Meet Our Team

Elaine Cole

Executive Director

A graduate of Boston University, Elaine pursued a double major in early elementary education and developmental disabilities. She later earned a Master’s degree in social work, majoring in administration and minoring in community organization. She is qualified by State and Federal agencies for nursing home administration and has operated several nursing facilities in Connecticut. She purchased Mystic River Residential Care in 2003, adding a new building to the site in 2017. This has been an exciting adventure! Along with the new residence, she is adding on-site collaborative medical care, delicious, wholesome meals, and follows many holistic programs and strategies to benefit our residents.

Elaine has run 3 marathons, loves reading and traveling, and is a lifelong supporter of women’s rights.

Tammy Sorensen

Resident Care Director

We see Tammy as the most skilled and compassionate nurse on the planet. She has the responsibility of ensuring quality care for our residents in every aspect of their lives. Aware of every residents’ needs, Tammy handles all issues including psychological, medical, hygiene, room organization, social/lifestyle, volunteer work, and finances. Her significant experience in hospitals, nursing homes and medical offices enables her to move effortlessly through her many roles at Mystic River.

Outside of work, Tammy’s interests include health and physical fitness as well as music, sports, dancing, cooking and gardening.

Julianne Johnson

Lifestyle Director

Julianne graduated with honors from Northeastern University majoring in outdoor recreation and leisure management. She has much to offer our residents with a wealth of experience including working as a park ranger and interpretive guide, recreation director for a boarding school in Alaska, innkeeper, poetry instructor, sailing/ski instructor for the Armed Forces Center in Germany. Since joining our home Julianne has received certification at the culmination of an intensive 3-day course with Peace/Love. Peace/Love uses the visual/expressive arts to foster recovery from mental illness.

Julianne plans monthly calendars, offering a wide range of activities and part-time volunteer opportunities. We love her energy, enthusiasm and compassion.

Claudette Blackburn

Executive Chef

Chef Claudette Blackburn brings many years of experience to Mystic River Residential Care, including management at Mohegan Sun Resort and as cook at Mitchell College. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Claudette is Serve Safe certified, and is the recipient of awards in both leadership and attendance.

Claudette puts love into all her food offerings, and she is totally dedicated to our residents.
We are indeed pleased to have Claudette as our Chef.


Jill Olender
Executive Assistant

Jill is a highly organized and multi-talented individual who is perfectly placed as Executive Assistant. With her rich background of studies including nursing, marketing, cosmetology, gemology, along with certificates for selling insurance and real estate, she is well qualified for the wide range of responsibilities  her position entails. Jill has worked in a nursing home in rehab and medication administration, at Mohegan Sun as HR Training Specialist and at Foxwoods as Concierge Supervisor.

Jill enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, making jewelry, reading and cooking. She generously volunteers her time at the Warm Center and Hospice.

Jennifer Schon
Executive Housekeeper

Jen graduated from Western CT State University with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. She worked in several areas of nursing including general medical, perfusion technology, intensive care, long-term care and substance abuse. At Mystic River Residential Care, she provides meticulous, effective, non-toxic cleaning and has improved many procedures while keeping us “green and clean.”

Jen volunteers at a local women’s prison for Christian Ministry and enjoys
helping people.

Michael Gearin

Director of Maintenance and Housekeeping