Our People

Home » About Us » Our People

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.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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: Davonna Saier

Davonna earned her BA in Communications from Georgetown College and her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health. She serves on the Board of Directors for Women Leading Kentucky, the Lexington Forum and is a graduate and steering committee member of Leadership Lexington. Davonna has also co-chaired an Adult Children of Aging Parents support group for a large Lexington hospital and founded a geriatric care consulting business called Eldercare Ease.

“I began my career as a Patient Advocate for a large hospital and that’s when I realized I could make a difference for patients and families, especially those facing the challenges of aging. I consider it an honor to support seniors and their families in any way I can.” Davonna loves living in Central Kentucky with her husband, David 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).

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.

Move-in Coordinator: JoEllen Hardin

JoEllen was born and raised in Winchester, KY and currently lives in Lexington with her husband.

“I love that my role allows me to focus on helping residents feel as comfortable as possible. And that I am lucky enough to be a part of their lives. One of our Memory Care residents remembered my name recently, and it meant a lot to me to know she trusted me to support and spend time with her regularly.”

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.