Our People

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Our staff of professionals is trained in everything from the latest medical care and therapies to healthy and delicious meal preparation. Yet we make room for compassionate connection with residents to take precedence over the necessities of our job descriptions.

We are skilled professionals, yes. And we are here to connect with you in the spontaneous moments that make your life (and ours) more meaningful.

Executive Director: Rachael Smith

Rachael was born in Virginia Beach, VA and grew up in Port Charlotte, FL. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science from Florida Southern College and is a devoted career mentor and coach. For more than 20 years, Rachael focused on the creative development of consumer products in various corporate organizations. Until she realized she wanted to make a genuine difference in people’s lives. She worked in an assisted living community during high school and college, and volunteered at various communities as an adult.

“It was time for me to make a difference with people I cared about deeply. Traditions of Deerfield is a loving, luxurious environment, with people who want to be with you, get to know you and care for you. We are here to listen, have fun and be a part of your family.” Rachael has been married to Jonpaul Smith, a successful fine artist, since 2008. They enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, gardening and traveling together.

Move-in Coordinator: Douglas Brengle, Jr.

Douglas was born in Boston, MA and raised for most of his life in Cincinnati. He is a graduate of Lawrence University, is a SAIDO Learning Chief Lead Supporter and Trainer, a non-pharmacological treatment which has been shown to slow the symptoms of dementia among seniors. Douglas is also trained and certified in Opening Minds Through Art and essentialALZ, a program created by the Alzheimer’s Association in harmony with the Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.

“I decided to pursue a career in aging services after having a job in the interior design field. I wanted a career that had a deeper impact and brought happiness to others. I have always been, and remain, very close with my maternal grandparents, Eric and Suzanne, and volunteered at retirement communities during high school. I knew a transition to a career of service was a better fit for me. Everyone here is special, with their own background, experiences and views. I enjoy customizing new residents’ transitions into our community and making everyone feel appreciated.” Douglas also enjoys spending time outdoors with his dachshund, Eloise, his parents, grandparents, siblings and their families.

Community Relations Director: Debbie Kamer

Debbie was born and raised in Georgia and moved to Cincinnati in 2016 to be closer to family. She is a graduate of Brown College in Atlanta, GA and has been in the senior living field for 10 years.

“I volunteered in nursing homes when I was growing up. When I moved away from home, I went to a nursing home to find someone who didn’t have a family and I ‘adopted’ them, became their friend and visited. This was truly rewarding for me. I talk with a resident daily, now, who is sitting in the lobby every day when I come to work. He and I have gotten to know each other over our morning discussions. The other day, he told me I was the sunshine in his morning. He certainly is mine. My purpose in being here is to treat each resident with respect, kindness and a genuine concern. That is what each resident so deserves.” Debbie has been married to Rick for 14 years, has one grown daughter and an Australian Shepherd, Bailey.

Executive Chef: Christopher Alexander

Christopher is happy to be a part of the Traditions family. He is a graduate of Sinclair Community College and the New England Culinary Institute, and has worked in fine dining establishments throughout New Orleans and the British Virgin Islands. Chris returned to Ohio to help care for his father. He regularly donates his time preparing food for the Ronad McDonald House and March of Dimes, where he is the reigning People’s Choice Favorite Chef.

“Making and serving a delicious plate of food and seeing the immediate reaction is what drives any chef to be his or her best. To do this as part of the Traditions family is a privilege and honor. What better way to spend the day than to serve our residents a dish they enjoy and bring a smile to their faces?

Maintenance Director: Darrell Smith

Darrel was born and raised in Xenia, OH and attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN majoring in pastoral ministries and American history. He spent 30 years of his career in the construction and maintenance field, owning and operating his own business for 18 of those years.

“I joined Traditions because I asked God if there was something else he wanted me to do, even though I was content running my own business. Within two weeks, someone from Traditions called me to ask if I was interested in the Maintenance Director position. I must admit, I never pictured myself working in this exact field, but it has been great thus far. I truly enjoy the residents. I have been having breakfast with a few of them for several months now and the wisdom I am gleaning from them is remarkable. I would not change a thing.” Darrell has three children, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Business Office Manager: Jessica Green

Jessica was born in Cincinnati, OH where her family has been for generations. She has a degree in Gerontology from Miami University and a minor in Business Administration.

“I have always enjoyed working with and engaging with older adults. They all have a great story to tell. The best part of my day is when one of them stops in for a hello or chat, or I join them for an activity. It is so important for them to see friendly faces, people they can talk to and trust. We are an extended family and make each others’ days brighter.” Jessica is married with two boys and they love to travel the country together conquering new amusement parks.