Assisted Living
& Memory Care

Our modest accommodations and
shared spaces promote enriched
connections and stronger
relationships for our residents.

 

Our Team

Minnesota Assisted Living Communities

Founded in 2015, Sunflower Communities is a family-owned business that provides housing opportunities for aging adults in Minnesota. Our mission is to offer quality health and housing services that promote independence and well-being for those we serve.

Meet our Team

SUNFLOWER COMMUNITIES

Megan Hickenbottom, MSW, LGSW
Housing Director
Megan leads the housing, admissions, and many of the operational aspects of Sunflower Communities. In tandem with her on-site teams at both Elmore & Nagel Assisted Living, she coordinates all Sunflower Communities new resident admissions with prospective residents, families, county case managers, social workers, and other senior services contacts throughout the greater Twin Cities area, southern Minnesota, and northern Iowa. In addition to these responsibilities, she also leads community relations activities, oversees resident programming, culinary, and maintenance teams at both sites. Megan brings more than six years of experience in healthcare to her role, most recently working with adults enrolled in county waiver programs. She’s had experience working directly with residents and families as well as managing several teams in the past. She enjoys the fast-paced environment of her work with Sunflower Communities and appreciates the mission to provide the opportunity for vibrant living and quality care for every resident we serve. When not at work, Megan enjoys spending time with her family including her boyfriend, daughter, and two dogs - they keep her busy riding bikes, building forts, and reading.

Contact Megan:
Email – Megan.Hickenbottom@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 612.720.5632

 

NAGEL ASSISTED LIVING – Waconia, MN

Theresa Nygaard
Community Relations Manager
Theresa has over fifteen years of experience in the healthcare industry with a focus on working with residents in assisted living and memory care communities. In addition to this experience, she also has worked in home health, nursing homes, group homes, and behavioral health settings. She is responsible for many of our relationships with county case managers, social workers, and other senior services contacts throughout the greater Twin Cities metro area. In addition to these responsibilities, she also leads community relations activities and is active in community groups and organizations in Waconia, MN and surrounding areas. Theresa is most excited to be in this role where she can build strong relationships with local senior care leaders and help individuals and families make this important living transition. She also looks forward to watching the community blossom as a new option for Twin Cities seniors. She currently lives in the greater Waconia area, but has lived around the world including Japan and the Philippines as she grew up in an Air Force family. When not at work, Theresa enjoys all the recreational activities that Minnesota offers including fishing, camping, boating, riding 4 wheelers, water and snow tubing, and football. She also loves children and has four of her own. She loves to travel and see what the rest of the world has to offer.  

Contact Theresa:
Email – Theresa.Nygaard@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 763.267.6658

 

Janelle Kellermann
Community Living Coordinator

Janelle is responsible for assisting residents, their families, and case managers with the admissions process while also planning and coordinating the robust daily activity programming at Nagel Assisted Living & Memory Care. With over 14 years of experience working in senior care settings, Janelle brings a wealth of new ideas, passion, and expertise to the table as she works with residents. Her personal, caring communication style has served her well in her positions in assisted living, memory care, and hospice environments. Raised on a dairy farm in Watertown, MN with her four sisters, Janelle has deep roots in the area and currently lives in Arlington, MN. She’s excited to be a part of the continued growth at Nagel Assisted Living & Memory Care and is excited to work with people every day assisting them in many ways. She looks forward to continuing to see this senior community grow within the lovely town of Waconia, MN. When not at work, Janelle serves as a caregiver for her dad. She loves to be with her friends and family including her three children and husband, while enjoying the great outdoors, hiking, bike riding, trail walking, snow tubing, and water sports.

Contact Janelle:
Email – janelle.kellerman@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 763.267.6658

 

Anne Raffaelle, RN
Director of Health Services
Anne is responsible for ensuring that every resident receives the very best healthcare services possible every day at Nagel Assisted Living & Memory Care. Beyond her most recent career experiences in home care, Anne has spent decades serving the healthcare needs of individuals in a variety of different settings. Starting as a candy striper at a Merchant Marine Hospital, she knew from an early age that caring for others was her passion and ultimate career calling. One of her favorite healthcare career memories was working at Montreal Children’s Hospital in Quebec, Canada – as French was the predominant language spoken and Anne didn’t speak French, she learned how to communicate with her patients by pointing really fast – it was definitely an adventure! Born and raised in Bivalve, MD, a small eastern shore town where doors weren’t locked and the best days were spent crabbing off the dock, she’s always had a love for the outdoors. Since moving to Minnesota, Anne has found a love for the many area parks and discovering something new and different at each. She’s excited to be a part of the growth at Nagel Assisted Living & Memory Care. When not at work, Anne enjoys river kayaking, bicycle and motorcycle riding, and listening to the laughs and tall tales of her two grandsons.

Contact Anne:
Email – anne.raffaelle@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 763.267.6658

 

Angie Pflanz, RN
Clinical Site Manager
Angie is responsible for ensuring exemplary healthcare services are consistently provided by the team of nurses, CNAs, and care attendants at Nagel Assisted Living. In addition to her general duties as a member of the health services leadership team at Nagel, Angie also heads up the specialized care and programming services in Sunflower Court, Nagel’s memory care neighborhood. With extensive past experience serving seniors and families facing a diagnosis of dementia, she provides rich care rooted in strong compassion for residents involved in Nagel’s Seeds of Success Memory Care Program. Angie has almost two decades of experience working in senior living, long-term care, clinic, and home care environments. Born and raised in Arlington, MN, she now calls Green Isle her home. She’s excited to be a part of the growth at Nagel Assisted Living and help coordinate the added levels of care provided by on-site physicians and therapy services offered at Nagel. When not at work, Angie enjoys watching her family play basketball, going to the lake, and riding her dune buggy with her children. She also loves spending summers outside with her family and beloved dog, Charlie.

Contact Angie:
Email – Angie.Pflanz@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 763.267.6658

 

Jason White
Executive Chef 
Jason is responsible for developing the restaurant-style menu and great tasting meals that residents enjoy every day at Nagel Assisted Living. He’s committed to doing his part to make life changes as smooth as possible for new residents moving into Nagel by providing familiar tastes of home. With several years of experience providing his culinary expertise to area senior communities, Jason brings a passion for providing food that nourishes residents and gives them that additional something to look forward to each day. Jason’s expertise in the kitchen has also led him into the judges seat of several local cooking competitions. When not at work, he enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, traveling, visiting waterparks, panning for gold, and gem mining with his wife and three boys.

Contact Jason:
Email – Jason.White@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 763.267.6658



ELMORE ASSISTED LIVING – Elmore, MN

Eva Fowler, LPN
Community Living Coordinator
Eva is responsible for assisting residents, their families, and case managers with the admissions process while also planning and coordinating the robust daily activity programming at Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, additional clinical skills to the table as well. Eva’s rich healthcare experience includes almost two decades of working in cardiology, oncology, surgery, and long term care settings. Born and raised in Fairmont, MN, Eva has a love for the greater southern Minnesota area that she calls home. She’s excited to be a part of the continued growth at Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care and is excited to actively promote Sunflower Communities’ innovative Community Living Philosophy to everyone who she interacts with. She looks forward to creating an environment that allows community members to continue to explore their passions and interests while developing long term relationships. When not at work, Eva spends her time raising her three boys who love riding dirt bikes, exploring, and playing multiple sports. She also recently succeeded in riding a portion of Ragbrai, a bicycle race that runs through Iowa and has traveled extensively internationally to destinations including Paris, Portugal, and Africa.

Contact Eva:
Email – evangeline.fowler@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 507.943.3333

 

Kacey Kasel, RN
Director of Health Services

Kacey is responsible for ensuring that every resident at Elmore Assisted Living receives exemplary healthcare services from the moment they move in. From assessing resident’s initial needs to ensuring that their care plans are followed by her nursing and CNA staff, Kasey’s role is critical to the overall health of our community. She also plays a critical role in contributing to the continual development and implementation of Elmore’s memory care program for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Kasey has over seven years of experience serving seniors in assisted living, long-term care, hospital, and home care settings. Originally from Fairmont, MN, she is excited about the continued growth of Elmore Assisted Living right in her own backyard and is thrilled to join a team that puts the health and well-being of their residents first. When not at work, Kacey loves spending time with family and friends.

Contact Kacey:
Email – Kacey.Kasel@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 507.943.3333


Troy Thompson
Executive Chef
Troy is responsible for developing our restaurant-style menu of fresh-made culinary delights. From savory main courses to delicious desserts, Troy uses his over 25 years of culinary experience to deliver on our promise of great food for every resident at every meal. No stranger to traditional restaurant, banquet, and catering operations, Troy counts the residents that he works with at Elmore Assisted Living as the best “customers” he’s ever had. He grew up in the Twin Cities, but has recently lived in Rochester and Austin, MN. He also once called Florida his home while working at beach resorts and restaurants on the Gulf Coast. He loves this new opportunity to create and be unique with menu dishes while getting to know residents and team members better. In his spare time, he enjoys kayaking, camping, hiking, and fishing with his family. In the winter, it’s all about cooking – he loves creating new dishes and spending time with friends and family around the dinner table.
Contact Troy:
Email – Troy.Thompson@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 507.943.3333


David O’Brien
Maintenance Technician
David is responsible for the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care. Residents turn to David with small handyman projects, and love the convenience of having a skilled maintenance professional available to serve them daily. David has five years of senior living and healthcare experience. Originally from the town of Blue Earth, MN, when not at work, David enjoys many of the outdoor recreational opportunities that are available to him in the southern MN area. His hobbies include hunting and fishing, but he also coaches baseball and enjoys spending quality time with his family.

Contact David:
Email – David@sunflowercommunities.org
Phone – 507.943.3333