Board Members

Board Members
Gary D. Kitchen, President

Gary is the Founder and President of the Laona M. Kitchen Foundation.

He is a graduate of the University of Louisville. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the service he worked in management for Kroger and has worked in all aspects of the grocery industry in Atlanta until retirement in 2013. 

He founded the Laona M. Kitchen Foundation to honor his mother, Laona, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Gary, along with his family, were her caregivers while she lived in his home. Eventually, she had to be moved into an assisted living facility. Having seen first hand how the disease ravaged his mother, Gary wanted to raise money for Alzheimer’s. Due to his love of golf and desire to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association, with Jennifer Ferguson's, Executive Director of Laona's assisted living facility (Arbor Terrace of West Cobb) and Casey Smith's of Wiser Wealth Management help, he started a golf tournament. The annual golf tournament raised over $17,000 in four years for the Alzheimer's Association. In late 2011, after the death of his mother, he decided that he could do more. A decision was made, along with his family and friends, to form the Foundation to assist families affected by Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Since then, the Foundation has continued to hold an annual golf tournament and added an annual casino night event to continue raising funds for the Foundation.

Board MembersMichael Burnett, Attorney

Michael assists with the legal processes involved in setting up and running the Laona M. Kitchen Foundation.

Michael is an estate and business planning attorney providing wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, and trusts, as well as business and charitable foundation formation documentation and filings.  He has been involved in cases where he seeks to protect the financial and legal well-being of elderly persons with diminished mental capacity.

Michael obtained his J.D. from Barry University School of Law where he was involved in class government and received substantial merit based scholarships. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. from Covenant Life College. Michael is admitted to practice in Georgia and Florida. Recent Appellate Cases include Cogen v. Cogen (FL).

Board Members

Denise Corcoran

Denise Corcoran works as a Senior Care Advisor with Family Private Care, LLC.  Denise is an excellent health care advocate for the community, providing education to families regarding all types of health care, depending on the specific need of each family.  She is passionate about providing support, and is the primary caregiver for both of her aging parents.

Denise is certified as a Virtual Dementia Tour trainer providing a hands-on experience of what it is like to have dementia.  She also has a certification in Professional Development in Gerontology. Denise also serves as president of the Atlanta Senior Care Network Niche which is one of the largest networking groups in the Atlanta area.  She works with Assisted Living Communities providing resources and solutions for family caregivers through monthly support groups. Denise is a member of the Georgia Care Planning Council.

Denise is married to her wonderful husband Martin and has two beautiful daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering, playing tennis, and crafting.

Board Members

Jennifer Ferguson

Jennifer provides input to the Foundation on the care demands of a person living with Alzheimer's.  She shares her network of resources to help families who are affected byAlzheimer's and dementia.

Jennifer is Executive Director of Arbor Terrace at West Cobb, the facility that cared for Laona in the latter stages of Alzheimers. She was instrumental in educating Gary and his family on understanding the progression and impact of the disease.

Board MembersAlex Salabarria, CEO, Oaks Senior Living, LLC

Alex provides insight into the services and care that can be found in assisted living communities dedicated to the care of persons with Alzheimer's and dementia.  The Salabarria family has developed and currently manages assisted living and memory care communities in Georgia.

Alex Salabarria was born in Miami, Florida in 1967. The Salabarria family immigrated from Cuba when the Fidel Castro revolution toppled the Baptista regime. The youngest of three siblings, Alex resided for most of his childhood in Ocala, Florida. He attended the University of Florida and graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Hospitality Management.  

In 1996, Alex moved to the Atlanta area to work with his father, Nelson Sr., to achieve his dream of developing and managing an Assisted Living Community for the elderly. In 1998 their dream became reality when they opened their first community - The Oaks of Woodstock - in Woodstock, Georgia.  Currently the family is building their fifth facility in Georgia.

Board Members

Casey T. Smith, CEO, Wiser Wealth Management, Inc.

Casey serves as financial advisor for the Laona M. Kitchen Foundation.

Casey Smith is President of Wiser Wealth Management, a Marietta, Georgia, based fee-only fiduciary wealth management firm offering asset management, tax preparation, estate planning and financial planning services.  Wiser’s unique investing techniques has earned Casey speaking engagements around the world.

Casey, a graduate of Berry College, sits on the Board of the Planned Giving Council of Berry College, The Berry College Campbell School of Business Executive Advisory Committee, the Berry Student Run Enterprises Advisory Board and the Berry College Board of Visitors. Casey serves as the Chairman of the Berry Investment Group Advisory Board. Casey is a member of the Marietta Business Association and serves on the board of Hughes Polymer Additives, Inc, and Laney Holdings, Inc.

In addition to running his firm, Casey is a captain for Express Jet Airlines, a Delta Connection Carrier for Delta and United airlines.

Board Members

Joe Kleid

Joe is a BBA Marketing Graduate from UNG and works as a Director of Marketing with Peregrine Senior Living. He is a Geneaology, Photography and Theater enthusiast and loves to learn about, document, and present the legacies and personal stories of the seniors he is helping.

Joe has worked specifically with families with Alzheimer's throughout his career, and he will tell you that he has "over 30 years of Senior Living Experience" as his grandmother, Ruth, came to live with his family when he was a small child. (She later developed Dementia and Alzheimer's, during his early teens, and Joe was one of her caregivers along with his mother and other family members.) Her passing and influence on his life propelled him into working with other seniors and families who have been afflicted by Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Outside of work and The LMK Foundation, Joe and his wife, Elizabeth, enjoy serving others at North Point Community Church, where he has led and been a team member of many foreign mission trips.

Board Members

Kevin Doyle

Kevin counsels the board on public relations and other organizational communications matters. Kevin's communications background blends journalism and public relations work for both corporate and non-profit organizations. He started his career as a reporter, columnist and editor for newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. In 1990, he joined the public relations department of the former Atlanta-based BellSouth Corporation, working first in New Orleans and then in Atlanta. Among his roles at BellSouth, Kevin directed public relations for the headquarters of BellSouth's international subsidiary, coordinating operations in 14 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. He also directed employee communications for the parent company, BellSouth Corp., with responsibility for print and video communications reaching 67,000 employees. Following BellSouth's acquisition by AT&T, Kevin directed communications for two non-profits in Atlanta.

Kevin is a native of Houston and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Demi, have been residents of Cobb County, GA, since late 1993. They have a grown daughter, Annie, and a grandson.