Nocatee Independent Living

New Executive Director 'Ready for Challenge'

A new year means new beginnings at Starling at Nocatee Independent Living. Executive Director Charles Gomes has been on the job just a few months, but is already fitting in quite well.

"This is brand new for me! My prior career has been spent mostly in higher education as a director of athletics," he said. "This is a new venture for me, but there are a lot of similarities between the two roles."

He explains how his past position goes hand-in-hand with his new role leading an independent living community.


"You first go, 'athletic director - that has nothing to do with this type of profession,' but when you start to look at the job duties, there are a lot of similarities," he said. "Things like our facilities, finances, responding to resident requests, being responsible for a population of people and ensuring at the end of the day they all have an amazing experience. I think those are the common threads that exist between both positions. As someone who’s accustomed to dealing with young people, we actually have a lot of young people on our staff - that are servers in our dining room in the bistro area - so it's great. I have the younger population, then the older population as well as our older residents, so it kinda satisfies both of those needs I’ve had in my past work experiences."

Charles likes to sit down and have daily chats with Starling's residents, always seeming to learn something new each time they strike up a conversation.

"With this population you really have an opportunity to sit and listen. That’s the approach I take to my position, especially with being in my first couple of months. I do try to listen a lot, hear what the challenges are from the residents’ perspective. That also gives you an opportunity to listen to them more."

He's ready for the new challenge, and has certainly hit the ground running.

"It’s a wonderful community of other residents that’s very supportive. It’s a great atmosphere," Charles said. "They live a very active lifestyle here, and it’s a very high standard that we hold our staff to, and high expectations that we have of everyone here as to what that standard should look like. So if you’re family that’s seeking that next step in life for your parents, I don’t think there’s anywhere else you’d want to be than right here."