Meet the Team
Executive Director: Ms. Jennifer Youngsteadt
I come from a background in Education and Early Childhood School Administration. Previous to my career in Senior Living I also spent several years as a Youth Ministry Director for the LCMS working with Jr. and Sr. High students.
I have worked in the field of Senior Living for the last seven years as an Assisted Living Coordinator, a Resident Care Coordinator, and an Interim Executive Director. I am also a Certified Dementia Practitioner with a true heart for Memory Care.
I was drawn to Senior Care after caring for my dad with the support of hospice as he battled lung cancer. I was fortunate enough to be able to care for my dad in my home and this experience stirred in me what I can only describe as a true calling that began my career in Senior Care. The wonderful nurses, CNAs, social workers, and other supportive individuals that touched our lives through this very difficult time inspired me to leave my career in Education in order to give back what I had been so blessed to receive.
I believe that this experience has given me an empathy and understanding for family members and loved ones who find themselves in a similar circumstance. My continued goal is to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their loved ones.
I have four grown children and a daughter in law. Brittany lives in Florida. Seamus and his wife Olivia live in Colorado. My husband and I live Huntley along with my two stepsons Finn and Kai. Our family enjoys the outdoors and we spend our free time hiking, white water rafting, and visiting the National Parks out West. In the past we had been very avid back country campers as well, but age takes is toll and we no longer do this very often. I am an avid reader and I enjoy needle work, paper quilling, and singing (mostly folk and bluegrass music) with my husband who is a very talented guitar player.
On Saturdays you will find me watching College Football from sunup to sundown or at a Badger Football Game as my husband is a UW Madison Alum. This passion comes from my dad, and I have many fond memories of watching Alabama Football with him growing up. Roll Tide!
My mother was a Registered Nurse who also worked in Senior Care later in her career. Her picture is displayed in my office and serves and an inspiration for me to serve as she did and continue to do my best to make a difference every day.
Director of Sales & Marketing: Shari Zimmerman
I am a native Chicagoan with a background in real estate and have been helping families find their dream homes for over 20 years. Until recently, I resided in Florida and worked predominantly with older adults. A personal experience with my own family member made such an impact on me, I chose to take a leap from real estate to senior living. It was a natural transition as I was still helping families find their dream home! After several years with an assisted living and memory care community in the Sunshine State, family brings me back home to the Midwest. Helping others find homes isn’t just for people, I have volunteered throughout the years with animal rescue organizations, focusing on rehabilitation and rehoming of off track racehorses. I have settled back in Illinois and love spending my time with my horses, chickens and 2 boxer dogs.
Senior Business Office Manager: Ally Dunskis
Hello, my name is Ally Dunskis; I am the Business Office Manager for the Cottages. I have been with Charter Senior Living for 5 years. I started in 2017 as a caregiver for the Cottages and stayed with this community for 3 and a half years while filling in various roles. In January of 2021 I transferred to one of our sister communities with the promotion of Business Office Manager. I have officially transferred back full time, and I am so excited to be able to bring my experiences and expertise to this community. I originally came into this community with no previous experience in healthcare; it is safe to say I had found my calling. I love having a career in Senior living as my passion and drive is helping others. I am happy to be home!
I live very close to the community, and I have 2 pets! I have a hamster named Oreo and a Yorkie named Toby. I adopted Toby from one of my past residents at the community I transferred from. He is so full of life, and I am happy to have been able to give him a loving home.
Dining Services Director: Karel Wells
Hello, my name is Karel Wells and I’ve been a chef for the last 29 years. I’ve been working in Senior Living for the last 16 years. It’s my passion to care for others through food. Nothing is more rewarding to me than making someone’s day with a satisfying meal. I make a point of getting to know all my residents and their likes and dislikes. We’re not only nourishing their bodies but also their souls with the love and care we put into the food we prepare.
I have three grown children, two beautiful grandchildren with another one on the way. I live in McHenry with my wonderful husband and his two kids. In my free time I enjoy writing, painting, cooking, listening to music, road trips, stargazing, hiking, camping and fishing.
My door is always open and family members are welcome to come see me anytime. I feel so blessed to be the dining services director here at the Cottages of Fox Lake.