Meet Our Team
Chief Visionary Officer
Director of Sales
Director of Programs
Purposefully driven, Kevin Kast brings a unique combination of talent, insight and oversight to Avalon Park. Health care experience. Senior living expertise. Community involvement. He has over 25 years of senior health care system experience, serving in a variety of capacities, including hospital CEO and System Executive accountable for multiple hospitals, physician offices, surgery centers and home health services. As the President/Market Executive for SSM St. Charles Market, he oversaw the largest market within the SSM Health Care System. He then took the leadership role at Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) in Central Illinois, serving as Regional President and CEO. He is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives® and served on the Missouri Hospital Association Board of Trustees and the American Hospital Association, with offices in Washington, DC.
Sharing his exceptional yet practical experience with others, Kevin has served on the faculties of Avila University and Lindenwood University and guest lectured at Webster University and Washington University in St. Louis. The health and happiness of seniors has always been important to Kevin, especially those who reside in St. Charles County. He envisioned, developed and secured financing for assisted living at the Meadowlands, one of the largest senior communities in the region. Currently, Kevin serves on the St. Charles County Merit System Commission and is the President of the Board for Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service in St. Charles. Kevin also serves on the Board of the Mercy Kids, Division of Mercy Health Care Ministry. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Center and Industrial Development Authority in St. Charles County.
Ron Braun, Chief Visionary Officer
The Avalon Park team’s utility player, Ron Braun can do it all – and he brings that breadth of expertise to this new community. With over 25 years of experience, Ron has specialized in health care strategic planning, business planning and development, marketing and operations, and health care financing all within senior community development. He has also established commercial Medicare and Medicaid licensed health care plans in five different states. These broad yet specialized areas of knowledge are invaluable to Avalon Park. He didn’t start off in health care – early in his career, he headed the research department and served as the Chief Financial Officer for a regional planning and development organization. But his path soon brought him to the health care arena, where he served in executive, development, operating and consulting capacities with hospitals, regional health systems, ambulatory care facilities, medical groups and insurance companies. He has been an integral team leader or member in the acquisition and merger of several health care businesses.
Meghan Schmitz, Director of Sales
With over 17 years in senior living new construction sales and a well-earned reputation for honesty, integrity and expertise, Meghan Schmitz is what every person interested in Avalon Park needs – a valuable and trusted resource. Over her career, she’s seen and done it all, from working with new construction to helping seniors downsize and successfully transition to community life. Sharing her experience and insight, she is here to guide and support our new residents and their families every step of the way, from learning about life in this exciting new independent living neighborhood to moving in and making the most of every day. For Meghan, this isn’t a job; this is her purpose. With a genuine love of seniors as her foundation, she is fulfilled by making a difference in people’s lives. She’s confident that the active, worry-free lifestyle offered at Avalon Park will do just that.
Lisa Smith, Director of Resident Services
Combining a successful sales career, a heart to serve, and an entrepreneurial spirit, you have Lisa Smith. Serving as Director of Resident Services, Lisa is known as a respected and trusted advisor to seniors and their families as they navigate the path to senior living.
Before joining Avalon Park, Lisa held director-level sales positions in Medicare insurance, direct sales and founded a successful senior living referral company. Creative and insightful, Lisa is committed to helping seniors thrive in all areas of their lives.
Lisa has been honored with numerous sales awards and for her contributions to various charitable organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association and Professional Association of Senior Referral Specialists. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Oklahoma.
With a background in creating an exceptional customer-service experience and her passion for helping others, especially seniors. She says there are no better storytellers than our seniors, and to be a part of their lives is very special to her.
Katie Sullivan, Director of Programs
With a background of more than 25 years in planning and orchestrating high-impact recreation and wellness curriculums, educational programs, and special events for people of all ages and abilities, Katie’s vast experience and dedication will inspire Avalon Park Residents to discover, cherish and thrive in their new community – all while making additional friends to last a lifetime. She has been a nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist since 1994 and has helped countless people achieve some amazing goals. Personally, Katie is an outdoor enthusiast, involved in a variety of outdoor adventures and sports including triathlons. She is a natural and instinctive motivator and loves encouraging others to explore new and challenging endeavors.
Nickie Bethel, Chef
Chef Nickie Bethel is a culinary visionary with extensive experience in creating worldly cuisines. She has over 12 years of expertise bringing people closer together through the art of an exceptional dining experience. Utilizing her educational background of a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of California – San Diego, she is able to pair both health and the familiarity of a “homeade meal” in every dish.
Prior to working at Avalon Park, Nickie held leadership positions in multiple branches of food and hospitality, ranging from private restaurants, hotels, independent catering and private Chef. Now operating as Director of Culinary Services she is eager to utilize her previous experiences to satisfy and serve the residents of our community.
Jenn Avery is the Executive Assistant at Avalon Park. She brings a decade of experience in the senior living space. She has held various roles in different capacities. Most notably, she has held multiple sales director positions and an executive director role. She is excited to bring her passion for helping seniors to the Avalon Park family. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 children, and 2 fur babies.