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About Our Talented Team at Normal’s Evergreen Place

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

Joyce Benton, Director

I grew up on a farm in Lexington, IL. 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 in 2006 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. I have 3 wonderful adult children that I get to spend time with often. Outside of work, I attend First Baptist Church of Bloomington. I enjoy working with the music program and the LOGOS children’s ministry.

Christine Fuss, Community Relations Liaison

Christine Fuss, Community Relations Coordinator

I was originally born and raised in Peoria, IL and I‘ve resided in, beautiful, Normal, IL for over twenty-five years. I’m happily married to a wonderful husband of 25 years. We have adopted two children from Russia and now have two lovely grandchildren.

My career has mostly been in restaurant, retail multi-unit management, and training, so I am not shy and used to working around many types of people. I have never worked directly with seniors but I found my niche! After four-plus years at Evergreen (since 2017) I love my job the same as I did on day one. I continue to see the same dedication, passion, and care the staff members have for our residents. I love to see our residents flourish when they come here and my family has just gotten much bigger. I am very thankful to be a member of the Evergreen Senior Living team and part of the Heritage Operations Group family who has created this culture over many years in the senior care industry. My favorite part of coming in each day is talking with our residents and working side by side with a great team!

Faith, family, friends, and traveling are my passions.
Darla Heath, Community Relations Liaison

Darla Heath, Community Relations Coordinator

I 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 and grandson, who are 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

Jessica Strack, Life Enrichment Coordinator

I was born in Salem, Oregon and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii when I was 12 weeks old. I lived in Honolulu for 11 years, then moved to Normal with my mother and two sisters in 1993 and haven’t left. Besides the cold winters I love Normal! I went to Illinois State University and got my Bachelor of Science with a focus in Therapeutic Recreation. I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl in January 2022. I have worked with seniors in different capacities since the early 2000. I’ve been at Evergreen Place since January 2012. I love coming to work every day because the residents have become my family. They make me smile, laugh, and always have wonderful words of wisdom. They brighten my day and I’m so thankful to have them in my life.

Elizabeth Chanda

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

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 Tredenick, Culinary Services Coordinator

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.