2023 Award Recipients and Honorees

WHCA/WICAL Proudly Recognizes the 2023 Award Recipients & Honorees

2023 National Quality Award Recipients

The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards Program is a progressive program that is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Participants move from the Bronze level, to Silver, and then ultimately to the Gold. Bronze recipients must demonstrate a groundwork for excellence by completing a self-assessment that outlines their organizational priorities and goals. Silver recipients outline their systematic approaches and demonstrate sustainable organizational and process results linked to their key customer requirements, success factors, and challenges. Gold recipients represent an elite group by meeting all of the demands of the Baldrige Criteria, they demonstrate the achievement of high levels of performance over time in the areas of: leadership, strategic planning, customer service, workforce, operations, and knowledge management.

Silver Quality Award Recipients

  • Columbus Health & Rehab
  • Cornell Health Services
  • Soldiers Grove Health Services
  • The Bay at Eastview Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • The Bay at Suring Health and Rehabilitation Center

Bronze Quality Award Recipients

  • Alden Meadow Park
  • Dimensions Living Appleton
  • Dimensions Living Green Bay
  • Homestead Health Services
  • Hope Health & Rehab Center
  • Lake Country Health Services
  • Lancaster Health Services
  • Marshfield Health Services
  • Mineral Point Health Services
  • Oak Ridge Care Center
  • Willowcrest Health Services

2023 Heather Bruemmer WCCEAL Provider Award Recipient

The Heather Bruemmer WCCEAL Provider Award for Assisted Living Quality is an annual award, presented to an assisted living provider who exemplifies Heather Bruemmer for their dedication to go above and beyond to provide quality care to their residents. The provider selected for this award exceeds the WCCEAL quality improvement initiatives and upholds the values of quality care as demonstrated so effectively by Heather Bruemmer. Some of the criteria considered for this award is: authentic collaboration with a focus to improve outcomes, effective communication that leads to improved quality, going above and beyond the call of duty, sacrificing self for others, leadership & motiving other to achieve something new and better, the presence of constant kindness, caring for others and the small details of their lives, and always placing residents at the forefront for both quality of care and quality of live.



Pinnacle Senior Living




2023 Shooting Star Award Recipient

Pat LeMire – M3 Insurance

Pat consistently goes above and beyond the call to partnership. He is a living role model for our definition of partnership as he exceeds the expectations of even the most advanced partnerships and continuously shows up for our members and for us at the association. From his personal sponsorship of the leadership academy program – he has paid the full tuition of a leadership academy participant in every year of the program, since its inception – to his commitment and involvement in all association events and programs, no matter the ask, no matter the task, and for his unwavering & steadfast support of long term care & our members, we want to ensure Pat does not go unappreciated or unrecognized. It is truly our honor and privilege to celebrate our friend, our colleague, and our business partner, Pat LeMire, as the 2023 recipient of the Shooting Star Award for Partner Excellence.

2023 Shining Star Award Winners


Leadership Award

Steve Kuranz – Executive Director at Oak Ridge Care Center

Steve Kuranz has been the leader of Oak Ridge Care Center since 2004. This family business has been providing excellent care to our elderly population since 1968. His consistent and determined leadership has guided the center through successes and trials, including changing economics and regulations, staff development and investments, and the pandemic.

Steve invests his time and energy into people, including his employees, the residents, and their families, teaching and guiding his staff members to become the best caregivers possible and to rise to each challenge. He possesses impressive personability, strong moral character, and a gracious disposition.

Steve never considers any task as too small or great and comes ready to care for the residents every day and inspires his team to continuously produce proficient results.

“While Steve is a very professional and humble leader, he also knows the importance of making work fun. Good staff morale is always a priority for Steve. Whether it be telling one of his horrible Dad jokes at morning stand up, wearing a Santa costume at the 4th of July parade or showing off his fantastic dancing skills in a talent show put on for the residents, Steve can always make us laugh.”

Director of Nursing Award

Kari Roberts – Director of Nursing at Water’s Edge Health and Rehabilitation

Kari is not just a nurse. Her story is one of love, leadership, and influence.

Kari is a wife, bonded eternally with a husband that had to leave too soon. Kari is mom and independently raising four confident, intelligent, and mentally strong daughters. Kari is a nurse leader in post-acute care leveraging her time with the balance of life commitments to care not only for her community, but her family and herself.

Kari has earned credentials as a Certified Director of Nursing Administration, Certified Dementia Practitioner and Certified QAPI Professional. Her focus on growing the next generation of nurse leaders is evident. Her final transformational alignment to come this year is announcing her ADON as the Director of Nursing and Kari transitioning into the Administrator role.

“Kari Roberts is an amazing DON. She always seems to be one step ahead of the game. She is knowledgeable and knows how to think outside the box. She is resourceful, hardworking, and always has the building’s best interest in mind. Her level of dedication and commitment is unsurmountable. When things go array, she can handle the stress load in a calm and professional manner. All too often I hear the words “Kari’s got this”, whether it is from staff, residents, or our support office. She is kind, respectful and a great mentor.”

Direct Caregiver Awards

Cassie Tessman – Restorative CNA at Alden Estates of Jefferson

Cassie has been an employee at the Alden Estates of Jefferson for the past 28 years. Cassie is a true asset to their team and has shown an unwavering dedication to providing the highest quality of care to every resident. Cassie started her journey in July of 1995, working in the kitchen as a Dietary Aide. Over the years, she has worked hard to develop her skills and knowledge, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant and, more recently, a restorative aide. Cassie’s positive attitude, hard-working nature, and passion for her work are evident to all who know her.

“Cassie is a very dedicated and caring person. She goes out of her way to show she cares. Whether it is doing shopping for us on her personal time, spending time having one-on-one conversations, or making sure we have our daily physical therapy, no matter how busy her day is, she makes time for the little things that mean so much to us residents.”


Anne Fanelli – Nurse at Oak Ridge Care Center

Ann is an exceptional nurse and is recognized for her outstanding work in providing quality care to her residents. She is a productive and organized leader whose nursing judgement is second to none. She works diligently and efficiently, ensuring that her residents receive the best possible care.

Ann’s charting is detailed and comprehensive, and she responds well in a crisis, acting calmly and quickly. She is a problem solver who sees the big picture and works to manage even the most complex cases.

Ann is also a patient advocate, taking the time to get to know her residents on a more personal level and earning their trust and respect.

“Ann has received multiple praises from her residents and families, as well as colleagues and the management team at Oak Ridge. It is truly amazing to watch her interact with the residents. She has a special bond with each resident. No matter how busy her shift is, she always finds time to sit with the residents to have a chat and to ask them how their day has been. She truly is an exceptional nurse.”


Kevin Grand – RN at Court Manor Health Services

Kevin is an outstanding Registered Nurse who goes above and beyond for his patients, colleagues, and loved ones. He is not just a skilled clinician who delivers exceptional care to his patients, but he is also an advocate for the elderly and a proud father to a baby boy. Kevin’s secret to success lies in his commitment to maintaining a work-life balance, which enables him to be the best version of himself for his son, his patients, and his loved ones.

Kevin is a hard-working and dedicated professional who is always ready to lend a hand to his colleagues and provide excellent care to his patients. Kevin’s colleagues are proud to have Kevin on their team and are grateful for his heart of gold, infectious smile, and positive attitude.

“Kevin Grand always puts his best foot forward! His performance is always top notch, even when he takes on more work. He is an inspiration to us all!”

Support Staff Award

Romonda Stephenson – Activity Director at Clairidge House

Starting as a CNA in October 1998, Romonda quickly stood out for her ability to promote resident safety, satisfaction, and quality of care. Her dedication and leadership skills led to her being named the lead CNA and mentor for new staff members. Romonda’s commitment to her residents extended beyond her direct care duties, as she actively participated in facility quality meetings to represent their needs.

In May 2021, Romonda took on a new role as Activity Director, where she continues to shine. She has implemented self-driven activities that promote purpose and engagement among residents, while also coordinating with community groups and volunteers to provide special events and themed activities. Under her leadership, overall resident satisfaction has significantly improved. Her dedication to her role and willingness to assist in any department make her a true emerging leader in our facility. Romonda is also a 2023 graduate of the Leadership Academy.

“Romonda is compassionate. She treats individuals under her care with kindness and respect at all times. When faced with difficult and trying situations, she expresses compassion and patience. Romonda is a dedicated and trustworthy, long-term employee. She works closely with management to assure residents have a competent, caring team of providers. She’s open and honest, even when conversations are uncomfortable. Clairidge House is honored to have Romonda as a member of our team.”

2023 Shining Star Honorable Mentions

Below are all of the leaders, directors of nursing, caregivers, and support staff nominated for 2023 Shining Star Awards. Please helps us in congratulating all of the nominees!

Click here to download your honorable mention certificate!


Katie Neuman, Community Life Director, Eagle Point Senior Living

Rachael Bolder, ED/NHA, Wausau Manor Health Services

Sue Mattson, NHA-Executive Director, Florence Health Services

Miranda Seghers, Executive Director, Green Bay Health Services

Melissa Gunderson, MDS Coordinator/PDPM Reviewer, Muskego Health and Rehabilitation Center

Jamie Campbell, Clinical Market Leader. Robins Landing of Brookfield

Director of Nursing

Lannette Ladwig, Director of Nursing, Marshfield Health Services

Diane Nowak, NHA, Three Oaks

Melissa Pohlmann, DON, Riverside Transitional Care

Direct Caregiver

Courtney Kauffman, CNA/Med Tec,h Edenbrook Platteville

Karla Kuhel, Registered Nurse, Elroy Health Services

Braeden Tomczyk, CNA, Oak Ridge Care Center

Tanya Rekow, CNA/Medication Assistant, Wausau Manor Health Services

Devyn Gerhartz, LPN, Oak Park Place

Nakoma Bianca Spencer, LPN, UM, IP Crossroads Care Center Green Bay

Betty Day, Medical Support Provider, Silver Trail

Christopher Carlson, Direct Service Professional, East Ridge

Christina Anderson, Program Director, Winfield & Bobbi

Kelly Christman, Lead Attendant, Pine View Terrace

Victoria Miller, Advocate Resident Manager/CNA, Oak Park Place Baraboo

Joyce Milton, PCA, Oak Park Place

Karen Long, DSP, Marion House

Janelle Barnett, Resident Assistant, The Heights at Evansville Manor

Anne Bastman, RN, Sky View Nursing Center

Support Staff

Marie Rasmussen, Assistant Executive Director, Woods of Caledonia

Delores Woolf, Dietary Aide, Edenbrook Platteville

Kaetlyn Hill, Resident Care Management Director, Court Manor Health Services

Paul Dietrich, Director of Therapy, Oak Park Place Nakoma

Innam Hamed, Receptionist/Scheduler, Oak Park Place Nakoma

Karen Vernon, Activity Aide, Alden Estates of Jefferson

Margaret Heineck, Lead Dietary Aid, Oak Ridge Care Center

Alicia Davis, Housekeeping Manager, Oak Ridge Care Center

Arkee Hayes, Housekeeping, Oak Park Place Nakoma

Mary Binder, Baker, Marshfield Health Services

Hillary McAuliffe, Therapy Director, Edenbrook Platteville

Ashlie Anzaldi, Business Office Manager, Sheridan Health and Rehabilitation

Jean Richert, Casual Employee-RN, NHA, Riverview Health Service