Meet Our Leadership Team


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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It's been an exciting run, so far! We've had other ownership partners over the years, but now, with the exception 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) Sander, CDP, CMP

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."

Robin Lacine

Community Liasion

"My goal is to help the local community discover the beauty of The Birches and learn more about the unique and exemplary services The Birches offers.


As Community Liaison for The Birches, I act as a resource for those seeking assisted living and memory care programs, sharing the information they need to provide the best care for those they love. I have over 25 years of business development, sales, and marketing experience, which I use to build relationships with community members and demonstrate what makes The Birches truly exceptional."

Tina Stasukewicz, RN

Director of Nursing

"I love working with older adults and want to make sure everyone is being properly taken care of in their later years.


As Director of Nursing for The Birches, I do everything I can to keep our residents in the best possible health. I have over a decade of nursing experience and use my professional expertise to provide outstanding care and support to Birches residents. I am also a natural-born problem-solver who enjoys leading others, tackling challenges, and improving the quality of life for each and every resident."

Katie Schaff Fagan, MSW, LCSW, CDP

Director of Encore & Memory Care Services

"I have a passion for memory care education, and I am dedicated to supporting those living with memory loss to live their best lives..."

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I have a passion for memory care education, and I am dedicated to supporting those living with memory loss to live their best lives. As the Director of Encore and Memory Care Services for The Birches, I am an advocate for residents who can’t always advocate for themselves. I have a master’s degree in social work, which gives me the clinical knowledge necessary to support residents living in our Encore neighborhood to live well-adjusted lives where they and their family members can benefit from our community environment, participate daily in purposeful and meaningful opportunities, and have access to the excellent services offered at The Birches.

Katie Klitchman, MA, CDP

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, CDP

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.”