Sunrise of Buffalo Grove

Meet the Sunrise of Buffalo Grove Team

We are pleased to introduce you to just a few of our many essential team members. Each member of our group here at Sunrise of Buffalo Grove, IL, firmly believes in the Sunrise mission: to champion the quality of life for all seniors. We are honored to spend our days caring for the residents that we call family.


Loren.ED_BuffaloLorena Shkurti—Team Member since 2019

Executive Director

Lorena started her career with Sunrise in 2019 as an Associate Executive Director. Lorena has served in various roles in senior living communities during the last seven years and her favorite part about her role at Sunrise is working closely with the teams to ensure we are creating individualized and memorable experiences for the residents to thrive in. It is an honor and privilege to come to work in our residents’ home every day where we can create many special moments and learn so much from our residents. In her spare time, Lorena enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.


Brittany Leckie—Team Member Since 2016Brittany Bartel

Director of Sales

Brittany has been a Sunrise team member since 2015.  Before coming to Sunrise, she spent several years working in skilled nursing and rehab.   For Brittany, the best part of working at Sunrise is getting to work with the teams at Sunrise of Buffalo Grove – they are like family.  In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her cat, 2 dogs, and husband.  She loves to be outside with them – hiking, camping, and just playing in the backyard.



sahar buffalo groveSahar Jalali—Team Member since 2011

Resident Care Director

Sahar has been with Sunrise since 2011. She began as a wellness nurse before recently transitioning to the resident care director role. She has vast experience with the geriatric population—working as a home health nurse and alongside Alzheimer’s and dementia physicians and psychiatrists.

Sahar is very dedicated to our community, saying, “I love the diversity of our residents and the staff here at Sunrise. I enjoy listening to the residents and understanding their needs. My goal is to continue to be an advocate to ensure the highest quality of care to our residents."

Sahar is a family-oriented person and loves spending time with her four beautiful boys. She also enjoys reading, traveling, and skiing with her family.


melissa walsh buffalo grovesMelissa Walsh—Team Member since 2018

Resident Care Coordinator

Before joining the Sunrise Team, Melissa worked in the gerontology field for 15 years with the last 10 of that being in healthcare. Melissa loves knowing that today will not be like yesterday. She says, “Our residents bring such joy to my life; being able to hear their stories and learn about them is my favorite part!” 

Melissa loves that Sunrise fosters development and growth. She has never felt more welcome at any other job than she does here. In her spare time, Melissa loves baking and taking her dog to the beach.


susan church buffalo groveSue Church—Team Member since 2017

Activities & Volunteer Coordinator

Sue has a way with people, but she really found her niche working with seniors. She enjoys coming up with activities that make their days a little brighter and really values those moments when she can see a resident’s eyes light up engaging with a sing-along or a game of charades.

Sue is passionate about Sunrise’s Live With Purpose programming, as it ensures a well-balanced approach to the physical, mental, and spiritual growth of each resident, saying, “I love that Sunrise provides an opportunity for every resident to engage, enjoy, express, learn, and continue to grow….we truly put the Sunrise mission of championing quality of life for seniors into action.”


barbara weidig buffalo groveBarbara Weidig—Team Member since 2004

Life Enrichment Manager

Barb has been a part of the Sunrise family for more than a decade. Barb has learned that each resident she has met touches her life in their own way and gives her a memory that she will forever cherish.

Barb says that her days at Sunrise are filled with laughter, good conversation, many chances to make a difference … and a history lesson or two!


sofie b buffalo groveSofie Balyasny—Team Member since 2005

Dining Services Coordinator
2018 Dining Excellence Award Winner

Before joining the team at Sunrise in 2005, Sofie and her husband, Neil, spent more than 25 years as owners of a restaurant and catering business. In 2008, Sofie became Dining Services Coordinator and says she takes pride in preparing fresh food each day (and keeping one of the cleanest kitchens around!). She loves the challenges and rewards of cooking for our residents and enjoys helping with events such as brunches and parties. 


josh daniels mc buffalo groveJosh Daniels—Team Member since 2015

Maintenance Coordinator

Josh has been the Maintenance Coordinator with Sunrise of Buffalo Grove since 2015. His previous occupations and educations have given him a surplus of knowledge that he uses to make the community run and look great.

Josh enjoys getting to know the residents and how he can better serve them. He especially enjoys taking residents out of the community on special trips for Men’s Club. 


nicole outlaw buffalo grovesNicole Outlaw—Team Member since 2018

Business Office Coordinator

Prior to coming to Sunrise, Nicole spent several years working in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation setting. For Nicole, the best part about working at Sunrise is getting to know the residents and team members. Everyone here is family and it feels like home when you are here. 

Nicole says, “We not only create a great environment, but we also create long lasting and loving memories and I am grateful to be a part of these joyful experiences.” In her spare time, Nicole enjoys traveling with her family, trying new recipes, and spending time outdoors.


Joanna StepniowskiJoanna Stepniowski—Team Member since 2016

Nurse

Joanna has provided wholistic person-centered care for the residents during the last 5 years that she has served our community. Joanna’s strong understanding of clinical processes and her ability to quickly adapt to change during the COVID-19 pandemic have been instrumental in continuing to provide high quality resident care. She has taken on additional responsibilities during the pandemic to ensure we are adhering to our strong infection control protocols. Furthermore, she is always cheerful and brings smiles and laughter to all the residents and team members of the community as she shares one of her funny jokes.

Joanna loves working at Sunrise because of the amazing team here; everyone works very hard to take care of our residents, and we all try to put a smile on their faces every day. She loves to see our residents happy and comfortable, and enjoys making every event memorable to them.


jojoJojo—Team Member since 2020

Resident Dog

Jojo is the newest addition to our Sunrise team. Jojo is a 4 year old Westie Terrier. He brings some amazing talents to our team such as: chasing squirrels, barking at large trucks, and sniffing out treats. He also has a sixth sense to know which of our residents will share a bite of dinner! Since joining our team, Jojo has made many friends throughout the community. He is a sucker for a good scratch behind the ears, and will often stop our residents to ask for some pets.



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