Nurse and resident smiling in conversation

Posted: December 1, 2021

Community Life

Meet The Leaders at Demaree Crossing

Demaree Crossing wouldn’t be the same without our wonderful leaders. They are why so many people can call Demaree Crossing home. So who are these wonderful team members and what role do they play in making our community great? We want you to meet the leaders of our community that make it all possible.

Our Leaders

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Meet Luan Deskins, Executive Director at Demaree Crossing. It is an honor to be selected to join the Demaree Crossing team. I am looking forward to meeting all the staff, residents and their family members. My experience includes nursing homes, assisted living, independent living, and memory care for over 20 years. I enjoy assisted living most as I can be more engaged with the residents and their family. On a personal note, I am married with 3 adult daughters, 4 granddaughters, 2 dogs and a cat. Most of my life I lived in Johnson County however the last 13 years have lived in Morgan County.

Eat dessert first! That is the motto of Jennifer Bartram, Director of Community Life at Demaree Crossing. Jennifer graduated from Pike High School in Indianapolis in 1990 a woman is astonished by how large her dessert is
and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Indiana University in 1996. She then resumed her role managing her family’s small grocery business in Mooresville, Indiana. From 2000-2005, Jenni served as the Administrative Coordinator in Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant at Riley Hospital for Children. She received her Elementary Education and Reading Specialist Certification from IUPUI in 2006 and taught at Franklin Community Schools for 13 years. In 2019, she discovered her passion for working with the senior population and acquired her certification as a Director of Activities.

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Meet Lee Ara Watson, the Sales Counselor at Demaree Crossing. Lee Ara Watson is super excited to be a part of the Demaree Crossing Family! Everyone on the team is passionate about the quality of life of each senior in this community, serving, and working as a team to ensure the smiles are permanent on each face. Lee Ara has had the opportunity since the start of her career to be the Sales and Marketing strategist in the telecommunications arena, the credit card industry, the education sector, and the employment agency world. Lee Ara also was given the opportunity to work tirelessly as a Domestic Engineer (DE) for 7 years. While working as a D.E., she started her own event planning company called the “The Ara Experience”, a church with her husband, “Holy Spirit-Led Church”, and she became Zumba certified teaching kids, adults, and seniors! It only took one Zumba class teaching the seasoned senior community that turned her thoughts professionally. All the seniors were laughing, smiling, and at the end of the class said, “Lee Ara you ought to keep doing stuff for us old folks!” It was at that moment Lee Ara knew where she would be professionally for many years to come. I am honored to be a part of this community, and I look forward to introducing more seniors to this lovely neighborhood.

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Meet Melissa Jones, Director of Dining Services at Demaree Crossing. Her passion for food started at a young age. She was introduced to the restaurant business by her paternal grandmother who once owned and operated a small Southern-style diner in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Melissa started her career as a teen in the ‘90s working alongside her grandmother in a small hotel kitchen. Melissa has spent over 20 years in the foodservice industry building memorable moments around culinary creations and continues to do so in her current role as the Director of Dining Services for Demaree Crossing. She enjoys treating residents, families and guests to a dining experience that inspires them to connect and engage. When she’s not creating vibrant dining experiences, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids. She calls herself a ‘dance mom’ and a ‘football mom’!

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Meet Lisa Peasley, Director of Memory Support at Demaree Crossing. Lisa has a total of 16 years working in memory care and has a passion for helping those who live with dementia have meaningful days and their care is centered on making connections with the person, not the disease. Lisa strives on breaking the stigma of what dementia care communities look like. In Lisa’s personal life, she is a daredevil. Before becoming a mother, she enjoyed white water rafting, bungee jumping, cliff diving, zip-lining, and sky diving. She is a mother of 2 children, Nate (17), and Ava (14), and a wife to an amazing husband of 19 years. Her daredevil days have slowed down drastically once she became a mother, but she will always enjoy the thrill of rollercoasters and ziplining.  She and her husband are very proud of the young adults their children are becoming.  Lisa feels her strongest attribute is that she can roll with the flow and does not take life too seriously.

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Meet Kevin Stout, Director of Building Services at Demaree Crossing. Kevin Stout, The Director of Building Services wishes that he had started his journey in senior living years ago! He absolutely loves coming to work because it does not feel like work. In between taking care of his daily responsibilities, you will find him joining our seniors during an activity, helping them with something in their apartments, or just listening to them tell heartwarming stories. Serving as the Director of Building Services is truly the most rewarding career move he has ever made. Kevin’s motto has always been to be passionate about what you are doing and to provide excellent customer service. This skill he learned at an early age working in the restaurant business. Kevin proudly served this country with the United States Air Force from 1986 – 1996. While serving, his primary focus was to repair aircrafts to ensure the protection, and safety of his fellow brothers and sisters in the Air Force. A few fun facts about Kevin is that when he is not at work, he enjoys taking care of his two Mastiffs Mazzy & Floyd. He is a HUGE fan of music, an avid vinyl record collector with a current collection of around 1500, and he has been a big Atlanta Braves fan since the mid-’80s!

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Meet Heather Cooper, Director of Nursing at Demaree Crossing. Heather Cooper joined the Demaree Crossing team in May as our Health and Wellness Director. Heather is originally from New York where, at 17 years old, she graduated from nursing school in 1994. In 1998 Heather moved to Indiana to attend Indiana Bible College. It was here, in Indiana, Heather met and married her husband. She has 4 children and last year was blessed with her first grandchild. Heather has held many roles in the medical field from a CNA to an administrator. She has worked in Home Care, Hospice, Long Term Care, Group Homes, Adult Day Programs, just to name a few. She has cared for patients from birth through the end of life. She is always willing to jump in and meet the needs of the moment so you might have to look around the community to find her but she’s always there. Heather is truly a professional caregiver. She has cared for many people personally throughout her life having lost her father, stepfather, and her husband. This allows her to not only care for our residents’ physical needs but also understand the needs of their families as they go along this journey of caring for their loved ones. Heather takes the role of a caregiver so seriously that when choosing staff for Demaree, she has a personal rule that she follows. Heather always asks herself the question “Would she allow the person to care for her loved ones?” This answer leads to her decisions to ensure that the residents at Demaree Crossing receive the best care!

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Meet La’Sha Batemane, Business Office Manager at Demaree Crossing. La’Sha was born in Davenport, Iowa, then relocated to Indianapolis, IN in 2012 to continue her career goal. She has a total of 21 years working in health care CNA, concierge, accounts payable, receivables, business office manager, and is currently an administrator in training. She loves being able to help others and make a difference with families as their loved ones transition. Before becoming a mother, La’Sha enjoyed spending time with her mother and grandmother and playing to bingo. She is a mother of 6 children, Davante (23), Chyniah (21), Ravin (15) Ray’Mir (11), Rajuan (10) and Ravion (9) as well as 2 grandson’s Chayse (1) and Hezekyah (3months). “I enjoy traveling and spending time with my children and grandchildren. My strength of integrity is that I am always willing to learn and grow in the healthcare business. I feel accomplished and full of joy when I can take care of someone else’s loved one and know that I did my best. I have learned over the years no matter what position you hold as a team it takes everyone and every position to strive,” La’Sha said.

Our Culture

The culture that our leaders implement into our community is what makes Demaree Crossing such an amazing place to call home. Our assisted living and memory care community is a place where lives are honored and stories matter. Every member of our community is celebrated and valued for the unique experiences that make them who they are. We embrace the opportunity to not only listen to the residents’ life stories but contribute to them.

We offer an individualized approach to care highlighted through our Rhythms Life Enrichment and Rhythms Dementia programs. Engaging programs and amenities offer residents a dynamic lifestyle, supported by personalized care when they need it. Our warm and friendly community offers residents the opportunity to truly thrive and the opportunity to live as independently as possible.

Schedule a tour today to come and experience the culture and meet our amazing leaders that make Demaree Crossing great.

A Neighborhood of Cappella Living Solutions