Board of Directors

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

Laura McKee

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.

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 of Chicago for seven years developing UK-US trade and investment. Gus graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He 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 the Newcastle United Football Club.

Fred Wackerle

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 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.

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
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
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.

Christine DeLeo
Board Member

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.

Andrea Hasten
Board Member

Andrea received her Bachelor of Science degree from MacMurry College, and received a MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a JD from Chicago Kent College of Law. Andrea managed the Tax Division and the Financial Consulting Centers at Northern Trust and was Vice President at Rose & Company Investment Brokers. She is a member of the Illinois CPA Society, Regent at Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Director of the Cuneo Foundation, and Member to the Chicago Estate Planning Council.

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
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.

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.

Carol Stitzer
Board Member

Carol Stitzer has been a member of The Admiral at the Lake Board of Directors since 2004. She is a lifetime Chicagoan, and attended Loyola University for college. Carol’s work experience has been in fundraising and development for such organizations as the Center for American Archaeology, Chicago History Museum, and Lyric Opera of Chicago.  In addition to serving on The Admiral at the Lake Board, she also serves for Interfaith House. Carol’s hobbies include: cycling, ceramics, travel, painting, and jewelry making.

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.

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.