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Headline News about Retirement Living

Read the continuing story of an exciting community.

SearStone Hires New Executive Director, CFO and Health Care Center Administrator

April 10, 2017

The Board of Directors of the SearStone continuing care retirement community has announced the hiring of Vinson Bankoski as executive director, Jason Chautin as chief financial officer, and James Souter as administrator of Brittany Place, the community’s health care center.

A transplanted New Englander, Bankoski is a lifelong leader in the hospitality and senior living industries. He previously worked at Erickson Living and Erickson Retirement Communities. Vinson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management from Florida International University and his Master of Arts degree in aging, management and policy from the Erickson School of Aging Services at the University of Maryland. In addition to his professional career, Vinson has served on nonprofit boards supporting both aging services and the arts, and also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland.

Chautin has more than 20 years of experience working for public and private companies, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies across many industries. His previous senior care work was with Sunrise Senior Living as director of financial operations for its home care business, Sunrise At Home. Chautin received both his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance as well as his MBA from The George Washington University. Originally from Acton, Massachusetts, he now resides in Cary with his wife, Stefanie, and his twins, Melanie and Kyle.

Souter has been a nursing home administrator for five years and has practiced in both North Carolina and Georgia. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in finance and minor in management from Georgia Southern University. He also spent a summer studying finance in Innsbruck, Austria. Originally from Montezuma, Georgia, Souter has called North Carolina home since 2013. He is recently engaged to be married and enjoys the outdoors as well as spending time with family and friends. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have such experienced and passionate professionals as Vinson, Jason and James join us at SearStone and lead us in our next stage of growth,” said Stan Brading, board president. “With our recent achievement of being 100 percent occupied and reserved, the community is readying itself for our next major growth opportunity.”

About SearStone

SearStone is a continuing care retirement community located at the southeast corner of High House Road and Davis Drive in Cary. The community is not-for-profit and offers several different home styles for independent residents 62 years and older. SearStone gives residents exclusive access to long-term-care services such as home health care, assisted living and nursing care. SearStone has been mentioned in numerous national publications such as The New York Times, and is currently accepting wait-list deposits. For more information, visit or call 919-234-0339.

SearStone Hosting International Best-Selling Author Diane Chamberlain Public Invited to Oct. 24 Book Reading at Winston Clubhouse

September 21, 2016

Cary, N.C., Sept. 21, 2016 – Diane Chamberlain, international best-selling author of 24 novels, will hold a book reading and signing on Monday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. at the Winston Clubhouse in the SearStone retirement community. The Clubhouse is located at 17001 SearStone Drive in Cary. Chamberlain’s books will be available on-site for purchase from Barnes & Noble.

Chamberlain will be reading from her most recent novel, “Pretending to Dance,” which is set in San Diego and Swannanoa, North Carolina. The story concerns a woman who tries to hide her North Carolina childhood as she tries to adopt a baby. RT Reviews wrote, “A book rich in relatable characters and moving scenes, this stunning tale will linger with readers long after the last page.”

Originally from New Jersey, Chamberlain visited North Carolina for the first time in 1983 and purchased a vacation cottage in Duck a few years later. She relocated to Raleigh in 2005 and now splits her time between the capital city and Topsail Island, the setting for two of her books.

Chamberlain received her master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University and worked as a hospital social worker and psychotherapist prior to becoming an author. Her background in psychology and her work in hospitals have given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create real, living, breathing characters.

“We are delighted to host Diane Chamberlain as part of our continuing efforts to serve as a cultural resource for area seniors and the entire Cary community,” said SearStone Executive Director Chris Romick. “We’ve held concerts, art shows, craft fairs and book signings in the past, and will continue to promote an active and engaging lifestyle.”

The public is invited to this free event, and is encouraged to RSVP at or by calling 919-234-5139. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information on Diane Chamberlain, visit For more information about SearStone, visit Visit SearStone’s Facebook page at

SearStone Announces Winners of Second Annual Ageless Hero Awards Honoring individuals and organizations that support Wake County seniors

April 28, 2016

Cary, N.C., April 28, 2016 – Last year the SearStone continuing care retirement community launched a new awards program to honor individuals and organizations that provide exemplary service, support and opportunities to Wake County seniors. After soliciting and reviewing nominations, SearStone is pleased to announce the winners of the Second Annual Ageless Hero Awards. 

The winners will be celebrated at a special gala Awards Banquet May 17 from 5-9 p.m. emceed by UNC-TV Reporter/Producer Julia Carpenter and featuring a keynote address from the Honorable Gale Adcock, N.C. House of Representatives. Tickets are $40 and are available by calling 1-866-843-7534 or by completing the ticket order form at Proceeds will go toward a scholarship for the Student of the Year winner. 

Ageless Hero Student of the Year: Unika Boyce-Cooley

At age 13 Boyce-Cooley began volunteering at Preston Pointe to hand out the weekly media news, call Bingo games, and interview new residents for the monthly newsletter. Residents and staff enjoyed her presence so much that she was offered a job when she turned 17. 

Ageless Hero of the Year (55+): Jeanette Lee

As a hair stylist for over 40 years, Lee is attentive to the needs of seniors and routinely visits homebound patients to do their hair. She has also styled hair at senior living centers in Cary, and has helped customers with hair loss select wigs, which she then cuts and styles for them.

Ageless Hero Business of the Year: Silver Connections  

Silver Connections is an organization that supports people 55 and over with unique local events, travel opportunities, nourishing a sense of community, and personalized service. Owner Laura Kay House started the organization nine years ago to help connect seniors who might otherwise feel isolated from other seniors.

Ageless Hero Person of the Year: Brian Blum

Blum is the volunteer organizer for Memory Café, a collaborative project among five local Rotary Clubs that provides a safe and welcoming place for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia and their caregivers. He coordinates the event with the support of Alzheimer’s NC and the Town of Cary.

Ageless Hero Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. William Dunlap

Dr. Dunlap is a retired specialist in oncology and internal medicine with The Raleigh Medical Group, but continues to deliver care to older adults at the Oaks of Mayview skilled nursing facility. As a community leader and volunteer, he founded Hospice of Wake County in 1979 with a firm conviction that no person would be turned away regardless of ability to pay. Dr. Dunlap remains on the board of the organization, now known as Transitions LifeCare.

“We received more outstanding nominations this year than when we launched the awards last year, and I know our Selection Committee was faced with very difficult decisions,” said SearStone Executive Director Chris Romick. “On behalf of the staff, residents, families and friends of SearStone, I congratulate all of our deserving winners.”

The Selection Committee was comprised of David Wolf, SearStone resident; Cooper Linton, Transitions LifeCare; Delancy Carroll, Cary Chamber of Commerce; Jody Jameson, Cary Senior Center; Jim Trull, Keystone Financial; and Rev. George Adamik, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

For more information about SearStone, visit Visit SearStone’s Facebook page at

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