Leadership

Kyle Garifo MA, LCPC, Chief Executive Family Board Member

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Kyle has been involved in assisted living since 2014.  He has a masters degree in Counseling Psychology from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology and has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor since 2003 focusing on family therapy.  He has a passion for helping people and enjoys spending time with The Heathers residents learning more about their life experiences.  After witnessing his grandmother live in various assisted living facilities, Kyle felt there had to be a better, more personalized approach for caring for our loved ones.  Kyle is thrilled to have his parents working alongside of him in providing a new and different way of doing senior living.

Kyle is married to his wife Kristin for over 20 years and has three children Ava, Zack, and Easton. In his downtime, he enjoys sports including golf and is active in coaching in the local community for football and baseball for the youth programs as well as at the high school level.  He also enjoys cruises and spending time with family and friends on the beaches in warmer climates.

   

Sandy and Larry Garifo, Family Board Members

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Sandy spent her entire career teaching in HS District 214, with the last eleven years helping to develop and operate an alternative program for “at risk” teens in the district.  Much of her time was focused  on creating and implementing a community service program in which the teenage students spent part of every school day helping out at assisted living residences, nursing homes, hospitals and elementary schools.  She regularly witnessed how beneficial this interaction was, not only for the residents, but also for the teens themselves, who grew in compassion as well as confidence. She will be establishing a program with the local high school students in bringing youthful energy to our residents. Sandy was compelled to enter the Senior Living field after watching her mother quickly lose her cognitive abilities and zest when she entered a large facility in Minnesota.  She was safe and comfortable, but certainly not thriving.  With others in her family, she developed a passion for doing Senior living (both assisted and memory care) differently.  The Heathers honors that passion.

Larry has been in the IT and Human Resource industries for the past forty years, managing large IT projects until his retirement.  Upon retiring, Larry joined his son Kyle in pursuing real estate ventures. During one of those opportunities, he became interested in the senior living industry through his wife Sandy’s unsatisfactory experience with her mother at a large senior living facility in Minnesota.  Other family members had seen the same situation with their spouses’ relatives and this situation became a frequent topic of conversations within the family.

Not ready to truly retire, and with the family’s encouragement and promise of support, Larry decided to delve into the research and determine what the experts were saying about the future of the industry.  He discovered what the family had all become passionate about—smaller is better for a myriad of reasons, all related to concern for the residents’ physical, mental and emotional health.  He spearheaded the project that is now The Heathers Senior Homes and continues to enthusiastically participate in its development and growth.

   

Jennifer Bohyer, CDP, Executive Director

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Jennifer Bohyer comes to The Heather Senior Homes with a wide scope of senior living experience including programming, care giving, and management. She has held important roles such as Memory Care Director and VP of Operations for a Home Health Agency and brings many years of healthcare leadership experience as a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Jennifer’s experience with independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled care, and hospice provide a strong skill set to bring to our resident’s care. Her broad range of personal experience also allows her to understand the importance and value of each part of end of life care, comfort and dignity.

Jennifer is married to Dan and has three step-children, two girls and a boy. Time with her family is her greatest joy and reward. She also enjoys her three dogs and cat, an outdoor walk and a good movie. Her faith and family are the cornerstone of her passion and love for senior healthcare. Jennifer’s philosophy of senior living is to create a home that brings purpose, dignity, and beauty for all life to the very end; and to walk alongside families with love, compassion, and direction through life’s challenging decisions.

   

Roxane Zeis, RN, Director of Health and Wellness

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Roxane has a background in health care since she was 15 working in a laundry of a nursing home begging to do the ironing so she could go upstairs and visit the Residents while delivering their clothes.  At 17, she earned her CNA position and started caring for the Residents.  Life got busy and with two children she put off going to college.  Eventually, she went off and earned her Associate Degree in nursing as a Registered Nurse in 1997.

She has been in long term care most of her nursing career.  Roxane is experienced in skilled care/medicare, hospice care, occupational health, case management, and now assisted living and memory care.  In her free time, she loves camping and just hanging out with her family.  Her hobbies consist of crocheting and refurbishing furniture.

   

Steven Weddig, Culinary Manager

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Steven has worked with food his whole life; growing up he was always present at his family's restaurant, skipping out on school was always allowed to help out with lunch service.  Steven has held numerous roles throughout the restaurant industry and accumulated many accolades along the way. He has a self-proclaimed servant's heart and whether it's making the perfect cup of coffee or cooking a beautiful meal for our residents he strives to do it to the best of his abilities as if he were serving his own family. Cooking with fresh, locally sourced ingredients are always a top priority for Steven, and the numerous award-winning farmer's markets in the McHenry County area make this possible.

His love of cooking and food is only surpassed by his love for his family, originally from Wisconsin, he moved to Illinois to marry his wife Marisa and they have a beautiful daughter Arya and a dog named Addie. He enjoys kayaking and golfing during the summer months and taking weekend trips to Galena. He loves to be involved with his church and serves as a board member of the church's preschool that his daughter also attends.

   

Kate Laughlin, Community Relations Manager

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Kate Laughlin comes to The Heathers Senior Homes with in-depth sales and marketing experience – everything from technology, promotional products, fundraising to nonprofit.   Kate has discovered a real appreciation for the senior living community due to recently having her dad reside at an Assisted Living Home and passing away just a few years ago. After marketing and promoting in so many different areas, Kate has found her heart and her home in Senior Living Care.  This is a passion for Kate, meeting the families and making a difference in their seniors’ lives.

Growing up in the North Suburbs and then attending college at Purdue University (Go Big 10), Kate found herself living in the city and very attracted to the improv comedy scene in Chicago.  After a few years of training at the Players Workshop, she finally got to the mainstage at Second City!  This was the best of times!

Kate is a single mom to two incredible daughters, Madeline and Mackenzie, who are grown and flown, and live nearby and who she gets to see often.  Kate volunteers her time at Anderson Animal Shelter and makes sure the kittens at Petco in Algonquin find a good home through adoption.  In her spare time, Kate enjoys walking, swimming, painting, sketching and making all those around her laugh.

   

Rhonda Kalitowski, NP-In Home Medical Group

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In Home Medical Group (IHMG) is a medical services provider that offers high-quality, compassionate and responsive primary care and psychiatric services in a variety of environments including post-acute facilities, assisted living communities and patient homes. IHMG also offers medical oversight and consulting services to insurance companies and medical facilities to manage and improve population health and ensure regulatory compliance.