Meet Our Team
Cyndi King – Chief Operating Officer of Blair Group | Director of Sales & Marketing, Lic. Real Estate Broker at Cypress Lakes®
Originally from Southern California, Cyndi came to Florida in 1983, getting her start in the manufactured housing industry in 1984. She first spent nine years with a builder developer of 55+ communities prior to joining Blair Group in 1992.
Over the years, Cyndi has managed multiple properties and onsite teams. She has been a part of building 5000+ homes in Active Lifestyle 55+ communities and has managed every Blair Group community. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Blair Group, overseeing all five locations. She also oversees the marketing and advertising efforts for all communities and the brand.
Cyndi has been very active in the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), currently serving on the Board of Directors; having formerly served as president. She is also a member of the National Communities Council—an entity of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)—and holds both a Real Estate and Mortgage Broker License.
Robert Parody, CCM – General Manager
Robert offers 15+ years of hospitality experience managing large scale clubs, and directing various food and beverage operations. His leadership style is positive and very hands on … he looks forward to the ongoing interactions he’ll have with both the Residents and Staff of Cypress Lakes and Big Cypress as he’s committed to exceeding the expectation, striving for operation excellence. Says Robert, “Service is love made visible.”
Becky Higgins – Receptionist
Becky moved to Florida from Syracuse, New York back in 1996 and officially started working for Cypress Lakes® in December of 2005. Becky is truly an asset to the community, and is known as our “director of first impressions.” The fact that she loves helping all of our residents and future residents that come in the door however she can is a bonus. Becky enjoys spending time in the Florida sun with her husband and daughter, and their dog.
Patty “PG” Holden – Housing Consultant
Originally from New Bedford, Mass., Patty joined the U.S. Army as a Communications Specialist after high school while she raised her family. She later changed career paths and spent the majority of her years working for various senior care facilities that dealt with dementia-related conditions in seniors.
In 2021, Patty decided to take a different path when she chose to join Team Cypress selling retirement homes here in Cypress Lakes®. “I’m now able to continue my work with seniors who just so happen to be in a different phase of their lives,” she says.
Proud mom of two sons, and a grandma to two handsome grandsons, Patty enjoys spending time with her family, riding motorcycles and raising awareness/funds for US Military Veterans suicide prevention here in Polk County.
Mike Townsend – Housing Consultant
I was born in Charleston, W.V. and relocated to Florida when I was just 17 to kickoff what turned out to be a long, successful career in construction. I’ve worked on well known projects associated with Walt Disney World, Circle K, Publix, and more, and more recently led the final stages of new home construction right here in Cypress Lakes®.
After a brief leave, I decided to rejoin Cypress Lakes® following a different career path in home sales. I look forward to fulfilling the rest of my career here while enjoying my beautiful family of eight, who come second, only to God.
Barb Tummons – Housing Consultant
I grew up on a dairy farm outside Erie, Penn. And attended Penn State University on a volleyball scholarship, which is where I met my husband, Bruce. We have twin granddaughters who live just north of Orlando, along with a newborn (2022) granddaughter in Tampa.
My husband and I chose Cypress Lakes as our home in May of 2022. We share it with our two dogs, Boomer, a Frenchie and Bandit, a Puggle. We were immediately impressed with the way staff and neighbors had gone out of their way to be helpful and make us feel welcomed.
We wound up purchasing a house that belonged to a former member of Team Cypress, and it turns out I wound up filling her role as Housing Consultant. … How many people can say they drive their golf cart to work?!
Previously, I worked as the Activities Director, then more recently as the Sales Counselor for a continuing care retirement community in Winter Park. I love meeting new people and helping them find their forever homes.
Be sure to wave as I tour the neighborhood with our prospective community members!
Leslie Croft – REALTOR® at Cypress Lakes®
Leslie left the Philadelphia suburbs in 2013 to lead the marketing and lifestyle teams at Blair Group 55+ Communities.
In early 2021, she completed schooling and received her real estate license where she now assists the ever-busy home sales team, Team Cypress, with the listing and selling of homes that are located on purchased / owned land here in Cypress Lakes®.
“I truly enjoy my time with Blair Group, specifically the discovery and deployment of new tools that help attract future residents from all over the US to our beautiful Central Florida communities. It’s even more rewarding now that I can assist these customers in the purchase of their next home.”
Chris Brunson – Food & Beverage Director
Chris was born and raised in Florida and has lived in the Lakeland area for over 12 years. He currently resides in South Lakeland with his wife, Carrie and their two perfect Dachshund boys.
Chris has always had a “Passion to Serve,” involved in restaurant management since 1989 with positions ranging from large corporate chains to private ownership. He looks forward to introducing fresh, exciting ideas to the Residents of Cypress Lakes®.
Heather Parker – Activities Liasion
I’m a Western New York native; lived in Batavia, born in Rochester and our daughters now reside in North Tonawanda (Buffalo).
I’ve spent my entire career in the customer service industry working for large, Fortune 500 companies in their retail and food service divisions.
I now serve on the boards of Zonta and Habitat for Humanity, and I’m a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of America. These organizations have given me the opportunity to expand my skill set in event planning. I’ve organized national meetings, online format events, travel excursions, luncheons, crafts shows and golf tournaments with large attendance.
I look forward to bringing fun activities to Cypress Lakes® and welcome any fun, new ideas from our Residents!
Allen Tener – Golf Shop Manager
Allen is a rare kind … a true Floridian, born and raised in Lakeland, Fla. who enjoys spending time with his three children.
Allen joined Blair Group’s team starting in the Big Cypress Pro Shop at Cypress Lakes® back in August 1998. Working here and serving the residents has always been a strong focus of Allen’s. He believes in providing stellar customer service; always striving to display a positive attitude.
“The people of Big Cypress have become my family, and I have enjoyed forming meaningful friendships and relationships through the years.”
When he’s not working or out on the links, you can most likely find Allen standing around a lake with a fishing pole in his hand, waiting for a bass to bite.
Gary Newcomb – Golf Course Superintendent
Golf Course Superintendent, Gary Newcomb is GCSAA certified and holds an Associate of Science Degree in Golf Course Operations from Lake City Community College. Gary is a Florida native with three year’s turf grass experience in Virginia. His focus is maintaining high-level playing conditions while staying committed to long term sustainability. When not working alongside his crew, Gary can be seen at the range working on his game or doing a quick turf test playing nine holes before calling it a day.
Bonnie Binns – Access Control Manager
Bonnie retired in 2014 from a 22-year career in public and community relations with an emphasis in special events, annual golf outing, levy fundraising, volunteer management and speaker’s bureau. She served as Vice President of the Bath-Richfield Kiwanis and chartered the Aktion Club for people with disabilities.
While vacationing to visit her aunt in Cypress Lakes®, Bonnie fell in love with our amazing community, bought a home and quickly relocated. People ask her, “What do you like to do for fun?” She truly enjoys working, so she joined the Access Control Team in 2015 as a Gatehouse staff. She says, “I am committed to leading the Gatehouse staff to provide a secure, fast and pleasant entry experience into the Cypress Lakes® community for our residents, guests and contractors, with accuracy and accountability.”
Dean Zarlenga – Grounds Manager
I started doing landscape maintenance a few years after high school at the Lakeland Yacht & Country Club, and managed to land a part time gig as well working for Professor Thomas Mac of Florida Southern College where I landscaped high-end residential homes. Following that, I worked for the City of Lakeland. City layoffs wound up pushing me along my journey to landing my dream job at Cypress Lakes®. … I started at Cypress Lakes® back in 1990 and have been here ever since! I worked my way up from a lawn maintenance worker to the now Grounds Manager. I take pride in my job and can honestly say I love it. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, fishing, golfing, and of course, working in my yard.