Wendy is the founder of Next Steps 4 Seniors, a business management professional with 25 years of relevant experience in the long-term care industry. She has an extensive background in the area of skilled nursing and rehab in admissions and placement. Wendy has literally worked “arm in arm” with seniors for more than 20 years while managing the Outreach to Seniors program at her church. She started a nonprofit for lower income seniors called Next Steps 4 Seniors Foundation. Wendy is a member of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee at Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital, and a member of the Social Determinants of Health Committee with MPRO. She is also on the Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital Board. Wendy and her husband Scott, have two children, Kennedy and Colton.
Cheryl Clark, Executive Director of Next Steps 4 Seniors Foundation
Cheryl Clark comes to us with over nine years of experience in professional fundraising. Her background is marketing and branding strategy combined with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Walsh College. Cheryl found her passion in non-profit management and fundraising and has spent time helping her own grandfather through his next steps as his conservator and guardian. She is passionate about seniors because she knows that so many seniors do not have someone to advocate for them. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking with her dog, traveling and photography.
Erica Ancel, Operations Manager, Placement Specialist
Erica started working in senior living in 2014 after working in sales for 17 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in psychology. Her understanding of how communities operate as well as how to navigate tough situations, paired with her skills in sales adds great value to the Next Steps 4 Seniors team. Erica grew up with 18 great aunts and uncles, one set of great grandparents & a grandparent who have influenced who she is today. She is married and has three dogs. Erica and her husband are blessed to have many nieces and nephews and such a large supportive family. She likes to travel in her spare time, is an avid reader and loves the outdoors.
Marianne Engstrom, Senior Placement Specialist
Marianne has been in the healthcare industry for 30 years and arranging senior placement and homecare for the past 10 years. She is passionate about our most treasured population, seniors, because they deserve honor and need an advocate to help navigate the senior placement arena. Marianne prides herself on showing the love of Jesus, having compassion for our sweet seniors and anchoring in integrity to always do what is best for them. She has been married for 33 years, blessed with three beautiful daughters and her first grandchild . Marianne loves spending time with family, friends, sharing the love of Jesus and traveling to the beach.
Denise Robertson, ACNP, DNP, Placement Specialist
Denise has been in the healthcare industry for over 45 years starting as a high school nursing assistant co-op. She has a Doctorate of nursing and has been a Nurse Practitioner for the past 15 years including operating in leadership positions within hospital case management. Her leadership and communication skills along with knowledge of the healthcare industry bring great value to the team. She enjoys spending time with family along with gardening and golfing.
Denise Gunderson, LMSW, Placement Specialist
Denise has been working for Next Steps 4 Seniors for the last eight years. She has a master’s degree in social work and has worked for many years as a social worker in local hospitals. Denise is passionate about working with seniors because she admires their wisdom and life long experiences. She wants to help older adults get the resources that they deserve and need in their stage of life. Denise enjoys biking, hiking and spending time with her growing family.
Jerryl Birchmeier, RN, BSN, CCM, CBIS, ADAC
Jerryl has worked many years in rehabilitation nursing and case management helping patients find proper care and facilitate transitions. Jerryl’s strong assessment and interpersonal communication skills along with a knowledge of community resources are a great asset to the team. Jerryl is passionate about educating people about the American with Disabilities Act and how to make healthcare more accessible. She has been married for 32 years and has three sons. When she is not working, Jerryl enjoys photography and traveling.
Kim Russell, Training Coordinator, Placement Specialist
Kim started with Next Steps 4 Seniors in the fall of 2019. Kim’s tenacity along with her background in ISO Quality systems helps greatly with the Next Steps 4 Seniors training program. Her work with seniors started when she was a teenager serving lunch for seniors at the Community House. Kim is also a co-creator of “Navigate Home”, a guide for senior citizens through the challenges of aging. She has been a part of the Rochester Chamber for over 20 years and has spoken on behalf of seniors in the political arena. Kim is a lover of Jesus, a devoted wife, mother, and leader. She loves to travel and has been on mission trips around the world.
Lisa Cooney, CDP, Director of Business Development, Placement Specialist
Lisa joined the Next Steps 4 Seniors team in 2016. She spent many years as an Executive Director at various assisted living and memory care communities. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and long-term administration from Madonna University. Lisa’s experience with the operational side of the business is a valuable asset to the team. She has always been passionate about helping seniors since volunteered at a local hospital from ages 12-14. Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs and watching her son play baseball on the Michigan State club team.
Jennifer Cullenbine, Placement Specialist
Jennifer Cullenbine joined the NS4S team in September of 2022, taking with her 20 years of senior living experience to help partner with our families to ensure the safety of all of our clients. She enjoys spending time with her children, Fiancé & 3 dogs at home.
Avery Treece Program Coordinator
Avery has been at Next Steps 4 Seniors for over a year. She graduated from Oakland University with a degree in public relations and a minor in graphic design. Along with her role as office support, Avery manages special projects including the radio program, social media, and all graphic design projects along with assisting with events. Her favorite part of being on the Next Steps 4 Seniors team is that it has given Avery the opportunity to help seniors and their families when they need it most. When she is not at work, Avery enjoys playing euchre with friends or cozying up next to her dog with a good book.
Christine Suhy Placement Specialist, Media Specialist
Christine started working for Next Steps 4 Seniors in the fall of 2014 working in a tiny two room office as Wendy’s office assistant. She now monitors the business Facebook page, coordinates the monthly newsletter, shares Wendy’s radio program with the world along with keeping the community database as current as possible. She is honored to work for Next Steps 4 Seniors and support Wendy’s passion for giving our seniors a safe community they all deserve. When Chris isn’t working, you can find her gardening, cooking, and hosting friends at her home.
Office Coordinator Roz Burns
Roz recently joined the Next Steps 4 Seniors Team in May of 2022. She previously worked in the automotive industry for over 35 years. Roz has a passion for people and loves to help folks achieve their goals. Becoming a new member of the Next Steps 4 Seniors team has given her the opportunity to get involved with an amazing group of seniors and assist in meeting their life needs. Roz coordinates the Kensington KFriends Ministry for teens and adults with special needs which provides folks the opportunity to enjoy a variety of events and to learn about the Word of God. You can find Roz facilitating a weekly pickleball skills and drills class.