The Retirement Experts

Meet our team.

Exceptional people provide exceptional service. At Blakehurst, our dedicated staff brings passion, expertise and years of experience to the table. Our goal is to work together to serve your needs and exceed your expectations.

Lonny Blessing

Executive Director
Lonny Blessing

With more than 30 years of working in the senior living field, Lonny joined the Blakehurst team as Executive Director in 2023. Lonny leads the Blakehurst staff in providing exceptional hospitality services while meeting the day-to-day needs of residents. He believes success comes from collaborative engagement and a high level of communication between staff and residents.

Previously, Lonny served as Vice President of Operations and Executive Director at two large retirement communities in Virginia and Illinois. He also worked as a consultant for many years, leading senior living organizations in expansions and new campus development. Lonny started his career in marketing and sales leadership positions at multiple communities throughout the country.

Lonny holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a master’s degree in Marketing.

Phyllis Eiring


Phyllis joined Blakehurst as the licensed nursing home administrator of Chestnut Green in November 2023. She has oversight of the daily operations of the health care center at Blakehurst. Phyllis has over 30 years of experience in the senior care industry. She has served in various departments including human resources. Phyllis has a bachelor’s degree in biology and has been licensed as a nursing home administrator for over nine years of her career.

Josh Naviasky

Director of Administrative Services
Josh Naviasky portrait

Josh joined the Blakehurst family in December of 2021 and was employed by Life Care Services as an Associate Administrator in 2020 and 2021. During these years he has gained valuable knowledge and experience working at two different communities. Josh graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a focus in Public Relations. At Blakehurst, Josh assists the executive director as well as supervises the receptionist and valet services that Blakehurst offers. In addition, he is Notary Public and takes pride in ensuring a hospitable and welcoming environment for all visitors and residents.

Rick Schaffer

Director of Finance

Rick is a career healthcare finance professional, having worked with private companies and public firms as an accountant, auditor, and consultant. Rick brings a “customer-service” focus to Blakehurst, he and looks forward to collaborating with coworkers and residents.

Rick graduated Summa Cum Laude from Towson University. He is a member of the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He lives in Baltimore County with his wife and two sons.

Sherry Wilson

Director of Human Resources
Sherry Wilson portrait

Sherry has more than 30 years of human resource and management experience. Sherry is responsible for assuring that qualified and responsive staff are recruited and trained for the services they provide residents of Blakehurst. Creating a supportive and high-expectation environment for staff assures that residents’ expectations will be met by staff that enjoys working with residents, as well as having the opportunity for personal fulfillment and growth.

Elizabeth O’Connor

Director of Marketing and Sales
Elizabeth O'Connor portrait

Elizabeth has been with Blakehurst since 2004. She offers prospective residents a wealth of knowledge regarding senior housing options in the greater Baltimore area. Elizabeth views her responsibility as helping prospective residents and their advisers learn and understand their options, so they can select a Life Plan Community that offers both an enjoyable lifestyle and comfortable financial fit. She holds a B.A. degree in Gerontology from Iona College.

Debra Bartgis

Community Life Services Director
Debra Bartgis portrait

Debra Bartgis began her career with Blakehurst in January 2000. Her team works together developing comprehensive programs that focus on wellness and engaging residents throughout their continuum of care. Blakehurst offers over 40 resident-led committees and activity groups that are instrumental in the monthly and seasonal activity planning. In addition, Debra is the team trainer of Tavis; a black Labrador retriever service dog from Canine Companions for Independence. Debra is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist offering over 25 years of experience in senior care.

Reginald Watkins

Facilities Director
Reginald Watkins

Reginald joined the Blakehurst Team in December 2022. He previously oversaw the Maintenance and Power Plant division at the University of the District of Columbia. In his 32 years of service there, he started as an Electrician while slowly moving up the career ladder as Work Leader, Maintenance Supervisor, Union Vice President and eventually sitting in the Director’s position. Shortly after leaving the University, he worked as a Contractor and as an Investment Realtor.

Coming from a family-based Construction/Renovations background, Reginald has managed to acquire several Professional licenses on the way. Electrical, Plumbing/Gasfitter, Real Estate, MHIC, and several other Certificates that have strengthened his professional acumen.

Reginald takes pride in his job as the Facilities Director here at Blakehurst. His “Hands on Approach” to problem solving and team building provides for rapid repairs and efficient time management. His love for the Blakehurst community, staff and co-workers makes for an easy work life!

Valerie Dorsey, BSN, RN

Residential Health Services Director & Wellness Navigator
Valerie Dorsey portrait

Valerie is the community’s support for navigation through the continuum at Blakehurst. She is your “go to” person for assistance with all things health and wellness. She ensures that residents who go elsewhere for specialty care or hospitalization return to Chestnut Green or to their private resident with the appropriate level of care and service in place for a seamless recovery. Valerie joined Blakehurst in 2019. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of Phoenix.

Julian Robinson

Environmental Services Director
Julian Robinson portrait

Julian came to Blakehurst in 2013, after 10 years of service as the Supervisor of Custodial Services, for the National Federation of The Blind. Julian came to Blakehurst as the Supervisor of the Environmental Services Department, here I have a great staff of Custodians, Housekeepers, and Laundry Technicians. In March of 2021, I was promoted to the position of Director of Environmental Services. Julian enjoys his relationship with residents, they have been very supportive.

JoAnn Rosario Lamptey, BS, BSN, RN, CM/DN, IP-BC

Director of Nursing
Joann Rosario

JoAnn has over 22 years of Nursing experience. She joined Blakehurst in March 2022 leading the clinical operations of the Health Center including the delivery of nursing care for Assisted Living, Memory Care and Comprehensive Care. She attended American International College in Springfield, MA where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2009 with a double major in Sociology and minor in Psychology. She is certified in Law and Leadership in Healthcare Administration from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She is a member of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA) where she is board certified as an Infectious Preventionist.

Steve Newcombe

Food & Beverage Director
Steve Newcombe

Steve Newcombe comes to Blakehurst with 30 years of food service industry experience. His background includes culinary leadership positions at prestigious retirement communities, as well as operational management in fine dining. Steve believes in a people-first approach, not only for the services the food and beverage department offers to residents and their families, but for the staff who help prepare and serve the meals.

Steve graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He is a Certified Dietary Manager and ServSafe proctor.

Sung Pak

Executive Chef
Blakehurst Senior Living chef

Sung has been at Blakehurst for 29 years and is responsible for the creation of menus for all dining venues including catering and special events. He procures the finest ingredients to create a diversified menu that showcases the talents of his culinary team.  Ensuring resident satisfaction is the goal of the Food & Beverage Department.

For answers to your senior living questions, get in touch.