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Leadership team at the senior living facility in Topeka

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Our Leadership Team

The day-to-day operation of Topeka Presbyterian Manor is led by a leadership team of dedicated professionals that brings a wealth of experience and specialized expertise to their positions. As employees of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, our promise to you is to live our mission by:

  • Respecting that seniors, as citizens and individuals, retain their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Extending our role in assisting residents with specific needs and desires.
  • Delivering compassionate service and attention to all levels of senior living.
  • Serving as a knowledgeable and trusted resource for all seniors.
  • Advocating for seniors and their lifestyles, health and wellness.
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Heather Pilkinton, Executive Director

Heather joined Topeka Presbyterian Manor in October 2015 and was named Administrator in April 2016 upon completion of her administrator in training program and licensure as an administrator. Heather came to Topeka form the Lawrence campus, where she has worked since 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Kansas University School of Social Welfare. Her education also includes cosmetology school. Prior to joining Presbyterian Manor she managed a salon.

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Jan Nichols, Human Resource Director

Jan joined Topeka Presbyterian Manor in 2005. Previously, she owned and operated a travel plaza and restaurant, and a drive-through coffee shop, overseeing a staff of 150. Jan currently serves on the board of directors of Topeka Truck Plaza, Inc.

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Trisha Bahr, Director of Rehab

Trisha joined Presbyterian Manor in October 2014 as director of rehab services. She has previously worked as rehab director in other Topeka area senior living communities and as a physical therapy assistant. She has a bachelor of arts degree from Washburn University with a degree in exercise science and an associates of science with an emphasis in physical therapy assistant. She is a certified physical therapy assistant and is certified in interactive metronome therapy. She is an active volunteer with the Auburn Elementary PTO.

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Nancy Riddle, Assisted Living/Home Health Director

Nancy joined Topeka Presbyterian Manor in October 1992. A graduate of Bethany Hospital School of Nursing, she previously worked on Stormont Vail’s medical surgical floor and intensive care unit, and as an office nurse for a local physician. Nancy is a member of Northern Hills Baptist Church.

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Linda Taylor, RN, Health Services Director

Linda has been with Presbyterian Manor since January 2014 and was named health services director in August 2016. During her tenure with Presbyterian Manor, she has been the RN charge nurse on the 2 – 10 p.m. shift and then the quality assurance nurse. She has been a nurse for 33 years in various health care settings. She likes horses and is an avid horseback rider. She enjoys family time with her three sons and eight grandchildren.

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Ashley Zeckser, Social Services Director

Ashley joined Topeka Presbyterian Manor in 2000. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas. Before joining Topeka Presbyterian Manor, Ashley was a student intern at Plaza West Regional Health Center. She is a licensed baccalaureate social worker in the state of Kansas. She is also certified to complete client assessment referral evaluations level 1 for the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging and is approved to provide field instruction for the Washburn University Social Work program. Other affiliations include membership in the National Association of Social Workers and the Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She is also active in her church.

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Sterling Emerson, Environmental Services Director

Sterling joined Presbyterian Manor in 2003 at the Newton campus and became the director of environmental services for the Topeka campus in 2005 before being named operations manager. Prior to joining Presbyterian Manor, he owned Newton Appliance Center in Newton and served as director of operations for the Houston Community College system. He is a certified health care facility manager. His education includes Hutchinson Community College and the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He is president of the Great Plains Balloon Club. He and his family enjoy flying their hot air balloon and getting others involved in ballooning.

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Chelsea Watgen, Sales and Marketing Director

Chelsea joined Presbyterian Manor in February 2017. She has worked in senior living for three years in life enrichment and marketing. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education with a minor in music therapy. She completed an internship at MD Anderson in Houston. She is a volunteer with the Band Boosters at Freestate High Schoo, where her husband is the orchestra conductor.

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Atul Karki, Dining Services Director

Atul became dining services director in June 2015. A native of Nepal, Atul grew up in Singapore and came to the United States after high school. He earned his undergraduate degree in hotel and restaurant management and worked in a number of hotels and restaurants. Prior to leaving the workforce to focus on his MBA, he worked for Morrison Senior Living in Houston, Texas. Atul was drawn to Emporia because he prefers small-town life and he is excited by new places, new people and new work.

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