Meet Our Team

The Sunnyside Assisted Living Management Team

Melissa Milanez, RN

Melissa Milanez, RN

Executive Director

Melissa Milanez Bio

As Executive Director, Melissa oversees and directs the day-to-day functions and efficient operations of the community in accordance with all Federal, State, and local regulations as well as all company policies and procedures. In this capacity, she also ensures the highest level of quality care for residents while maintaining the community’s financial stability and creating a harmonious working environment for all caregivers and staff members.

With nearly two decades of caregiving experience, Melissa was previously the Director of Nursing and Delegation Nurse at Sunnyside Assisted Living where she oversaw the health and supportive services provided to the residents.

Prior to her arrival at Sunnyside Assisted Living, Melissa gained valuable nursing experience at Kadlec Hospital as well as Rehab RN experience at an area skilled nursing facility. Prior to receiving her nursing credentials, Melissa spent 12 years as a certified nursing assistant. She received her RN from Walla Walla Community College and her LPN from Heritage University.

In her free-time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, camping, and bike riding. She resides with her husband, Rudy; daughter, Arianna; and son, Gabriel.

Norma Lopez, LPN

Norma Lopez, LPN

Director of Nursing

Norma Lopez Bio

Norma joined the management team at Sunnyside Assisted Living in 2018 as its Assistant Director of Nursing after spending five years as a Resident Care Manager/RN at a nearby skilled nursing facility. In 2020, she was promoted to the Director of Nursing position where she oversees the health and supportive services provided to the residents of Sunnyside Assisted Living as its Director of Nursing and Delegation Nurse. In this capacity, she is responsible for the day-to-day clinical operations of the community to ensure residents’ healthcare needs are met. In doing so, she performs ongoing assessments, observing residents’ physical and psycho-social needs and coordinates with other departments to assure proactive quality care.

Norma attended Eastern Washington University, also receiving her LPN from Heritage University.

In her free-time, Norma enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, camping, and eating.

Nikki Schafer

Nikki Schafer

Business Office Manager

Nikki Schafer Bio

Nikki joined Sunnyside Assisted Living as its Business Office Manager in June 2021, bringing with her client service experience within the home care setting. In her new role, Nikki oversees payroll, human resources, account receivable and payable, and all the business’s financial records.

Nikki studied Recreational Therapy at BYU-Provo.

In her free time, you can often find Nikki crafting with her children, going on hikes, enjoying visits to various thrift stores, or watching The Office. She resides with her husband, Brent; son, Keaton; and daughters, Meisha and Elody.


Emily McKee

Emily McKee

Community Relations Director

Emily McKee Bio

Bringing with her two decades of management level marketing and advertising expertise, Emily McKee joined Sunnyside Assisted Living in May 2021 as its Community Relations Director. In this role, she works to establish and build relationships with prospective residents and their families, while providing compassion, care, and knowledge to current residents. She oversees facility tours and works collaboratively with the care team and administration to ensure all new residents encounter a seamless, stress-free, and welcoming move-in experience. As the voice and face of Sunnyside Assisted Living, Emily is a community liaison, creating top-of-mind awareness of Sunnyside Assisted Living at all times.

Prior to her arrival, Emily was the Director of Marketing at another area organization. Her second career path as a personal trainer and group fitness director/instructor has also kept her busy for the last 10 years.

Emily received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University in Seattle. She is also an ACE Certified Health Coach.

In addition to daily workouts and continuing her education in personal health and fitness, Emily enjoys gardening flowers and vegetables, traveling with her family, attending her kids’ school and sporting events, and enjoying the gorgeous eastern Washington sunshine. She resides with her husband, Ray; two children, Jacob and Clara; and her dogs, a Goldendoodle named Ruby and a Labradoodle named Frankie.

Mona Zavala

Mona Zavala

Activities Director

Mona Zavala Bio

Mona joined the Sunnyside Assisted Living team as its Activities Director in May 2021. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and coordinating successful, engaging, and entertaining activities and volunteer programs while also assessing each residents’ unique interests and managing the department’s resources and the activity program’s ongoing needs.

Prior to becoming Activities Director, Mona was the Community Inclusion Specialist with Compass Health. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant, is certified and trained in CPR, and is a Nurse Delegate.

In her free time, Mona enjoys reading, camping, and spending time with her family. She is happily married to her husband, Andrew, and has two sons, a daughter, and son-in-law.

Rosie Carrazco

Rosie Carrazco

Activities Assistant

Rosie Carrazco Bio

Rosie joined Sunnyside Assisted Living in April 2016 as a server in the kitchen, quickly being promoted to Cook. In November 2017, she was given an opportunity to serve the residents as their Activities Assistant, bringing smiles and joy to every life she touched. In just over a year’s time, after showcasing her dedication and outside-the-box approach to the enrichment of each resident, she was again promoted into the Life Enrichment Director position where she is now responsible for developing and coordinating activities that encourage daily engagement and camaraderie. By regularly assessing each resident’s unique interests and preferences, she creates enrichment activities that are life fulfilling, bringing true joy to the residents she serves. Rosie maintains healthcare certifications in both mental health and dementia.

When she isn’t elevating the lives of her residents, Rosie can be found enjoying time with her family, listening to music, camping or fishing. She is a risk taker and enjoys a good challenge. Rosie is married to her husband, Rene, and has two young children; a son, Zekiel, and a daughter, Jaylani. She’s also “mama” to numerous pets, including a dog, two cats, 30 fish, a snake, lizard, and bird.

Valerie Yarnell

Valerie Yarnell

Dining Service Manager

Valerie Yarnell Bio

Valerie has been an asset to the residents of Sunnyside Assisted Living since her arrival in 1997. As Dining Service Manager, she is responsible for the dietary team, overseeing all training and supervision, while also managing the daily menus, ordering of food, and inventory maintenance. Using seasonal produce and fresh ingredients whenever possible, Valerie provides residents with nutritious meal options that are delicious and satisfying, providing an opportunity for residents to gather and enjoy one another, and their food.

In her free-time, Valerie enjoys going bowling, dancing, and spending time with her family and friends. She has two sons and five grandchildren.

Gustavo Davila

Gustavo Davila

Maintenance Director

Gustavo Davila Bio

Gustavo joined Sunnyside Assisted Living as its Maintenance Director in December 2020, bringing with him nearly two decades of related experience. In this capacity, he is responsible for maintaining the functionality and safety of the buildings and grounds, keeping in mind regulatory guidelines, deadlines, and budgetary restrictions along the way.

Prior to joining Sunnyside Assisted Living, Gustavo worked within the maintenance department at Astria Hospital.

In his free-time, Gustavo enjoys the great outdoors with his favorite past-times being hunting and fishing.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions at (509) 839-0579.  We understand this journey can be overwhelming and, at times, challenging. We are happy to assist you along the way.