Darrell D. Jones, Lieutenant General, USAF (Ret) leads six Blue Skies corporations that are part of a life plan community dedicated to quality retirement living and superior health care. This vibrant multi-million dollar organization is driven by a passion to provide residents with a comfortable, enjoyable home. Darrell culminated a 34-year military career as the head of U.S. Air Force personnel. He served in a wide variety of operational and headquarters assignments. He commanded a squadron, a group, two wings and the Air Force District of Washington. He served as Director of Manpower and Personnel, U.S. Central Command, during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served at the RAND Corporation and as a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Gen Jones earned a Master of Business Administration from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science from Mississippi State University.
As Chief Financial Officer, Brian’s primary responsibilities include providing strategic and tactical direction needed to assure fiscal control, financial strength and effective stewardship of resources. He is responsible for analyzing and interpreting financial performance and communicating results with residents, management, the Board of Directors and external financial partners. Brian came to Blue Skies with thirteen years of experience working in the field of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s). He held the positions of President, CEO and CFO with Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest (PRCN), which consisted of three CCRC’s and a charitable foundation in Seattle, Washington. Prior to PRCN, Brian held key positions with the certified public accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, and the life and health insurance and real estate divisions of Safeco Corporation. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Fred Ryder, Colonel, USAF, (Ret) held senior USAF positions as a Mission Support Group Commander and as Commander of the Air Force Services Agency. After graduating from Boston State College with a degree in Sociology, he spent nearly 30 years in service to his country before joining our staff in 2009. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College, and has also earned a Master of Science degree in International Relations from Webster University in MO. Fred earned the prestigious title of Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP) from North Texas University, and served as a member of the Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services (CLAS) Advisory Group. As Chief Operating Officer at Blue Skies of Texas, Fred is responsible for oversight of all support operations for both campuses, to include Food Service, Environmental Services, Maintenance, Capital Improvements and Resident Support Services.
Alethea “Ally” Knight, RN, BSN, MBA is our Chief Health Services Officer. Ally initially started her nursing career with Blue Skies of Texas as an LVN in 2007 at the East Campus Healthcare Center. She was part of the transition of the Healthcare Center to what is now The Mission at Blue Skies East. Ally completed her RN in 2010, and in 2012 was announced as the Director of Nursing at The Mission, one of the most demanding positions within all senior care. As the Chief Health Services Officer, Ally oversees the operations of our five licensed healthcare facilities, Blue Skies Hospice, Independent Living Wellness, and our Blue Skies Childcare Center. Among her accomplishments while with Blue Skies, Ally has overseen the implementation of new healthcare contracts such as Medical Directorship and Pharmacy, developed networking relationships with physicians and hospitals, and implemented the expansion of hospice services to the greater San Antonio area. With innovation and sound oversight, Blue Skies Healthcare continues to provide high-quality and resident focused care.
Kathie Estrada, Lt Colonel, USAF (Ret) joined the Blue Skies of Texas team in June 2007 as the Blue Skies – East (BST – East) Resident Services Director. She moved into the role of Executive Director in October 2007 and her current role as Director, Corporate Compliance in February 2014. Kathie hails from Louisville, Kentucky and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Western Kentucky University. She completed a Masters of Professional Studies in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Kathie is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. She is a Certified Aging Services Professional through the University of North Texas and has completed the Assisted Living Manager’s Certification Program through The Center for Health Services Education and Research, San Marcos, TX. Kathie is an accreditation surveyor for CARF International surveying under CARF-CCAC (The Continuing Care Accreditation Commission). Kathie was a speaker at the 2012 Leading Age National Conference and keeps engaged with Leading Age, Texas as a committee volunteer. She has been active in civic support serving on the 2008 San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Rate Advisory Board and as a member of the San Antonio (SA) West/Southwest Sector Planning Team since 2010. During her time as Executive Director, she served as the Secretary for the Valley Hi North Neighborhood Association where she led the Neighborhood submission toward the SA 2012 Bond Initiative and helped to implement joint Valley Hi and BST – East neighborhood programs.
A San Antonio native, Jennifer Berg joined the Blue Skies team in the fall of 2019 after serving for over seven years as a musician with the San Antonio Symphony. Though she is still a “weekend oboist” and private oboe instructor, Jennifer has devoted herself to furthering the charitable mission of Blue Skies as the director of the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, applying the passion and drive that earned her performances in Carnegie Hall and European concert venues to bettering the lives of those who live and work at Blue Skies. Her charitable background includes mission work and volunteering through her church, assisting with capital campaigns, organizing and helping coordinate the Order of the Alamo’s Coronation during Fiesta San Antonio, and her role as the current chairman of the Ellison Scholarship Committee. With ties to the military via her father, who flew helicopters as a Marine in Vietnam, and her maternal grandfather, who was a Colonel and Flying Tiger in WWII, Jennifer is comfortable walking the line between military and civilian life, much like Blue Skies of Texas nowadays. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and her master’s from the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Sarah Manzke joined the Blue Skies team as the Director of Marketing in the summer of 2020. After moving to San Antonio in 2013 to join the San Antonio Symphony as the Associate Concertmaster, she also served as the orchestra’s Interim Director of Marketing, further sparking her passion for work “off the stage.” As a lifelong advocate of the arts, Sarah has learned how to market what she is passionate about. Sarah is thrilled to use the varied skills developed during her international career as a professional violinist to now serve Blue Skies of Texas and its mission. She continues to perform with the Agarita Chamber Players, a San Antonio based chamber music ensemble she founded in 2018. An avid teacher, she is adjunct faculty at San Antonio College and maintains a private music studio. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Music and Music Education Certification from Carnegie Mellon University, Master of Music from the New England Conservatory, and Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Maureen Parrish accepted the position of Director of Corporate Compliance in December 2019 after working for more than 15 years for a local hospital system with three area facilities and a total of 394 licensed beds. While working in acute healthcare, she cultivated a strong background in operations, behavioral health, quality and performance improvement, regulatory accreditation compliance, and risk management. Maureen received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2005.
Dave Zeh, Colonel, USAF, (Ret) is the Resident Services Director at Blue Skies of Texas East. He is responsible for all day-to-day operations on the East Campus, comprising Food Service, Environmental Services, Maintenance, and Resident Support Services to over 300 residents, over 280 units, on over 50 developed acres. Prior to coming to Blue Skies of Texas in 2018, Dave spent 27 years in the USAF, culminating as Vice Commander, Air Force Reserve Personnel Center. He served in several support positions as Mission Support Group Commander (City Manager), executive support, and human resources overseas and in throughout the United States. He served as Director of Manpower and Personnel, U.S. Central Air Forces Command, during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dave earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Lori DeWitt, Master Sergeant, USAF, (Ret) is the Resident Services Director at Blue Skies of Texas West. She is responsible for all day-to-day operations on the West Campus, comprising Food Service, Environmental Services, Maintenance, and Resident Support Services to over 400 residents, over 400 homes, on over 200 developed acres. Prior to coming to Air Force Village in 2001 Lori spent 24 years in the USAF, 19 of those years as an Air Traffic Controller and 5 years as a 1st Sergeant. She paved the way for other females in the Air Force by becoming the 1st female to become fully rated as an Air Traffic Controller at England AFB, LA. But, it was her years as a 1st Sergeant that kindled her passion for working with and serving people. That passion continues every day as she ensures services provided are of exceptional quality. This resulted in her selection as the Texas Association of Homes & Services for the Aging (now known as LeadingAge Texas) Customer Service award winner.