team-emilyEmily Headley R.D.

Executive Director – Despite having 25+ years of experience at the corporate level of senior living, Emily sees her position as Executive Director of Sierra Place as the culmination of her career in this industry. Starting as a food service director in 1981, after becoming a Registered Dietitian, she and a partner started an industry-specific property management firm in 1982. They were acquired by Transamerica Realty Services, and their subsidiary senior living company thrived for 16 years, with Headley as Vice President.

Kisco Senior Living purchased Transamerica Senior Living in 2001, and Headley stepped back to a Regional Director position in conjunction with a move to Tahoe City, CA.  After decades of travelling to properties nation-wide, she happily settled into her current role at Sierra Place in 2008.

She enjoys downhill skiing and backpacking with her husband of 30 years, and is proud of her three adult sons who still adore the Tahoe area.  Regular doses of dancing, along with some amateur DJ gigs, round out her personal fun time.

Debra Evans RN

Wellness Director – Debra is pleased to assume the position of Wellness Director. She has over 40 years as a Registered Nurse, mostly in emergency nursing, critical care, paramedicine, leadership, and compliance. She has been a nurse since 1977 and a paramedic educator since 1993.

Debra currently resides in Gardnerville with her husband. She is blessed to have her daughter and 2 grandchildren also in Gardnerville; her son lives in Kentucky with his wife and 2 children, both he and his wife having served in the Army, 101st Airborne.

Debra and Gil, her husband, are outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy downhill skiing, hiking, target shooting, baseball games, kayaking, and being supportive to their family. Both serve at their local church, Debra is a vocalist and her husband serves wherever needed.

Debra is thrilled to be part of the Sierra Place team to serve and care for the residents. As there are several veterans at Sierra Place, Debra feels this is her chance to thank them for their service.

Britney Khuu

Life Enrichment Director – Britney, a Las Vegas native, graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. During her college career, Britney worked as an Event and Human Resources coordinator for an event staffing company. Post-graduation, Britney wanted a job that allowed for event planning and the building of meaningful relationships. She always had a close relationship with her grandmother and wanted to give back to an older generation, so she decided to join the life enrichment field, initially starting with a position as a Life Enrichment Activity Leader at our sister property, Cascade of the Sierra, before transitioning into her current position here at Sierra Place.

Britney has lived in Reno, NV for the past 4 years and is looking forward to learning more about the Carson City area. In her free time, Britney enjoys exploring nature, playing tennis, and learning new things. Britney has played tennis for over 8 years and plays weekly. Whenever she has the chance, she also loves to go on weekend trips to hike, camp, and go fishing, and couples dancing has also entered her life as a fun pastime activity.

team-zandraZandra Payton-Lawrence

Business Office Manager – Zandra Payton-Lawrence has worked for Sierra Place for 13 years. She began her tenure as a front desk receptionist and quickly assumed some of the business office responsibilities.  She is medtech trained, as well as having her Servsafe certificate. Her on-the-job experience has provided her with a wealth of knowledge and skills, and in fact there is not one job she has not performed at Sierra Place. She has a passion for what she does and enjoys it all. Prior to her job at Sierra Place she was a full time mother and homemaker for 2 years. Moving to Carson City, Nevada in 1998,  Payton-Lawrence grew up on the Oregon Coast.  She currently enjoys spending her off time with her husband of six years and their five children and two grandchildren.    “Attitude makes a difference so smile and pass it on.”

Karrie Barrett

team-kerrieCommunity Relations DirectorKarrie Barrett joined the Sierra Place team in August of 2015 as the Community Relations Director.  She grew up in Saginaw Michigan where she obtained her B.B.A in marketing and management from Northwood University.   Karrie has fifteen years of sales and marketing experience in the sports and hospitality industry. She is also a nationally certified EMT.  Karrie has a passion for life and helping others.  She recently moved to Nevada City with her wonderful husband Luke and lovable Labrador Bailey.  All three of them love backpacking, kayaking and the outdoors.  Karrie is very excited to help families and individuals discover solutions to their senior community needs.  She welcomes you to visit Sierra Place for a tour, meal, activity or event.

Jeff AltemusJeff Altemus

Jeff joined Sierra Place in 2015. He has over 35 years of maintenance and property management experience. Prior to working in this field, he worked as a freelance graphic designer. He then owned his own painting company. He started doing landscaping for a commercial property management company in 1982. He then went on to a long tenure at Sequoia Equities for 14 years working his way up to Regional Maintenance Supervisor for multiple apartment communities in the Northern California region. Next came the job of Construction Supervisor for ground up construction of new apartment communities and then worked directly with building owners, architects and attorneys to evaluate deficiencies in construction on a community involved in litigation. In addition, just prior to joining Sierra Place, Jeff worked for over 5 years as an apartment Manager. He has been happily married to his wife for 10 years and together they share 3 dogs and 3 cats. He enjoys woodworking, drawing and fly fishing.


Nancy Cruz CDM, CFPP

Dining Services Director – Nancy has been in food service all of her working career.  She earned her certificate in Culinary Arts in 1992, from South Seattle Community College.  Starting as a Kitchen Manager in the higher education setting, she was then promoted to Catering Manager.  Her next career move was to the world of skilled nursing facilities, where she served as a Food Service Director for seven years.  Within this period, Nancy also became a Certified Dietary Manager and a Certified Food Protection Professional.

Senior Living was her next focus, as a Dining Services Director. Starting in 2004, Nancy brought her expertise to this industry and she found her niche.  She joined Sierra Place in April 2013, in conjunction with a move from Washington State to Carson City to be close to family.

With two adult children and a husband of 20 years, Cruz loves being outdoors, especially when the sun is shining.  Rafting down a river on a sunny day is her idea of a slice of heaven.  Her hobbies include cooking, crafting and sewing when she can’t get to a river.