Every community lives by core values. Ours include a focus on healthy well-being, delivering caring compassion and meaningful connections, embracing innovation, responsibly planning for the future, and beyond. It takes special people to nurture and steward these values. You’ll find the professionals who lead Royal Oaks to be that team — and more.
Through their extensive experience, and their progressive and accountable approach, they continue to build on our decades-long legacy of excellence. They foster a culture of genuine care and support that inspires both staff and residents.
As President and CEO, Kendra Eberhart continues to carry out the vision of Royal Oaks’ original founders—a place where active retirees can relish living life to the fullest while enjoying the security of lifelong care. She joined Royal Oaks in 1986 and has held her current position since 1997.
Residents and staff enjoy her open-door policy and thrive on socializing with Kendra at the residents’ functions, especially since she can often be found helping serve up their favorite cocktails! A native of Nebraska and a graduate of the University of Nebraska, Kendra is quick to say “go Cornhuskers.” Kendra was awarded the Arizona LeadingAge Award of Honor in 2017.
In 1998, a young CPA was recruited away from an accounting firm to join Royal Oaks’ Accounting Department. Today, Gretchen Cobb serves as our Chief Operating Officer, and equally important, she is the go-to person for the administrative team when an opportunity needs a second look. “Fetch Gretch” is an often-called phrase when a brainstorming meeting ensues.
With an uncanny ability to look at a situation and find the simplest solution, Gretchen’s expertise leads us through the forest to see the trees. When she earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2009, the University, too, saw that she was something special and awarded her the honor of commencement speaker, presenting in front of nearly 10,000 attendees. She, her husband, and son share a love of car racing, quad riding, and all things fast. Gretchen was named the Arizona LeadingAge Emerging Leader of the Year in 2018.
Prior to landing at our Sun City campus in April 2014, Carter spent 12 years in public accounting working with Arizona nonprofit organizations and governments. He also served as Director of Finance for the Arizona Opera, where he garnered a huge appreciation of the music. In fact, if you wander into his office, you may hear a faint version of Carmen or Tosca playing in the background. An ASU graduate, Carter is an active volunteer on committees at the State Board of Accountancy, St. Joan of Arc church, and various Knights of Columbus events. Carter and his wife have three children, Caitlin, Colter, and Tucker.
Kari Dickson, Director of Marketing and Community Relations, knows the senior living industry inside and out. Over the last 20 years, she has lived out her passion for senior living, from opening new Assisted Living communities nationwide to winning the Horizon Award for top sales experience. Since 2018, Kari has dedicated herself at Royal Oaks to all aspects of our community, engaging with residents, their families and members of the Sun City and surrounding communities.
Her favorite part of her latest role is being able to share her enthusiasm for senior living with prospective residents and their families as they consider the next step in their journey. Family is central to Kari’s life, as she has seven sons (including two sets of twins), one daughter, one granddaughter, three dogs and four “grand dogs.”
Originally born in Milwaukee, Kari has called Arizona home since she was four years old. She has a Bachelor of Science in recreation and tourism management from Arizona State University. When she is not immersed in the world of senior living, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing, hiking and traveling around Northern Arizona.
When you have a face that never stops smiling and that face has a master’s degree in Nursing, you ask her to assume a leadership role as Health Services Director. Dina Capek started at Royal Oaks in 1989 as a Certified Nurse Assistant, leaving to become an RN and later returning to Royal Oaks in 1997. Through our scholarship program, she achieved both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of Phoenix.
Her compassion for our residents is evident in every conversation you’ll have with her. Recognizing in her grandmothers that people can remain vibrant and fun throughout their lifetime in spite of age, Dina found her calling in geriatric nursing. She directs all aspects of Royal Oaks’ Health, Wellness, and Fitness Departments, carrying out our philosophy that keeping resident happy, active, and healthy is a giant step toward increased longevity.
Chris Dressel, Food Service Director, is passionate about food, travel and the Dallas Cowboys. As a Certified Dietary Manager (CDM, CFPP), he brings seven years of experience to Royal Oaks, having worked with Independent Living, Assisted Living and Continuing Care communities.
Born on the Hahn Air Force Base in West German, Chris holds a degree in accounting from North Texas State University. The opportunity with Royal Oaks brought him to Arizona in 2021, and he loves the state for its weather and its friendly atmosphere.
Outside of work, you might find Chris researching his next trip, relaxing poolside or spending time with his wife and their two dogs—a German shepherd named Enola and a shepherd-Pyrenees mix named Lucius.
Darin Young started with Royal Oaks in October 2020 and is responsible for facilities management to include maintenance and repair, Refurbishment, environmental services, landscaping and transportation services. Prior to Royal Oaks, Darin managed healthcare facilities services and operations in the Phoenix valley for over 20 years. Darin is skilled in plumbing and mechanical, regulatory compliance, environmental health and safety and Energy Management. Darin is passionate about customer service and dedicated to the community he serves. Darin and his Wife Lisa are residents of Sun City Grand. Any free time Darin can get he loves to golf, road cycling and kayaking.
When she isn’t absorbed in books and movies on science fiction, Carey Altgilbers keeps the Royal Oaks Information Technology Department humming right along. Prior to arriving in the Valley of the Sun in 2006, Carey lived in the D.C. area, where she received her B.S. in Computer Science from George Washington University. While in our nation’s capital, she worked at ICMA and Computer Science Corporation. After one particularly cold winter, she headed west and arrived at Royal Oaks and we are glad she did! Her value to our technology needs is immense and she was granted a full scholarship through the Royal Oaks scholarship program, where she completed her M.S. in Information Management from Arizona State. In addition to adoring her dog, Carey relishes hiking, rock climbing, and swimming.