Meet Your Executive Team

Laura Blakeman

Executive Director

Laura started her senior living career in 2005. Over the past 15 years she has worked in activities, dining, and operations. Her passion and knowledge in multiple areas in this industry has brought her to Columbus, Georgia as the Executive Director of Legacy Reserve at Old Town. Laura has extensive background in fine dining and brings her love of good food and wine to the community. Laura is excited to lead a dynamic team at Legacy Reserve at Old Town and welcome seniors to the new luxury lifestyle offered to Columbus.

Laura and her husband Curtis are happy to be new residents of Midtown, along with their two dogs, Tilly and Lilly. Their two grown sons, Chet and Brenner, are living their best lives in Colorado and Kentucky.

Kerry Jo Brooks

Sales and Marketing Director

Kerry Jo is an experienced Patient Advocate with a demonstrated history of working in the medical practice industry. We are honored to have her skill and attention to detail on the Legacy Reserve team! She holds a B.A focused in Communications from Columbus State University. 

Kerry Jo lives in Harris County with her two children, Bryce (15) and Olivia Kate (12) who all love sports and adventures. She enjoys the outdoors, anything on the water, dancing, health science and motivating others to live their best life. Her energy and passion to serve others is contagious and she is excited to be a part of this community.

Jamie Hughes

Community Relations Director

Jamie is the Communications Director here at Legacy Reserve at Old Town. Since she was a child, she’s had a passion for meeting new people and forming meaningful connections with them. After graduating from college, she moved back to her hometown of Columbus, Georgia to be closer to her family and roots.

Jamie loves life and enjoys having fun.She believes there is value in sharing the joys of life with not only your friends and family, but with everyone that crosses our paths. It is important to her that herself and the team here at Legacy Reserve help our seniors live vibrant lifestyles that are engaging, educational and entertaining.

Richard Kennedy

Transportation Director

Richard was born and raised in Columbus, GA. He attended Hardaway High School and Calhoun College on a baseball scholarship. For the last 40 years, Richard has worked as a salesman, sales manager, general manager, and operations manager for Columbus Paper Company. After retiring, he wanted to pursue a new endeavor that involved making a difference in peoples’ lives. Richard and his wife, Kay, have two children and five grandchildren. Richard has always enjoyed interacting with seniors and looks forward to building meaningful relationships as he helps residents pursue The Freedom to Enjoy Life at Legacy Reserve at Old Town!

Whitley Grimes

Academy Director

Whitley was born and raised in Columbus, GA. She holds a Bachelors of Biology from Columbus State University and a Masters of Public Health from Mercer University. She has demonstrated patient care experience in physician practices, as well as experience working with the Columbus Health Department. She has studied abroad numerous times and has lived abroad in Kenya as a missionary. She is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Medical Reserve Corps, and enjoys volunteering throughout the community. She is an Auburn fan, a Disney lover, and spends her off time with her cat, Boots.

Gary O'Neal

Maintenance Director

Gary is a demonstrated professional in industrial maintenance with over 12 years of experience. He has worked previously for Magnolia Manor as maintenance director where he strived to bring exceptional attention to detail for every resident. We are excited to have his strong skills and passion for serving others on the Legacy Reserve team!

Gary lives in Buena Vista, GA with his wife Laura and two children Colten (16) and Hallie (13). He enjoys hunting, fishing, cooking, and watching Florida Gator football in his spare time.

Julie Chandler

Business Office Manager

Julie Chandler is a Human Resources Professional with over ten years of experience primarily in Healthcare Recruitment. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Columbus State University and continued her education for a Master’s Degree in Public and Health Administration.

Julie lives in the Smiths Station, Alabama area with her three daughters Tinsley (9), Alleigh (7), and Brinklee (2) who love all things Disney just like their mom! Julie also has a miniature dachshund named Cooper! She enjoys reading, swimming, singing, and leading children’s choir.

Julie has a passion for serving people. She genuinely cares about the wellbeing and lives of all of those around her and strives every day to be a positive smile to light their path.

Everette Emory

Executive Chef

Everette is a professional chef with over 18 years of management and entrepreneurial experience in restaurant and hospitality operations. He is a well-respected leader with a history of motivating teams to peak performance in efficiency and service. He is a U.S Air Force Veteran and an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan. We are so excited to have him on our team!

Tarrell Brown

Sous Chef

Driven by a strong passion for culinary arts and hospitality, our sous chef Tarrell Brown has brought delight to palates all over the world. A skilled professional with north of 10 years of culinary experience, he has an Associate of Arts degree from Wayland Baptist University in Food Technology. As a retired Navy vet of 20 years, he has led and overseen a variety of kitchens and dining facilities. Remaining cool, calm, and collected, he provides top notch service with a smile. Tarrell is a Columbus native and is an unapologetic Georgia Bulldogs fan.