Top Assisted Living Provider Announces Promotions for Decatur Area Residents

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Gardant Management Solutions has promoted several employees from Eagle Ridge of Decatur, its affordable assisted living community in Macon County. Gardant is the largest assisted living provider in Illinois and the 14th largest provider in the nation.

Jo Ellen Bleavins, President

We’ve seen great success at Eagle Ridge and have had a talented group of leaders get their start at the community. We are thrilled with the growth opportunities for Gardant and our ability to have staff grow within the organization.

Gardant Management Solutions -- the largest assisted living provider in Illinois and the management company for Eagle Ridge of Decatur-- has announced promotions for four area residents.

“We’ve seen great success at Eagle Ridge and have had a talented group of leaders get their start at the community. We are thrilled with the growth opportunities for Gardant and our ability to have staff grow within the organization,” said Rod Burkett, Chief Executive Officer for Gardant Management Solutions.

Jo Ellen Bleavins, who has served as the Chief Operating Officer, is the new President. She will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Gardant portfolio. Bleavins’ experience as chief operating officer, vice president of operations and regional director have well-prepared her for one of the company’s top positions. Her leadership role will support Gardant as it continues to carry out its mission and position the company for the future.

During her career with Gardant, Bleavins has led the opening or acquisition of more than 50 communities. She brings to her position 20 years of administrative experience in assisted living, supportive living and long-term care.

Bleavins, who served as administrator when Eagle Ridge opened in 2003, holds both an MBA and BS in Nursing from Millikin University.

Kristi Ruderman has been promoted to Gardant’s newly created position of Project Coordinator. She will activate strategies that lead to successful completion of new developments and acquisitions.

Ruderman’s experience for Gardant began at Eagle Ridge as the marketing director in 2003. She then went on to hold positions of administrator, Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, and most recently, Regional Director of Operations. In the past six months, she has led Gardant teams through two successful acquisitions: an assisted living and memory care community in Rantoul, Illinois and an assisted living community in Atlanta.

She brings 25 years of experience in the senior care industry to her new position. Ruderman earned a B.A. in Mass Communication/Psychology from Western Illinois University.

Amy Bretz, who has served as the Eagle Ridge administrator since 2012, has been promoted to Regional Director of Operations for Gardant. She will oversee the company’s properties in central Illinois.

During her time at Eagle Ridge, Bretz led a team that achieved three deficiency-free surveys from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The community also experienced low staff turnover, recorded high occupancy, and benefited from excellent resident and employee satisfaction.

She earned a psychology degree from Eastern Illinois University.

Amy Noonan, the marketing director at Eagle Ridge, has been promoted to District Director of Marketing, Sales and Engagement for Gardant. While working at Eagle Ridge, Noonan spent time mentoring new marketing directors at other properties. She will now oversee marketing efforts for Gardant communities in the central and southern regions of Illinois.

Noonan earned her marketing degree from Millikin University.

Gayla Hislope has been promoted from the Director of Nursing position to the new administrator at Eagle Ridge of Decatur. Ashley Higar is the new marketing director for the community.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur was the first affordable assisted living community to be developed in Macon County, and it has been serving older adults and their families for the past 13 years. Steve Horve, of Forsyth-based Horve Builders, is the primary owner of the property.

Gardant operates 44 assisted living, senior living and memory care communities in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, the Metro East area of St. Louis, and other locations in northern, central and southern Illinois, as well as Georgia and Indiana. The company ranks as the 14th largest assisted living provider in the country.

For more information about Gardant Management Solutions or the assisted living, senior living and memory care communities the company operates, click here or call 1-877-882-1495.

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Amber Springer
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