Our People

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Our staff of professionals is trained in everything from the latest medical care and therapies to healthy and delicious meal preparation. Yet we make room for compassionate connection with residents to take precedence over the necessities of our job descriptions.

We are skilled professionals, yes. And we are here to connect with you in the spontaneous moments that make your life (and ours) more meaningful.

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Executive Director: Autumn Dominski

Autumn sets the tone at Highgrove with a mix of healthcare experience and compassion. She holds a BS in Business from the University of Memphis and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). Over the past eleven years, Autumn has served in a variety of roles in senior living, skilled nursing and retirement communities.

“It is my job and my pleasure to listen, empathize, then develop a tailored plan to help seniors make the transition to Highgrove. I want it to be seamless and special. My heart is in it and our team is empowered to make decisions with the resident’s best interests in mind.”

Community Relations Director: Shay Spradlin

Shay earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University. She has spent most of her career in social service advocating for children and young adults. Shay is passionate about helping others and making our community a better place to live.

“I became the primary caregiver for my mother approximately two years ago when her sight became impacted by macular degeneration. My mom has been my biggest supporter and best friend, and has taught me so much about life, love and empathy. So, I am very excited to bring my skill set and passion to Highgrove! It is my honor to serve the residents and see them thrive and have fun in our community.” Shay loves living in downtown Lexington and enjoys yoga, movies and spending time with her friends, family and two cats.

Wellness Director: Erica Russell

Erica has her LPN from KCTCS and is currently pursuing her RN degree at Excelsior College. Born in Joliet, IL, she has lived in Lexington the last several years and loves calling it home. She is the proud mother of her daughter, Sophia, her son, Evan, and three dogs. Her nursing career includes prenatal care through geriatric care.

“It is my honor and privilege to be a part of the Highgrove senior living community. My passion is bringing love and comfort to patients and their families, while providing professionalism, compassion, and emotional support.”

Memory Care Director: Lisa Stamper

Lisa was born and raised in Montgomery County and received her Nurse Aid Certification from KCTC Community College. She is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP).

“My goal as Memory Care Director is to create a structured and calm environment. I want our residents to feel safe and happy and I find that this comes naturally when you bring patience and sincere compassion to your job. I take great pride in what my team and I do.” Lisa has two beautiful sons, Cadan (12) and Carson (10).

Business Office Manager: Tierra Newkirk

Tierra was born and raised in Georgetown, KY and holds a BA in Communications from the University of Kentucky.

“I love working with the elderly and building lifelong relationships with their families. I feel honored that they partner with and trust me to help arrange, explain and handle the details.” Tierra and her husband, Joshua have one son, Aiden.

Executive Chef & Culinary Director: Shaun Meza

Shaun graduated from Morehead University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Hotel Restaurant Management and holds an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu Chicago. He is also an Instructional Chef for Big Sandy Community and Technical College and a Servsafe Certified Manager and instructor.

“Cooking is a form of customer service and I bring exuberance to the way I serve others in the kitchen. I have the gift of gab, so I really do enjoy sharing food and conversation with residents. Their stories and experiences send chills down my spine. And you learn important things, like the fact that one of my residents had experience with herb gardens. She knows how I like my fresh herbs, so she helped me plant our very first garden.” Shaun has been married for 24 years and has five wonderful children, Corey, Lana, Drake, Dylan and Shaun.

Activities Director: Blake Gatewood

Blake was born and raised for most of his life in Dry Ridge, KY. He is a Grant County graduate and passionate believer in the importance of bringing joy to others’ lives.

“I pour my creativity, optimism and compassion into what I do and love to connect with residents. Sometimes doing our jobs looks like simply sitting down with someone, actively listening and showing you understand and care. It’s fascinating when you do and you hear about our residents’ past experiences.” Blake and his four-year-old daughter, Willow-Grace live in Lexington, KY.