Meet Our Team
Liana FooteExecutive Director
It is with great excitement and pride that I join the team at the Groves of Tustin! My career in the senior living industry has been a great journey and has allowed me to have wonderful experiences and meet incredible people, and has added purpose and meaning to my life. The Groves of Tustin is my second home. I commit to enhance the life of my residents, staff and friends of the Groves. Along with the excellent team members at the Groves of Tustin, I hope to make this chapter in our residents’ lives as enjoyable and meaningful as possible. I was born in Romania and immigrated to the United States in 1985. I grew up in San Diego and then relocated to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California where I studied Gerontology, Economics, and Pre-Med. After Graduating USC, (Go Trojans!) I moved back to San Diego and worked for a senior center in downtown. After four years, I went back to school, attended the University of California, Irvine and obtained a Master’s in Business Administration.
I am happily married to my husband who is a CPA and Managing Tax Accountant. We have one child, Henry who is three years old, and one four legged child Tinkerbell, a rescued cockapoo. If you don’t see me at work I could be enjoying time with my family, keeping up with Henry, traveling to some new exciting location, reading, or trying out a new restaurant!
German Favila Sosa
German was born and raised in Mexico City, where he attended Politenico Nacional where he studied to become and engineer. Upon immigrating to the United States, German began working in the hotel hospitality industry in their maintenance department. Over the years, German has worked in many different maintenance settings, and for the last sixteen years in assisted living maintenance. German believes in the importance of working in a field that you are passionate about and believes that he has found his calling in working with seniors. German’s strives daily to provide unparalled service and to bring a smile to all his residents.
As a single dad, German enjoys cooking and spending time with his beautiful granddaughter.
Mark GagnonCulinary Services Director
Dear Residents, Family Members, and Friends:
I would like to take a moment and share a little about my story to everyone here at the Groves of Tustin. My name is Mark Gagnon and it is with great pleasure to introduce myself.
My passion for cooking started at the age of eight years old and have now been cooking for thirty-four great years. I started in the food and beverage business at the Red Lions Hotel at seventeen where I did my high school ROP and later got hired to join their culinary department. After getting experience and knowledge I later expanded in my career and became a baker for Marie Calendars. I have worked for Elephant Bar restaurant and TGI Fridays before I was introduced to senior living facilities. Newport Beach Plaza was my first experience in the senior living community and was their chef for eight delightful years until they sold the company. With many changes I decided it was time for my own change in my career and later found the opportunity with my former boss to be the Culinary Service Director for Groves of Tustin under Integral Senior Living.
Cooking has always been my passion and I enjoy doing so every day. I am committed to introduce exquisite and fresh new meals to my residents every day. Working in senior living has been a great practice as well as a fun environment. I appreciate and look forward to creating great experiences for both residents and family members here at the Groves of Tustin.
I have been with my wife for twenty-seven years and married for twenty-five amazing years. We met working at the Marriot in Palm Desert and later had four boys who are now twenty, seventeen and two sixteen-year old’s. In my spare time I like to ride motorcycles and cook almost every night for my family and friends. Spending time with my family is the highlight of my life.
Director of Sales and Marketing
My love for seniors started when I was a little girl, back East in PA. Just one block from my home, was a small “Nursing Home” part of a local church. I was there whenever possible to read, paint finger nails, sing, whatever I could do to spend time with my favorite people in my little world. I became a Candy Striper, CNA and on to Nurse’s training, but turned out it was not a good fit for me at that time. Being involved with Seniors in this capacity is a perfect fit for me. I receive more joy coming to work than I ever imagined. To make even one Senior smile, makes me feel very blessed!
On my own time, I love to be with my two kids, and spending time with friends. Traveling to distant countries, finding new locations to scuba dive, and relaxing on the beach!!
Generations Program Director
I was born in Torrance, California and moved when I was 5 years old to Buena Park, CA. I went to Cal State University of Fullerton and received a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with an emphasis on Gerontology. I had many internships in college, but the one I had at the Buena Park Senior Center made me realize that my passion in life was to work with seniors. I started off in the industry as an Activities Director at Kirkwood in Orange. After about 7 years, I fell into the roll as Sales Director at Kirkwood for another 2 years. After almost 10 years at Kirkwood I decided to seek other opportunities and that’s when I went to work at Morningside in Fullerton as the Marketing Move Coordinator. I was there for a short while and had to leave to care for my mom. When my mom got better I went to work at Atria Golden Creek in Irvine as the Life Guidance Director (Memory Care) for a year and a half. I am now, happily, the Generations Program Director at the Groves of Tustin. It has only been a few weeks, but I know this is the place I am supposed to be at.
On a personal note, as I mentioned, I moved to Buena Park when I was five and when I met my husband, he happen to have a home in Buena Park also ? I have been married for 10 years and we have two amazing children. Aiden, who is 7 and Addison, who is 5. We also have 2 rescue dogs names Diamond & Lola. We love to travel locally and globally. One of our favorite things to do is go to Lake Havasu and be on the boat and relax.
Cynthia RobertsDirector of Sales and Marketing
I am a Pennsylvania native but have lived in 6 states, and in California for the longest. I have 4 grown children, 2 sons- Greg and Ben and twin daughters- Margo and Makenzie and 1 grandson, Pax. When I am not working, I enjoy doing yoga, dancing, trying new restaurants, riding horses, reading and travelling. I love seniors and decided to change careers so I could work with them and for them several years ago. I have worked in Home Care, Hospice and currently in Senior Living. I have worked as a birth doula in the past, as well as a baker for a tea room in San Clemente.
I have a 4 month old Siamese kitten with whom I have a love hate relationship. She is very active and requires a lot of attention. I live in San Juan Capistrano and love the history and culture there.
Business Office Director
Mirella Manjarrez has served as The Groves Business Office Director for the last 5 years. Mirella is a 20+ year assisted living veteran who brings a wealth of experience, having served as a Med Room Supervisor, Concierge, Activity Director and Memory Care Director in previous roles. As the Business Office Director, Mirella is responsible for processing accounts receivable and accounts payable. She also supports the human resources aspect of the business by managing employee files, ensuring compliance with labor laws and company policies. Mirella also processes and provides follow up on workers compensation claims in the community.
Mirella enjoys working with the residents, families and staff and provides solutions to challenges in a kind and professional manner.
Debbie Garibaldi, LVNResident Care Director
It is a pleasure to be back at The Groves of Tustin after 5 years of being gone. I have been a nurse since 2004 and am a caregiver at heart. I enjoy helping people and caring for them. I have been working in the assisted living industry for over 20 years. I have 3 children, including a set of twins. My daughter is 39 and my son is 38. He proudly serves in the military making me a proud mom.
I enjoy going to church and currently serve in the children’s ministry. On my days off I enjoy going to museums, shows, and the beach.
Berenise AlvarezVibrant Life Director
It is a pleasure to be part of The Groves of Tustin. My name is Berenise Alvarez I am the Activity Director at The Groves of Tustin. My passion for working with seniors started when I was 14 year old doing community service at a local senior living from there I became interested working in the field. I started working at a retirement community as a caregiver within a couple months I became a med-aid. Within 4 years I had the opportunity of expanding my experience as a concierge , life enhancement program coordinator , administrative assistant and now activity director.
On my spare time I like to spend time with my family/friends. I have a German Sheppard who I adore and requires a lot of attention and take out to walks to the beach. I look forward to growing in the assisted living community.
“Every so often at the dinner table, we look at each other and say “We really are so lucky to be here!” “Why?” , I asked myself. My personal reason’s top the list with the “warm care” attitude that pervades. Staff members at every level seem to want to really please me-to help me have a good day, to correct what isn’t right, to relieve my anxiety however they can. Then there’s the attention to cleanliness. Weekly laundry and cleaning are a blessing. And the dining room with its nice linen spoils me with its desire to give me the food I really want. Can you believe tiramisu? Lamb chops? The signature salad? Other regular services which are so helpful to me are the bus transportation to the doctor and church. And there isn’t enough time for the myriad of card games, special events, entertainers, art and craft classes planned by our professional activities director. So thank you and keep groovy!” - Jane Meyer, resident since 2007
“I want to express to you my total satisfaction with your care of my beautiful wife, Lyn, who, although having late stage Alzheimer’s, seems to be thriving. I can’t express to you my total admiration and love of everyone who is involved with her on a daily basis. I always look forward to seeing Lyn, along with all of you, each day, when I come to visit, and you have truly become my family. The girls in Memory Care are saintly, beautiful and caring individuals. I admire Zarah and she is a very special leader who makes me feel fortunate that Lyn is under her supervision. All in all, I appreciate what you do to make my sweetheart’s life as normal as possible during this stage of her disease. I also enjoy the cheerfulness and caring that exists each day between patients and caregivers” - Dennis Wills, husband of resident Lyn
“If the need arises again, The Groves of Tustin will be my first call. She absolutely enjoyed her time and the care she received. You were a life saver to us all.” - Dan Peterson, who’s mom stayed here for a short term respite
“The care and the staff at The Groves are superior. They couldn’t have been more caring with my mom and seeing that her needs were met. When my mom first came in there, staff would come in and make her feel comfortable and integrated into the place. She was introduced to other seniors there, they had a lot of activities, and the medical staff really saw to her needs. They had all kinds of classes; my mother does oil painting, and she was able to complete two paintings in the six weeks she was there. They really encourage and support the people that were there. They had get-togethers in the afternoon in the courtyard, art classes to keep their minds active, and once a month they had outside people come in to entertain them. They had a movie room and a library. The thing that I felt was most interesting was they had a lounge area with a TV and the whole time my mom was there, I never saw anybody in that room sitting there watching TV which I think was significant. The maintenance and up-keep was superior. They had someone come in once a day who would make the bed, tidy up the room, and take out the trash. Once a week they had someone who would do the extra cleaning, clean the bathroom, and do her laundry. The food was unbelievably good; the chef is award winning, he took the proportions and the type of food that seniors can eat completely into consideration and came out to talk to them. I can’t speak highly enough of them.” - Bonnie
“Thank you for all your hard work, you are much appreciated” - Karen, resident since 2014
“Michael loves the positive energy, attention, and good food (Joan, this means you!!) and I am more relaxed because I know he’s in good hands while he heals. Thank you for being there for both of us!” - Kathleen Klein
“I really appreciate the excellent food consistently provided to us." - Gordon Mitchell, resident since 2014