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The Beacon welcomes new Directors

Stephanie Gorman started as the new Executive Director of The Beacon on Sept. 5 and she is loving the community, which she says feels like a family.

Stephanie has been an executive director for 20 years, specializing in senior living.

“I am new to Florida,” Stephanie said. “I am licensed in the state of New York, the state of Colorado and now Florida.”

The first part of her career, Stephanie worked in addiction and mental health and recognized a high burn out in that field. Her passion was found elsewhere.

Stephanie and her late grandma of 10 years were very close, and that relationship ignited her zeal for seniors.

“I’ve always liked working with seniors and my grandmother… she was my absolute best friend in the entire world. I gained so much from that relationship,” she said.
“She just had so much wisdom, and I just really feel like if we take the time to stop and listen to our seniors, they have so many good things to tell us. They know so much,” Stephanie said. “And I just feel like doing this is a way for me to honor her and that relationship.”

Stephanie said that memory care is the top reason why people typically come to assisted living.

“They’re starting to become forgetful, they may need some extra care, but memory care has been something that’s always been near and dear to me.”

She frequently brings her Saint Bernard named Ali to work who went through Love on a Leash therapy dog training and service dog training. Stephanie says Ali knows exactly what to do and knows what the residents need.
“She will run to the double doors where the secured locks are because she wants to go back there to see her friends. She has a special place in her heart for our memory care residents, as do I,” Stephanie said.

The Beacon has been raising money for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s which took place Oct. 8 and was a huge success. The Beacon hosted bake sales and a Pet Costume Contest. They also had a walk team at the event.

The Beacon raised over $1,200 and the team would like to thank everyone who made this possible.
“Our goal is to find that first survivor,” Stephanie said.

The Beacon recently welcomed Bethany Manuel as the new Director of Resident Services, also known as the Nursing Director Oct. 10.

“I think she’s phenomenal. She’s a wonderful addition to the team,” Stephanie said.

Bethany wears many hats at The Beacon.

“I will be here for the residents and the families,” Bethany said. “I’ll be working with the physicians, with home health, with hospice, coordinating their care, ensuring that the families and residents have everything they need and overseeing the nursing staff.”

She has worked in long term care for the last 13 years and has worked with the elderly/geriatric population for a majority of her career.

“This is what I know,” she said.

Originally from Arkansas, Bethany, her husband and their three kids relocated to Navarre in 2019 and now her children are plugged in, playing football in the community.

Growing up, her whole family worked in the nursing field.

“My mother was a nurse, my aunt, everybody around me was a nurse. It’s what I grew up doing and knowing. Of course, times are different now, but I literally played in the hospital as a child,” Bethany said laughing.

Bethany’s clinicals were in long term care and she fell in love, so when she got out of nursing school, that’s where her “heart was drawn.”

“I love the activities that we have for our residents, I’d love to get to know families, and just to make this a place you want your loved one to be,” she said. “It’s very important that this feels like home.”

On Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31, The Beacon will be hosting their Boo Bash at 2:30 p.m.

“Folks can come and do a little Trick or Treating in house, and there’s some entertainment and snacks,” Stephanie said.

There will be a costume contest and the best costume will win a prize. Don’t miss it.

Both Stephanie and Bethany are excited for their future working at The Beacon.
“I’m just excited to get to know the residents here at The Beacon,” Bethany said.
“I absolutely love what I do. They always say if you can find a career doing what you love, then you don’t really feel like you’re working,” Stephanie said.
“I come from a smaller family – I don’t have siblings and I don’t have children. So, for me, the people that I meet are the people who become my family. And in the short time that I’ve been here, there’s just such good comradery between the staff and getting to build relationships with residents and their families. They become like extended family, so I am so excited to see what’s to come at this community.”

The Beacon at Gulf Breeze
4410 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Open for visitation, open for tours