Sunrise of Bethesda

Meet the Sunrise of Bethesda Team

Sunrise of Bethesda Team Member

Carla Shipley

Executive Director

“I am fortunate to have been working for Sunrise Senior Living for more than a decade and have enjoyed each day! For 28 years, I’ve built my career serving seniors. Whether working as a social worker, skilled nursing home administrator, or executive director at Sunrise, I am passionate about providing quality care to all seniors by giving them my very best.

As executive director, I love talking with our residents and hearing their stories of the past. Sunrise has so many residents who have lived lives that are interesting and so eventful. They truly are our American heroes. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was joining Sunrise; I feel privileged to have the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life every day.

 
In my spare time, I am kept busy with my two children, who are 14 and 18; my husband of 27 years; and our family rescue dog, Valentine. We are very active in our church, our children’s school, and in our community.”


Sunrise of Bethesda Team Member

Vanessa Spevacek

Director of Sales

“I have been working in senior living for more than 20 years, and have been with Sunrise since 2009. 

Sunrise of Bethesda is my sixth Sunrise community in the greater DC area, and each community has been wonderful in distinct ways. I started as the Reminiscence coordinator at Sunrise of Rockville and transitioned to director of community relations at Brighton Gardens of Arlington when Sunrise took over Marriott Senior Living.

My next Sunrise was Brighton Gardens of Tuckerman Lane, where I was the director of resident services. I then worked as director of sales at Grand Oaks and Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights, before accepting the same position at the new Sunrise of Bethesda community.

Sunrise is the true leader in our industry.  Many of our competitors have 'borrowed' from our company’s culture, but Sunrise is the real deal, heart and soul. The people at Sunrise—residents, families and team members alike—have made my time here incredible. In my role, I love helping people find solutions; when a resident moves into a community and wonders why he or she didn’t make the move years before, that’s a really great feeling.

When not working, I enjoy art galleries, theater, cooking/eating, and driving around in my convertible Mini Cooper. I have been into classic rock lately, too, but that may just be a passing fad.”


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Ola Sharif

Reminiscence Coordinator

“Since 2000, I’ve been working in healthcare, specifically for Sunrise as a Reminiscence Coordinator.

My passion is to serve our residents and provide high quality care. Championing their wishes, hopes, dignity, and personalities are my main focuses. Working with residents who have a diagnosis of Dementia makes my job interesting and fulfilling. Sunrise has given and is still giving me the chance to do all of this.

One of my fondest memories I have experienced here is when a family member gave me a poem she found in her mom’s belongings after her passing that she gave to me years ago. Here are 2 lines from that poem:

'Blessed are they who never say, “You’ve told that story twice today'

'Blessed are they who know the ways to bring back lovely yesterdays'

When I am not at work, I enjoy long walks with my dog, Logan. Logan is a Siberian husky that I rescued from a shelter. I still love to read good books—ones with actual paper.”



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 Susan Riese

Activity and Volunteer Coordinator

“I’m so excited to be a part of Sunrise of Bethesda. I’ve been working in the assisted living community for nearly two decades. Helping our residents lead a fulfilling life is very rewarding to me. I enjoy planning and participating in all the cultural opportunities offered within the D.C. metropolitan area.

In my free time, I volunteer at a local theater, help fundraising for a Bethesda homeless shelter, and walk on the many nature trails in our town."



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Carlos Brizuela

Dining Services Coordinator

“Hi there, I am a culinary artist with a passion for great food and multicultural dishes. I thrive in the chaos of busy kitchens and take pleasure at the sight of happy faces enjoying a meal that I have prepared.

In the past, I have worked as a Sous Chef in upscale Restaurants in Washington D.C., such as Corduroy and Bourbons. My career with Sunrise began in 2010 at Sunrise at Fox Hill in Bethesda, MD. There, I was established as a chef that consistently provided nutritional, delicious meals that always left the residents wanting more.

I was born in El Salvador and raised in Annandale Virginia. When not cooking, I love spending time with my son who, like myself, is a sports car enthusiast.”



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Maurice N. Rankins, Jr.

Maintenance Coordinator

"I started working for Sunrise in May of 2017. I have been in the maintenance industry since 1987. I love coming to work everyday and being a part of something great, being able to meet and talk with so many good people. 

I genuinely enjoy fixing things and bringing a smile to a resident's face. This is sincerely something that brings joy to my heart.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my wife and family. I also enjoy watching movies, cooking, and camping."



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Morning Carson

Assisted Living Coordinator

“Hello, my name is Morning Carson. I am the new Assisted Living Coordinator at Sunrise of Bethesda.  A native of New England, I have worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. In 2013, I joined Sunrise Senior Living. I first came on board at one of our sister communities as an Activities & Volunteer Coordinator for our Health Care Center, but later, I was promoted to Resident Service Coordinator for our Independent Living neighborhoods.

What I have loved most about working for Sunrise is the Core Mission and Principles of Service they champion. One of the best parts about working here is the connected, meaningful relationships one is able to obtain by being a part of Sunrise. The quality of meaningful services provided and support resolutions implemented daily elevate not only the community as a whole, but the environment and everyone in it.

In my free time, I love traveling, music, time with family and friends, and communing with nature.”

 

Joy Toliver Business Office CoordinatorJoy Toliver

Business Office Coordinator

“Welcome to Sunrise of Bethesda! I am a native of central Virginia, who loves the outdoors, yoga, sports, and spending time with my family and 15 year old puppy, Angel. I joined the Sunrise team in 2012, and since have worked in three wonderful Sunrise communities in Northern Virginia as a director of sales and business office coordinator. I am also a certified assisted living manager and medication technician. I love to learn new skills to better care for our residents, because at Sunrise we all work together to “champion quality of life for all seniors.” 

It’s so exciting to be a part of the Sunrise of Bethesda community, as we all are very tenured and experienced in the field and most importantly we lead with a servant’s heart every day. One of the most important responsibilities that I own at Sunrise of Bethesda is leading the recruiting, hiring, training, and recognition processes for our team members to ensure that we provide the best care and services to our residents and their families. My approach to life comes from this quote: "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."


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