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Meet the Cedar Crest Leadership Team

Get to know the executive team that governs our community.

Lou Varella, Executive Director

Lou joined the Cedar Crest team in June 2014. He was previously the associate executive director at Riderwood, the Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Maryland. Lou’s career includes 20 years of CCRC industry experience. He has held executive level positions at Ingleside Presbyterian Senior Living, LAS Consulting Services, Sunshine Senior Living Services, and Marriott Corporation. Lou holds an executive M.B.A. from Averette College in Danville, Virginia, and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Denise Altonjy, Associate Executive Director

Denise joined Cedar Crest in January 2005 as the sub-acute unit manager and shortly thereafter took on the role of director of nursing. During her 12-year tenure in that position, the clinical team maintained a 5-star rating with the New Jersey Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Since 2012, Denise has also partnered with the corporate health services clinical operations team to support other  Erickson Living communities. She was promoted to associate executive director in October 2016. Denise is a graduate of Felician Collage. She is certified in gerontological nursing and holds an assisted living administrators license.  Denise and her husband Jim reside in Wayne, New Jersey with their two sons.

Brian Alexopoulos, Senior Director of Continuing Care 

Brian joined Cedar Crest in 2008 after completing his state requirements for the administrator-in-training position and passing the federal examination in August to become a licensed nursing home administrator. Prior to fulfilling these requirements, he obtained his certified assisted living administrator's license and held the role of assisted living administrator at Cedar Crest. He started with Erickson Living in 2001 as a physical therapist at Oak Crest in Maryland. He has a bachelor's and a master's degree from Boston University. Brian was promoted in 2004 to rehabilitation manager and relocated to Cedar Crest to oversee the start-up of the two campus departments. He was awarded the Erickson Rehabilitation Manager of the Year award in 2005 and 2006. Brian lives in Morristown, New Jersey, with his wife, Chris, and their two sons, Drew and Ethan.

Stefanie Mair, Director of Resident Life

Stefanie Mair came to Cedar Crest in October 2004 to open our continuing care neighborhood, the skilled nursing and assisted living component for our continuum of care. Stefanie has 20 years' experience as an L.N.H.A. (licensed nursing home administrator). She also holds a master's degree in social work and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Stefanie was promoted to senior administrator in 2007 with additional responsibilities on the independent living side of the community.

Raymond Guarino, Director of Sales

Raymond started as the director of sales at Cedar Crest in December of 2004. Ray received his master of business administration degree from Jones International University in Colorado and bachelor of business administration from Abilene Christian University in Texas. After serving four years in the United States Air Force, he started his sales career. Ray has 15 years' sales experience in both business to business sales and personal sales with the past 10 years in sales management. Ray and his wife, Tara, have two sons and reside in West Milford, New Jersey.

Donna Martin, Director of Finance

Donna has been the finance director at Cedar Crest since 2002. She earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University. Her entire career has been in the field of health care. She has 3 years of public accounting experience and worked in the New York Presbyterian Healthcare network for 13 years prior to joining the executive team at Cedar Crest. Her previous position was that of controller at Gracie Square Hospital, a not-for-profit hospital located on the upper east side of Manhattan. While living in New Jersey, Donna had spent her entire career working in Manhattan prior to becoming the finance director at Cedar Crest and welcomed the change in her commute. Donna resides in Wharton, New Jersey.