Meet the Expert Team at Ventana Dallas | Ventana by Buckner

MEET THE VENTANA TEAM

A STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE

Here at Ventana by Buckner, our goal is to maintain a standard of excellence in the care and lifestyle we offer to the community. From our Executive Director to our certified nurses and culinary staff, the Ventana team is dedicated to meeting your needs by providing excellence in services, amenities and care.

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Danica McGuire

Executive Director

Danica McGuire was named the executive director of Ventana by Buckner in May 2021, where she previously served as Ventana’s associate executive director.

The faith-based mission of Buckner and Ventana resonates with McGuire, who says she has always tried to incorporate faith into her career. Her goal at Ventana is to continually redefine and elevate hospitality through experiences, service and culture.

McGuire began her career in aging services as a social work intern and quickly realized working with the aging population was her passion. She then worked in various leadership roles including assisted living director, activity director, marketing director and assistant administrator. In 2010, McGuire took on the role of administrator with the Bivins Foundation in Amarillo, TX.

A Texas native, McGuire earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work/sociology from West Texas A&M University and a Master of Science degree in long-term care, senior housing and aging services from University of North Texas. She obtained her Nursing Facility Administrators license in 2011.

Bridgette Balderas

Bridgette L. Balderas

Director of Human Resources

Bridgette Balderas has more than 20 years of experience in the human resources field, with nine of those in senior living. Bridgette began in the human resources field as coordinator and has built on her career experience to become a great HR practitioner and a great asset to the Ventana by Buckner team. She sees her role as “a strategic business partner” who capitalizes on her experience “as a business owner, assistant, specialist, generalist, manager and now director, to initiate and drive for resolutions.”

Her Ventana career is her second at Buckner Retirement Services: She was the Human Resources Generalist at Buckner’s San Angelo, Texas campus. Previously, she also served as a human resources manager for Morningside Ministries in San Antonio.

Bridgette earned a bachelor of business administration degree focused in marketing from Angelo State University. She is active in the Society for Human Resources Management and is a Member of LeadingAge. She also has been a Member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional fraternity focused on bringing business to universities, serving as senior vice president and vice president of chapter operations.

David K Mann

David K. Mann

Chaplain

As a compassionate caregiver and ordained minister, Chaplain David Mann, M.Div. BCC, brings extensive experience in hospice, bereavement and parish ministry to the Ventana community.

For more than 20 years, David taught and mentored the congregation in spiritual growth at Rangerville Baptist Church in San Benito, Texas. He has also offered spiritual and bereavement care to patients and families with several hospice agencies in the Rio Grande Valley and Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas.

David has been honored as Texas and New Mexico Hospice Organization Chaplain of the Year and has an Ecclesiastical Endorsement with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

David earned a bachelor’s degree in religion from Samford University and completed a Master of Divinity degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, with an emphasis in pastoral care. He also completed a two-year residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Alabama with a specialization in hospice.

Lauren Saloom

Lauren Saloom

Director of Lifestyle Services

Director of Lifestyle Services Lauren Saloom, a dynamic and motivated professional, brings more than nine years of hands-on experience in senior living. Most recently she served as lifestyles director for Edgemere, a senior living community in Dallas. Prior to her work at Edgemere, Lauren served with Methodist Retirement Communities. In 2015, she joined the start-up operations team for MRC’s The Crossings, a continuing care retirement community in League City, Texas.

Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality administration and a Master of Science degree with an emphasis in senior living from Stephen F. Austin State University. She also is a graduate of the LeadingAge Texas Leadership Institute, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Assisted Living Manager.

Lauren brings her love for seniors, energetic personality, commitment to excellence, leadership and lifelong learning in the field of aging services to the Ventana team. A native Texan, she enjoys spending time with her family, her two pups, traveling, reading, cheering on the Dallas Cowboys and photography.

Dennis Briggs

Culinary Director

Dennis Briggs is the culinary director of Ventana by Buckner, the Dallas-based senior living community operated by Buckner Retirement Services. He previously served in senior living culinary leadership roles for 20 years, with 36 years of total culinary experience.

In his role with Ventana, Briggs will collaborate directly with Chef Stephan Pyles to ensure Ventana’s chefs and dining associates execute Pyles’ signature dishes and culinary vision daily. He will also work closely with Ventana Members to ensure the culinary program aligns with their expectations and tastes.

Serving senior adults is something Briggs considers a passion and a privilege. In college, he began working at a Caribbean restaurant in Washington D.C. At the same time, he cared for his aging grandparents, which sparked a desire to serve seniors. Working in senior living culinary services allowed Briggs to combine two of his passions.

Prior to Ventana, Briggs worked as the director of food and nutrition services at Tribute Senior Living in Prosper, Texas and at Grace Presbyterian Village in Dallas. Briggs also worked for Sears Methodist Retirement Services in Austin as the vice president of food and nutrition services.

Originally from New Jersey, Briggs now lives in Frisco, Texas with his wife, Almetra, who teaches special education. They have four adult children, three of whom are following in his footsteps. Briggs’ eldest son, Dennis Jr., is a culinary chef in the U.S. Navy. His son, Christopher, is a chef and culinary director at a senior living community in Plano, while his youngest son, Daniel, completed his second year majoring in nutrition at Texas Tech University. His daughter, Courtney, works for an infertility specialist in Frisco.

Briggs is a graduate of Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in business. He is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Dietary Manager.

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