Regional Director Julianne Fries

Julianne-Fries-DSC_6997-4x6-web.jpg’I’ve been with Augustana Care for the last 8 years. I started as an intern at the Augustana Health Care Center in Minneapolis while I completed my bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration. Upon graduation, I accepted a position as the marketing director at Augustana Apartments of Minneapolis. A year and a half later I accepted the position as director of housing at the Minneapolis Apartments and lead that team for five and a half years. This summer I decided I was ready for the next step in my journey and am thrilled to be joining Augustana Care’s outstanding Emerald Crest family!
I became passionate about working in older adult services through time spent with my grandmother. She will be turning 99 this month and currently lives at Augustana Care. I believe strongly in the Emerald Crest model for care for older adults with dementia and the importance of individualized engagement, quality care, and compassion.

Director of Cognitive Care Jenny LaVoi

Jenny-Lavoi_DSC_470872A184.jpgI’m an occupational therapist who has worked for 11years providing direct care to residents at Emerald Crest by Augustana  Care. Currently, I’m working as the occupational therapist at the Shakopee community and the director of cognitive care. As people with dementia-related conditions are often overlooked, being able to make a difference in their lives and how the community perceives them continues to drive my work.

Director of Admissions and Marketing Christine Drasher

Christine-Drasher-DSC_3898_4x6.pngAfter graduating from The College of St. Scholastica in 1997 with a degree in communications and advertising, I began my career at Good Age newspaper in ad sales and marketing. That’s where I found my passion for working with older generations and their families. I came to the Emerald Crest community in 2001 and, since then, have helped hundreds of families find a home for their loved ones.

Families frequently tell me how grateful they are that Emerald Crest by Augustana Care is helping them through the most difficult decision of their lives. Knowing I can ease the worries of caregivers by helping them find peace of mind is priceless.

Admissions and Community Relations Specialist Linh Calderon

Linh-Tran-JMP_7914_Pro-web.jpgI studied biology at St. Thomas and worked as a health aide during my college years. I worked in home care for three years before deciding that my heart was in memory care. In addition, I was a director of memory care for five years. I love working with the superb team at Augustana Care and getting to know residents and families. I love the serenity at Emerald Crest and feel truly lucky to be part of this community. The Emerald Crest philosophy of concentrating on people's abilities (versus disabilities) completely mirrors my own. I hope you'll come by and visit soon!

Rev. Arlen Solem, Chaplain


Janice Starn, Business Office Manager


I have been at Emerald Crest by Augustana Care five years and this experience is my first in the health care field. I enjoy making sure the office runs smoothly, so that others are able to follow their passions—helping residents and families stay connected to the people and activities they love.

My mom is not in memory care, but she is in a skilled nursing community. I know firsthand the important role staff plays in her everyday life—whether they provide care or are part of the administration. Conditions that require skilled nursing or memory care involve the whole family and it is important to have support from all staff. I like knowing that I am helping to support residents and families.

Michelle Sweeney, Director of Human Resources

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I will never forget the time we returned our mother to Emerald Crest after a day of shopping. My mother wanted to stay out longer but just couldn't. We all felt sad taking her back. When we entered,  immediately two nurse's assistants enveloped my mom in a huge hug. Her face immediately had a smile and off she was to stay and talk to these beautiful assistants. My mother truly feels the wonderful love of these dedicated workers.

— Theresa, daughter of resident