Our Management Team

Proven leadership inspires trust. Sonata Senior Living is led by an experienced team who have been instrumental in the development, operations and marketing of more than 50 senior living communities, including independent, assisted living and memory care communities. We have the strength and expertise to truly make an impact in the lives we touch every day.

Stuart Beebe, Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Stuart founded Sonata Senior Living in 2008 and has grown it to become among the largest and most respected regional operators in the state of Florida. As president and CEO of Sonata, he was responsible for developing corporate strategy as well as execution of all strategic growth initiatives for nearly 15 years. In prior roles, he spearheaded transactions that resulted in the sale of CNL Retirement Properties, Inc. to Health Care Property Investors for more than $5 billion, the largest REIT transaction on record in 2006. As president and CEO at CNL, Stuart was instrumental in investment advising on more than $3 billion in acquisitions, including 180 senior housing assets. Most recently, his visionary leadership at the helm of Sonata has led to a chronicle of successful new developments and turnaround projects. Today, as managing partner, his oversight and guidance on all strategic initiatives assures value creation for Sonata’s partners and stakeholders.

Shelley Esden, Co-Founder, President and CEO

Shelley brings more than 20 years of frontline experience to the complex issues facing owner-operators in senior living. Her tactile approach to all aspects of senior housing has been instrumental to Sonata’s success, where she is responsible for crafting the company culture, inspiring an expanding workforce, and innovating services to meet the demands of a changed world. Her passion to serve began with work improving access to housing with the State of Florida’s Commission on Long Term Care. Before forming Sonata in 2008, she focused on improving resident experience and product innovation for some of the industry’s top national providers. Today, Shelley is devoted to shaping the people and processes that drive the future of senior living, from training to technology and community design. Her talent for advancing programs, products, and services that promote healthy aging led to the prestigious Argentum ‘Best of the Best’ award for Serenades Memory Care. A graduate of Florida State University with an MHA, Shelley serves as Chair of the Florida Senior Living Association and was awarded the 2023 McKnight’s Woman of Distinction.

Jamie Merrill, Chief Operating Officer

Jamie is a transformative executive driven to win market share through operational excellence and sustainable revenue growth. Along with 16 years senior living management experience and expertise in multi-state operations and regulatory environments, Jamie excels at turning customer, associate, and market opportunities into measurable business results for Sonata’s partners. At Sonata, she nurtures high-performing teams and develops talent through mentorship, leadership and business plans that facilitate positive change and add value to the resident experience. Prior to joining Sonata, Jamie directed operations for 72 senior living communities across Florida as Brookdale Senior Living’s VP of Operations. Jamie serves on the Board of the Florida Senior Living Association and The University of Central Florida, and was awarded the 2022 McKnight’s Woman of Distinction.

Jennifer Benoit, SVP, Finance and Accounting

Jennifer brings more than 16 years of accounting experience in senior housing and hospitality management to Sonata’s leadership team, most recently as Vice President of Accounting for Bridge Senior Living. She is a recognized expert in process improvement and building efficiency with a proven track record of strategic growth initiatives and financial leadership. At Sonata, Jennifer is responsible for the development and execution of all corporate accounting and financial reporting functions. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from Florida Atlantic University and holds both a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Fraud examiner license.

Stephen Caruso, Chief Development Officer

Leveraging more than 15 years in commercial real estate management, leasing and brokerage, Stephen oversees Sonata Senior Living’s development and acquisition properties, as well as taking a leading role in executing Sonata’s due diligence. With an extensive background in acquisition strategies in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, Stephen has in recent years focused on identifying acquisition properties and development sites in Florida for Sonata Senior Living. Stephen graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

Dr. Keisha McDaniel, Vice President of Marketing

A results-driven and collaborative executive, Keisha leverages her passion to lead and execute the company’s marketing and brand strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, public relations and communications. With more than 20-years experience in marketing, communications, branding and journalism, she’s successfully driven strategic growth and revenue across diverse industries, including for Fortune 500 brands and major media outlets. A true storyteller with a customer-centric focus, Keisha believes in marrying technology with sound marketing and communication principles to deliver innovative and engaging experiences across multiple channels. She sits on the Board of Directors for the University of South Florida, George Washington University and the YMCA of Central Florida. Keisha also holds a doctorate degree from Walden University, an MBA from Florida Metropolitan University and a bachelor’s degree from Alabama A&M University.

Stephanie Braudrick, Vice President of Sales

An industry veteran with over two decades of experience in senior living, Stephanie drives occupancy performance across Sonata’s portfolio of independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities. Over the course of her career, she has held sales leadership roles in all aspects of senior care, including national third-party referral providers, home health, and hospice organizations. Her passion is driving measurable sales results with a focus on best practices in direct sales, talent development, and sales process excellence. Her dedication to team culture and fostering a collaborative team approach have led to many successes throughout her professional career in senior living. Stephanie is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington.

Lorrie Kovac, BSN, RN, Sr. Vice President of Wellness

With more than 17 years of nursing experience in oncology, ER, ICU, and Long-Term Care, Lorrie’s innovative approach to resident care translates to positive outcomes in each of Sonata’s assisted living and memory care communities. As Sonata’s VP of Clinical Services, she oversees clinical operations and risk management while serving a critical role in developing training, policies, and protocols that emphasize compliance for the safety, health and well-being of residents. At Sonata, she is highly respected as a committed road warrior, mentor, policy creator, risk manager, clinician, and AHCA champion, consistently seeking new technologies that impact resident care and engagement, and innovative policy changes related to workforce enhancement. As a 2018 recipient of The Florida Senior Living Association’s Employee of the Year Award, she is a registered nurse and certified trainer in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care®.

Partners & Awards