Our Team

"Showing love and grace by providing hope and compassion to the families we care for and serve"

Jeri Gort, MSW, LISW, Owner & Social Worker

Jeri is a Licensed Social Worker who has over 30 years of experience working with families. She is proud to carry on the vision of her father, who started Caring Companions, which was one of the first non-medical companion care companies. Jeri oversees new families and helps assess the right level of care for their loved ones, as well as providing resources for families as their needs change. Her mission is to show love and grace to all served by Joyful Companions Home Care

Jeri is a member of the Minnesota Association of Home Care Social Workers (MAHCSW) and a member of the Minneapolis Area Senior Worker’s Association (MASWA).

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.  After volunteering with older adults, she developed a strong interest in social welfare at a young age. She was an Area Emphasis in Aging Scholar and a Certified Senior Advisor.  Lindsay is proud to serve as third generation in this company, and 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 been with Joyful Companions since 2008.

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) and a member of MASWA.

Sara Michel, MSW, LGSW, Social Worker & Home Care Coordinator

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

Shari Ley, Office Administrator & Hiring Manager

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. She has walked the journey of dementia with her own father and understands the importance of hiring compassionate caregivers for your loved one.

Becca Hiljus, Staffing Coordinator

Becca has a degree in Business Administration, and over 5 years of experience in the customer service field. Her grandfather has limited mobility and over the past few years she has been able to help him with daily activities.  In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, knitting biking, playing softball and being outside soaking up the sun.  Becca loves working with people and making a positive difference in their life.

Joleen Langert, Staffing Coordinator

Joleen joined the Scheduling Coordinator team with over 25 years of Customer Service, Scheduling, and Operations experience, including 10 years in a Minneapolis area hospital. Her heart to serve others is driven by a deep love for the medical/healthcare industry, paired with a love of helping people, particularly those on a difficult journey.  She has walked the road of Parkinson’s, dementia, and cancer with several family members, and understands many of the very difficult issues that accompany these diagnoses.  She also studied at the College of St Scholastica in Duluth, MN.  In addition to her work at Joyful Companions, Joleen adores her family.  She and her husband have 3 children and live in Eden Prairie.

Lisa Collins, Staffing Coordinator

Lisa comes to our team after working in the field as a Joyful Companions Caregiver for 3 years.  She studied at Connecticut College and brings a great skill of working with others and is eager to help provide the right Caregiver match within our Client schedules.

Julie Weninger, Payroll & Billing Specialist

Julie comes to us as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a BA 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 a part of the Joyful Companions team, Julie handles all billing and payroll questions, assisting our clients with their Long Term Care insurance requirements.

Ken Gooden, Chaplain

        Our Mission is to enhance quality of life, and we believe in honoring the lives of those we serve. 

Joyful Companionsoffers complimentary Chaplain visits by our ordained minister, Ken Gooden, at no cost to our client families and caregivers. Ken provides scripture readings, prayer, communion, spiritual comfort, or devotions.  We have a heart for serving others with joy and are committed to caring for others with grace.  Please give us a call if you or your loved one is interested in receiving a visit from our chaplain!

"The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength" -Nehemiah 8:10

We offer the ability to:

  • Provide caregiving from 2 hours to 24 hours per day
  • Offer services ranging from a few days each month to seven days each week
  • Serve on weekends, holidays and overnight
  • Tailor care for on-call needs and short term schedules
  • Assist with the transition home after a hospital or rehab stay
  • Provide respite care and breaks for family members
  • Attend care conferences at no charge

There is no minimum number of service days required, and we work with you to fit Joyful Companions Home Care into your budget.

Joyful Companions Home Care is a proud member of the Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network (SPCN). The training and support our staff members receive help them to provide quality care for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Joyful Companion’s membership in the SPCN reflects our commitment to individuals and families living with Parkinson’s disease.

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