At Freedom Square, everything we do starts with our residents.
They put the ‘extra’ in extraordinary.
Our staff members are dedicated to improving residents’ lives and creating positive experiences for them, each and every day. From the associate who greets you with a smile to the health professional who takes special care of a loved one, our goal is to work together to serve your needs and exceed your expectations.
Passion. Expertise. Experience.
Here are some of the exceptional people who make our retirement community special.
Michael Mason graduated top of his University of South Florida class with degrees in both Finance and Accounting. Since then, he has been leading the financial viability, compliance, and overall daily operations of all of Freedom Square first in a Financial Services capacity and now as Executive Director. His 22 years at the helm demonstrates consistency in leadership that is seen throughout the campus. Michael lives the “seek always to do right not necessarily be right” philosophy with his team and when ensuring residents receive needed services. Outside of his duties at Freedom Square, Michael enjoys traveling with his wife, Michele, and their two children. He also participates in cycling events and is a board member of the Finance Committee for the Alumni Association of USF.
SENIOR RESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATOR
As the Senior Residential Administrator, Shelly Craddock manages the daily operation of assisted living and memory care, as well as ensuring the health and wellbeing of residents in every area of the community. Shelly has served in numerous roles from marketing to administration at Freedom Square of Seminole over the last 32 years and she says that developing relationships with residents, families, team members, and suppliers, has kept her energized throughout the decades. Recently, she coordinated mass vaccine clinics for both residents and team members and has spearheaded a full recovery program for the entire community. Outside of working with seniors, Shelly enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter (who also works in an important role at Freedom Square) as well as gardening, drawing, and embroidery.
ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
With more than a decade of leading operations in Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Sub-Acute Care settings, Doug brings his expertise in Regulatory Compliance, Quality Assurance, and Performance Improvement to Freedom Square. He is looking forward to partnering with Leading Age and FHCA too. There have been loads of changes since he started his senior living career and that has only accelerated with the last year of regulations and guidance which he shares is both daunting and exciting. Beyond the rigors of compliance leadership, he enjoys learning about each team member and resident and how to best serve them. And when he’s not serving alongside the team, he and his wife, Cat, enjoy cycling, fishing, and boating.
ADMINISTRATOR, SEMINOLE PAVILION HEALTH CENTER
Miki (pronounced MY-Key) rose through nearly every position in skilled nursing care over her more than 30-year career and oversees the daily operations for one of the 2 rehabilitation and long-term homes at Freedom Square. She joined the team because of Freedom Square’s 36-year history of being a leader and innovator in the field and looks to further modernize and unify the community. Miki shares, “I get to optimize resident, family, and staff life experience and create better communication to foster successes for everyone.” In her free time, you might find Miki curled up with a good book or taking in the sunset on the beach.
Allison “Alli” Beck
ADMINISTRATOR, FREEDOM SQUARE HEALTH CARE CENTER
Alli started as a CNA and worked very hard to earn her Healthcare Administrator license. Her main goal is to ensure a safe, fun, and high-quality experience for residents, families, and the team. Alli felt welcome and appreciated as she joined Freedom Square and strives to ensure everyone feels that same way. She is excited to develop relationships with residents, families, staff, and community partners, host events, and regain Freedom Square Rehabilitation’s 5-star rating. When she is not creating merriment at work, she enjoys traipsing the beach with her husband and dogs and cannot wait to travel again!
HEALTH & WELLNESS DIRECTOR
Francine VanHoven brings decades of experience as a Registered Nurse to her role as Health & Wellness Director at Freedom Square. She takes great pride in keeping residents safe and healthy while helping them maintain their independence as much and as long as possible. Francine shared that one of her favorite things about her 15 years with Freedom Square is seeing new residents’ lives improve by joining neighbors in activities and adventures and taking advantage of the many amenities and services available here. For example, she coordinates physician and clinical therapies in the Wellness Center. She also loves building relationships herself and between residents. When she is not being vigilant on site, you might find Francine reading, scrapbooking, and spending time with her family in St. Petersburg.
DINING SERVICES DIRECTOR
Chris Carter works diligently to ensure that Freedom Square’s seven dining rooms, Black Swan Grille, home deliveries, and events involving food all function smoothly. His 20 years of hospitality experience from fine dining restaurants to country clubs to healthcare inform his constant drive to improve the department. He is a consummate collaborator across all departments, too, frequently asking how his team can elevate events and activities with delicious appetizers, international entrees or fun nostalgic fare, decadent desserts, and all the trimmings of superior dining establishments. While in his dress black dining uniform, you might find him refilling water for residents in one of the dining venues, finalizing budgets, unloading trucks, and much more. When he’s not in uniform, he is likely bike riding, taking in live music, sampling restaurants, or traveling.
With the help of 4 sous chefs, 7 dining room managers, 30 cooks, and dozens of servers, Chef Jacob creates full-service menus of 1500 meals for more than 600 residents every day! Chef Jacob’s passion is delectable meals while adhering to special diets, if necessary. He recently shared, “Sometimes overcoming dietary restrictions is tricky but I love seeing the joy that adjusting a familiar meal can bring to residents. Plus, residents come from all over and are well traveled so I appreciate that I get to flex my international cuisine skills too.” For the last few years, he supported 16 communities in 8 states sharing expertise in elevating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks beyond mere nourishment. From introducing whole foods to seeking local ingredients to creating gourmet special diets that are appetizing, Chef works to improve dining options throughout Freedom Square of Seminole. And when he is not in the kitchen, Chef Jacob travels and has visited nearly every state in the continental US, frequently finding local fishing adventures with his three sons.
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
Wanda Petkiewicz has been in Human Resources for 30 years and now oversees a team of five that recruits, hires, and orients new employees as well as coaching current team members and mediating when necessary. She also ensures that the hundreds of team members here at Freedom Square have access to meaningful employee benefits such as insurances, health savings accounts, an employee assistance program, and more. “I adore hearing residents’ tales and being part of employees’ growth stories,” shares Wanda, “and I’ve had the great fortune of watching many team members flourish into promotions to more and bigger roles.” When she’s not finding and developing team members, you might find Wanda traveling with her family or dreaming up her next elaborate Halloween costume!
Jessica Derkis is the Marketing Director at Freedom Square and oversees the New Resident team from mailers and events to life care solutions to construction services and move-in coordination. Starting as a candy striper in elementary school, she has made it her life's mission to encourage environments and attitudes that will foster happy, healthy seniors who are served with decency, dignity, respect, and kindness. She has spent two decades building, marketing, and managing communities and has shared her experience and expertise in senior-focused articles in Active Over 50, Living Well, and Healthy Living magazines, as well as blogs, local newspapers, radio, television, and in-person presentations. Because she has been a caregiver for multiple family members, she personally knows the incredible value and peace of mind that comes with a Life Care plan such as is offered at Freedom Square of Seminole.