Drew Kowalski, Executive Director
In the summer of 2019, Drew was hired by CJE SeniorLife as the Executive Director of Tamarisk NorthShore because of his reputation for successfully opening other senior living communities and his natural ability to build a staff that truly understands the importance of delivering excellent customer service.
Drew began his career over twenty-five years ago in the financial arena until he was recruited in 2007 to help the Executive Director of another local “retirement” community with all facets of running its operations—from financial planning and analysis to resident satisfaction to staff development. Though he still considers himself a “numbers guy,” it was there that he realized he had a passion and a gift for working directly with seniors.
As the building has been growing taller and the interiors are taking shape, Drew has been involved in every aspect of launching this long-awaited community that will be the first of its kind for CJE SeniorLife. “It has been exhilarating to be part of this project, almost from the ground up. I can’t wait to welcome our first residents and ‘wow’ them with our incredible dining venues, our robust array of life enrichment opportunities, and amazing amenities.”
It is apparent that the well-being of Tamarisk NorthShore’s residents are Drew’s #1 priority and that he will put his heart and soul into creating a vibrant, warm community where older adults can flourish.
Paisley Valentincic, Director of Sales and Marketing
Right from the start, Paisley was Drew’s top choice for this important position at Tamarisk NorthShore. Over the past 25 years, Paisley has garnered a stellar reputation as a dynamic, highly successful sales professional in the senior living field. Her career includes many awards for her sales performance because of her unique blend of knowledge, insight, and thoughtful solutions to an older person’s quest for “the next best chapter.”
Paisley’s passion for working with older adults emerged when she was in her teens. And to see her in action, it is clearly evident that Paisley’s passion for working in a senior living community is an integral part of her DNA. Calm, reassuring, and supportive, she will guide future residents through the process of deciding if a move to Tamarisk is the right choice, at the right time. Paisley will listen to what is motivating a person to take the first step and inquire about all the possibilities that a Tamarisk lifestyle can offer. No stone goes unturned as she explores the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of becoming a resident.
Together, Drew and Paisley bring over 50 years of business experience—with the majority of it in senior living and hospitality—and they are building an incredible team. She is quick to acknowledge that “I am just so honored to be part of CJE, working on this new endeavor for older adults. I know from experience that Tamarisk will be defined by its reputation for providing an outstanding breadth and depth of services, just like CJE is renowned for being an eldercare provider of choice for nearly 50 years.”
Dorge Jean-Baptiste, Director of Dining Services
Dorge joined the Tamarisk Team in January 2020. Originally from Haiti, he grew up in Florida and moved to Chicago to begin his professional career. Dorge has extensive experience in the hospitality industry that includes over a decade of creating new dining programs for senior living communities. To quote Dorge: “I fell in love with this industry at a young age. Over the years, my passion to serve seniors has grown because I know that I have the opportunity to make someone’s day by delivering an excellent meal with exceptional customer service.”
Residents will enjoy Dorge’s easy smile and sincere desire to enrich the lives of older adults. Dorge is married and has a young son: “As a family man, my dedication to hard work, interest in mentoring new employees and wanting to make a difference in peoples’ lives are what drive me.” He is honored to be a part of the new Tamarisk Team and is looking forward to bringing a new, exciting dining program to our community.
Jim Betke, Director of Maintenance and Housekeeping
Jim is a real “go-to” person and we are thrilled that he joined our team in January 2020. He comes to us with over 12 years in senior living management, most recently as a Maintenance Supervisor for a community in Lake Forest. His previous experience includes working for a Park District where he was responsible for overseeing the operations of multiple business spaces. Earlier, he worked in commercial and residential construction.
Residents will find that Jim is very results-oriented — he thrives on finding creative solutions to problems: “The most gratification that one can have is going to work, helping seniors maintain their beautiful apartment homes, and becoming part of a community that is really like a large family.”