Chief Executive Officer
(Santa Barbara & Ventura)
Debra is the Chief Executive Officer and she brings over 25 years of experience in home care industry management. Debra brings her background as Regional VP of Olsten Kimberly Quality Care, where she was responsible for their California offices. She also served as Area manager for Southern California and the Central Coast and as Branch Director for Olsten Kimberly Quality Care in Santa Barbara. She managed an Interim Home Health and Staffing Agency in Seattle, WA. and has extensive experience working with clients and families facing varied health challenges. Her goal is to provide exemplary customer service to families and individuals. She received her B.A. from UCLA and her M.S. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is a founding member of the Association of Senior Care, where she served as President for 7 years. She has served as a board member and Secretary for the Ventura County Home Care Association. Debra is a Master Reiki Practitioner and has been a Complementary Therapy volunteer for Hospice of Santa Barbara since 2008. She also enjoys jewelry making, hiking and camping. Debra is married with two children.
Cassi Noel Gilkeson, MS, CSA
Originally from Texas, Cassi brings to Senior Planning Services a wealth of experience in Public Health Administration, Senior Care, and Behavioral Health Care. She worked in Administration and Management in various Public Health Departments for almost 20 years, and most recently has worked with Seniors in home care and behavioral health environments since 2009. In fact, Cassi worked as the Community Liaison for Senior Planning Services for almost 4 years previously. She holds a Master’s Degree in Allied Health Science (Public Health) from the University of Texas and a Bachelor’s Degree in Foods & Nutrition from Texas Christian University, and is also a Certified Senior Advisor. Cassi is excited to work with the compassionate and friendly folks at Senior Planning Services again! She is very involved in community activities including the Association of Senior Care and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Co-Chaired the Entertainment Committee for the GVCC Lemon Festival for 9 years. Cassi loves live music, dancing, her dog Mona Lisa, and traveling with the love of her life, David.
Marilyn is the Branch Director of our Ventura office. She joined the organization in 2018 when Senior Planning acquired Meditech Health Services. Prior to that, she worked in estate planning for 30 years. She has an extensive management background and was looking to change industries when she joined our team. While her background was in finance, she has been a fast learner and has enjoyed adapting to the homecare industry and looks forward to growing our business in Ventura.
She lives with her husband and puppy in Agoura Hills. The puppy is keeping them busy while they are spending more time at home. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and reading in her spare time. They enjoy traveling and look forward to being able to visit their daughter in Utah again where she recently taught them how to fly-fish.
Lenda Smith, RN
Lenda brings over 20 years of experience in many areas of home care, from direct care in the home to being Administrator of HealthStaf Home Care in Minnesota. Lenda relocated to California with her husband and 3 daughters in 1997, and can now say she has survived the teenage years! She has the uncanny ability to stay calm in the most challenging situations and demonstrates creativity in coordination of caregivers and client care. Lenda has been part of the Senior Planning Services team since October of 2000.
Deborah Brown, MA, CCC-SLP, CMC
Certified Care Manager
Originally from the Chicago area, Deborah began working for Senior Planning Services as a Geriatric Care Manager in 1999. She holds a nationally recognized certification in Geriatric Care Management through the National Academyof Certified Care Managers and is a member in good standing of both the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the Western Region Chapter of NAPGCM. In addition, she has over 30 years experience as a licensed Speech Pathologist working with adults with neurological communication disorders, developmental delays, traumatic brain injuries and dementia in outpatient, rehabilitation and home settings. Deborah has served on the Board of the Central California Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and she continues to facilitate a support group for spouses of those with dementia. She also volunteers with the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network and enjoys the outdoors, swimming and making jewelry in her spare time. Deborah and her husband Steve live in Santa Barbara and are owned by 3 feisty parrots.
Norma brings over 12 years of customer service experience, along with 5 years in the Healthcare Industry, to her role as Staffing Manager. She is a Certified Nurse Assistant, which helps her better understand our caregivers’ and clients’ needs. She has the ability to stay calm and patient under pressured circumstances, and has important problem solving and critical thinking skills. Norma is a caring and compassionate individual who will go above and beyond to meet clients’ needs.
She loves spending time with her husband and son, watching movies, traveling, amusement parks, listening to music and shopping.
Norma has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from ITT Tech. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge in the healthcare industry and bringing her previous Lead position skills to Senior Planning Services to increase their future success.
Maria Montejano joined Senior Planning Services in 2020 as a staffing coordinator. Maria was a Lead Caregiver Manager for an elderly family for many years. During this time she scheduled, trained and problem solved with the other caregivers on the case. She was very dedicated to this family and was on call for emergencies 24/7. Maria brings this empathy, work ethic and dedication to her current position scheduling caregivers and nurses as well as recruiting and orienting new hires. In addition to her caregiving skills, Maria has worked in sales, as an Administrative Assistant and has excellent customer service skills. She is very detail oriented, has excellent IT skills and is always willing to learn new tasks. Maria is a team oriented professional and is highly proficient in solving daily business problems. She has a great can do attitude.
Maria is married and has a young son who she loves to spend time with. She is also very creative and makes beautiful cakes and crafts. She is an avid explorer and loves to travel the country with her husband and son. Maria also loves to exercise, which she tries to do in the morning before work.
Katherine is a returnee to Santa Barbara, having grown up here and later moving to San Luis Obispo County. There, she raised her two children while working in the fields of construction and education. She has also coached the unemployed public on how to re-enter the workforce, both in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Today, Katherine is the HR Coordinator for Senior Planning Services, which includes the recruitment and orientation of our wonderful caregivers.
Katherine has a BA and a Teaching Credential – both from UCSB. Her passions include art and music, Hispanic and Victorian literature, hiking and bicycling.
Human Resources Coordinator
Daniel Gonzalez is the Human Resources Coordinator for the Ventura Office. He brings 7 years of health care experience to the position working as both a Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Care Aid. His hands-on experience makes him the perfect choice for this position since he has literally been in the trenches and worked at a facility all through the pandemic. He understands what it takes to be a caregiver and has great empathy for the work. Since he has worked with many different health care workers, he knows what qualities to look for in a new hire. In addition to his health care experience, Daniel has years of customer service and has worked in the trades. Daniel has great initiative, is a very quick learner and is open to learning new tasks. He also has excellent IT skills which certainly help in his additional role as Recruiter. His easy-going nature and sense of humor are very much appreciated.
When Daniel is not recruiting and hiring new employees, he loves spending time with his family, playing with his son and helping him with his soccer games. He also loves going to the beach and is excitedly awaiting the addition of a new baby this summer. He really enjoys being a family man.
(Santa Barbara & Ventura)
Originally from the City of Angels, Jocelyn moved to Santa Barbara to pursue a BA at UCSB. She brings many years of customer service experience as well as experience in bookkeeping across different industries. Her patience and attention to detail allows her to properly assist with any concerns or needs a client may have.
In her free time she enjoys exploring hiking trails, spending time at the beach, traveling and listening to music including attending concerts.
Rosalba brings 21 years of experience in working in the Public Health sector including Social Services, Disease Control, Clinical Laboratory and Human Resource departments. She assisted people from all walks of life in obtaining proper health care and health coverage options. Rosalba received her Associate Degree from SBCC while working as a College Peer Advisor and a Financial Aid Assistant. She has been an active community supporter as a volunteer for Rape Crisis Center Hotline as a Bilingual Crisis Operator and Clinic Coordinator for Legal Aid. Rosalba is excited to find new ways to resolve issues in collaboration with others and to learn new things.
Rosalba enjoys reading, nature, gardening, hiking, walking, crafts, helping people and spending time with family and friends. She particularly enjoys spending time with her son, Giovanni, and watching him work on his music, piano and trumpet.