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.

Cathy Taylor, LNHA
Administrator of Uplands Village Wellness Center and Wharton Homes

Cathy Taylor, LNHA
Administrator of Uplands Village Wellness Center and Wharton Homes

Cathy was born and raised in a small town west of the Missouri River in South Dakota, where she grew up with all the animals you could imagine, including full-sized and miniature horses, miniature donkeys, and even fainting goats! (Ask her about them if you want a good laugh! Cathy would give anything to have goats again!) Growing up, Cathy was taught to cheer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the BIG 10, and still cheers for them to this day.

Cathy has her MBA with an emphasis in Health Service Administration and has been an administrator for the past 12 years. Since graduating, she has lived in Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, and Iowa, but can finally say she has found her forever home in Crossville, TN. Cathy came to Crossville with her husband, Jason, and her dog, Husker (see? die-hard Cornhuskers fan), to be closer to her nephew and niece, and she loves spending time with them and cheering them on from the sidelines.

Cathy’s passion is making people smile, helping make her team’s job fun, and bringing joy to the residents and their families. She is looking forward to becoming a part of Pleasant Hill and surrounding communities!

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
Director of Finance

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.

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.

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.

Tisha Whitaker
Director of Elizabeth Fletcher House

Tisha Whitaker
Director of Elizabeth Fletcher House

Tisha was born in our charming town of Pleasant Hill and learned at an early age what it was like to care for a family. Growing up, she was raised by her grandparents and was taught to respect older adults and loved the stories and wisdom they shared. 

Shortly after graduating high school, Tisha began her lifelong career at Uplands Village in 2000. She worked as a dietary aide for many years while putting herself through nursing school, earning her practical nursing degree before becoming a full-time caregiver. Continuing to grow within the company, Tisha had the opportunity to spend eight years with Uplands Home Health before accepting her current position at Elizabeth Fletcher House.  

Tisha and her husband, John, are happily married and share four children, Dylan, Cody, Shayli, and Lilee, and one grandchild, Gracie. When not working, they enjoy spending time with their family, making memories, being outdoors, and traveling.   

Lou Buckner
Director of Nursing for Uplands Village Wellness Center and Wharton Homes

Lou was born in Harriman with the help of her grandmother, who was the midwife. She graduated from Maryville High School and has deep family roots in Cades Cove. Lou started her career with Uplands Village in 1995 as a charge nurse. She completed her RN degree (with help from Uplands Scholarship) and became the Director of Nursing in 2004. 

Lou left Uplands briefly in 2007 and became the Director of Nursing at Bordeaux Long Term Care facility in Nashville. She returned to Uplands Village in 2015 and later received her Nursing Home Administrator Licensure before retiring in 2019. 

Lou has been a Wound Certified Nurse since 2008 and chose to return to Uplands as a wound nurse in 2021. She has also worked as a Tennessee CNA test proctor for 22 years and was on the Tennessee Advisory Board for CNA programming for ten years.

Lou and her husband, Denny, have two grown daughters, Elizabeth and Jennifer, and four grandsons.

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.

Trena Waldo 
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.

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.

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.

Marc E. Overlock, JD, M-Div | Chair

  • Retired Health Law Attorney

Holly Hanson, LPBC, CEC, CRC, MSM, CBIS | Vice-Chair

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

George Chitiyo, Ph.D. | Secretary & Governance and Nominating Committee Chair

  • Professor of Educational Research & Evaluation
  • Tennessee Technology University

Mike Gotcher, Ph.D. | Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair

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

Nancy Ackley | Funds Development Chair

  • Retired Certified Fundraising Professional (CFRE)
  • Resident of Uplands

Derrick Clemow | ESS Committee Chair

  • Retired Architect

Debra Graham, DNP, MBA, RN-BC, CPHIMS | Board Member

  • Vice President of Clinical Informatics
  • Physicians Services Group of Florida

The Rev. K. Ray Hill, MDiv | Board Member

  • Senior Pastor-Teacher
  • Maple Temple UCC in Raleigh, NC

Margaret McCutcheon, MS, LDN | Board Member

  • Retired Dietitian

Tom Mitchell, CPCU | Board Member

  • Retired Insurance Professional
  • Resident of Uplands Village

Michael Readinger, MBA | Board Member

  • Retired President and CEO

Steve Masterson, JD, LLM | Assembly Representative

  • Retired Lawyer
  • Resident of Uplands