About Our Not-for-Profit Life Plan Community

May We Introduce Ourselves?

The Woodlands at Furman is the only locally owned, not-for-profit Life Plan Community in the Upstate to offer a Life Care contract that guarantees independent living and a full continuum of care on-site, including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

  • Because we’re a not-for-profit senior living community, we can reinvest in The Woodlands — benefiting the people who live here.
  • Because we’re locally owned, we don’t have to answer to outside, big corporate interests. We know the area and are involved in the Greenville community.
  • Because we have Life Care, you can age in place with the confidence of knowing your health care needs will be met at predictable costs.

Located on 45 beautiful acres adjoining Furman University and just minutes away from downtown Greenville, SC, we’re perfectly situated for enjoying everything the Upstate has to offer.

The Furman Connection

Our partnership with Furman University is a big reason many of our residents choose The Woodlands. It connects you with the energy, excitement and lifelong learning opportunities of a college campus that’s adjacent to ours.

  • Feed your curiosity through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).
  • Stay connected to the college spirit by attending Paladin sporting events
  • Keep moving on the hiking and walking trails or by playing a few rounds at Furman University Golf Club.
  • Get a Furman library card and discounted/free tickets to Furman music events.

The proximity of The Woodlands to the Furman campus and the continuing education program, lectures, music and athletic events — and the ability to meet people through these events — was a major reason we chose The Woodlands over alternatives.

Our Values

We’re guided by principles which help us fulfill our vision to be the retirement community of choice by nurturing a distinctive culture of enrichment for our residents.

We’re responsible to the people living in our community and to their families.

Everything we do will be of high quality to meet their needs. Everyone will be recognized as an individual, and we’ll respect their dignity and opinions. They must have a sense of safety and caring while residing in our community. We’ll provide continuing opportunities for them to enrich their lives. We’ll strive to manage our costs to maintain reasonable prices.

We’re responsible to our employees.

Compensation will be merit-based and fair, and working environments will be clean, orderly and safe. We will provide qualified employees with equal opportunity for professional development and advancement. Employees are encouraged to make suggestions and provide constructive feedback.

We’re responsible to the communities in which we live and work.

We’ll be good citizens; support good works and better health and education. We’ll maintain our properties while protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.

We’re responsible to our community for how we manage finances.

New facilities and equipment will be purchased and new programs paid for. Reserves will be preserved to cover adverse times. We’ll continuously strive for innovations and efficiencies in our programs and operations to be good stewards of our financial assets.

Our Leadership Team

Rick Brackett

President and Chief Executive Officer
Rick Brackett, president and chief executive officer at The Woodlands at Furman

Rick’s role is to lead and direct the executive leadership team in achieving the vision of the Woodlands at Furman for residents and team members alike. He has a passion for listening and serving others, as well as a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, operations, construction and capital planning. He joined the Woodlands at Furman in 2014.

Donald R. Lilly, NHA, CRCFA, LMSW

Executive Vice President
Donald R. Lilly, executive vice president at The Woodlands at Furman

Donald holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of South Carolina and maintains his license as a nursing home administrator and master’s-level social worker. He’s also certified in dementia care. Donald is great with people, passionate about his profession, and possesses a unique talent for analysis and problem-solving. His ability to push himself and inspire his team to expand their capacities keeps him on a path of continual improvement. He’s a natural teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of South Carolina, focusing on macro-level social work. What drives Donald most? Providing an amazing living environment for the Woodlands at Furman residents.

Angela Hecker

Director of Sales and Marketing
Angela Hecker, director of sales and marketing at The Woodlands at Furman

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Angela earned her B.F.A. degree in musical theatre from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She spent the first part of her career working on Broadway and for national touring companies. Between casting assignments, she sang with a big band ensemble at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel. In addition to her 10 years of experience in senior living, Angela has extensive experience in medical and pharmaceutical sales. She’s a person of tremendous heart and deep integrity. Her family is her inspiration, and she’s dedicated to serving others. There are no strangers in Angela’s life. People immediately feel her warmth and soon become like extended family.

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Stephanie Estrada

Chief Financial Officer
Stephanie Estrada, chief financial officer at The Woodlands at Furman

Stephanie is passionate about the accounting profession. She earned bachelor’s degrees in both marketing and accounting from Clemson University and has been volunteering with the South Carolina Association of CPAs since 2012. She’s a creative thinker who can see and evaluate situations from multiple perspectives. She’s received many awards over the years, including the 2020 Senior Financial Executive of the Year (Medium Company) from the Upstate CFO Council. Here at The Woodlands, Stephanie works to ensure the financial sustainability of the community, and is closely involved in budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting. She makes sure residents are always informed about community financial matters as well. Stephanie chose to work for our not-for-profit community because she believes in good stewardship and reinvesting in the mission of the organization.

Merietta McKenzie

Director of Resident Services
leadership headshots at The Woodlands at Furman

An Ohio native, Merietta earned her bachelor’s degree in media and communications from The University of Akron. She’s held positions in hospitality, customer service and public relations, and is a studied, active listener. Merietta is also a genuinely caring person devoted to making the transition to independent living seamless, positive and rewarding for older adults. She’s a liaison for support services and a true ally to residents long after they’ve made their initial transition. Merietta is a voracious reader who loves spending time outdoors, hiking and kayaking.

Making a Difference

The Woodlands Legacy Fund was created to honor our commitment of providing lifelong enrichment and care, as well as to improve the quality of life for residents. Your gift is used for programs and capital needs, as well as for future benevolent care, allowing us to offer support for residents who meet unexpected financial hardships. To find out about the many ways you can give, please contact Ezra Hall at [email protected].

Get to know our Life Plan Community a little better. Contact us to arrange a virtual or in-person visit at your convenience.