Board of Directors

The Admiral at the Lake Board of Directors


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

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.

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 A. Montario-Archer
Board Member

Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer is a lawyer, author, speaker, adviser, entrepreneur, researcher, 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 bestseller 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

Ned Budd
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. Nedd’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.

Irene Dumanis
Board Member

Irene Dumanis is the CEO for Weiss and the Chicago physician group. She brings 15 years of health care and financial experience to the organization and in the CEO role, continues to bring more stabilization and cost efficiency tactics to the hospital. Prior to this, Ms. Dumanis was the CFO for Technology Solutions in Bannockburn, IL. She has also served as CFO for Community First Medical Center in Chicago and has held leadership finance positions for FDH Velocitel in Northbrook, Vista Health System in Waukegan, IL, and Lincoln Park Hospital in Chicago. 

Gus Noble
Board Member

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.

Sarah Shirk
Board Member

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.

Toni Smith
Board Member

Toni Smith is an alumna of Vassar College.  She worked with the executive recruiting firm of Spencer Stuart for 31 years, including 20 as Managing Partner of their Not-for-Profit practice.  In that capacity, she worked with boards of nonprofits across the country (and some internationally) to help them find leadership for their organizations.  While working, and since retirement, she herself has served in a leadership role on several nonprofit boards including Lakeview Pantry, Executive Service Corps of Chicago, One Hope United, and Associated Colleges of Illinois.  Toni is also an active volunteer with Steppenwolf Theater, the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, and Lakeview Pantry. She has been a resident at The Admiral since 2014.

Kate Bensen
Board Member

Kate Bensen is an independent corporate director for MicroMetl Corporation, the leading manufacturer of HVAC accessories and equipment in the United States.  From 2010-2020, she served as President and  CEO of The Chicago Network.  Previously, Kate led the nonprofit capacity building practice for Conlon Public Strategies and was a corporate and public finance partner at the law firm now known as ArentFox Schiff.

Kate is a trustee of NewMusic USA, and a director of the Chicago Club and the Arts Club of Chicago (Audit Chair). Kate is a member of the Commercial Club, Economic Club of Chicago, Council of the Graham School of General Studies at the University of Chicago, International Women’s Forum, Chicago Finance Exchange and the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago (past Chair).  She also chaired the board  of Grammy award winning Eighth Blackbird Performing Arts Association. Her board work focuses on governance.  Awards include the 2022  Celebrating Women in Innovation,  2020 Women on Boards Champion of Women and the University of Chicago’s Alumni Service Medal.

Kate holds an AB in economics from the University of Chicago and a JD from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.

Lauren Sivak
Board Member

Lauren Sivak is the Managing Director of 2nd Story, one of Chicago’s oldest storytelling organizations. She served on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on LGBTQ+ Issues and was a member of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Arts & Culture Transition Committee. Lauren recently completed her third term as the Community Rep for Albany Park Multicultural Academy Local School Council, and was previously the Vice President of Education for the North River Commission. Lauren is the recipient of Harry L. Davis Executive Education Scholarship for Nonprofit Leaders through the University of Chicago and has two certificates in Nonprofit Management from UIC. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Nonprofit Administration at North Park University.


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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 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 empowerment. 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.

Carol Stitzer

Carol Stitzer
Board Member

Carol was a Development professional for twenty-five years with major cultural and educational organizations in Chicago, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, and Center for American Archeology. For fifteen of those years, she was a member of the Development staff at Lyric Opera of Chicago with responsibility for the leadership of fundraising and board activities. Carol received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Loyola University and attended Loyola University and Northwestern University for post-graduate studies. Carol was a previous Board Member for The Admiral at the Lake and has many years of volunteer experience at many local non-profit organizations. Carol continued as a part-time consultant for Lyric Opera and other not-for-profit organizations following retirement.

Jill Doherty
Board Member

Jill Doherty has deep experience and expertise as a development leader working for UChicago, Johns Hopkins University, and NorthShore University HealthSystem with grateful alumni and patients. Previously, she held managerial roles in nonprofit and corporate banking for Chicago and Boston institutions. She managed banking relationships with many continuing care and active living communities as well as healthcare, educational and cultural institutions. Jill is passionate about helping individuals and families to find philanthropic opportunities which will enable them to realize their dreams and goals. She volunteers with Elawa Farm and Ragdale and serves on the board of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving.

Charles Katzenmeyer
Board Member

Charles Katzenmeyer is the Vice President of Institutional Advancement a the Field Museum. In this role, he oversees Museum-wide development, government relations, and a membership community of 50,000 households. From 2002 to 2013, Charles was senior vice president for external affairs at the Adler Planetarium. Previously, he was Chief Development Officer at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Earlier in his career, he served as campaign director at the Field and held development positions at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the American Bar Association, and Northwestern University, all in Chicago. Charles received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he also attended college. He was elected chair of the Development and Membership Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums. Additional current volunteer commitments include House Corporation Board President for Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at Northwestern. Mr. Katzenmeyer is a past president of the Northwestern Alumni Association and a past member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He has been active in the past with AboutFace Theatre Company, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Chicago House, Social Service Agency, Cloud 42 Theatre Company, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Doorways (St. Louis, MO), Howard Brown Health Center, Inspiration Corporation, Roycemore School and Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Renée N. Duba
Board Member

Renée has enjoyed a successful career as a wealth advisor for more than 30 years. She works with individuals, families, and business owners to provide financial solutions that build and maintain financial well-being.  She strives to address all aspects of financial health and takes a holistic approach to financial management.

After studying music theory/composition at Western Illinois University on a full scholarship, Renée earned her B.A. in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago.

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