Leadership Team


Sonoma Hills Retirement Community Staff



Executive Director | Mark Nilsson

Mark Nilsson is responsible for the safety, comfort, and satisfaction of each resident.  He joined the Sonoma Hills team in 2002 as Executive Chef and built an amazing kitchen staff that is still intact. Sonoma Hills has a great food reputation of scratch cooking and farm to table fresh daily.Promoted in 2013 to his current position, Mark is completely dedicated and innovative with hands on approach to resident relations and quality standards.Host of Sonoma radio’s weekly Senior Hour and a long time mentor; Mark loves the Sonoma Valley and the quality of life within.


Business Director | Sandra Lopez

Sandra Lopez jointed the leadership team in December of 2016. Her responsibilities include the day to day operation of Accounts Receivable/Payable, Payroll and Human Resources for Sonoma Hills. She is bilingual which has been a valuable tool during her career.

Sandra was born in Columbia and moved to Sonoma, California at the age of 15. She and her husband are devoted parents of a daughter and son.

Sandra’s beautiful smile and love of life endeared her immediately to residents and staff.

“Family, friends and coworkers are the blessing and sunshine of life!”


Marketing Community | Kelly Malchow

Kelly Malchow was born and raised in Sonoma and joined the Sonoma Hills team in 2007.  As Marketing Community Liaison, she enjoys welcoming and introducing prospective residents to the lifestyle they deserve in the beautiful wine country.

Kelly is intuitive while assisting to coordinate the residents’ selection for their apartment that will best suit their style and needs.  Her knowledge while assisting the resident simplify their lives is exemplary as she puts her best foot forward in personally assisting every individual.


Creator of Cuisine | Chef John

“After”cutting his teeth” at Sonoma’s Famed “The General’s Daughter” Restruant in 2002, Chef John Locher worked at a multitude of Fine-Dining establistments and wineries such as Equus in Santa Rosa, Felix & Louie’s (formerly in Healdsburg), Viansa Winery, Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Wilson, Mazzocco, Chateau Souverain and Elaine Bell Catering in Napa.

Chef John went on to open”Prelude” Restaurant at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University where he served as the Executive Sous Chef over4 years, then moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for a year where he served as Chef Instructor at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Miami, FL.

After returning to Sonoma County, Chef John served as Executive Sous Chef for Spring Lake Village Retirement Community in Santa Rosa for 2 years before ultimately accepting the position of Executive Chef & Dietary Director for Sonoma Hills.

Chef John welcomes the opportunity to utilize his wealth of experience and knowledge to constantly strive to improve your Dining Experience, and keep us all happy, healthy and well fed!


Life Enrichment Director Carol Eldridge

Carol Eldridge recently joined the outstanding Leadership Team at Sonoma Hills.  She brings with her over 25 years of experience working with our senior population in a variety of settings.  Her passion is to bring each of our residents the best quality of the life they deserve.  Carol finds joy in planning activities and events that will enhance their mind through brain health, their sprit with Laughter Yoga, and body with Zumba Gold and Chair Yoga to name a few.

Humor and laughter are the sounds you hear filling our community!


Maintenance DirectorIgnacio Vargas

Ignacio Vargas joined our team in 2008.  His first hand knowledge of our building have proven to be a true asset, as he was apart of the original construction crew of Sonoma Hills during 1997-1999.

His dedication to his work is complemented by his consistent positive demeanor, sense of humor, and patience as he keeps everything running smoothly.

With his lovely wife, Susi, they are proud parents of five children ranging in ages form seven to twenty-four years old.

One year, Ignacio celebrated his 50th birthday at Sonoma Hills in style.  He invited a mariachi band t entertain the residents. He dressed in his traditional Charro outfit that was made in Guadalajara for him.

“I like to go the extra mile for all residents to make them happy.”


Transportation | Henry Coleman

Henry Coleman has been apart of Sonoma Hills team as a driver for several years.  Sonoma has been his home for 37 years and working for the seniors who reside at Sonoma Hills has truly been a wonderful experience for him.

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