Board Members Shaping The Future Of Plantation Village

Plantation Village is a nonprofit Life Plan Community governed by a Board of Directors, six of which are women.What better place to showcase the achievements of our female board members than WILMA? Having such strong, successful women involved in the leadership of this community is a topic worthy of discussion.

With a background in the pharmaceutical industry that spanned 29 years and encompassed multiple fields, Kim Nelson brings a unique insight into her role as President of the Board of Directors at Plantation Village. A graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, where she earned a degree in Biology, Kim has refocused her efforts on serving the community since her retirement in 2014.

Kim donates her time to serve as chair for the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW) school board, as a member of the GLOW foundation, as a mentor with the Cameron Executive Network, and as a member of the Planning and Investment team of the Cape Fear United Way. Her background includes serving as Secretary of a Blue-Ribbon Commission for the Prevention of Youth Violence, with her husband as co-chair of the WHQR Capital Campaign, and as a member of the advisory board for MARBIONC.

Joanne Rockness is a former Associate Dean at North Carolina State University. She then earned a PhD in Business Administration/Accounting from UNC-Chapel Hill and spent 21 years at the UNCW Cameron School of Business where she was professor of accounting.

An avid golfer and boater who lives in Porter’s Neck with her husband, Joanne is now in her fourth year working with the board at Plantation Village. In the past she served the Wilmington community through her involvement on the boards of various organizations, and she is now working with GLOW.

Barbara Biehner brings more than 27 years of experience in Health Care Management to the Board. The Director of Operations at Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance since 2016, Barbara has worked with the UNCW Cameron School of Business for the past 13 years, as a Director of External Programs and the Executive-in-Residence. She has earned the Graduating Seniors Faculty Recognition award on numerous occasions and serves various organizations in a leadership capacity, including New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the Landfall Foundation, and Cape Fear Clinic.

Last but certainly not least is Dr. Audrey Surak, Medical Director at Plantation Village since 2014. Previously the Chief Resident at Florida Hospital East Orlando, Dr. Surak is Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine. A partner at Health Partners Wilmington, her extensive professional background includes serving as Medical Director at Lower Cape Fear Hospice for five years and providing patient care at Champions Assisted Living and The Davis Community. Dr. Surak likes spending time with her family and friends, traveling and working out with her husband and office manager, Clem.

Taking the time to attract and retain quality board members such as the women profiled here is just a small example of the work that we do to ensure our residents have a wonderful quality of life. Visit us on the web at and like us on Facebook by visiting PlantationVillageRC.

Lisa Polanski is Marketing Director at Plantation Village, a non- profit continuing care retirement community that offers independent living on a 56-acre campus in Porters Neck, minutes from downtown Wilmington and area beaches. Residents enjoy first-class services in a wide variety of home styles, from one- and two-bedroom apartments to cottage homes and two-bedroom villas. Plantation Village is managed by Life Care Services™, the nation’s second- largest senior care management company.

Categories: Insights