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Karyn Brinkley

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. – Preparing for the opening of its newest assisted living and memory care community, The Watermark at Vistawilla, Watermark Retirement Communities has hired Karyn Brinkley as executive director, Debbie Mercadante as sales director and Lisa Celona as community life director. The community, located at 1519 E State Rd 434 in Winter Springs, is scheduled to open in March 2018.

In her role as Executive Director, Brinkley will be responsible for daily operations and financials as well as working closely with Mercadante to promote occupancy, growth, high levels of associate and resident satisfaction and a vibrant lifestyle in accordance with Watermark’s vision.

“Watermark Retirement Communities brings to Orlando a 30-year track record of creating extraordinary communities where people thrive and I’m beyond thrilled to bring this vision to life,” said Brinkley. “I have never before experienced such a people-first attitude when it comes to both residents and associates.”

Brinkley is a licensed Assisted Living Administrator and a Certified Dementia Practitioner with ten years of combined experience in leadership, consulting, relationship management, sales, marketing and startup operations. She has worked in every level of care in the senior living environment, and has served as Assisted Living and Memory Care Administrator as well as Director of Operations.

In addition, she is a consultant and instructor for the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP) Activity Directors Network, where she helps certify activity directors across the nation.

Debbie Mercadante, who will lead the sales department, brings with her nearly six years of experience in the senior living profession, including four years as Sales Director. In addition, Lisa Celona will be joining the team from The Watermark at Boca Ciega Bay, a sister community in St. Petersburg. She has been with Watermark Retirement Communities for 11 years, beginning her career as a Community Life Assistant before being promoted to Community Life Director in 2015.

Additional hires include: Bob Garcia, maintenance director; Arlene Richardson, program director; Pamela Craft, human resources director and business office manager; and Chester Dibas, dining services director.

“We’re excited to welcome the Vistawilla team to our newest Watermark community,” said Lynn Navolio, Managing Director of Watermark Retirement Communities. “With their combined years of experience in the senior living profession and proven track record of success, associates and residents of the community have a bright future with their leadership.”

The Watermark at Vistawilla will feature 87 residences available for rent, with many unique floor plans and sizes, as well as high-end amenities, including lush gardens and nature paths, a library, café, game room, state-of-the-art movie theater, beauty salon and barbershop. One- and two-bedroom units are available.

The community will bring a number of new jobs to Winter Springs, with more than 80 full- and part-time positions to be created once the community is fully occupied.

For more information on The Watermark at Vistawilla, visit


About The Watermark at Vistawilla

The Watermark at Vistawilla is an 87-unit assisted living and memory care community located in Located in Winter Springs at 1519 E State Rd 434. The community offers assisted living and memory care with highly trained, certified associates and continuous care. The Watermark lifestyle features a beauty salon and barber shop, state-of-the-art movie theater, multiple dining options, library, game room, an extensive calendar of events, outings, classes, clubs and fitness opportunities. Managed by Watermark Retirement Communities, The Watermark at Vistawilla will be an extraordinary community where people thrive. For more information, visit


About Watermark Retirement Communities, Inc.

Watermark Retirement Communities has a thirty-year history of creating extraordinary communities where people thrive. Watermark communities are known for highly-trained associates, a lifestyle built on choice, and innovative programs including the award-winning Watermark University featuring a wide variety of engaging classes for residents and area seniors. A privately held company with a reputation of service, success, growth, integrity and financial stability, Watermark manages 51 retirement communities coast to coast, including communities in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Trinity. Visit for more information.


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