In 1922 Bradley W. Foster established the Foster Foundation with a generous financial gift. His avowed purpose was to provide a home for care of the elderly. In 1925 the mission was realized when the Foster Memorial Home opened on Madison Avenue in Huntington. “The Home” became a Huntington fixture for 75 years, normally operating at a significant financial loss, underwritten by the Foundation. In 1985, Rev. Gray Hampton, a member of the Foster Foundation Board, introduced board members to the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) concept. Under his leadership, the board developed a plan to broaden the scope of the aging Foster Memorial Home into a CCRC in Huntington, West Virginia. Starting in 1988 and over the course of a decade, Chairman William F. “Bill” Agee and the board turned that vision into reality.
On August 19, 1996, Woodlands opened with 111 apartments at almost 100% occupancy. Over the next few years, 61 additional apartments and 23 cottages were built by those who wanted to preserve their residential independence. In 2004, the Assisted Living/Health Care wing of Woodlands was expanded with the substantial involvement of Mrs. Joan C. Edwards and the West Virginia Episcopal Diocese, raising the capacity to 88 units.
Woodlands popularity continues to grow as does the property itself. As we move into the future, it is our desire to serve our community, building lasting relationships and friendships along the way. We will continue the mission of Bradley Walters Foster by following his directives that the Foundation be perpetuated.
Learn here about ways to provide financial support to the Foster Foundation.
Woodlands Retirement Community is operated by a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation providing the highest level of quality residential senior services for older adults from diverse backgrounds. Through its programs and activities, Woodlands seeks to embody the values of the Christian tradition, and the ideals of the benefactor, for persons of all faiths by attending to their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. Through the Foster Foundation, Woodlands assists seniors who outlive their resources. By offering a comprehensive continuum of care and a nurturing environment, Woodlands encourages seniors to experience the fullness of life in community with dignity, joy, and the maximum level of independence their health will allow.
Woodlands Board of Directors
Dan Konrad – Chair
Board Member since 8/20/2014
Jim Rorrer – Vice Chair
Board Member Since 8/17/16
William B. Dennison, MD – Secretary
Board Member since 2/21/15
Deanna Mader, PhD
Board Member Since 11/15/2017
Board Member Since 1/12/16
Sandra Deppner Wright
Board Member since 8/15/2012
Andrew W. Fischer
Board Member since 10/17/2018
Board Member since 9/18/19
We know that to be the best place to live, we must also be the best place to work. Our hardworking and dedicated team of directors provide the proper leadership that supports a wonderful living experience for our residents at Woodlands. Our leaders are consistently enhancing the quality of the workplace by demonstrating compassion and an exceptional work ethic therefore encouraging all employees to grow personally and professionally.
Jeffrey Harkins, Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey M. Harkins serves as President and CEO of Woodlands Retirement Community, a role he assumed in November 2014. Jeff brings with him over 24 years of experience managing and leading senior services in standalone and multisite organizations in six states.
A graduate of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas, Jeff has Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master of Science Degree in Health Services Administration.
Jeff has covered almost all areas of senior care, including skilled nursing, CCRCs, independent, assisted living and memory care. He is known as a passionate and energetic leader with a keen sense of customer service, employee development, marketing and community wellness. Throughout the years, Jeff has gained extensive experience in leading strategic transformation, addressing significant operational challenges, developing community relations and networking and expanding mission.
With a blend of business acumen and personal relations, Jeff is uniquely qualified to build on the Woodlands wonderful 18-year legacy of mission and lead it into the future with stability and strength.
Eileen Wheeldon, Chief Financial Officer
Mrs. Wheeldon is a graduate of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., with a B.S.B.A. in Accounting. She has experience in continuing care retirement communities, finance/accounting, operations and financial systems functions. She has extensive experience in regulatory accounting, asset/liability management, financial planning and trend analysis, preparation of financial statements and investment planning. She is also a licensed nursing home administrator in the state of West Virginia.
Eileen has served on the finance committee of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the parish council of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church. Currently she serves as treasurer for The Wild Ramp Board of Directors in Huntington, W.Va.
Richard Eid, Director of Technology
Mr. Eid has over thirty years of experience with electronics and computer systems. His direct experience includes computer maintenance and repair, network development and support, web design and digital electronics. He also has a wide range of skill sets in training and management that serve him well in day- to-day operations.
Mr. Eid holds a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies from Ohio University, Ironton, Ohio and is working on a Master of Science degree in Information Technology Management from Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va., and a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems Security from Western Governors University. He holds multiple computer and networking certifications and is constantly adding more.
Mr. Eid’s experience in Technology ranges from simple electronics and computer repair to Enterprise level network design and support. He has served at ITT Technical Institute as the Chair for the Schools of Electronics and Information Technology, Huntington, W.Va., Jenkins Fenstermaker, Huntington, W.Va., Ohio University, Ironton, Ohio, and Cabletron Systems, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Ironton, Ohio, prior to his current position with Woodlands Retirement Community. He is also a Retired U.S. Navy Submariner.
He currently serves on the Leadership Committee for the Cabell County Relay for Life, and the CDW Advisory board.
Mr. Eid’s certifications include: BTAS, MCSE, MCP, MOS, A+, Network +, CIW-MD/CI, IC3 2003 & GS3-AI, UCA.
Cynthia "Cindie" Shell, Director of of Health Services
Cindie has nearly 20 years of experience in nursing and management, holding positions that have included NA, LPN charge, admission’s nurse, RN education nurse, home health, Hospice caseworker, Outpatient Surgical Center, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Director of Nursing in Kansas and Missouri. Cindie is a Registered Nurse, a licensed adult care home administrator and has a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Ron Smith, Director of Dining Services
Ron Smith was born in Parkersburg, W.Va., and grew up in St. Marys, W.Va. He graduated from St. Marys High School and attended Marshall University from 1970 to 1973 majoring in music and political science. He has been an entrepreneur during his career, owning a small chain of music stores in Huntington and Dayton, Ohio, and working in sales in advertising and computers. In 1983, he started the iconic Huntington restaurant Chili Willi’s Mexican Cantina that operated for over 28 years. He has had extensive foodservice experience with his own restaurants, Chili Willi’s and BrewBakers, founded in 1996, consulted on menu development and operations for other foodservice establishments, and started his own marketing company to bring Chili Willi’s salsa products to the grocery marketplace with Chili Willi’s Foods, LLC.
He has been very involved in his community serving on numerous public boards and commissions including Huntington Urban Renewal Authority during the development of the Pullman Square project. He continues to serve on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State, the parish council of St. George Greek Orthodox Church and is chairman of ChiliFest the West Virginia State Chili Championship held in downtown Huntington every September.
Dr. Cynthia Pinson, Medical Director
Dr. Pinson was born and raised in the People’s Republic of China until the age of 18 when she came to study in the United States. In 1992, Dr. Pinson graduated with a B.S. degree from Marshall University. She then went on to earn her medical degree in 1996 from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University. She performed three years of residency in the Department of Family and Community Health at Marshall University and then worked for a local hospital for many years.
In 2005, Dr. Pinson founded Travel MD, a medical practice devoted exclusively to making house calls. In 2013, Dr. Pinson was awarded “House Call Doctor of the Year” by the Academy of Home Care Physicians.
Daniel Cook, Human Resources Director
Mr. Cook is a graduate of West Virginia University with a B.A. in Psychology and Marshall University with a M.S. in Industrial and Employee Relations. He has over 10 years of experience in Human Resources Management. Mr. Cook has human resources experience in manufacturing, sales and community service organizations. When not at work, Daniel volunteers a lot of his time to local youth athletic leagues where he has been a board member, fundraiser, and coach.
Molly Watson, Director of Activities
Molly Watson was born and raised in Huntington, W.Va. She received her Public Relations degree from Marshall University where she was a member of PRSSA and a writer for Marshall’s newspaper, The Parthenon.
Molly has experience in event planning, public relations, lobbying and advertising. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, running, traveling and shopping. Molly and her husband, Corey, currently live in Milton, W.Va.
Jason Easter, Facilities Director
Mr. Easter is a licensed electrician and has been in the maintenance and management fields for over 12 years. He attended West Virginia University Institute of Technology where he was studying to become an Electrical Engineer until he joined the Postal Service. There he held many positions in varying management capacities, including shift manager, coordinator and maintenance manager. While employed there, he developed the leadership skills and abilities needed to be an asset in today’s industry.
Jason was also employed in the mining industry for several years where he was working on completing his electrical certifications.
Juliette Buffington Tomlin, Marketing Director
After living most of her adult life in Memphis, Tenn., and north Mississippi, Juliette, a Huntington native, felt the hills of West Virginia calling her home. She returned to Huntington in 2015, originally joining Woodlands as its Community Outreach Coordinator in charge of outreach and marketing event planning. She will retain many of those responsibilities as she steps into the marketing director’s role.
Prior to returning to Huntington, Juliette held positions in the travel and hospitality industries. She spent countless hours throughout the last 18 years fundraising for charitable entities in the community she lived and served. She is active in the Huntington community as well and is a member of Huntington Rotary, the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, Women 2 Women and the Huntington Museum of Art.
Juliette attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., where she received a degree in Business Administration and was a graduate of Huntington High School. She is also the mother of two young adults.