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Staff Boasting of 170 Years of Service

May 24, 2023

Long-time staff, including a mother-daughter duo, boast a total of nearly 170 years working at Pisgah Valley senior living community near Asheville, North Carolina.

Pisgah Valley is a senior living community offering independent living, as well as access to assisted living (Pisgah Villa), rehabilitation and skilled care (Pisgah Manor), all on one campus.

Michelle Iacono, campus director and administrator for health care, is one of those long-time employees, having been involved with Pisgah Valley for 24 years. She started her involvement by participating in the Adopt-a Grandparent Program and then volunteering as a candy striper when she was 13. Her subsequent roles included activities assistant, administrative assistant social worker, social services director, and assistant administrator.

Her mother, Anita Grandy, has worked at Pisgah Valley for 29 years, now serving as assistant director of nursing at the Health Center.

Residents at Pisgah Valley appreciate the dedicated team who’ve worked for many years in the community. This is especially important as staff longevity in healthcare and senior living careers is rare. Turnover in the senior care industry overall exceeds 33%, according to Forbes. Longevity is rare but especially valuable in senior living as it allows residents and staff to build relationships.

“It’s important to have continuity of care,” Grandy says. “Residents say it’s helpful to have someone who knows their little idiosyncrasies and how they like things done.”

Pam Suarez, the director of nursing for Pisgah Valley Health Center, has been in the community for 21 years. Longevity, she says, “allows time to build relationships and foster trust, and give seniors the dignity they deserve.”

“Residents and staff get attached,” says Grandy.

Others, in addition to Grandy, Iacono and Suarez, who have built long and fulfilling careers at Pisgah Valley include:

  • Jimi Phillips, dietary director, 28 years
  • Bethany Buchanan, health information management coordinator, 23 years
  • Katrina Connor, business office director, human resources, 22 years
  • Martha King, director of assisted living, 22 years.
  • Abby Landry, wellness director and manager of the INSPIRE wellness program, 14 years.
  • Charles ‘Chick’ Winn, director of maintenance, 14 years

Everyone agrees, it’s the tight-knit community feel of Pisgah Valley that keep staff happy and dedicated.

“It’s always a joy to see the residents thriving,” Buchanan says.

Suarez comments that all team members have a “heart for the elderly,” adding that they share the feeling that they’re having a positive impact on the lives of seniors. “Even though we can’t always fix what’s happening in their life, we can be kind, understanding, and supportive to the residents as well as their families.”

Pisgah Valley

Pisgah Valley Retirement Community is a Life Plan Community located in the scenic Hominy Valley just outside Asheville, North Carolina—named by as among the best places to retire in the U.S. Pisgah Valley offers independent living in spacious patio and villa homes on a greenery-filled campus. Pisgah Villa and Pisgah Manor, both located onsite, offer assisted living, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing for both residents of Pisgah Valley and the surrounding area, thus providing a complete continuum of care for seniors. Pisgah Valley Retirement Community is owned and operated by Liberty Senior Living, LLC, a division of Liberty Healthcare Management that specializes in senior living and retirement communities. To learn more about Pisgah Valley Retirement, visit To learn more about Liberty Senior Living and the communities they offer, please visit .

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Pisgah Valley

6 Rhododendron Way
Candler, NC 28715


Pisgah Villa

102 Holcombe Cove Road
Candler, NC 28715


Pisgah Manor

104 Holcombe Cove Road
Candler, NC 28715