Everyday life at Evergreen Place focuses on the multifaceted approach we employ for our senior. Evergreen Place is maintained by a diligent and caring staff of professionals with operations overseen by our director. Our team of compassionate caregivers consistently and unwaveringly provides direct and respectful communication to our residents.
Our staff provides the highest level of senior care on our campus and throughout our community. We are proudly partnered with students and nursing staff at Illinois Wesleyan University and Heartland Community College.
Joyce Benton, Director
I have had the privilege of working with seniors in long-term care since 1986 after graduating from ISU with a Bachelor Degree in Music Therapy. I worked at a skilled community for 19 years with 10 of those years as the Director of the Dementia unit. I came to Evergreen Place as a part-time marketer and became the director in 2008. I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful people including residents, family members, dedicated staff and the larger medical community in Bloomington/Normal. When I’m not at work, my three teenagers keep me busy. I also enjoy my work with my church choir, praise team and LOGOS program. I grew up locally in Lexington.
Rachel Gaines, Wellness Coordinator
I grew in the central Illinois area, helping my dad who was a minister. We often worked with seniors, so my passion for helping the older generation began as a child. I left Illinois to study law at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, but returned home after two years to study nursing at Heartland in Normal. I worked as a CNA for 8 years, and worked in many different fields as a nurse, including psychiatric nursing. Eventually I returned to my true passion, caring for seniors, and found my way to Evergreen Place. Here, I feel that I’ve found my permanent home. This position is amazing because each day here brings new opportunities and challenges. I have the opportunity to not only be a nurse, but provide education to seniors to help them live more active and healthier lives! In my spare time, I enjoy music and art with my two beautiful children, and we are active in sports and church.
Christine Fuss, Community Relations LiaisonI was originally born and raised in Peoria, IL. I‘ve resided in, beautiful, Normal, IL for over twenty years. I’m happily married with two adopted children from Russia and now have two lovely grandchildren!
My career has mostly been in restaurant & retail management, so I’m new at working with seniors, but after only four weeks, it feels like a great fit! Immediately, I could see the dedication, passion and care the staff members have for our residents. I am very thankful to be a member of the Evergreen Senior Living Team and a part of the Heritage Operations Group family who has created this culture over many years. My favorite part of coming in each day is talking with our resident’s, getting to know them more each day!
Faith, family, friends and traveling are my passions.
Darla Heath, Community Relations LiaisonI was raised on a farm outside Chenoa IL and have lived in McLean County most of my life. Growing up, my family was very active in the 4-H program, which led me to a career with the University of IL Extension. I earned a Bachelors from Murray State University, Murray KY and a Masters from the University of Illinois in Consumer and Family Sciences. I served as a County Director and Youth Development educator for 28 years, prior to my retirement in 2010. My passion for seniors led me to Kansas City, Missouri where I was director of the Meals on Wheels Program in the heart of the city. I returned to Bloomington in 2015 and have continued to serve the senior community. I have two wonderful sons and a beautiful granddaughter, who is the light of my life. My affiliations include: League of Women Voters, McLean County Consumer and Family Science Professionals, Faith in Action Board of Directors and Kappa Delta Sorority Alumni. I have two dogs, love animals and enjoy crafting, reading and crocheting.
Jessica Gaines, Life Enrichment Coordinator
I was born in Salem, Oregon and moved to Honolulu when I was 6 weeks old. I lived in Hawaii for 11 years, then moved to Normal in 1993 and haven’t left! I went to Illinois State University and got my Bachelors of Science with my focus on Therapeutic Recreation. I have worked with seniors in different capacities since the early 2000. I have been at Evergreen Place for 4 years. I am thankful to be helping seniors get the best quality of life by providing meaningful activities: Social Outing, Physical Fitness classes, Spirituality and activities to maintain your brain. I love coming to work every day because the residents have become part of my family, make me smile and have lots of words of wisdom. They brighten my day and we share great laughs together.
Elizabeth Chanda, Administrative Services Coordinator
I was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois. I recently relocated to the Bloomington/Normal area after working in retail for 21 years. I have three beautiful daughters, four lovely grandchildren and two dogs. I love to travel, garden, and spend time with my family. I am a HUGE Cubs and Bears fan. When I walked through the door at Evergreen Place, I knew this was the right place for me. On day one, I was welcomed by the team and all the smiling residents. I love getting to know the residents more every day. Listening to their stories and learning from the experiences and knowledge is a highlight of my day. I wake up every morning feeling grateful that Evergreen Place is my work home.
Larry Orris, Building Services Coordinator
I have worked at Evergreen Place since November 2015 and I am from Bloomington. This is my first time working in senior care, although I did work at OSF for 12 years. I love everything about working at Evergreen Place!
Matt Tredennick, Culinary Services Coordinator
I have been at Evergreen Place since August of 2007. Before that I worked for University House of Issaquah outside of Seattle. I have 24 years of culinary service experience. I’ve managed restaurants in Florida and Colorado. Working here at Evergreen Place is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I enjoy coming to work each day knowing that I have an opportunity to make a difference in a resident’s or staff members life. I’m truly a blessed man to work in an environment such as Evergreen Place.