Our team of licensed care providers is equipped with specialized skillsets and experiences that allow them to meet the needs of our residents while encouraging them with passion, innovation and results.
Executive Director of Cross Creek at Lee's Summit
“I feel lucky to be able to say that I both enjoy my work and find it rewarding.”
As executive director of Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit, Laura Benefiel is responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the community. She oversees the budget and ensures that Cross Creek continually strives to provide quality service. In this role, her goal is to assist in providing a safe, family-like atmosphere that residents call their home. She also aims to create a community that residents’ families are comfortable visiting and entrusting their loved ones under her team’s care.
Laura received her bachelor’s degree in social work in 1995 from the University of Central Missouri.
Laura began working with Capital Health Management, Cross Creek’s affiliate company, in 1998 as the director of social services at Crown Care Center. In 1999, she transferred to another sister facility Wilshire at Lakewood Care Center as the director of social services. Although she thoroughly enjoyed her time at Wilshire practicing social work, she was ready for a new challenge and decided to get her administrator’s license and then made the move to executive director of Country Club in 2009. In early 2019, Laura was appointed to her current position as executive director of Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit.
Director of Nursing
“I take a great deal of pride in working as a team to ensure that the residents under my care are well taken care of.”
Amber Taylor joined the Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit team as the director of nursing in May 2021. In this position, she coordinates with families, doctors and outpatient services to ensure residents receive the best care.
Amber has a nursing background in hospice care and in the medical surgical intensive care unit. Before joining Cross Creek, she was the director of nursing at Country Club Care Center, a skilled nursing community.
Amber believes that Cross Creek is a valuable contribution to the Lee’s Summit community because it has a high level of care that is not easy to find.
“I like to be known as the ‘go-to-gal’ for families and team members as I build lasting relationships with everyone in the Cross Creek community.”
As office manager for Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit Assisted Living | Memory Care, Amber Russell operates the front desk of Cross Creek and serves as the first point of contact for all families and visitors to the community.
She also assists in a wide range of duties involved with staffing, administration and community operations.
Amber’s first job in the health care industry was as a certified medical assistant at Blue Hills Rest Home, where she was soon promoted to administrative assistant. She then went on to work as an administrative assistant and CMA at Benton House of Lee’s Summit, where she regularly received recognition from families for going above and beyond in helping with their loved ones.
“I would like to be known by the residents of Cross Creek and their family members for being kind and dependable.”
Maintenance Director Vince Piccinini makes it his goal to bring kindness to all of the people he interacts with at his job and in his life.
He joined Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit Assisted Living | Memory Care with experience as a maintenance director and in humanitarian work. While Vince often volunteers locally, he has also has traveled to the Caribbean, Central America and South America to help those in need.
His favorite part of his job at Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit is getting the chance to interact with the residents and staff.
“I like the feeling of seeing residents happy with the meals they receive from the dining services department.”
As dietary director for Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit, Edna Buchanan manages the community’s food and beverage services as well as kitchen staff. She joined the Cross Creek team as the lead chef in 2019 and was shortly promoted to her current role of dietary director.
Edna started her journey in the food services industry in 1978 during high school. She then went on to work both in a hospital and in the catering field. She expanded her passion for dietary services through education at L’Ecole Culinaire and Johnson Community College in Overland Park, Kansas before joining Cross Creek.
Director of Housekeeping & Laundry
“I truly enjoy going above and beyond to provide a clean and safe home for the residents to reside at.”
As director of housekeeping and laundry for Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit, Misty Barrera manages the overall cleanliness of the community to help enhance the quality of care for residents.
Prior to Cross Creek, Misty worked as the housekeeping and laundry assistant for Wilshire at Lakewood Care Center, a skilled nursing community. In this role, she gained experience in the industry that she brings to her role at Cross Creek.
Misty believes that Cross Creek is a valuable contribution to the Lee’s Summit community because of the dedication of the staff to provide compassionate care to residents.
Life Enrichment Director
“I enjoy providing residents with a fun and enriching recreation program that highlights their daily lives at Cross Creek.”
As the life enrichment director for Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit Assisted Living | Memory Care, Mary Beth Kaup provides ongoing engaging activities and entertainment for the residents in the community.
Mary Beth has been in the long term care industry for over 20 years, with the exception of two years she spent in China, teaching English and working in a local Chinese orphanage, providing activities, supplies and comfort to the children and senior citizens.
She has been passionate about providing therapy to seniors through engaging activities and socialization since she went to college at the University of Missouri, where she majored in recreation therapy.
Mary Beth spends her days crafting schedules full of fun and diverse activities, as well as leading events and games and interacting with the residents. She also is the proud owner of Chumley, Cross Creek’s therapy dog.