Meet The Birches Assisted Living Staff


James K. Curto

CEO and Founder

"The spark of an idea for The Birches began when I heard about this new “assisted living movement” back in the mid-90. I found and purchased the land in 1997, and we began construction a year later..."

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The spark of an idea for The Birches began when I heard about this new “assisted living movement” back in the mid-90. I found and purchased the land in 1997, and we began construction a year later. It's been an exciting run, so far! We've had other ownership partners over the years, but now, with the exeption of our executive director, Jackie Foss, we are a family-owned concern.

I grew up in La Grange and am a proud graduate of Lyons Township High School. My wife, Mary, and I have lived in Western Springs since 1992. Our son, Will, another shareholder, is a graduate of Denison University in Ohio, my alma mater. Will and his wife live in Sacramento, California, where he works in the insurance industry. I spent much of my career in hospital management, after receiving training in that field at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

I'm very proud of my wonderful staff of 90+ and the company we've built to serve our seniors and their families. We strive to grow and always improve. Thank you for your confidence in us!


Jacqueline M. Foss

Executive Director

"I am passionate about keeping up with industry trends and technology, providing an atmosphere of growth and opportunity for our residents and associates, and providing opportunities for collaborative improvements.

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As Executive Director, and with the continued support of our Founder and CEO, we will continue to make The Birches a supportive and preferred home for our residents and greater community, and a workplace of choice for our associates."

Carol Weigel

Director of Marketing & Development

“I have more than 20 years experience in the senior housing market and eight years with The Birches. I am so grateful to be a part of this remarkable community.

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Here I utilize my experience, understanding and compassion to assist families in their life-changing decisions. The key to success is listening attentively to both the family and the new resident, and then I provide information and options in senior living that will best suit the needs of all concerned. At The Birches we work as a team to create a seamless transition for a new resident. I hope I have the opportunity to welcome you to The Birches soon!”

Jackie Raschke

Director of Encore & Memory Care

“I have been the Director of Encore and Memory Care Services at The Birches since 2002. I enjoy working with a very professional staff in our memory care area (Encore).

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We work very hard to provide a comfy and safe home for the residents, and I treasure the relationships I have with each resident and his or her family. Besides overseeing the day-to-day operations in Encore, I enjoy sharing my passions with the residents such as party planning, being creative, gardening, playing games and building friendships. Working with older adults who teach me so much on a daily basis is priceless to me.”

Katie Klitchman

Masterpiece Living Director

"My immediate goal is to support a successful aging culture for our residents, family members, and associates.

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As Masterpiece Living Director, I have the important role of supporting a purposeful and meaningful culture for our Birches' family. We value continued growth for our residents and associates, and hope that we can support their next growth challenge through encouragement.  We know that through a supportive environment you can continue to age successfully regardless of your age through spiritual, intellectual, physical, and social growth, and that is what we try to provide here every day for our members."

Diana Subacuite

Dining Services Director

“Personalized care is our motto. Everyone - from server to manager – understands this very well.

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We are proud of what we do in The Birches’ kitchen, because everyone goes the extra mile in order to meet our residents’ personal needs.”

Yvonne A. Dempsey

Special Assistant to the CEO

"I started at The Birches in 1999. At that time The Birches was under construction. Over the years, I have watched The Birches grow into a wonderful community for seniors.

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The caring staff that we have hired over the years has made The Birches what it is today. We care about our residents like they were our own parents or grandparents. Over the years I have enjoyed being a part of this assisted living community, and I will be looking forward to being a part of our team for several years more."

Bob Bickert

Maintenance Director

"I have been with The Birches since 2005. Being in the repair/maintenance field has given me extensive knowledge about what needs to be done to keep this building running properly.

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It gives me a good feeling knowing that turning a screw or tightening a bolt matters to the residents even if they are unaware of such tasks. The staff works together to make residents truly feel at home. There is great personal care, friendly staff, lots of activities and entertainment, and some of the best meals you can eat anywhere. I consider The Birches my second family.”

Cheri Gorgol

Office Manager

“Originally, I was hired as a part-time evening receptionist, and today I am The Birches’ Office Manager.

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Truly, this is a great place to work and live, and I’m proud to say I’ve been here for more than nine years. I can’t say how many residents and family members have touched my heart in ways I never could have imagined. These are the memories I will cherish forever.”