Orange Park. However, Marriott chose not to continue its venture with senior living. But before they exited the business, I was fortunate enough to work for them and be trained by them. I am always grateful to Marriott for the training, and I had and the opportunity to work for and meet Mr. Bill Marriott.
After Marriott, I had the opportunity to work for other senior living companies based in Jacksonville. the Palms community was especially interesting to me because it was a unique opportunity to lead a new startup assisted living and memory care facility, as well as an opportunity to work for a locally-based company. When I came to the Palms, they were just pouring the foundation for the building. I was very interested in bringing my experiences and knowledge to a new startup venture and to have the opportunity to provide input to every phase of the community. Another key fact of my association with the Palms is that my three granddaughters, Josephine, Amelia, and Madelynn Boyle, live nearby in Sawgrass and encouraged me to explore working at the Palms. They love visiting the Palms and interacting with residents. It is very important to teach our youth the importance of taking care of our seniors. They call the Palms “Grandma’s House.”
What are your primary roles and responsibilities as executive director?
The executive director is responsible for all facets of the operation of both the assisted living and Morningside (our memory care facility). The buck stops with me! I have been extremely fortunate to have a supportive and very experienced management team who works for me. I have five department managers in the areas of maintenance and housekeeping, culinary, marketing and sales, resident services and community business and activities. Our success is directly related to this experienced team that I am fortunate to have. Kay Tober, my marketing and sales director, has 12 years of experience. Read the full article >>