Heidi Kuchenbacker and her husband split their time between Melbourne Beach and Tampa and can be found either walking along the seashore or enjoying the downtown riverwalk.
Heidi holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Tampa and a graduate degree in Business Administration from Florida International University. She is certified in Training and Human Resource Development from Florida International and as an Assisted Living Administrator by the University of South Florida. She has completed a program at the University of South California’s Davis School of Gerontology but considers her grandmother her greatest teacher. She is on the board of the Florida Senior Living Association.
Heidi’s career has been split between the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She began her professional career in South Florida serving people with developmental disabilities. She came to Central Florida more 20 years ago to open an assisted living facility for people with developmental disabilities. Along the way she was asked by a colleague not to “come work” but to “come play” at an assisted living community in Melbourne. She fell in love with serving seniors and has been managing senior living and skilled nursing communities ever since.
In her communities, she focuses on fostering a hospitality mindset for residents, families, associates, and community partners. Heidi has crafted specialized lifestyle and memory care programs as well as employee programs to foster associate recruitment, training, engagement, development, and retention. She finds joy in inspiring new leaders.
Dedication to excellence comes with expectations and responsibilities. Heidi is on the steering committee for a local healthcare coalition, mapping new strategies for healthcare transitions and communication. Heidi’s personal mission is to give back to the community through education. Heidi provides The Virtual Dementia Tour which allows caregivers, families, and students to experience what it is like to walk in the shoes of a person with dementia. Heidi has been trained by Teepa Snow who is at the forefront of education in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders and studies Montessori-based Dementia Programming. She is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner. As a Florida Master Naturalist, she volunteers as a public speaker and educator for the Sea Turtle Preservation Society and Stella Maris Environmental Research, leading nighttime turtle walks for the public. Heidi also enjoys singing and acting. She is spiritually grounded and involved in her church.