Meet the Team
Andrea started her career in hotel management in 1984 after finishing college in London for hotel/restaurant management and culinary arts. After she managed the historic Upham Hotel in Santa Barbara, Andrea’s career path led her to managing her first senior living community in 1992. In 1997, she moved into a director of administrative services position and assisted in the sales and marketing department for another local senior living community. After her time there, she relocated to Northern California and worked for another national senior living company for four years. Upon returning home to Santa Barbara, she quickly joined another senior living community as director of sales and marketing and was there for 14 years. We welcomed Andrea into the Oak Cottage family in early 2018, where her passion is assisting residents and families with finding their peace of mind when they make the transition to our community. One of Andrea’s greatest accomplishments was building a new management team at Oak Cottage that has enabled the community to re-energize to become the best memory care community in Santa Barbara. In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her daughter and loves to travel the country and the world.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Rachel Palmquist is the director of the Sales and Marketing department. She is a graduate of FIDM Los Angeles, Calif., with a degree in merchandise marketing. Rachel managed a showroom in Los Angeles and New York for a large United States distributor of high-end women’s European contemporary apparel for 11 years. Looking for a better quality of life and to be near family, she relocated back to the Coachella Valley in 2011 to practice real estate at the on-site sales office of Rancho La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, Calif. Upon receiving an offer to go back to the life of fashion without having to move to the city, she jumped at the opportunity to become a buyer for a historic boutique at the prestigious Club At Morningside in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Always looking for a sales position that allowed her to give back to the community and make a difference, Rachel left the fashion world to join the health care industry in its efforts to make an impact in people’s lives. Rachel comes most recently from Mission Hills Assisted Living and Memory Care a previous ISL community in Rancho Mirage, CA. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys reading, church and giving back to the community.
Resident Care Director
Jovany Guerra is Oak Cottage’s licensed nurse and resident care director. He grew up in Santa Barbara, Calif. His passion for working in senior care started in 2009 as a private caregiver for a gentleman who had Alzheimer’s disease. As his passion grew for seniors, so did his knowledge and career. He graduated from San Marcos High School and Santa Barbara City College with a nursing major. Jovany has been a nurse since 2011 and has broad work experience. He started as a charge nurse at Buena Vista Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center. After three years, he was offered an opportunity as a director of Staff Development at a Lompoc Skilled and Rehab Center, where he had a number of accomplishments, including establishing a state-approved Facility-Based Nurse Aide Training Program, and also held the clinical and theory instructor position for three successful Certified Nurse Assistant classes. He was responsible for the community’s ongoing CNA and nurse training, staffing, H.R., and risk management. When he moved back to Santa Barbara, he worked at Maravilla Assisted Living as a nurse supervisor for both assisted living and memory care units. His priority and attention to detail for the health, happiness and well-being of the seniors was recognized as he was named employee of the month three times in the year he was there before joining the Oak Cottage team. He finds it to be an honor to work with our seniors and provide oversight of delivery of all care. On a personal note, Jovany is a proud father of two children, Jovany Jr. and Jayden, who both mean the world to him. He enjoys taking rides on his motorcycle, traveling, hiking and above all helping others.
Business Office Director
Edith Martinez enjoys the outdoors. As a Santa Barbara native, she loves hiking the Santa Barbara trails. The best feeling is reaching the top of the mountain, where she gets to enjoy the beautiful views this city has to offer. Edith also loves cooking and is always trying out new recipes. Being raised by her grandmother, she has a sincere care and respect for the elderly. Edith has a desire to one day create a recipe book based on her grandmother’s delicious food.
As she is the business office director, most of Edith’s responsibilities include “behind the scenes” duties. She truly enjoys working at Oak Cottage, where all staff members are caring and compassionate about what they do every day. She is happy to be a part of such a beautiful community and looks forward to continuing working with and around such caring people.
Vibrant Life Director
Denise Omana has a passion for helping people and caring for their well-being. At an early age, her youngest brother (and great inspiration toward her career path) was diagnosed with autism and a seizure disorder. She received her B.A. degree in child development from California State University in Northridge and continued to pursue a career as a behavior therapist. She worked with younger children to provide one-on-one therapy, and then later worked with adults with autism. As Oak Cottage’s Vibrant Life director, she takes immense pride in having the ability to enrich residents’ lives through providing activities that revolve around personal interests and helping them explore a variety of fun and novel pursuits.
Denise was born and raised in Los Angeles. She enjoys reading, traveling, snowboarding, skateboarding and several water sports. The beach is her second home, and she has what she refers to as a “forever tan.” Denise is a huge animal lover and absolutely loves dogs.
Culinary Services Director
Executive Chef Lorenzo Nolasco was born and raised in Oxnard, California and learned from a young age that hard work and determination pay off. Chef Lorenzo started his career with Holiday Retirement, and through hard work, he worked his way up through the ranks of the kitchen at The Bonaventure. While working full-time, Chef Lorenzo completed the culinary program at Oxnard College, and at the same time became the Sous Chef at The Bonaventure.
After working for The Bonaventure for five years, and completing his Culinary Degree, Chef Lorenzo was promoted to Executive Chef. Lorenzo has a natural passion for learning different cultural cuisines and providing a creative lifestyle for seniors in his community. He has found fulfillment in bringing people together over delicious culinary cuisine. In his free time, Chef Lorenzo loves to spend time with his fiancé Alondra, and his beautiful daughter Mila.