Meet the Team
Christopher Jones joined the team at Solstice at Bakersfield in March 2017 as the executive director. Christopher has worked in the senior living industry for 19 years. His experience has been in premier upscale, assisted living, memory care and CCRC retirement communities throughout California.
Prior to working in the senior industry, Christopher worked in restaurants for eight years as general manager and controller. Christopher has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and food administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Christopher and his husband enjoy traveling with their teenage children, they are Disney fanatics, they love theater and support the arts in Bakersfield and Los Angeles, and they enjoy entertaining at their home. Christopher is passionate about what he does every day while enriching the lives of the seniors and associates he serves.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Jane Patel joined the Solstice Senior Living at Bakersfield team in July 2021. Originally from Canada, her family moved to Ohio when she was 2 years old.
Jane graduated with a degree in biochemistry from Ohio State University. With a family history in the hospitality industry, Jane began working at hotels that her family owned and operated. In each role, Jane learned how to be resourceful and tech-savvy and elevate customer service standards.
Jane was drawn to senior living by her love of family and history. As a third-generation hospitality professional, Jane brings a fresh perspective to Solstice and is eager to help everyone find the best senior living options possible.
When she isn’t working, Jane loves working out and spending time with family.
Business Office Director
Veronica Calderon joined the team at Solstice Senior Living at Bakersfield in November of 2018 as the director of Sales and Marketing, and in January of 2021, she transitioned into the role of Business Office director. She has worked with seniors since her start as a dishwasher in an independent living community setting in Roseville, California, in 2011. Veronica loved working with seniors from the moment that she walked in the doors and has ever since. She has been a kitchen prep team member, a housekeeper and live-in manager.
Veronica also worked at an assisted living community as its business office manager, sales assistant, health care director and then memory care coordinator before leaving to start a family. Veronica is a great believer in providing high-quality services while delivering on what is offered. Her focus now is on training, accuracy in the Business Office and team support for all departments. She still always finds time to spend with residents and boogie on the dance floor.
As a member of the Solstice team by day and a wife and mother by night, Veronica has found her calling in helping families and changing lives. Her passion is in senior living, and her goal is to help provide seniors and their loved ones with the best options that meet their individual needs, all the while providing excellent customer service.
Culinary Services Director
Christopher is passionate about food and making fabulous desserts. He believes that you are never too busy to enjoy a great meal with family. He has been married for 10 years and has four children: three girls and one boy. Christopher has mastered being a team leader and getting things done. He is excited about his new career in senior living and working to improve the culinary experience at our community.
Vibrant Life Director
Rhonda Neufeld has been the Vibrant Life director for Solstice Senior Living at Bakersfield since July 1999, six months after the community opened. Starting as a housekeeper, Rhonda moved into a dishwasher position, a bus driver position and other positions at the community, and eventually worked her way up to her current role as Vibrant Life Director.
Rhonda has brought the community engaging programming, local Bakersfield entertainment, and support to several Kern County charity organizations that help the residents at Solstice at Bakersfield live active and vibrant lives. It is not uncommon to find Rhonda dancing with residents in the Atrium, hear her laughter coming through the halls as she decorates for the seasons, or out and about in our local community enjoying dinner, a movie or Dewar’s ice cream with our seniors. Rhonda’s favorite part of working at Solstice Senior Living is meeting the people and learning their stories.
Since the start of her career, Rhonda has been a part of over 900 residents’ lives and has easily touched over 2,000 family members with her love and passion for seniors. Rhonda’s hope is always to stay creative, support the needs and wants of the residents, and continue to spend every day living life vibrantly.
Building Services Director
Sal Ruiz joined the community as the Building Services director in 2017. Prior to working with Solstice, Sal managed and maintained a 75-unit property in South Bakersfield. Sal got his start with building maintenance in 2008 as an on-site tech for a local government complex of 208 units. In his role at Solstice of Bakersfield, Sal is responsible for the overall appearance of the community, the housekeeping team, and the ongoing maintenance of our 126 apartments and common areas. When he isn’t on a ladder or inspecting the building for maintenance needs, Sal enjoys spending time with the residents and doing whatever he can to help them. Hanging family photos, repairing smart TVs and helping residents connect to Wi-Fi are some of the tasks Sal performs that go above and beyond the requirements of his position.
On his days off, Sal loves to spend time working on old cars or grilling up something tasty for his wife and their family of nine dogs. He also enjoys music and is a talented pianist and singer. Occasionally, he has been swayed to showcase his skills in our dining room, and residents love to sing along with him.
Sal is a vibrant part of the Solstice at Bakersfield team and family. He is full of laughter and at the same time is able to accomplish tasks critical to the ongoing lifestyle offered at Solstice at Bakersfield. Sal believes that residents deserve the time and attention he gives to all tasks.