Our Team

Showing love and grace by providing hope and compassion to the families we care for and serve
In home Senior Care

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.  She 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.  Lindsay 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, 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.  She has served with Joyful Companions since 2019.

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, Office Administrator & Hiring Manager

Shari has a bachelors degree from Crown College and has 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 4 children, she 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. She 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, 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.  She 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.  Joleen studied at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN.  She brings a great skill of working with others and is eager to provide the right caregiver match within our client schedules. 

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 MN 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 MN 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, she 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, Bookkeeper

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.

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

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

Our Services:

  • From 2 hours to 24 hours per day
  • Range from a few days each month to seven days a week
  • Weekends, holidays and overnight care
  • 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
  • Compassionate and reliable caregivers

We serve with consistent and committed caregivers, working with you to fit Joyful Companions Home Care into your budget.  Our companion services can be covered by a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, and our staff will help you receive reimbursement for our care.  As our families come to a point where they need a service beyond what we offer, our care team will refer to our trusted community resources.

Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network

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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