Leading the way
Friendship Senior Options is overseen by a distinguished Board of Directors and led by a talented Executive Staff.
Board of Directors
Friendship Senior Options is overseen by a distinguished Board of Directors and led by a talented Executive Staff.
Ron Ahlman joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2005. He was formerly employed as the Director of Labor and Education Services for the Builder’s Association in Rosemont, IL.
Since 1995, he has been a volunteer on the Board of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, serving as its President from 1997 to 1999. He is an active member of the Cosmopolitan Club of Elgin.
Mr. Ahlman earned his B.A. degree from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.
Bradley Barrie joined the Friendship Senior Options board in 2014. Mr. Barrie is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial since 1998 and holds a leadership role with Ameriprise Financial as a Registered Principal, supervising 200 other financial advisors.
Mr. Barrie participates in the community through Feeding America as well as Feed My Starving Children. He has supported the Alexian Children’s Hospital in Hoffman Estates.
Mr. Barrie is a graduate of Rockford College.
Tom Castronovo joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2009. Mr. Castronovo is a 28-year veteran of the financial services industry. Tom currently serves as managing partner and financial advisor at Criterion Wealth Advisors, LLC – a firm he co-founded in 2011 – and is an Investment Advisor Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC. He spent the past 10 years at Private Bancorp, Inc. in Chicago serving as Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer.
Mr. Castronovo earned his BA degree in Economics from Knox College and his MBA in Finance/Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Clark Delanois is the Secretary of the Friendship Senior Options Board of Directors. He joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2009. Mr. Delanois is a Senior Vice President at The Northern Trust Company at the Lake Forest Financial Center where he leads a team of professionals that service Personal and Private Banking, Investment and Fiduciary services and co-leads the strategy for the Northwest suburbs.
He is a graduate from the University of Illinois.
Mr. Delanois serves on the board of directors for Harper College Educational Foundation, is a Trustee for Cenegenics Educational and Research Foundation, and a board member for Roosevelt University. He also serves as a Commissioner for the Village of Schaumburg Business Commission.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer LinkedIn
Michael A. Flynn is a senior executive with over 29 years experience with 23 years in the long-term care field. Mr. Flynn rejoined Friendship Senior Options in August 2012 to provide leadership and direction for all aspects of the financial operations for the parent and all affiliate organizations.
Prior to his latest position at Friendship Senior Options, Mr. Flynn was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Smith Senior Living where he was responsible for the day-to-day leadership and strategic development of organization. He has played key financial and operating roles with regard to sound fiscal management, tax-exempt financing, and regulatory and corporate compliance, among other issues.
Mr. Flynn served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Friendship Village of Schaumburg prior to joining Smith Senior Living.
Mr. Flynn is a graduate of DePaul University with a B.S. in Accounting, and he received an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. Mr. Flynn is a Certified Public Accountant.
He currently serves as the Chair of the CARF/CCAC financial advisory panel. Mr. Flynn has conducted surveys for CARF/CCAC for the past 23 years. He is a Retirement Housing Professional. He serves on the Finance Committee for Health Resources Alliance. He is chair elect of the LSN Board, and he is a member of the LSN Finance Committee. Mr. Flynn is a frequent speaker at national and state association meetings.
Vice President, Operations LinkedIn
Benjamin Gilchrist joined Friendship Senior Options in August 2012 as Vice President of Operations at Friendship Village in Schaumburg. In this position, Ben provides the executive leadership for Friendship Senior Options at Friendship Village and has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the community.
Mr. Gilchrist brings 15 years of experience in nursing homes and senior living communities throughout Ohio to round out the executive team. He served as the Vice President of Operations at the Vrable Health Care Company, and he served as the Vice President of Health Care and Community Services and Administrator of Health Care Services for Maple Knoll Communities, Inc. Prior to those positions, Mr. Gilchrist was the Administrator at the Laurels of Massillon, a nursing home and rehabilitation facility, and the Administrator of Concord Care Center of Milan.
Mr. Gilchrist received an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and a B.S. in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University. Mr. Gilchrist is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Ohio.
Kathy Gilmer joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in June of 2008. She is retired from Northern Illinois University where she was employed for 13 years in various positions, most recently as the Director of the Outreach Centers. Prior to this position, she was employed with William Rainey Harper College from 1984 to 1992 as Research Specialist, Economic Development Specialist and finally as Acting Director of Corporate Services.
She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Alexius Medical Center and the Northwest Housing Partnership Board of Directors as Past Chair and current chair of the Board Development Committee.
Ms. Gilmer received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Carleton College and Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from Ball State University.
Executive Director, GreenFields of Geneva LinkedIn
Throughout his distinguished career, James Holbrook has served the family and senior services industries in a variety of positions. In 2015, Mr. Holbrook was named Executive Director of GreenFields of Geneva. In this position, he provides leadership and has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the community.
James Holbrook most recently served as Senior Vice President Corporate Operations at Lutheran Life Communities in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He began with Lutheran Life Communities in 2000 and previously held the titles of Administrator of Home and Services as well as Administrator of Community Services. Prior to joining LLC, Mr. Holbrook worked at Lutheran Child and Family Services, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Proviso Family Services, and Concordia University.
James Holbrook is a graduate of Concordia University where he received two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts Social Services and a Master of Arts Human Services. He also received his certification as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator from the State of Illinois.
Vice President, Planning and Marketing LinkedIn
Patricia Mash was hired as Vice President of Planning and Marketing in March 2011. In this position, she leads the strategic planning, marketing, branding, communications and sales for Friendship Senior Options and Friendship Village.
Ms. Mash's experience offered Friendship Senior Options a new approach to marketing and sales in the senior living business. Prior to joining Friendship Senior Options, Ms. Mash held numerous positions in marketing. She spent 20 years at United Airlines where she served in various marketing positions including President of Mileage Plus Marketing, Inc. and Vice President of Revenue Management. She also served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Equity Residential in Chicago and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Riverstone Residential Group in Dallas, TX.
Ms. Mash is a graduate of Binghamton University where she received an MBA, with a concentration in Marketing, and St. Lawrence University where she received a B.A. in Sociology. She is also a Certified Marketing Professional.
Bill Powell joined the Friendship Senior Options Board of Directors in 2015. Mr. Powell also serves as the Secretary of the Friendship Village Board of Directors. Mr. Powell is a retired small business owner. He ran a courier service specialized in international trade documents, which facilitated shipments of goods coming into the country as well as goods being exported to various nations around the world.
Mr. Powell attended Iowa Wesleyan College prior to entering the U.S. Army for eight years. After active duty, he served 12 years on the Board of Directors of Orchard Village in Skokie, IL, a home for mentally disabled adults.
Mr. Powell resides at Friendship Village.
Kathy Rivera joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2005. Ms. Rivera is President/Executive Producer of KRT Productions, Inc. After working in both film and tape as a national award-winning producer in pioneering broadcast television with Chicago stations WMAQ-TV (NBC) and WBBM-TV (CBS) for 15 years, she founded KRT with her husband Tom.
In 2002, Ms. Rivera was recognized with two prestigious business awards: the Influential Women in Business Award from the National Association for Women Business Owners and the Outstanding Working Woman in Illinois Award from the Northwest Chapter of the National Organization of Business and Professional Women.
Geoffrey Roehll is the Vice Chair of the Friendship Senior Options Board of Directors. He joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2014. Mr. Roehll serves as leader of the Senior Living Studio at Hitchcock Design Group, where he has demonstrated his management, planning and design skills on prominent projects throughout the country. Since joining Hitchcock Design Group in 1990, he has directed many landmark projects in the senior living and assisted care market. His portfolio of built work confirms his passion for good design and keen eye for detail.
In addition to his leadership role with Hitchcock Design Group, Mr. Roehll’s diverse background includes an annual engagement with the Chicago Botanic Garden as an instructor for the Therapeutic Garden Certification program. He has been a guest lecturer at regional and national healthcare and senior living conferences and enjoys sharing, with attendees, his ideas on site planning and landscape elements that promote healing and respite.
Mr. Roehll is a graduate of Purdue University with Bachelors of Science and Landscape Architecture. He is a licensed Landscape Architect in the State of Illinois.
Paul Schaffhausen joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2005. Mr. Schaffhausen is retired from the McDonald’s Corporation where he worked as Assistant Vice President, Senior Federal Tax Counsel. Paul previously served for two years on the Commissioner’s Advisory Group to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue; served as the President of the Chicago Chapter of the Tax Executives Institute; Chair of the National Membership Committee; Vice Chair of the IRS Administrative Affairs Committee; Regional Vice President and Executive Committee and earned the President’s Award in 1999.
Mr. Schaffhausen is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Juris Doctor Degrees.
Jean Schlinkmann joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2008. Ms. Schlinkmann is retired from a 30-year career with the Schaumburg Park District where she served as the Executive Director from 2004 to 2012.
Ms. Schlinkmann has a Master of Recreation Administration from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from University of Illinois.
Ms. Schlinkmann serves on the executive board of the Greater Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau and is the President of the Schaumburg Park Foundation. She is a board member and past vice chair of the Schaumburg Business Association. Ms. Schlinkmann is an active member of Rotary International and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Schaumburg – Hoffman Estates. Ms. Schlinkmann is a docent with the Chicago Architecture Foundation and gives tours of Chicago.
Larry Shoemake is the Chair of the Friendship Senior Options Board of Directors. He joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2008. Mr. Shoemake is a retired former Vice President of IMC Global Corporation. He held senior management positions in several different operational areas of IMC. He served on the board of The Fertilizer Institute and led IMC’s successful initiative to install new corporate-wide computer technology. Mr. Shoemake also was an effective change leader in guiding the corporation into new strategic alliance programs with key suppliers.
Since retirement, Mr. Shoemake has embarked on a second career as a counselor and therapist with the Kenneth Young Center, a community agency serving the northwest Chicago suburbs. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Education since 2006.
He has graduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (M.A. and M.B.A) and a graduate degree in community counseling from Loyola University Chicago (M.E.D).
Cathie Tardy joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2014. Ms. Tardy is a Vice President of Baird & Warner Real Estate, with over 27 years of Branch Manager experience.
Ms. Tardy was recognized as the “Realtor of the Year” in 1991 and “Real Estate Sales Manager” in 1996 by the Realtor Association of Fox Valley.
In 2001, Ms. Tardy served as the President of the Realtor Association.
Jan Tucker is the past Chair of the Friendship Senior Options Board of Directors. She joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2005. She is a former trustee of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library where she served from 1975 to 2008. At Friendship Village she worked with staff to create the Friends and Family Group. She chaired the first five Sterling Friendship Award Dinners including the fifth celebrating Friendship Village’s Twenty Fifth Anniversary.
Mrs. Tucker is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Duane Tyler is the Treasurer of the Friendship Senior Options Board of Directors. He joined the Friendship Senior Options Board in 2005. Mr. Tyler is a Director with McGladrey, LLP. He has spent his whole career in various management positions including Managing Partner of the Chicago office, Senior Vice President of Growth responsible for directing all new product and service development activities for McGladrey across all U.S. business units.
Mr. Tyler is a graduate of Ball State University and is a CPA licensed in the state of Illinois.
Mr. Tyler currently serves on the Board of Shorr Packaging Corporation. He was a member of the board of the Campanelli YMCA from 1992 to 1996 and served as Chair from 1992 to 1996. He previously served on the Harper College Education Foundation Board from 1997 to 1999.
President and Chief Executive Officer LinkedIn
During the past 15 years, Stephen A. Yenchek has served in a variety of positions at Friendship Village and Friendship Senior Options. Mr. Yenchek was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer of Friendship Senior Options in November 2009. In this position, he is responsible to the Board of Directors for the strategic leadership and future development of the organization.
Mr. Yenchek formerly served as Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Operations and Corporate Development. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Yenchek served as a consultant for strategic planning, marketing and operational effectiveness; at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital as Vice President Professional Services; at John F. Kennedy Medical Center as Vice President-Operations; and at Maryland Health Care System as Director of Administrative Services.
Mr. Yenchek is a graduate of Boston College with a B.S. in Economics and Biology and a Masters of Health Administration from Duke University. He is a Certified Aging Services Professional from the Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services and serves on their Board of Advisors. He is a frequent contributor to state and national organizations through their educational programs. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.