Our Team | Joyful Companions

Our Team

Meet the Team of Joyful Companions!
Jeri Gort

Jeri Gort


MSW & Owner

Jeri is a former Social Worker who has over 35 years of experience working with families. She is proud to carry on the vision of her father, who started Caring Companions, one of the first non-medical companion care companies. Her mission is to show love and grace to all served by Joyful Companions Home Care!

Lindsay Walker

Lindsay Walker


MSW, LGSW, Owner & Social Worker

Lindsay is a graduate of Bethel University and has a Masters of Social Work from the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine’s with a focus on supporting family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

Lindsay developed a strong interest in social welfare at a young age, was an Area Emphasis in Aging Scholar, hospice care intern, and a Certified Senior Advisor. She diligently seeks to continue the vision of compassionate care through sharing Christ’s joy with others.

Lindsay is a member of the Minnesota Association of Home Care Social Workers (MAHCSW) and has served with Joyful Companions since 2008.

Sara Michel

Sara Michel


MSW, LGSW, Social Worker & Home Care Coordinator

Sara has over 30 years of experience in Social Work. She worked at a long-term acute hospital for many years with geriatric mental health, brain injuries, and complex medical needs.

Sara has been a Geriatric Care Manager, a social worker for an independent living facility, and worked for the Alzheimer’s Medicare Demonstration Project, facilitating safe care in the home for persons with memory loss. She is dedicated to supporting seniors to live life to its fullest, assisting their desire to age in place and supporting families.

Sara is a member of MASWA and MAHCSW and has been a presenter and panel member at the Senior Cooperative Housing Conference. She has served with Joyful Companions since 2019.

Marci Franz

Marci Franz


LSW, Social Worker & Home Care Coordinator

Marci has over 20 years of experience as a Social Worker. She graduated from St. Cloud University and has previous experience managing an assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facility. Marci enjoys working with seniors and has a compassionate heart for families. Marci is co-chair of the Minnesota Association of Home Care Social Workers (MAHCSW). She has served with Joyful Companions since 2018.

Shari Ley

Shari Ley


Office Administrator & Hiring Manager

Shari has a Bachelor's Degree from Crown College and extensive experience working in recruitment and marketing. She has over 10 years in Child Welfare and Children’s Ministries prior to joining our team.

As a mother of four children, Shari has always been one to prioritize and organize many tasks, paying great attention to detail and adapting to new responsibilities. Joyful Companions is known for their outstanding caregivers, and due to Shari’s diligence, effectiveness, and kind personality, she works to build genuine relationships between staff, clients, and their families.

Shari has walked the journey of dementia with her own father and understands the importance of hiring kind-hearted caregivers. We are blessed to have her multitasking talents and compassionate heart serving our office team!

Joleen Langert

Joleen Langert


Care Coordinator

Joleen has over 25 years of Customer Service, Scheduling, and Operations experience, including 10 years in a Minneapolis area hospital. Her desire to serve others is driven by a deep appreciation for the medical/healthcare industry, paired with a heart for helping people on a tough journey. Joleen has walked the road of Parkinson’s, dementia, and cancer with several family members and understands many of the difficult issues that accompany these diagnoses. She studied at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

Joleen brings great skill in working with others and is eager to provide the right caregiver match within our client schedules.

Emily Gonzalez

Emily Gonzalez


Scheduling Coordinator

Emily is thoughtful, compassionate, and lighthearted. She was born and raised in Wisconsin, moving to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota and still enjoys living in Minneapolis.

Emily has always been passionate about healthcare and improving the well-being of others. After volunteering at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Emily discovered her passion for providing companionship and emotional support to seniors, ensuring they feel valued and cared for.

With seven years of customer service, Emily has strengthened her ability to establish genuine connections cultivating compassion and empathy for others with diverse backgrounds and in various stages of life. She is excited to serve the mission of Joyful Companions and support our caregivers in making a positive difference in the lives of older adults.

Julie Weninger

Julie Weninger


Bookkeeper

Julie comes to us as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. She is thankful to have found a role that allows her to work in such a nurturing environment, sharing her accounting degree and finance career experience.

As part of the Joyful Companions team, Julie handles all billing and payroll questions, assisting our clients with their Long-Term Care insurance requirements.

Amy Hesselgrave

Amy Hesselgrave


Weekend On-Call Support

Amy has a degree in Business Administration. Her background includes 20 years of managing multi-family housing.

In 2011, Amy transitioned to senior housing as the campus director at a senior independent and assisted living facility. She has experience assisting her parents in their own home and joined Joyful Companions in 2014.

Companion Care News & Trending Topics

Why Choose Joyful Companions for Companion Care Near Minneapolis?

Companion care is an excellent resource for your loved one. Read on to see what sets Joyful Companions apart and how we can help you and your loved one live a stress-free life.

[...]

5 Benefits of Companion Care for Your Loved Ones

Companion care is a wonderful way to help your loved one stay engaged and social. Read more about the benefits of companion care with Joyful Companions.

[...]