Our team at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.

Our Team

We have a great team at Garden Place Columbia. We invite you to get to know them and come meet them in person.

Wendy Weck, Executive Director at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.

Wendy Weck, Executive Director

Wendy joined the Garden Place family in 2019, bringing with her years of progressive experience in the healthcare industry. As a licensed administrator, she has spent most of her career in Independent and Assisted Living, but also earned her Paramedic License in an effort to learn more medical knowledge to better understand an aging population. Wendy believes in leading by example and promoting positive team-work, resulting in happy associates, residents, and families. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at a local animal shelter and traveling abroad with her husband and two daughters.

Christine Holland, Assistant Director

Christine’s passion for numbers and organization is the reason she has worked in accounting for over 20 years! Although she was happy as an accountant, Christine was looking for a more meaningful position where she may continue utilizing her skills. This desire led her to Garden Place-Columbia in 2018, where she now enjoys making meaningful connections with our aging seniors and continues working with the numbers she loves so much! In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and visiting her grandchildren in Indiana.

Christine Holland, Assistant Director at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.
Jaysa Pfaff, Community Relations Director at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.

Jaysa Pfaff, Community Relations Director

Jaysa is thrilled to be working in community relations for Garden Place Senior Living! A Columbia resident, Jaysa takes pride in helping the seniors in her surrounding communities find a safe and loving home at Garden Place. Jaysa graduated with a B.A. in Cinema and Photography and a B.A. in Radio and Television. Her career has taken many exciting paths including working in television production, managing small businesses, marketing and sales. She is so happy to be a vibrant part of the Garden Place family and to be able to put her skills to work enhancing the lives of our local seniors!

Katy Staub, Dining Services Director

Katy started her career with Garden Place as a cook working at two of our 5 locations. When the opportunity for the dining services director was offered to her, she was excited to take on the new roll and bring her enthusiasm and knowledge for food and spread it through all the communities. Katy has and associate degree in culinary arts and is a certified dietary manager. When not at work Katy loves to spend time with her husband, son and two fur babies.

Katy Staub, Dining Services Director at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.
Alissa Hitzemann, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.

Alissa Hitzemann, Life Enrichment Coordinator

Sometimes everyone needs someone to simply be there for them. Not necessarily to fix anything, or do anything, but just to let them feel that they are cared for and supported. That’s what I enjoy most at Garden Place. Each resident, staff member and family know that they have someone to lean on in times of laughter, in times of struggle or in times of pain. I’m 27 years old, I have a 3-year-old Daughter Alaina, and I’ve worked for Garden Place for 7 years. My goal in life is to always stay compassionate, always be caring and always treat others as if I were in their shoes.

Jessica Gorka, Concierge

Jessica is the bright, smiling face you see once entering Garden Place-Columbia. She is eager to assist with any tasks, especially when it pertains to our Residents. Jessica began her career in Senior Living 16 years ago, where she quickly realized working with the senior population was her “calling”. When not at work, Jessica can be found camping or boating with her husband or cheering on her two daughters at many sporting events.

Jessica Gorka, Concierge at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.
Shirley Jones Taylor, Kitchen Lead - Cook at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.

Shirley Jones Taylor, Kitchen Lead - Cook

Shirley began her position at Garden Place-Columbia in 2012, where she put her 35 years of experience to work as the Lead Cook. As cooking is Shirley’s passion, she enjoys trying new recipes from the residents themselves then hearing the feedback. Watching the smiles and enjoyment from the residents is very satisfying, leaving Shirley to be more creative with the next meal. When not at work, Shirley enjoys church, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Debbie Cairns, Housekeeping Supervisor

Debbie has worked as a Housekeeper in the Healthcare industry for 21 years. Her attention to detail keeps the residents happy and always requesting her service. Debbie is attentive to resident needs and enjoys hearing about their life experiences. When Debbie is not working, she enjoys time with her grandsons and lounging around with her dog.

Debbie Cairns, Housekeeping Supervisor at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.
Jim Frawley, Maintenance at Garden Place Columbia in Columbia, Illinois.

Jim Frawley, Maintenance

As the maintenance person at Garden Place, Jim has found his second calling. He takes pride in keeping the building in good condition and is honored to work in our resident's home. Throughout the day, Jim can be spotted scurrying to and from different areas of the building as he carries out his duties Although he is busy, he always finds time to tell a corny joke, or make goofy comments to make the residents smile and laugh. Jim views the residents of Garden Place as chosen family, and they know he is always there to listen, address concerns, and help in any way he can.

When he is not caring for Garden Place and its residents, Jim can be found with his wife, Annette, either on the couch with their three dogs, or traveling around the world.