Meet the Staff
Our community has the greatest staff members around, whose daily desire is to make TODAY a wonderful day for our residents. As energetic as they are fun to be around, our staff at Pecan Ridge Memory Care really enjoy working together! After all, when working together is fun, the joy is contagious! The energy created by our team is what breathes life into our community… and what a difference we make! We live for the opportunity to make our residents feel noticed and special.
Monica Hunter – Life Engagement Director
Monica first began her professional career in activities in Geriatrics back in 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona. That career decision soon became a personal passion for her. Once moving back to the Austin area, she started a position as the Activities Assistant for Gracy Woods Skilled Nursing facility and shortly after she was promoted to Activities Director. She stayed there for six years. In 2009, Monica received her certification as a qualified Activities Director from Austin Community College to continue growing in her field. She is an active member of Capitol Area Social and Activity Coordinators Association (CASACA), which works to put together large events for multiple senior communities in Austin. She continues to partner with other life engagement specialists to find the best possible activities for the residents of Pecan Ridge Memory Care.
Monica served as the caregiver for her grandmother who suffered with Alzheimer’s disease for many years. That was when her drive to work in a memory care community truly began. She came to Pecan Ridge as the Life Engagement Manager in December of 2016, and has never felt more at home. Her creativity, compassion and positive energy uplift the staff and the residents each and every day!
Patricia “Pat” Russell – Business Office Manager
Pat’s first love has always been business administration. She loves the paperwork and a love for business machines. Pat has a BA Degree from the University of Texas at Edinburgh, and intended to go into Human Resources for some major corporation but life has a way of diverting you to alternate pathways and instead, she became a high school business teacher and went on to receive her MS in Counseling from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Though Pat loved teaching, she really enjoyed the one on one with students helping them plan their futures, set goals, and solve their problems.
Pat says she retired from Education in order to become a full-time caregiver for her mother-in-law. She and her husband lived with and took care of Mrs. Russell for six years before she passed away. During that time, her own parents, both mother and father, were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she and her sisters worked together to take care of them until they passed away. Eventually, they both had to be place in a nursing home and Pat saw what a difference good caregivers could make in bringing joy, a quality of life, and love to her parents.
Pat and her husband, Scotty, moved to Cedar Park in 2012 to be closer to their daughter and her family. Their son and his family live in Mansfield. She and Scotty stay busy on weekends involved in the activities of their five grandsons who are involved in baseball, basketball, soccer, and band. Pat says family means everything to her and Scotty, which is why she is able to relate so well to resident’s families. When she was offered an opportunity to work in the memory care setting, she felt like she had been preparing for it her whole life. She still gets to manage the office, even some HR work, but more importantly, she gets to love people all day long. She understands what it is like to be a caregiver, but also what it is like to leave their loved one to the care of others. She thinks of every resident as if they were her own family and wants to insure that they get the best service she can possibly give.