Retirement Community in Gig Harbor, WA

Part of a tradition of innovation.

Main entry

Heron’s Key in Gig Harbor, Washington, is affiliated with Emerald Communities, a Redmond, Washington-based, nonprofit organization. Emerald Communities’ story began in 1979, with the forward-thinking vision of one man, Whitney Corwin. Corwin had become familiar with the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) model, (also known as a Life Plan community) and was impressed with everything they had to offer.

Now Emerald Communities brings the innovative Life Care model and shared community values to Gig Harbor with Heron’s Key. As a true Life Care Community, residents are able to receive higher levels of care, should they ever need it, at a predictable monthly rate. And with four entrance fee plans available to choose from, as much as 90% of your entrance fee is refundable to you or your estate, regardless of your length of residency. To learn the value of living at Heron’s Key, schedule a personal appointment.

To learn more about what makes our lifestyle unique, register for an upcoming event by going to our Events page.

Heron’s Key has been a proud member of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce since 2017.

Community Values

Dedicated to the Emerald Communities mission of service, Heron’s Key remains true to the following core values:

We honor all commitments and contracts.

We manage financial, physical and other resources in the most prudent manner.

Residents, staff, board and others are involved as appropriate in making decisions.

As a community based upon Christian values, we welcome people of all faiths as residents and staff as we work to create an inclusive climate for faith expression, respect and compassion.

We are open to change, not for its sake, but to fulfill the organization’s mission.

We provide residents with options for individual choice.

Meet our leadership.

Heron’s Key Board and Executive Team

Danna Van Horn

Danna Van Horn


Danna Van Horn retired in 2018 after serving nearly two decades as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. She served as pastor of several Presbyterian churches and as chaplain in three acute care facilities in southern California. From 1993 to 1999, Rev. Van Horn was Director of Pastoral Services at Presbyterian Inter-Community Hospital in Whittier, CA. She created a unique program of pastoral care among the 1200-member hospital staff and served as pastor to staff, patients and families. Rev. Van Horn also served on the board of directors of the Whittier YMCA and as a member of two hospitals’ ethics committees.

Rev. Van Horn earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, received a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, and completed 1,600 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education. Most recently, she was Associate Pastor for Congregational Care at First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, where she was a teacher, a preacher, and a leader of the Deacon Ministry and various support groups. She also provided home and hospital visitation and counseling.

Rev. Van Horn has a son and a daughter, both of whom live in Washington, and is the very proud grandmother to grandson Daniel.

Dwight S. Whiting

Dwight S. Whiting

Vice Chair

Dwight Whiting is a Financial Advisor and Partner at Auxano Advisors, LLC, a wealth management firm in Bellevue, WA. He offers clients comprehensive financial, tax, estate, retirement and lifecycle planning. His specialties include high net worth planning, business succession planning, estate planning, multigenerational family wealth education, retirement income planning, portfolio management and philanthropic planning.

Prior to joining Auxano Advisors in 2014, Mr. Whiting was a wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley and a financial advisor at UBS Financial Services. Earlier in his career, he managed the development and marketing of advanced technology alternative fuel systems at IMPCO Technologies, Inc. and worked as Director of Marketing at Dynalco Controls, a unit of Crane Co.

Mr. Whiting earned bachelor’s degrees in management science and systems science from the University of California, San Diego, followed by a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University.

Mr. Whiting and his wife, Mary, live in Renton, WA, have three children and are members of Doxa Church in Bellevue.

Daphne R. Schneider

Daphne R. Schneider


Daphne R. Schneider is principal and owner of Daphne R. Schneider and Associates, a Seattle-based consulting firm providing assistance with difficult people and systems issues in the workplace. Services include investigation of allegations of harassment, discrimination and employee misconduct, executive/ leadership/employee coaching, team development, mediation, human resources consulting, facilitation of meetings and retreats, and related training. She has conducted hundreds of workplace investigations, consulted with many public, private and not-for-profit clients, and presented at numerous professional conferences.

Ms. Schneider also has more than 40 years of organizational leadership experience, having held senior human resources, business and support services management positions, as well as not-for-profit board leadership positions.

Ms. Schneider has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in organizational development from Central Washington University. She is a trained mediator and is also a licensed private investigator.

Professional and community affiliations include having served as adjunct faculty for Seattle Pacific University and Western Washington University, past president of the Western Region of the International Personnel Management Association, past president, officer and member of the board of directors for the Center for Human Services, former chair and member of the board of trustees of the Eastside Heritage Center, and former member of the Redmond Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She is currently the vice chair of the boards of directors of Washington Care Services and Southeast Care Center Facilities and is extensively involved with community initiatives in Seattle’s Othello neighborhood.

Robert G. Crist

Robert G. Crist


Robert G. Crist recently retired from his position as business administrator of the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, where he had overall responsibilities for finance, human resources, facilities, and all activities not related to ministry.

Mr. Crist has more than 30 years of experience in professional management consulting and in senior executive positions. Over the course of his career, Mr. Crist has worked with more than 200 organizations in various industries. His positions included serving as chief financial and operating officer for Community Health Plan of Washington and 23 years as a partner with the international accounting and consulting firm of Ernst & Young, most recently as the partner in charge of services to both the health care and natural resources industries. In this role, several of his clients were continuing care retirement communities. He provided early professional advice during the formation of Emerald Heights.

Mr. Crist is a graduate of the University of Redlands and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Financial Executives Institute, the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Crist has served on the boards of numerous community service organizations, including serving as president of the Bellevue Community College telecommunications advisory board, vice president of the Learning Disability Association of Washington, treasurer of the Health Care Purchasers Association, and treasurer of the board of trustees of Eastside Catholic High School, and on the finance committee of the Agros Foundation, a Christian third-world development organization.

Lisa A. Hardy

Lisa A. Hardy

President & Chief Executive Officer

Lisa A. Hardy joined Emerald Communities as President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2008. Since joining Emerald Communities, she has led Emerald Heights, a subsidiary of Emerald Communities, through successful master planning to reposition the community. Commencing in 2010 and completed in 2014, the $60M comprehensive master plan included extensive renovation of existing buildings, as well as new construction. Projects included renovation and expansion of dining venues, updating of interior corridors and common use areas, the addition of a new multi-purpose/auditorium building, construction of new residential apartment homes, and replacement of the fitness and aquatic center. There is an additional $140M in expansion and capital upgrades planned over the next 7 years starting late spring 2021. The expansion currently will add a 3-story assisted living building with 56 one-bedroom apartments and the Courtyard independent living apartment building that will add 42 additional apartments to the 38-acre campus.  A new Life Plan Community, Heron’s Key in Gig Harbor, also opened in summer 2017. Heron’s Key is a $145M community consisting of 194 independent living apartments and cottages, 36 one-bedroom assisted living apartments and 45 private skilled nursing suites.

Ms. Hardy has held leadership roles in the industry since 1988. She previously led the new development and construction of projects on several Life Plan communities during a 14‐year tenure with Life Care Services.

Ms. Hardy earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management concentration from Saint Joseph’s College in Maine, as well as an associate degree in health care administration. She has received licensure as a Nursing Home Administrator in the states of WA, GA, NC, IA, IN, and AL.

Ms. Hardy currently serves as Board Secretary on the Board of Directors for Caring Communities, a leader in insurance and risk management serving NFP senior housing and service providers throughout the United States; and has served on the Boards of LeadingAge Washington; Washington Care Services, a provider of a wide range of skilled nursing care and rehab services for people of all ages; and the Georgia Institute on Aging. She has also served as a CCAC Evaluator, and as the Alabama state delegate for the LeadingAge, the national trade association.

Matthew McArthur

Matthew McArthur

Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Matthew (Matt) McArthur joined Emerald Communities in 2021 in the role of Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (VP/CFO).

Mr. McArthur brings more than 20 years of experience leading finance and accounting teams, partnering with business leaders to achieve strategic goals and financial targets. Most recently, he served as Director of Finance and Treasurer at Puget Sound Energy, after working as Director of Finance for Capital One Investing.

His expertise includes strategic leadership; financial planning and analysis; reporting; financial modeling; risk management; accounting and team leadership.

Mr. McArthur earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, and a master’s in business administration from Texas A & M University, College Station, TX. He is also a certified public accountant (CPA) through the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

As a community volunteer, Mr. McArthur worked with Junior Achievement for several years and in leadership roles for a local Scout Troop.

He and his wife, Julee, have four children and spend much of their leisure time attending school track, basketball and volleyball sports events.

Kay H. Wallin

Kay H. Wallin

Vice President Marketing and Public Relations

Kay H. Wallin is currently Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Emerald Communities, the sponsor organization for Emerald Heights and Heron’s Key.

Ms. Wallin joined Emerald Heights as the director of marketing and public relations in July 1992. Previously, she spent eight years as director of admissions for Horizon House in Seattle.

Ms. Wallin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Montana. She has received national certification as a Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP) through LeadingAge and the University of North Texas. She is a former member, and past chair, of LeadingAge Washington (formerly Aging Services of Washington) and also served as a member of the Redmond Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Amy Edwards Webb

Amy Edwards Webb

Executive Director

Amy Edwards Webb joined Heron’s Key as its Executive Director in October 2018, overseeing day-to-day operations of the community. She brings more than two decades of experience in health care, most recently as a Chief Operating Officer at Cascade Medical hospital in Leavenworth, where she managed services for the nine-bed critical access hospital and family practice clinic.

Ms. Webb began her career as part of the professional therapy team contracted with Emerald Heights, before moving on to become a health care administrator at Horizon House, a well-established Life Plan community in Seattle. Later she moved to Montana and served as Vice President of Clinical Services at Community Hospital of Anaconda, and then CEO/Administrator of Granite County Hospital District in Philipsburg.

She earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington, in education and occupational therapy, and later returned to earn her certification in project management. She is also a certified Eden Alternative Associate. Ms. Webb is delighted to be back home in the Pacific Northwest.

Karen J. Cohoe

Karen J. Cohoe


Karen Cohoe brings nearly 36 years of experience in non-profit environments to the Board. She began as a museum docent before joining the museum’s Board of Directors, became President of the Junior League in San Francisco and then accepted the role of Executive Director with the Heritage Museum. In 1986, she began a 17-year career with the Discovery Science Center (now renamed Discovery Cube), a hands-on science center, assuming the roles of Executive Director, CEO and Founding President. During her tenure, she managed both the Heritage Museum and the Discover Cube for a number of years, initiated a successful $24.5 million-dollar capital campaign, hired senior staff in all departments, oversaw Board activities, and managed a staff of 65.

In addition to her non-profit experience, Ms. Cohoe has also owned and managed rental properties in both California and Washington.

Ms. Cohoe received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Washington, and was privileged to participate in the Fieldstone Foundation program for Executive Directors, a 9-month program designed for 12 top staff persons from the largest non-profit organizations in Orange County, CA.

Ms. Cohoe and her husband, Bruce, committed to Heron’s Key as Charter Members in 2014, and moved to Heron’s Key in October 2017, shortly after the community opened. Ms. Cohoe is the first resident at Heron’s Key to be elected to the Board.

Jill Guernsey

Jill Guernsey


Jill Guernsey brings to the board a deep expertise on regional politics, land-use planning and law.

Ms. Guernsey served as mayor of the City of Gig Harbor — the home of Heron’s Key — from 2014 to 2017. Earlier she served on the City Council and was a long-time member of the city’s Planning Commission. She was an early supporter of the development of Heron’s Key and remains a strong advocate for the community.

Professionally, Ms. Guernsey’s three-decade career in law culminated with her role as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Civil Division. She held that position for more than 25 years, before her retirement in 2016. Earlier in her career, she served as Legal Counsel to the Pierce County Executive and as Chief Civil Deputy in the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

She was a member of the Washington State Bar Association for 37 years, and she served on the Executive Committee of its Environmental and Land Use Section. She also served on the National Board of Trustees of American Inns of Court, including a one-year term as its president.

Her extensive community service includes serving on the boards of Peninsula School District, Gig Harbor Waterfront Alliance and Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board. She is an active member of Gig Harbor Rotary Club and serves on the board of Cars4Change.

Ms. Guernsey earned her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Irvine, and her law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Jeffrey F. Jones

Jeffrey F. Jones


Emerald Heights resident Jeffrey Jones retired in 2017 from a law career that spanned more than four decades. During that time, he rose from associate to managing partner of his Boston-based law firm of approximately 160 lawyers, negotiated the merger of that firm with an even larger one, and then served as part-time, in-house counsel for his alma mater, Williams College, for 10 years.

Mr. Jones’ practice centered primarily on commercial litigation, with clients ranging from public utilities, insurers, biotechnology companies, and a national telecommunications company to nonprofit entities, including educational institutions and social welfare organizations. He developed an appreciation for the differences in purpose, culture and motivation that distinguish nonprofit organizations from for-profit businesses and looks forward to expanding his experience with nonprofits through service on the board.

His extensive volunteer board experience includes chairing three nonprofit boards and leading a variety of board committees and special projects. He served as director and board chair for both the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and the West Suburban YMCA in Newton, Massachusetts. He also served as a trustee for Radcliffe College, ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts, uAspire and Willow Hill School.

Mr. Jones earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, he earned his law degree, also with honors, from Harvard Law School.

Mr. Jones and his wife Susan relocated from Boston to Emerald Heights in August 2018, in order to be close to their daughter and her family who live in the area. He has already taken on leadership roles at Emerald Heights, serving on both the By-Laws Committee and Residents’ Council Advisory Group.

Gary King

Gary King


Gary King retired in late 2014, after serving as executive director of the non-profit Jubilee Services since 2005. He and his wife, Jan, have started another 501c3 non-profit organization, Andrew’s House Washington, which is placing homeless young adults 18–24 in individual family homes.

Previously, Mr. King served as CEO of Swanson Dean Corporation, a residential builder and land developer. One of the major projects during his 22-year tenure was the 1,000-unit Providence Point Retirement Community. Other notable projects were several subdivisions in Sahalee and Somerset. Prior to Swanson Dean, Mr. King spent 16 years in the Construction Division of Owens Corning Fiberglas, working the last 10 years as district manager of the Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Boise, Billings and Anchorage.

Mr. King received a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management at San Jose State University. He was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. Mr. King has served on the board of several organizations, including the Samaritan Center of Puget Sound, the First Presbyterian Church Foundation and the Lockwood Homeowners Association. He and Jan are long-time members of Bellevue Presbyterian Church. They have three grown children and nine grandchildren.

Maureen A. O'Hara

Maureen A. O'Hara


Maureen O’Hara is a management consultant with a background in project management, leadership and team building, and information technology. Ms. O’Hara is retired after leaving Microsoft nearly 20 years ago, and after being on faculty for 15 years at The University of Washington where she taught project management.

Most recently, Ms. O’Hara was the lead partner for SVP Fast Pitch Seattle from 2015 through 2017—a competitive accelerator for social impact organizations. She has been active on several community boards, including Northwest Yeshiva High School and Eastside Preparatory School, which she helped found. At both schools, she served as project manager on small construction projects, helped supervise larger projects, and assisted with marketing and communication. She started the Parkinson’s cycling program at Northwest Hospital, which is now operated by the University of Washington Medical Center. In addition to being on the board at Emerald Heights, Maureen is on the board of the Madrone school, which is a small start-up school for special needs children in Redmond. She has also served on the board of a small bio-tech startup company based in California. In each of these roles, she has had an influence on the planning, growth, finance and governance of the organization. She gained extensive knowledge of the region’s retirement communities and what they offer when she helped her own mother make her move to Emerald Heights nearly two decades ago. She joined the board because she believes in what Emerald Heights offers—outstanding lifestyle, long-term security and a supportive community—and she wants to ensure that it can continue to serve new generations of retirees.

Ms. O’Hara resides in Redmond with her husband, Bob, and is a member of Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

Judy Richardson

Judy Richardson


Judy Richardson retired in 2014 after working more than four decades in the fields of education and public finance, including providing financial advisory services to school districts and assistance with bond underwriting. In addition to her expertise in school finance, Ms. Richardson has experience in state government, having worked for several years for the Arizona State Senate and the Arizona Department of Education. There she created a new state agency called the State Board for School Capital Facilities, which later became the School Facilities Board.  She is continuing to be involved in school finance by serving as an expert witness in an Arizona lawsuit about the constitutionality of the school capital finance system.

As a resident of Emerald Heights, she has served on several committees of the Residents’ Association, including the Audit Committee, the Fund Development Committee, and the Council Advisory Group, which she chaired in 2019.

Ms. Richardson earned both her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s degree in education from Stanford University in Stanford, CA. Later she earned her doctorate in higher education from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Ms. Richardson has been a resident of Emerald Heights since January 2016, but her connection to the community dates back to its founding in 1992 when her parents, John and Isabel McEwen, became “pioneer” residents. Ms. Richardson’s two sisters are also Emerald Heights residents!

Mary Kazlusky

Mary Kazlusky

Residents Association President

Mary Kazlusky is the first president of the Residents’ Association for Heron’s Key. This is just the most recent in a series of leadership positions for Ms. Kazlusky, who has been a Rotarian since 1990 (shortly after Rotary began accepting women members); she was a member of five different clubs in three different states. She served as president of the Rotary Club of Orchid Island in Vero Beach, FL, and of the Cortland County Board of Realtors in Cortland, NY. She also served in a variety of officer positions in other Rotary clubs, a regional theater group and business associations.

Professionally, Ms. Kazlusky has worked as a high school and college-level teacher, a realtor, a manager of three real estate offices, a tax preparer, a financial planner, a stockbroker, a trust officer, a marketing officer and an estate settlement specialist. Her varied career has sharpened her skills as a team member, negotiator, leader, educator, learner, listener, and planner and taught her that teamwork is essential and the key to success on any level.

Born and raised in Michigan, Ms. Kazlusky earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts. She later studied Educational Design, Development and Evaluation as a doctoral student at Syracuse University.

She was among the first residents to move to Heron’s Key in 2017.