Meet Us

Dee Darling

Dee Darling

Dee Darling

My Inspiration.  My Why.  And THE standard behind Home Care Matters.

Through our own struggle for help and resources, we recognized the need to help others navigate this enormous and complicated health system.  We saw the need and we are answering it.

We operate Home Care Matters under our moms' heavenly watch. We continually strive to make her proud of the work we do to always honor her name and memory. Every. Single. Day.

We are Home Care Matters and we are Dee Darling strong and proud! While her days here have ended, her gifts to us all live on through this company.

Thanks Mom. We miss and love you still. Every. Single. Day.


Valerie Darling

Valerie was born in Miami, FL and after a few family moves, grew up locally in the Marietta area.  Valerie is the oldest of 4 (3 younger brothers).  She is married and has one child.  Valerie is the Founder, Owner and Managing Director of Home Care Matters.  Valerie’s mom, Dee, is the inspiration and primary driver as the how and why the business was born.  Valerie’s brother Mitch is also a member of the HCM team.  Valerie says, “Our mom is never far from our thoughts.  Mom was an integral part of developing and starting HCM before she passed away.  Our goal is to stay true to her memory and continue to honor her with the love, values, and ethics she taught us.”

Valerie has the unique experience with home care as she has experienced it from both ends of the spectrum, as a caregiver and as needing care herself as a cancer survivor.   Valerie says, “Taking care of someone you love is a physically, mentally and demanding labor of love.  Taking care of my mom was the hardest thing I have ever done.   It has given me an insight and perspective not many people understand unless you are doing it or have done it.  I loved taking care of my mom.  I love helping others take care of their love ones too.  And now that I’ve been sick, it’s given me a whole new level of empathy and understanding for those who are sick and need help.”

Valerie’s schedule varies daily but she loves visiting with our clients, families, caregivers, our network partners and being in the office.  Says Valerie, “Everyday is different but I wake up excited about what we do, inspired by our team, clients and caregivers.  I strive to be a resource to the community.  I love my team and I love what we do everyday.   I like to think my mom would be proud.”

You can reach Valerie by email ([email protected]) or in our office (770.965.4004).

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Abbey Beard

Abbey is from Marietta, GA and is the youngest of four girls.  She is married and the mom of four children.  Abbey has been working is the home health field for more than 7 years.  She joined the HCM team in October 2014 and we are very happy that she is here.

Abbey was referred to HCM when she was looking for a position a little closer to home.  Luckily for HCM, she called and as they say, she’s been here ever since!  Abbey brings a wealth of experiences to HCM and is a valued and integral part of our team.  Abbey’s primary responsibility is managing the office; that includes a wide variety of tasks on any given day.  She has great organization skills, ability to multi-task, and keeps our state required documents and files organized and up-to-date.  Abbey has a great sense of humor and is loved by her HCM team.  Abbey says, “Home Care Matters is not just a job, it is a place I call HOME!”

You can reach Abbey via email at ([email protected]), or our office phone (770.965.4004).

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Mary Brody

Mary was born in Dallas, Texas.  The youngest of four children with AMAZING parents who immigrated from Cuba to provide for their family.  Hard work and passion was instilled in the kids from a very early age. She is married to the love of her life with two girls they adore!

Mary’s professional background is quite varied but the common threads have always been customer service, sales, operations and recruiting.  Mary has a passion to serve and has found a new love with homecare! Having experience in both large corporate climates as well as smaller privately-owned organizations, Mary has found her heart belongs to the smaller most intimate workplace and working for an organization focused only on serving the community in which she and her family live brings her the most joy.  The stories and lives of caregivers, clients, and families touch her heart deeply; it is her desire to make a difference; to laugh and to celebrate life with both clients, caregivers and families alike.

Mary’s life at HCM varies from day-to-day and she wears many hats around here, but generally her days include marketing, client relations, recruiting, working with the office staff, presentations, vendor fairs and educational events. We think you will love her as much as we do!

You can reach Mary by email ([email protected]) or in our ffice(770.965.4004).

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Mitchell Darling

Mitch was born in Miami, FL and a few moves later, grew up locally in the Marietta, GA area.  He currently calls Flowery Branch home.  He has 4 siblings (1 sister and is the middle of 3 brothers).  Mitch has two children.  Mitch’s mom, Dee was (is) the company inspiration and is one of the main drivers of the how and why we operate our business the way we do.  Mitch carries her memory in all he does at HCM.  Mitch is also related to the owner/founder of HCM, his sister, Valerie.

Mitch started working with HCM in 2013 to help continue and grow our marketing, sales, networking and client relations.  He brings a wealth of successful sales experience to HCM.  On any given day, you may encounter Mitch answering phones, visiting with clients, or in one of the many networking, CEU events, or other HCM sponsored events in the area.  He is a valuable and trusted member of the HCM team and he helps keep the levity among our office team.

You can reach Mitch via email ([email protected]), our office (770.965.4004), or cell (470.564.8404)

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Shelice Johnson

Shelice Johnson

Shelice was born and raised in Greenville, SC and knew at a young age that she wanted to help others. She aspired to be a Pediatrician from youth until she gave birth to her first child. She quickly realized a Pediatrician was more work than holding babies all day. Even though she did not become a Pediatrician she still pursued a career in the healthcare industry.

She got her first healthcare job at an Assisted Living Community and worked there over 6 years before becoming a stay at home mom. After reentering the workforce, Shelice worked in as a Head-Start teacher working with two-year-old’s and enjoyed every moment. Shelice then relocated to GA and worked in the hospital system for years until she eventually found her way to the Home Care Matters team. Shelice has an associate degree as a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant.

Shelice began working with HCM in 2019 as caregiver, lovingly caring for many of our clients. Shelice is known for her caring spirit and willingness to give. She has a strong desire to help others especially after caring for both of her grandmothers until their last days. Her willingness to do whatever is needed is an invaluable asset to our HCM team.

Shelice’s activities vary daily but you can typically you will find her working in the office, interviewing new caregiving staff, meeting with new clients, reviewing cases with our staff RN’s, helping transition staff to client care, or any one of various activities. One thing you will find for certain when you meet her, is her megawatt smile and bubbly spirit; which are both contagious and a joy to be around.

You can reach Shelice by email ([email protected]) or in our office (770.965.4004).

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Sykwana ‘Sky’ Lavant

Sky was born and raised in Georgia and is the middle of five siblings.  She is married and a mom of three children.  Sky initially wanted to go in the Criminal Justice field but lucky for us, found her calling in the caregiving field instead in 1993.  Sky says that, “Although the job is challenging, the joy and comfort that caregiving brings to those we have the honor and privilege of caring for, is just so rewarding.  I feel I have contributed to help make my client’s life just a little bit brighter and hopefully even a little bit better.”

Sky is a valued member of the HCM team.  Sky’s primary responsibility is in the office working on scheduling for our clients and caregivers but her multiple talents including skills, patience and personality give her the options to work in various assignments within the company.  Our clients, caregivers and her office co-workers just love her.  Sky became a member of our HCM team in March 2013 and says, “There is no other place I would rather be.”  (And we are sure happy about that!)

You can reach Sky via email  ([email protected]), or our office phone  (770.965.4004).

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Kathi Lorti

Kathi was born in Illinois and gradually moved South with her husband Ed (who is also in the medical field). They have been in the Atlanta area since 1991. Kathi was a stay-at-home mom for many years, raising her three children and doing volunteer work. She was very active in the Gwinnett Cancer Auxiliary, serving as President, Fashion Show Chairman, and Chairman of the 2001 Cancer Ball, which raised over $220,000.

Kathi re-entered nursing in 2003. She worked at Northside Hospital in the Med-Surgical Unit, Orthopedic Dept and as a Pain Resource Nurse. Kathi's second year at Northside, she was runner-up for the Clinical Excellence Award for the Med-Surgical Unit.

Kathi started working at HCM in February of 2016 and we couldn't be happier. She brings years of expertise, compassion and professionalism to HCM and our clients. She is a caring and meticulous nurse. She is loved by her HCM teammates who always enjoy her visits to the office with her smile, bubbly and fun personality!

Kathi is one of the HCM nurses who will come out and assess our client’s (with their family), to develop a personalized and professional plan of care appropriate for our client’s needs. She is a valued, trusted and loved member of our team. We’re sure, given the chance to meet her, you will feel the same.
You can reach Kathi by phone through our office 770.965.4004.

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Sandra Miller

Sandy is married mother of three children and grandmother of seven! Sandy enjoys spending time with her family doing a variety healthy activities.

Sandy has been a registered nurse for over 30 years. She has worked in several areas of medicine throughout her career. She continues to work in the hospital environment but has recently added home care with HCM to her resume. Sandy says, “I found that I really enjoy meeting and working with our client and their families and following them long term. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Home Care Matters and especially working with the other home care and office staff. It is a wonderful group of people who all truly care about the care of our clients.” Sandy is always a welcome sight in the office and the whole HCM team enjoys working with her.

You will find Sandy doing client assessments, re-assessments, training, and supervision of our nursing assistants. She is a compassionate professional who truly has a care calling.

You can reach Sandy thought our office at 770.965.4004.

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Karl Ryder

Karl Ryder is a Senior Advisor to Home Care Matters (HCM). In this role, Karl provides guidance regarding industry practices, regulatory changes, growth and performance enabling strategies.

Karl retired from United Parcel Service (UPS) in 2014 after a 37-year career covering a variety of leadership roles. He is currently the President of
The Ryder Group, a boutique-consulting group supporting Investment Banks, Private Equity, Venture Capital and Independent Businesses.

Karl is married and lives in Flowery Branch, Georgia with his wife Valerie and their daughter Sydney. Karl enjoys vacationing with his family and friends, golfing, motorcycles, boating, fishing, and auto racing.

With regard to the home care business Karl says, “The aging process is something we all have in common. It can be a stressful time that requires compassion, support, guidance, and patience. I personally experience a great sense of value knowing that every HCM employee is passionate about helping patients and families during one of the most challenging and stressful times of their lives.

You can reach Karl by email ([email protected]) or in our office (770.965.4004).

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