Our Team

Meet Our Team

Perry Phillips, Executive DirectorPerry Phillips, Executive Director

Perry brings a wealth of knowledge to The Saybrook at Haddam with over 20 years experience in senior living communities in Connecticut.

Prior to joining The Saybrook at Haddam, Perry led the team at Mulberry Gardens, Masonicare, and LCB Senior Living. He feels privileged to have built a career working with seniors because they have taught him so much over the years. He encourages all residents to share their wisdom and knows he will always walk away learning something new.

Perry lives in Mansfield (home of the UCONN Huskies) with his wife, Jill.  They have two grown children.


Dee Swift, Director of Sales and MarketingDee Swift, Director of Sales and Marketing

Dee comes to The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community with 22 years of proven Sales and Marketing experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry and with over 5 years in Senior Living Communities. Dee is committed and plays an essential role to the Saybrook at Haddam by supporting the community, families and their loved ones with compassion through every step of the process with the assurance that The Saybrook at Haddam will provide each resident with a safe and caring environment. She is certified as a CareConnect Specialist in assisted living and memory care and has been specifically trained to understand the complexities of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Dee holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Post University. Dee has been married for 37 years, has two grown children and three grandchildren. Having grown up in Guilford, she has a natural love of being on the water and enjoys boating and being with her grandchildren.


Cathy Carter, Director of Community OutreachCathy Carter, Director of Community Outreach

Cathy’s mission is to celebrate The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community with the greater public – including families, senior care professionals, and other referral sources. She does this by showcasing the active spirit, lifestyle, and graciousness of the senior community. Prior to joining The Saybrook at Haddam, Cathy served as Community Outreach Director for The Bridges at Lake Whitney, Independent and Assisted Living Community in Hamden. She was also the Director of Development and Marketing for The Bradley Home Senior Residence and Skilled Nursing Center in Meriden. Cathy is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity. She is an active member of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and past Board Member, She is also a past member of Rotary International and Soroptimist International. Cathy earned her Master Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Haven, and her Bachelor Degree in Public Management from the University of Maine, Orono.


Kathy Hallett, Director of Memory CareKathy Hallett, Director of Memory Care

Kathy manages all aspects of The Saybrook at Haddam’s Safe Harbor Memory Care Neighborhood and serves as the family liaison and resident advocate. She also develops and delivers dementia training to her clinical team and manages all continuing education requirements for ongoing staff development which is crucial to delivering the most advanced services to residents and families. Currently, Kathy leads a dementia support group and provides grief counseling as needed. Kathy has worked with rehab patients and dementia residents at Aurora Senior Living in East Hartford, the Bloomfield Center for Health and Rehabilitation, and Atria Greenridge Place in Rocky Hill. She is trained in Reiki, therapeutic recreation, and grief counseling, and is a Community Dementia Facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a minor in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University, as well as an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from the Hartford College for Women.


Pamela DiMatteo, RN, Assistant Resident Care Director, RN DesigneePamela DiMatteo, RN, Assistant Resident Care Director, RN Designee

Pam joined The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community Team in 2019 bringing an extensive background including assisted living, skilled homecare, nursing home and hospital experience.  She began her career in communications with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central Connecticut State University. She always felt drawn to working with senior citizens, a daily reminder of her own beloved grandparents.  She eventually pursued an Associate Degree in Nursing from Goodwin College. Pam feels seniors have lived through so many changes and have wonderful experiences that each of us could learn from. At The Saybrook at Haddam, Pam loves working closely with families, doctors, and outside clinicians to develop truly individualized care plans for each resident.  Pam lives in Central Connecticut with her husband, daughter and dog, Carly.  Her favorite place is Narragansett Town Beach in nearby Rhode Island.


Joan Szewczyk, Resident LiaisonJoan Szewczyk, Resident Liaison

Born and raised in New York, Joan comes to The Saybrook at Haddam following a successful career in advertising sales in NYC and San Francisco and as a European belt and handbag rep after moving to Connecticut.  Joan began at The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community as the Therapeutic Recreation Director in Safe Harbor before moving to her current role as Resident Liaison. In this position, she helps residents any way she can to make life smooth and groovy. When residents move in, Joan is the one who welcomes them and introduces them to their new neighbors and friends. As residents settle into life at the active and engaging senior community, she is there to visit with them and help solve any concerns or issues that may come up. She also facilitates the Resident Council which make improvements for the community based on the requests and needs of residents. She is well-known for hosting the popular “Books with Joan” reading group that focuses on famous people (with a little music thrown in). When she is not at The Saybrook at Haddam, Joan enjoys hiking with her husband, Bob, and Betty, her shepherd-beagle mix who loves to visit The Saybrook at Haddam. She is an avid gardener and loves to travel.


Lucille Bowen, RN, Director of Wellness, Supervisor of Assisted Living ServicesLucille Bowen, RN, Director of Wellness, Supervisor of Assisted Living Services

Lucille works with residents at The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community and their families to develop individualized care and wellness plans. This allows residents to enjoy the best quality of life. She uses her vast healthcare and wellness experience to be able to understand needs, evaluate recommendations, and communicate to other medical professionals on behalf of each resident. Lucille comes to The Saybrook at Haddam with more than two decades of experience having served in healthcare-management positions in other assisted living facilities. Early in her career, she was a staff nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital, which helped her realize her enjoyment in caring for and working with older adults. Lucille holds a Master of Science Degree in Health Services Management from New School University. She also earned a Bachelor Degree in Nursing from College of Mount Saint Vincent. In her off time, Lucille enjoys spending time with her son, daughter, three grandchildren.


MerriAnne Larensen, Recreation DirectorMerriAnne Larensen, Recreation Director

MerriAnne is the Director of fun at The Saybrook at Haddam, with over 7 years experience in senior recreation. She plans a full schedule of daily activities each week that involve social, intellectual, physical and spiritual opportunities for residents. From in-house art classes, movies, and lectures to off-site trips to the river, theater or museum, MerriAnne is always looking for the next interesting program for residents to experience. She is a Reiki master and has volunteered as the Reiki practitioner at Hartford Hospital’s Alternative Medicine Clinic. After a lengthy and successful career in sales and marketing, MerriAnne returned to college to earn her Therapeutic Recreational Degree from Northwestern Community College, graduating with honors. This launched her new career in senior recreation which eventually brought her to The Saybrook at Haddam four years ago. When she’s not planning events at The Saybrook at Haddam, you can find MerriAnne cooking, painting and writing poetry. She is a lifelong resident of Connecticut.


Tracey Distasio, Culinary DirectorTracey Distasio, Culinary Director

Born in Lancashire, England, Tracey cultivated her passion for cooking and baking while pursuing the culinary arts program at the University of Bolton in Greater Manchester, England. As a young university student at the age of 17, she started her own business making celebration cakes for special events. After moving to the United States, Tracey started a family (daughter Chloe, 20, and son Hunter, 18) and continued to build her cooking and baking skills. She worked at Cozy Corner, Killingworth, CT, one of the highest-ranked bakeries in Middlesex County before coming to The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community. Here, she enjoys the challenge of elevating the daily menu by working with her creative team to ensure the residents are happy and well nourished. In her free time Tracey enjoys fishing and the outdoors.


Laura Ashe, Business Office ManagerLaura Ashe, Business Office Manager

Laura brings years of experience to her role in the business office at The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community. She oversees payroll, accounts payable, purchasing, and billing, and manages the compliance reporting with the State of Connecticut. Laura completed her Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from The University of Connecticut. She is always a team player – especially when it comes to fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association – and makes herself available to her colleagues as well as to residents and their families whenever needed. Laura’s motto is “Be the reason someone smiles today.” Laura lives in Colchester with her husband and their adorable 6-pound Maltipoo, Ginger. Her daughter, Kate, has joined the staff at The Saybrook Haddam as a seasonal waitstaff member with Tracey and her Culinary team! In her spare time Laura likes to sew, craft, read, cook, exercise, and visit York Beach, Maine.


Barry Osalza, Maintenance DirectorBarry Osalza, Maintenance Director

Barry brings more than 25 years in maintenance and housekeeping management skills to The Saybrook at Haddam Independent Living and Assisted Living Community where he oversees the daily and long-term upkeep of the community. He manages a great team that keeps The Saybrook at Haddam running smoothly, efficiently, and safely. He developed the safety and emergency plans for The Saybrook at Haddam and regularly trains staff to be sure the senior community is prepared for weather-related and other emergencies. He also coordinates all contractors and tradesmen needed to care for the building’s interior and exterior as well as the beautiful grounds and gardens. A life-long resident of East Haddam, Barry can be seen playing guitar at various local fundraisers and civic events. He earned an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences from Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island.

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