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.

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Traci Sheahan

Wellness Dietician

Registered Dietitian Traci Sheahan, brings nearly three decades of compassionate, resourceful and professional nutrition care to Ventana by Buckner. She is passionate about connecting with individuals, families and communities and helping them live balanced and healthier lives through the power of nutrition and holistic wellness.

After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in dietetics at Michigan State University and completing her internship at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, Traci began her career as a university-based dietitian providing students with nutrition education and counseling as well as working with culinary staff to provide healthy dining choices. After an 8-year furlough to obtain a seminary degree and raise her two young boys, Traci re-entered the dietetic field by launching a pediatric private practice in Denver, Colorado. Throughout the next seven years, Traci met with families in their private homes, presented nutrition workshops and seminars and was active in local media events. In 2010, Traci and her family moved to Dallas, Texas. Since that time, Traci has worked as a clinical and wellness dietitian in a variety of settings.  Over the last five years, she has served patients and families at Kindred Hospital, a long-term acute care setting.

Holder senior living employee

Nick Holder

Wellness Director

With more than ten years’ experience as a wellness professional, Nick Holder serves as the Wellness Director for VentanaFit powered by Cooper Aerobics. Prior to joining Cooper, Nick served as general manager of Plus One Health Management overseeing wellness programing and fitness centers for Bank of America, Gartner and Transamerica. In addition, he served as wellness coordinator for Monitronics International and as a senior health fitness specialist for MediFit. In 2009 he completed an internship at Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas where he observed and co-facilitated the Parkinson’s exercise program.

Nick is certified in a variety of health and wellness training courses from The Cooper Institute and ACSM in addition to earning a Wellness Coach certification from Wellcoaches. His passion for fitness comes from an understanding that our best lives can be achieved through wellness. His approach is to help others create a wellness journey that fits the life they want to live every day. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Management from Southeast Missouri State University.

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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