Board of Directors

The Admiral at the Lake Board of Directors


Our board is comprised of residents, civic leaders, and accomplished professionals.

Laura Mckee

Laura McKee
Chair

Laura McKee is the Admiral Chairman. Laura taught math as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic. She is founding CEO of Autism Home Support Services, which provides services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) throughout Chicago, Denver, and Detroit. Laura has a degree in economics and computer science from Swarthmore College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her professional experience included Booz Allen, McKinsey, Sears, and the McDonald’s system.

Fred Wackerle

Fred Wackerle
Vice Chair

Fred Wackerle was an executive search consultant, specializing in CEO searches, for over 40 years.  He is author of “The Right CEO: Straight Talk About Making Tough CEO Selection Decisions.” He is Emeritus an Trustee of Monmouth College, an Emeritus Board Member of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Board Advisor of the Tucson Wildlife Center. Fred will serve on the Board of The Old Peoples Home of the City of Chicago.

Jordan Shields

Jordan Shields
Treasurer

Jordan is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and he is a Managing Director with Juniper Advisory, a Chicago-based firm that assists hospital boards with mergers, acquisitions and other forms of partnerships. He serves on the Board of the House Theatre of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Selection Committees for the Gus Hart Fellowship and Emerging Leaders Program.

Christine DeLeo

Christine DeLeo
Secretary

Christine DeLeo oversees day-to-day operations for Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s 7 Strategic Alliance partners, applying best practices in care delivery and technology for over 4000 patients annually. She has served on numerous committees within the American College of Healthcare Executives, Illinois Health Care Association and the Illinois Hospital Association. Christine earned her BS in healthcare administration from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisc. She earned her MBA from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. She is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in three states.

Nick Aghakhan

Nick Aghakhan
Board Member

Nick is a business development leader recognized for driving results within Fortune 500 health care organizations (Pfizer, Medtronic & Becton Dickinson), two start-ups providing healthcare services to adults and children with autism, and a start-up providing value-based reimbursement for physician groups. His 20 years of health care experience have been focused on developing a team culture, improving patient care, strategic planning, consultative selling, and clinical knowledge. Nick graduated from the University of Michigan.

Joan Bransfield

Joan Bransfield
Board Member

Joan Bransfield, Admiral resident, has spent most of her adult life as a teacher and principal in the Catholic School System. She is currently a hospice volunteer, a volunteer with Catholic Charities and serves as one of The Admiral’s Harbor Mates. She admits to having extensive experience working with and on nonprofit boards. Joan will serve on The Admiral at the Lake Board.

Karen Carney

Karen Carney
Board Member

Karen is currently the head of school at Chicago Friends School, which is the only Quaker school in the state of Illinois, and she brings perspectives from education, nonprofit management and Quakerism to the Admiral board. She worked as a senior specialist in science curriculum for American Institutes for Research and teacher development at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Learning Sciences Research Institute and at Northwestern University. She has authored more than 20 scholarly papers, book chapters, and conference presentations.

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly
Board Member

Sean is Kendal’s President and CEO. He was Kendal’s Director for New Business Development from 2008 to 2016. At Kendal he has focused on fostering new opportunities for growth, while supporting planning and development initiatives for existing Kendal communities. In 1992, Sean graduated from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, and in 2014 he completed an Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

George Mesires

George Mesires
Board Member

George received his Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University and then went on to Syracuse University to study law and business. He is a partner with Faegre Baker Daniels, concentrating most of his legal practice in finance and has significant experience in the senior housing industry, representing both for-profit and not-for-profit operators. In addition to serving on The Admiral at the Lake Board, George also serves on the boards of the Illinois Mentoring Partnership and Deerfield Academy Alumni Association.

Michael Traynor

Michael Traynor
Board Member

Michael Traynor has over 40 years of diverse experience with business and not-for-profit organizations. He spent 24 years at Harris/Bank/Bank of Montreal, holding executive positions in strategic planning, corporate finance, risk management, credit training and commercial lending. Mike formed a crisis management/consulting practice that served not-for-profit and small business clients and co-founded the Chicago Microlending Institute. Its mandate was to expand microlending in Chicago and expanded to include other U.S. cities.

Naoko Muramatsu -a woman with glasses and a blue shirt

Naoko Muramatsu
Board Member

As a professor of the Division of Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health and a Fellow at Institute for Health Research and Policy at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), Naoko has engaged in research, teaching, and service in aging and health for 25 years. Trained in health services research and sociology, Naoko aims to improve the health of diverse aging populations and the quality of long-term care systems. She conducts research on global aging and health, focusing on social, cultural, policy and system factors that shape health and caregiving experience in aging individuals. Naoko is a Fellow of The Gerontological Society of America

Charles Montario-Archer
Board Member

Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer is a lawyer, author, speaker, adviser, entrepreneur and researcher, the co-Founder and former CEO of The THRIVE Network, and now the President and CEO of One Hope United. His enthusiasm about advocacy, community development, business sustainability and policy reform has led him to receive a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Public Policy. Montorio-Archers’ third book, Everybody Paddles: A Leaders Blueprint for Creating A Unified Team, is an international best seller providing a management model focused on reaching strategic alignment and accelerating organizational change through respect, collaboration and leadership. Additionally, Montorio-Archer presented two TEDx Talks entitled “The Friendship Clause” and “IDENTITYphobia,” remains a Forbes and Huffington Post contributor.

Justin Bhandari
Board Member

Justin serves as MPAC Healthcare’s VP of Operations, leading clinical operations, sales operations, marketing and human resources. MPAC Healthcare, a post-acute care company, provides clinical programs to skilled nursing facilities focused on physical and mental healthcare. Prior to joining MPAC Healthcare Justin worked at AIM Specialty Health, a subsidiary of Anthem Insurance, and was involved with the launch of Anthem’s Diversified Business Group, an entity focused on developing innovative solutions that improve quality and health outcomes for payers & members. Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the University of Florida and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Nedd Bud
Board Member

Ned has worked directly with the Thorek Board as CEO and previously as CFO.  He also serves as a Board member of the Uptown Chamber of Commerce and member of the Steering Committee of the Illinois Hospital Association Safety Net Hospitals. Ned’s hospital and healthcare experience help keep The Admiral Board updated on healthcare issues generally and particularly as they pertain to Illinois and Chicago.  As a service provider in the Uptown neighborhood, he has a good sense for community opportunities. He has a BBA in Public Accounting from Loyola and a Masters in Management from Kellogg.


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Sarah Shirk

Sarah Shirk
Chair

Sarah Shirk earned an MPH with a concentration in gerontology from UIC’s School of Public Health and a BA from Swarthmore College. Her career has focused on health outcomes in the medical rehabilitation sector and academic research in the public health sector. Sarah has collaborated professionally with Kendal affiliates since her early career while working in community outreach at the Philadelphia Orchestra. She is a member of Oak Park Friends and active in regional Quaker communities. For hobbies, Sarah enjoys singing in the Chicago Community Chorus and is training to compete in national Masters Track & Field Competitions.

Gus Noble
Vice-Chair

Gus Noble is President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society (CHICAGO SCOTS & Scottish Home).  Gus worked for the British Consulate General Chicago for 7 years developing UK-US trade and investment. Gus graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Gus serves on the Boards of Rotary Club of Chicago (ROTARY ONE), the world’s first Rotary Club. Gus is a core member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance and is a member of the Chicago Council for Global Affairs. Gus’s interests include playing music and golf and Newcastle United Football Club.

Mike Biver
Secretary

Mike has made his career in the nonprofit sector, developing an expertise in the legal requirements, governance, fundraising, and management of nonprofits.  After working in the nonprofit sector for a number of years, Mike received his J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN and is licensed to practice law in Illinois. Mike’s interests revolve around food and farming reform.

Jordan Shields
Treasurer

Jordan is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and he is a Managing Director with Juniper Advisory, a Chicago-based firm that assists hospital boards with mergers, acquisitions and other forms of partnerships. He serves on the Board of the House Theatre of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Selection Committees for the Gus Hart Fellowship and Emerging Leaders Program.

Gwen Cohen
Board Member

Gwen Cohen, Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisor and FVP, has dedicated her career to serving the financial needs of high net worth individuals, multi-generational families and small business owners. Most recently, she was recognized as a 2016 MAKER at Morgan Stanley, an award that honors game-changing women leaders within the firm and the industry. Gwen has been profiled in a variety of media outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times, N’Digo, Chicago Defender, Chicago Metro News, Black Enterprise, Ebony magazine and WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight”. In 2019, Gwen received the Egretha Award for financial empower-ment. A strong believer in “giving back,” Gwen is a Board Chair of Roosevelt University’s College of Performing Arts, WTTW’s Advisory Council and the Goodman Theatre Spotlight Society Advisory.

Michael Traynor
Board Member

Michael Traynor has over 40 years of diverse experience with business and not-for-profit organizations. He spent 24 years at Harris/Bank/Bank of Montreal, holding executive positions in strategic planning, corporate finance, risk management, credit training and commercial lending. Mike formed a crisis management/consulting practice that served not-for-profit and small business clients and co-founded the Chicago Microlending Institute. Its mandate was to expand microlending in Chicago and expanded to include other U.S. cities.

Wally Verdooren
Board Member

Wally Verdooren has devoted his entire professional career to the nonprofit sector, primarily in the areas of development and external relations for a variety of higher education, healthcare, and human services institutions.  He also has many years of experience as a board member and volunteer leader with several organizations offering arts, education, faith-based, and justice related programming to local communities.  Wally earned his BA from Augustana College in Illinois, MA in religion from Yale University, and MA in English/creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  When not at work, Wally enjoys playing tennis and riding his bike through neighborhoods and paths in the South Suburbs where he lives.