In 1922 Bradley W. Foster established the Foster Foundation with a generous financial gift. His avowed purpose was to provide a home for care of the elderly. In 1925 the mission was realized when the Foster Memorial Home opened on Madison Avenue in Huntington. “The Home” became a Huntington fixture for 75 years, normally operating at a significant financial loss, underwritten by the Foundation. In 1985, Rev. Gray Hampton, a member of the Foster Foundation Board, introduced board members to the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) concept. Under his leadership, the board developed a plan to broaden the scope of the aging Foster Memorial Home into a CCRC in Huntington, West Virginia. Starting in 1988 and over the course of a decade, Chairman William F. “Bill” Agee and the board turned that vision into reality.
On August 19, 1996, Woodlands opened with 111 apartments at almost 100% occupancy. Over the next few years, 61 additional apartments and 23 cottages were built by those who wanted to preserve their residential independence. In 2004, the Assisted Living/Health Care wing of Woodlands was expanded with the substantial involvement of Mrs. Joan C. Edwards and the West Virginia Episcopal Diocese, raising the capacity to 88 units.
Woodlands popularity continues to grow as does the property itself. As we move into the future, it is our desire to serve our community, building lasting relationships and friendships along the way. We will continue the mission of Bradley Walters Foster by following his directives that the Foundation be perpetuated.
Learn here about ways to provide financial support to the Foster Foundation.
Woodlands Retirement Community is operated by a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation providing the highest level of quality residential senior services for older adults from diverse backgrounds. Through its programs and activities, Woodlands seeks to embody the values of the Christian tradition, and the ideals of the benefactor, for persons of all faiths by attending to their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. Through the Foster Foundation, Woodlands assists seniors who outlive their resources. By offering a comprehensive continuum of care and a nurturing environment, Woodlands encourages seniors to experience the fullness of life in community with dignity, joy, and the maximum level of independence their health will allow.
Woodlands Board of Directors
Board Member since 8/20/2014
Board Member Since 8/17/16
William B. Dennison, MD
Board Member since 2/21/15
Deanna Mader, PhD
Board Member Since 11/15/2017
Board Member Since 1/12/16
Andrew W. Fischer
Board Member since 10/17/2018
Board Member since 9/18/19
We know that to be the best place to live, we must also be the best place to work. Our hardworking and dedicated team of directors provide the proper leadership that supports a wonderful living experience for our residents at Woodlands. Our leaders are consistently enhancing the quality of the workplace by demonstrating compassion and an exceptional work ethic therefore encouraging all employees to grow personally and professionally.
Jeffrey Harkins, Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey M. Harkins serves as President and CEO of Woodlands Retirement Community, a role he assumed in November 2014. Jeff brings with him over 28 years of experience managing and leading senior services in standalone and multisite organizations in six states.
A graduate of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas, Jeff has Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master of Science Degree in Health Services Administration.
Jeff has covered almost all areas of senior care, including skilled nursing, CCRCs, independent, assisted living and memory care. He is known as a passionate and energetic leader with a keen sense of customer service, employee development, marketing and community wellness. Throughout the years, Jeff has gained extensive experience in leading strategic transformation, addressing significant operational challenges, developing community relations and networking and expanding mission.
With a blend of business acumen and personal relations, Jeff is uniquely qualified to build on the Woodlands wonderful 23-year legacy of mission and lead it into the future with stability and strength.
Carissa Payne, Chief Financial Officer
Carissa is a 1999 graduate of Marshall University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting. She has over 25 years of experience in various aspects of accounting, finance, and auditing. Carissa began her career with Woodlands in August 2015 in the accounts payable department and has worked diligently to grow into the Chief Financial Officer position.
Carissa currently lives in Ironton, Ohio, with her husband and two children. She enjoys spending time with family and watching her children play various sports.
Cynthia "Cindie" Garinger, Director of of Health Services
Ron Smith, Director of Dining Services
He has been very involved in his community serving on numerous public boards and commissions including Huntington Urban Renewal Authority during the development of the Pullman Square project. He continues to serve on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State, the parish council of St. George Greek Orthodox Church and is chairman of ChiliFest the West Virginia State Chili Championship held in downtown Huntington every September.
Dr. Cynthia Pinson, Medical Director
In 2005, Dr. Pinson founded Travel MD, a medical practice devoted exclusively to making house calls. In 2013, Dr. Pinson was awarded “House Call Doctor of the Year” by the Academy of Home Care Physicians.
Daniel Cook, Human Resources Director
Donna May, Director of Activities
Donna May was born and raised in Huntington, WV. She received her business management degree from Marshall University. Donna has experience in event planning, public relations, volunteer services, arts and entertainment, and guest relations. She serves on the boards of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce Women2Women and the Huntington Museum of Art.
She enjoys spending time with her friends and family,traveling and watching Marshall sports. She has two grandsons and loves watching them play ball. Donna lives in Proctorville, OH.
Juliette Buffington Tomlin, Director of Sales
After living most of her adult life in Memphis, Tenn., and north Mississippi, Juliette, a Huntington native, felt the hills of West Virginia calling her home. She returned to Huntington in 2015, originally joining Woodlands as its Community Outreach Coordinator in charge of outreach and marketing event planning. She will retain many of those responsibilities as she steps into the marketing director’s role.
Prior to returning to Huntington, Juliette held positions in the travel and hospitality industries. She spent countless hours throughout the last 18 years fundraising for charitable entities in the community she lived and served. She is active in the Huntington community as well and is a member of Huntington Rotary, the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, Women 2 Women and the Huntington Museum of Art.
Juliette attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., where she received a degree in Business Administration and was a graduate of Huntington High School. She is also the mother of two young adults.
Larry Crum, Director of Marketing and Communications
Larry joined the vibrant community at Woodlands in 2023, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the fields of marketing, communications, and public relations.
With nearly two decades of professional expertise, Larry has made his mark in various influential roles throughout his career. Notably, he dedicated nearly a decade to his alma mater where he served as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at the Marshall University Foundation, playing a pivotal role in advancing the institution’s outreach and alumni relations.
Prior to his tenure at Marshall, Larry was the Director of Media and Public Relations for the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) based in Norwalk, Ohio, crisscrossing the nation spearheading PR initiatives for one of the largest motorsports organizations in the country. He also served a sports editor for a chain of newspapers in his hometown in West Virginia and Ohio.
Larry proudly graduated from Marshall University in 2005. Hailing originally from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, he now resides in South Point, Ohio, alongside his wife and two children.