Our Leadership Team

Committed to Serving Others

Our executive leadership team possesses the skills, experience, and passion needed to maintain Uplands Village as an integral part of the Cumberland County community for the past 100 years and into the future.

Herschel Murner
Executive Director

A resident of Cumberland County since 1988, Herschel has deep roots in the Pleasant Hill community. Herschel’s grandparents are the Lewis’s and Wightman’s that were among the first to settle the Pleasant Hill region. Many of Herschel’s relatives either worked for Uplands Village or have been residents at Wharton’s Nursing Care.

Herschel is a graduate from Cumberland County High School and his furthering education includes a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics from King University and he is currently working on his Master’s degree from the University of Alabama.

The road to his current position as Executive Director has come by way of COO/Director of IT at Uplands Village, owning his own IT business which has supported the needs of many Cumberland County businesses and medical offices and IT Services at Cumberland Medical Center.

Herschel was a member of the MedEd Credit Union Board for 13 years, 9 of which were in the capacity of Chairman. During his tenure at the Credit Union, he was charged with overseeing the merger of the MedEd Credit Union and the Upper Cumberland Federal Credit Union. Herschel also serves on the Leading Age TN board of directors.

Herschel and his wife Rhonda have four children. They keep busy supporting all of their educational endeavors as well as their extracurricular activities. Herschel enjoys outdoor adventures, watching his Crimson Tide football team, and a good conversation with a complete stranger.

Alisha Ashburn
Director of Human Resources

Alisha has extensive experience in the field of healthcare human resources. She worked for eight years in the Human Resources department of the 189-bed Cumberland Medical Center, the region’s acute care hospital, and as a member of the extensive Covenant Health System, before joining the Uplands Village team as Director of Human Resources. 

Alisha graduated from King University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Human Resources. 

She is married and has four children. Alisha spends her time away from Uplands, enjoying family activities and watching her children’s sporting events.

Cheryl Heckler
Manager of Village Services

As the Manager of Village Services at Uplands Village, Cheryl arranges and coordinates services for independent living, including programs, activities, guest accommodations, transportation, editing the bi-weekly newsletter, as well as staff support for the Uplands Village Board of Directors.   

Cheryl has been an Uplands Village employee since April 1994, building relationships and coordinating services to meet the needs of the independent living residents since March 2013.  

Her passion for hiking instigated developing an Uplands Village hiking group and improving the Uplands Village trails. Cheryl organized an Uplands Village Trail Committee in 2017 that created a master trail plan and trail maintenance manual to improve the Uplands Village hiking trails. The master plan included two sections – priorities to improve the existing trails and future development to add additional trails and features.  

She was born in Indiana, living briefly in Illinois and Ohio after graduating with an associate’s degree from Vincennes University and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University.  In 1992, Cheryl moved to Crossville, Tennessee, where she and her husband raised their two sons and daughter. She now has one grandchild. Cheryl loves reading, counting cross-stitch, traveling, nature, and hiking.

Cynthia Smith
Controller

Cynthia brings over 20 years of experience, primarily in healthcare and property management. She joined the Uplands Village team in 2017 and is committed to the success of the community and its residents. Cynthia is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She lives in Crossville, Tennessee, with her husband and enjoys travel, watching sports, and spending time with family.

Jessica Brooks
Director of Nursing

Jessica is the Director of Nursing at Uplands Village. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee Technological University in 2005. 

After graduation, Jessica developed and expanded her skill set in nursing by working in infection prevention, education, detox, psychiatric, employee health, emergency medicine, compliance, auditing, public health, and long-term care. This vast experience gave her a deep appreciation of how to improve other’s quality of life. Jessica is a native of Crossville, Tennessee, and loves spending time with her husband and two children.

Lisa Norris, RN
Manager of Uplands Village Home Health

As the Manager of Uplands Village Home Health, Lisa is a Registered Nurse (RN) and Eden [Alternative] Educator. She is a graduate of Roane State and has spent the last 29 years working in Elder Care.

Lisa is a local from Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, and has been a part of the Uplands Village family for the last 18 years. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother with a love for God first. Lisa believes in taking care of mother earth, Elders, and children with a humble idea that you always give more than you take.

Deonna Turner
Director of Rehab

Deonna is the Director of Rehab at Uplands Village. While in college at Roane State, she enjoyed working as a Dental Assistant for eight years and a caregiver in the home care industry. This experience gave her a deep appreciation of how to improve the lives of others. 

Deonna graduated from Nashville States Occupational Therapy Assistant Program in 2014 and landed her first job as a COTA/L, Director of Rehab at Uplands Village. She has a passion for helping others, loves to hear their stories, and loves to hear others’ “secrets to life.” 

Deonna is a native of Crossville, Tennessee, has been married to her husband, Kirk, for four years, and together they have twin girls, Wylder and Wrenley. Deonna feels it is a beautiful thing when a passion and a career come together.

Danny Hassler
Real Estate Broker

Danny is a Real Estate Broker for Uplands Village Real Estate, which markets and sells independent living residencies at Uplands Village. He has been in the real estate business for over 41 years, having a broker’s license for 38 of those years, while also serving as a teacher, coach, administrator, and educational consultant. Danny has the Senior Real Estate Specialist, SRES designation, and At Home With Diversity (AHWD) certification. He is also a Graduate of the Realtor Institute, GRI.

Danny enjoys the process of helping people explore the beauty of Uplands Village and finding them a home to fit their current needs.  

Danny holds an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

Trena Wyatt 
Director of Sales and Marketing

Trena is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Uplands Village. During a career that now spans over two decades, she has established her reputation for building relationships and helping others while working in a healthcare industry, including hospice, home health, long-term care, and leading an impactful sales team. Trena pairs this broad range of experience with creative leadership in sales, strategy, and development. 

With the help of the Uplands Village Real Estate and Marketing Team, Trena enjoys working to develop the Uplands Village Continuing Care Retirement Community.


Trena is a Crossville native with two adult children, Marcus and Lexi. She keeps herself busy outside of work by way of giving back to the community. Trena also enjoys live music, many outdoor activities, and entertaining family and friends.

Jade Iles 
Director of Assisted Living Services

Jade is our Director of Assisted Living Services and comes from a marketing and home health background specializing in community care settings. The thing she loves most about her job is getting the opportunity to know each resident, hear their stories, and learn from their experiences.

Jade was raised in the Pleasant Hill community, practically being a native to Uplands Village. There really has not been a time that Uplands has not impacted her life.  As a child, Jade’s grandmother would bring her to visit her great grandmother at Wharton Homes. While in college, she worked as a CNA at the Wellness Center and even received scholarships from Uplands Village. 

Now, a few years later, Jade returns to the place where her love for working with seniors began. She has always had a special place in her heart for this tight-knit community. Though new to the role, Jade is one of many that make this community so special. When asked, she described Uplands Village as “Home.”

Corey Turner
Director of Dining Services

Corey is the Dining Services Director for Uplands Village and has worked in healthcare for 16 years. He has cultivated his food service experience over the last 15 years, working as a Dietary Director and Dining Consultant for a major healthcare corporation. 

Corey studied Foodservice Management at the University of North Dakota, Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida, and completed his culinary residency at Acosta Foods in Nashville, Tennessee. He maintains a CDM, CFPP Licensure, ServSafe FPM Certification, and is ANSI accredited. Corey is also a member of the National ANFP and CBDM, the local Tennessee chapter of the ANFP, and has completed the State of Tennessee’s Sanitation Program. 

Food is Corey’s passion. With the help of the Uplands Dining Leadership Team, which consists of a Chef, Licensed Dietitian, and Dining Team leaders, he continually strives to improve food quality and service as a whole across campus.

Scott Parks
Director of Maintenance

Scott is the Director of Maintenance at Uplands Village and comes from a building maintenance background specializing in ground, electric, and plumbing. Over the past 37 years, Scott has dedicated his expertise and time at Uplands Village while expanding on his licensures. During his tenure with Uplands, he has completed his license in Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, IT and is currently working on his license for wastewater management. In 2016, Scott was the Project Manager for the renovation of our top-notch Wellness Center. The thing he loves most about working at Uplands Village is getting to know each resident and helping everyone he can in this community. 

Scott was raised in Pleasant Hill and loves to spend his time outside of Uplands Village camping, spoiling his two dogs, Dutton and Pepper, attending woodcraft shows, working on his farm with his beef cattle, building onto his antique car collection, and riding his motorcycle with his wife of 23 years, Tamara.

Board of Directors

At Uplands Village, our board of directors works closely with executive staff to deliver our mission of being a caring, inclusive senior living community.

Holly Hanson | Chair

  • Director, Roane State Community College – Cumberland County
  • Director, Cumberland Business Incubator

Tom Mitchell, CPCU | Finance Chair & Treasurer

  • Retired Insurance Professional
  • Resident of Uplands Village

Barbara Everett | Resident of Uplands

  • Retired Director of Development
  • Eden Theological Seminary
  • Funds Development Chair

Mike Gotcher

  • Dean of the College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Tennessee Technology University

Rev. K. Ray Hill

  • Senior Pastor-Teacher
  • Maple Temple UCC in Raleigh

Marc Overlock

  • Attorney and Master of Divinity
  • General Counsel for the Metro Nashville Hospital Authority

Sue Peeples

  • Retired Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Midwife

Barbara Smith

  • Uplands Village Assembly President

George Chitiyo, PhD

  • Professor of Educational Research & Evaluation
  • Tennessee Tech University

Derrick Clemow

  • Principle – Upland Design Group, Crossville