Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team2018-08-08T11:32:49+00:00

team-tomJim Cox

Executive Director – A former Army Combat Medic and Licensed Vocational Nurse, Jim has over 30 years in the heath care field, the last 15 years specifically in the Senior Living Industry. Jim’s philosophy of care is based upon compassion, empathy and person centered care. “One size does not fit most” and you really have to identify and connect with each person individually and respectfully to find out what their story is and who they are. It is then that we can all come together as a community to learn, live and laugh with each other!”

Jim is also very passionate about his work with those that have dementia and other memory related disorders and is a former President of the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Association in Santa Cruz, CA. He is also certified in Snoezelen, a revolutionary form of therapy that provides sensory stimulation to those who have cognitive loss, anxiety or dementias of any type by utilizing the body’s five senses to assist in finding a way to relive stress and anxiety

An avid fly fisherman and outdoorsmen, Jim is also loves to cook and entertain with his friends and family with his wife Dolores in Reno.

team-mollyMolly Ratfield

Associate Executive Director – Ratfield has more than 15 years as a health care professional in the Reno-Sparks area. Prior to joining the Cascade Living Group team, Ratfield served as Administrator of an Assisted Living community for 7 years. In this position, she maintained high customer and employee satisfaction rates. During her career, she was selected as a certified mentor for administrators in training through the Geriatric Education Council and the State of Nevada Bureau of Long Term Care Administrators. She was chosen due to her strong reputation for quality and commitment to the senior living industry.

Ratfield has a bachelors of science degree in health and human services and a certificate in gerontology from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa.

She has lived in the Spanish Springs Community for the past 15 years and enjoys her time spent with her spouse and three children.

“We chose to move here several years ago to the Reno-Sparks area because the people are so friendly and the quality of life is second to none!”

team-NatalieNatalie Hilbert

Fitness Director – Natalie Hilbert has an in-depth knowledge of the Fitness Industry. Since 1997 Natalie has been involved with client management, program design, one-on-one fitness training, and leading group exercise classes. She writes exercise prescriptions for senior clients, youth, and clients with special needs and health conditions. Natalie coaches classes like Young at Heart Aerobics, Aqua Aerobics, Indoor Cycling, Kick Boxing, Youth Fitness, Quad Step, and Step Aerobics. She is Nationally Certified in both Personal Training and Group Exercise through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

Natalie is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life. Through coaching and exercise prescriptions, Natalie encourages clients to make a lifestyle change to become healthier and more fit.

team-carelCarol Martinelli

Director of Dining Services – With over 25 years of experience in Food and Beverage management, Carol Martinelli joins Cascades  of the Sierra’s as Director of Dining Services. Her experience includes restaurant ownership and management in the resort and university segment. Among her previous positions, Carol served as Director of Food and Beverage for Sierra Nevada College, which included planning special events for a United States president, three former Nevada governors, two senators, a Secretary of State and countless other dignitaries. She also owned and operated Gallagher’s Grill, located on a local golf course, and worked for Northstar at Tahoe and The Ridge at Tahoe as a Food and Beverage manager.

As a resident of the Tahoe area since 1982, Carol is active in a variety of local civic and non-profit groups including Tahoe Truckee Senior Center, Caring for Women, Horses for the Spirit, and AAUW. She enjoys traveling widely, skiing, cooking, reading, gardening, riding horses, and spending time with her four adult children, grandson and pet dogs.

Carol earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and is currently completing a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). She is honored to be a member of Cascades of the Sierra’s team. She is looking forward to relocating to the Spanish Springs area after the first of the year.

Chef Rock McDonald

Chef Rock McDonald was born and raised in the Carolina’s. After attending Auburn University, he found that his passion was food and began his culinary career. He states that, “He learned everything at his Mother’s knee.” He has 35 years’ experience as a working chef. Rock served as Executive Chef for the prestigious and renowned “Cypress Club” on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He continued his culinary journey working for a number of high end senior living communities.

Chef Rock and his wife Karen moved to Reno 12 years ago and now live in Spanish Springs with their four dogs. He is an avid skier and enjoys all of the dining options of the region. He loves to interact with the residents; He is excited to have an active leadership role in the kitchen, and the continued success of Cascades of the Sierra!

team-marieMarie House, RN

Wellness Director Assisted Living – Marie joins the Cascades team bringing over 22 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in the health care field.  She has cared for patients in all spans of their lives, from newborn to geriatrics.  Although she enjoyed all areas of nursing, senior care has captured her heart.    Assisted living allows her to guide seniors in living an independent and high quality lifestyle.

She is a Registered Nurse with her Associates Degree in  Nursing from Truckee Meadows Community College. Marie, her husband and daughter are all Reno Natives.  When she is not traveling with her daughters travel softball team, she enjoys scrapbooking, camping and reading.

team-karenKaren Marsh, RN

Wellness Director Memory Care – Karen is a Reno Native and joins the Cascade team with more than 21 years as a heath care professional in the Reno/Sparks area.  Her experiences as a Nursing Assistant, Nurse, and Nurse Manager in skilled nursing brings the team her lifelong passion and commitment to seniors and improving and maintaining quality of life.  She is committed to the wellness focused lifestyle that seniors crave.

She is a Registered Nurse with her Associates Degree in Applied Science-Nursing from Truckee Meadows Community College

Karen, her husband and two children are lifetime residents of Northern Nevada.

team-jessicaJessica Helgren

Director of Sales and Marketing – Jessi is a Northern Nevada native and received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies  – with an emphasis in Aging from the University of Nevada Reno.   In addition to her outstanding education, she also holds a Minor and Certification in Gerontology.  For Jessi working with seniors and families in our community has been a life-long passion and mission.  As a student at Carson High School, she volunteered in local senior homes and assisted living communities which inspired her to seek the education she needed to be a top-notch professional.  Jessi has over 7 years of professional health care experience.   She served as the Director of Life Enrichment and Volunteer Coordinator with Life Care Center of Reno, a premiere skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. Furthering her geriatric career, Jessi served as the Community Outreach Liaison and Director of Marketing for Right At Home one of the finest in-home care providers in our area.  Jessi enjoys hiking local trails, attending local events, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

team-brandonBrandon Johnstone

Community Relations Director – With 15 years’ experience in marketing and hospitality, Brandon makes a great addition to the Cascades team. He is a Northern Nevada native from the rural town of Gardnerville. He moved to Reno to attend the University of Nevada Reno where he studied business management and marketing. His training comes from our most premier local resorts. Over the years he has shown to be a contributing asset to our community through his involvement in local events and volunteering.

Brandon and his young family take full advantage of our Northern Nevada climate and partake in activities ranging from hiking, camping and mountain biking in the summer, to snowboarding and ice skating in the winter.

Apryl Hester

Community Relations Director – Apryl is a Reno native, educated at TMCC, and UNR in Marketing and Communications. Apryl has been working closely with seniors for over 10 years and is passionate about their wellbeing and their life’s story. Apryl currently holds the position of Chair for the Caregiver Coalition in which recognizes outstanding caregivers in Northern Nevada. When not working, she is gardening or loving on her precious “baby” Boxer dogs or looking for the best buy in retail therapy.

“ Don’t count the days. Make the day count.”

Michelle Vranken

Business Office Manager – Michelle has worked in office management for over 18 years in different capacities and has joined our community in an area she is passionate about. She is dedicated to making sure that all areas of the office run smoothly thru positive communication and compassion while ensuring that every aspect of customer service with our families and residents aligns with the goals and mission of Cascade of the Sierra.

While she is quick to point out that she is not a born Nevada native, she has called Sparks, NV her home for over 25 years. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family enjoying the outdoors of the Sierra Mountains and beautiful Lake Tahoe.

“ Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive”

Dave Hodges

Director of Plant Operations and Environmental Services – I love being part of this community and the people here. I live in Cold Springs, NV and have been married 40 years, to my Wife Sharon. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I have spent most of my working life in industrial, including automotive, electronics, machining, stamping and packaging. In industry I have held titles of Plant Controller, Corporate Controller, Materials Director, Plant Manager, Director of Manufacturing, General Manager and Vice President of Production. I served in the U.S.M.C attaining the rank of Staff Sargent.

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” St. Jerome