Nathalie White-Faulkner has been named Executive Director of the highly-anticipated senior living community at Heartis Fayetteville. Nathalie is a well-known professional in the senior housing industry in Fayette and Coweta counties.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Nathalie to build the team that serves this vibrant community,” Keith Spencer, Regional VP of Frontier Management, says. “She brings profound expertise and passion to this task.”
A native of New Jersey, Nathalie studied sociology in college. She worked in the hotel industry in New Jersey, Baltimore, and Atlanta until 16 years ago, when a six-month stint helping as a weekend reception at an assisted living community led to a career change in sales from which she has never looked back. She has worked in sales and marketing at several local senior living communities, most recently as a director at a community in Newnan, and also in hospice.
“It is a privilege to be here with Heartis and to work for Frontier Management to open this community,” Nathalie says. “I’ve worked very hard throughout my years in customer service, hospitality, sales, and operations and have learned so many skills working with families, residents, and employees.”
Nathalie is on the job at Heartis Fayetteville sales office on Howard Lane, busy answering phones, talking to prospects, working in the community, recruiting a team and literally opening the doors to this highly anticipated senior community. She is also interacting with the Fayette Chamber, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, the Fayette County Board of Realtors, and support groups for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
One of the things that makes Heartis Fayetteville unique, Nathalie notes, is that the campus, located along Georgia Highway 54 West near the intersection of Ginger Cake Road, will consist of three buildings, one which offers 80 independent living units, one with 56 assisted living apartments, and one with 32 memory care units.
“We’re fortunate to have something like this on the south side of Fayette County because we haven’t had something with all of these options and levels of assistance before now,” Nathalie says.
Each building has its own unique amenities, including a large dining room, a media center, a wellness area, beauty salon and gathering areas for socializing with neighbors. However, it’s more than the campus that sets Heartis apart, according to Nathalie.
“I love the Montessori approach Heartis believes in for activities,” Nathalie says. “What this means is truly finding out what the residents like to do and centering activities around that. It’s more than just putting on the calendar bingo, cards, and a walk. It’s more about who they are because everybody brings something to the table.”
For example, Nathalie explains, a resident who has a special hobby or craft may be asked to lead classes or workshops to share the activity.
“That is a totally different way of looking at activities,” she remarks.
Heartis Fayetteville cultivates an ambassador program for residents who want to assist with the transition of a newcomers to the community. Ambassadors have lunch with the resident and their family, and Nathalie, and help everyone ease into the day to day lifestyle of the community.
Transportation to shopping, activities, doctors, and church services are available to Heartis residents. Physical and occupational therapy are available on site. A house physicial will be coming in to see residents in the community.
“We’re making it easy for residents to have as many services on site as possible,” Nathalie says.
Another unique characteristic of Heartis Fayetteville is the experience and philosophy of the managementcompany. Oregon-based Frontier Management operates more than 80 communities across the country and has been in the senior housing industry for 18 years. The Frontier way of managing begins with training, Nathalie says.
Residents are the first priority, but Frontier also invests heavily in training and morale-boosting amenities such as a fully stocked break room.
“Everybody‘s job is just as important as the next,” Nathalie shares. “It doesn’t matter if you are working in the kitchen or reception area or you’re driving the van, we all have an opportunity everyday that we come to work to make a difference. And because every job is just as important as the next it’s important to have that feeling of team. We can talk about team all day but it’s different when you actually understand what team means and that you are truly a team.”
With opening expected by the end of May, a big part of Nathalie’s job is assembling the team that will serve the Heartis Fayetteville community. She is currently accepting applications for all positions.
“When I am looking to hire my team, experience of course is important but what’s more important is somebody that’s kind, and genuine,” Nathalie says. “You can have someone that has great experience but if they don’t have those two attributes, that takes away from what they’re doing. To me these are the most important things.”
The goal of the Heartis Fayetteville team is to care for residents and give peace of mind to family members.
“We want them to be able to spend their time having quality visits and quality visits means that we take care of all the other things with their parent or loved one,” Nathalie says. “It’s important when they leave to go home that they know that their parent is in the right place and being well taken care of.”
Nathalie understands how important it is to know you’ve made a good decision about senior housing. She was the caregiver for her own mother, who developed Alzheimer’s in her late 80s. She went through the process of moving her mother to a senior living community during this time.
A Fayette County resident, Nathalie is a Leadership Fayette alumni and former mentor, past president of the McIntosh Kiwanis Club, former vice-president of the McIntosh Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, and in years past has helped organize the annual Alzheimer’s Walk in Peachtree City.
Nathalie enjoys spending time with her two children and being outdoors in her leisure time.
“I feel that I have lots to share with seniors and families in this situation,” Nathalie says. “It’s an absolute honor to be here. Every day is an exciting opportunity to serve others.”