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Meet Our Leadership Team


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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!

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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."
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MaryBeth Beatty, CDP

Director of Sales & Marketing

"I love educating people about the exceptional community we have here at The Birches and helping them find the right home...

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"I love educating people about the exceptional community we have here at The Birches and helping them find the right home for themselves or their loved ones."

"As the Sales and Marketing Director for The Birches, I teach potential residents and their families about the living options available to them, keep them up-to-date about changes within the senior industry and help them make the best-informed decision about their new home. I’ve worked in senior living marketing and sales for over seven years, and I love what I do. I feel very fortunate to be able to say that every day."

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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.

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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."
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Katie Klitchman, MA, CDP

Life Enrichment Director

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

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As our Life Enrichment 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."
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Chef Daniel Smith

Dining Services Director

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Sue Schneider

Business Office Director

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Roland Sander

Maintenance Director

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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."