Our Trust­ed Leadership

Smith Senior Liv­ing is a mis­­­sion-dri­ven orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to enrich­ing lives by offer­ing thought­ful inno­va­tions in ser­vices for a vari­ety of lifestyles.

As a not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion, Smith Senior Liv­ing also con­sists of a vol­un­teer Board of Trustees made up of local phil­an­thropists and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers. This lead­er­ship and the well-man­aged endow­ment of Smith Senior Liv­ing allow Smith Vil­lage and Smith Cross­ing to grow and thrive.

Exec­u­tive Staff

Keen­ly attuned to the needs of senior adults and deeply ded­i­cat­ed to ful­fill­ing the mis­sion of Smith Senior Liv­ing, our high­ly expe­ri­enced staff works tire­less­ly to ensure that all Res­i­dents enjoy a qual­i­ty lifestyle.


Kevin McGee

President and CEO

Pres­i­dent and CEO Kevin McGee’s rela­tion­ship to Smith Senior Liv­ing dates to his col­lege days, when his grand­moth­er moved into Smith Vil­lage, for­mer­ly known as the Wash­ing­ton and Jane Smith Home. Even as an active senior,” he says, she under­stood the cen­tral role that being part of a vibrant com­mu­ni­ty plays for old­er peo­ple. Reflect­ing on my vis­its to her leads me to believe that my grandmother’s pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence point­ed me towards a career in gerontology.”

His own ear­ly-in-life expe­ri­ences inform Kevin’s resolve to pre­serve Smith Senior Living’s excep­tion­al rep­u­ta­tion for qual­i­ty care and life-enhanc­ing pro­grams. Dur­ing our recent, ambi­tious growth we have stead­fast­ly remem­bered every­thing we do is about improv­ing lives of indi­vid­u­als in a mean­ing­ful way.”

An Illi­nois licensed nurs­ing home admin­is­tra­tor, McGee earned a M.B.A. in health­care admin­is­tra­tion and grad­u­at­ed with hon­ors from Saint Xavier Uni­ver­si­ty and magna cum laude with a master’s degree in geron­tol­ogy from East­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­si­ty, where he also holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology.


Raymond J. Marneris

Chief Financial Officer

There is a lot of knowl­edge in these walls and I am glad the res­i­dents share their life expe­ri­ences as well as their dreams with us,” says Ray­mond J. Marner­is, Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer. I am very aware we work in their home every day, and I am grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do some­thing mean­ing­ful for them and their families.”

When he first came to Smith Senior Liv­ing, he remem­bers being struck by the love and car­ing that the staff and Res­i­dents share with each oth­er. Because Ray believes account­ing is a ser­vice depart­ment with­in any orga­ni­za­tion, he knows it is his team’s job to pro­vide the infor­ma­tion that man­agers need to per­form their duties effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly. That way, both Res­i­dents and staff have the tools that pro­vide the resources they need to enjoy a rich and ful­fill­ing life.”


Karen Jellema

Human Resources Director

I work for the Res­i­dents,” says Karen Jelle­ma, Human Resources Direc­tor. Even if I am doing paper­work, I know that the end result makes their lives bet­ter. That keeps me moti­vat­ed.” Karen not only loves her job, but also trea­sures the time she spends vol­un­teer­ing with the book club she orga­nized for Res­i­dents. We strive to make our ben­e­fits pro­gram for employ­ees just right so that our employ­ees do not have to wor­ry about their own retire­ment, health­care or even brown bag­ging their meals. We know that by tak­ing care of our staff mem­bers we help stay focused on ser­vice to our Res­i­dents,” adds Jellema.


Chris August

Corporate Environmental Services and Safety Director

You won’t find a bet­ter man with more skills than Cor­po­rate Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices and Safe­ty Direc­tor Chris August. Chris’ key pri­or­i­ty is the safe­ty and secu­ri­ty of Res­i­dents, staff mem­bers and the facil­i­ties. He pro­vides peace of mind for all by super­vis­ing and reg­u­lar­ly updat­ing detailed safe­ty plans for Smith Cross­ing and Smith Vil­lage campuses.

Hav­ing insti­tut­ed enter­prise-wide sys­tems and pro­ce­dures, Chris ensures the most effec­tive and effi­cient use of Smith’s resources to ben­e­fit Res­i­dents. He and his team also respond to Res­i­dents’ spe­cif­ic requests for their homes. They take pride too in man­ag­ing the care of the appear­ance of our cam­pus­es, includ­ing land­scap­ing and com­mon areas, as well as mak­ing sure all equip­ment and sys­tems prop­er­ly function.


James Schmitt

Chief Information Officer

To Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cer James Schmitt the best part of his job is con­nect­ing Res­i­dents with tech­nol­o­gy.” But that is only part of it. He is respon­si­ble for the imple­men­ta­tion and main­te­nance of all tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions through­out the Smith com­mu­ni­ties. His depart­ment also pro­vides sup­port and train­ing of emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies for admin­is­tra­tive staff and res­i­dents alike. Cur­rent­ly, he is lead­ing the inte­gra­tion of Smith’s elec­tron­ic med­ical record solu­tion that will be shared with oth­er health­care providers to stream­line the trans­fer of Res­i­dents’ patient health infor­ma­tion to keep Smith com­mu­ni­ties at the van­guard of ser­vice to Residents.

James heads a team of IT pros, and co-found­ed and over­sees the miSmith pro­gram, a tech­nol­o­gy sup­port pro­gram for Res­i­dents staffed by Saint Xavier Uni­ver­si­ty com­put­er sci­ence interns.


Yahaira Ramirez RN

Director of Clinical Operations

Direc­tor of Clin­i­cal Oper­a­tions Yahaira Ramirez RN says, I feel priv­i­leged to know Res­i­dents. They’re such intrigu­ing peo­ple and I am proud to be their advo­cate.” As a nurse and Smith Village’s direc­tor of nurs­ing for near­ly 10 years before becom­ing Smith Senior Living’s direc­tor of clin­i­cal oper­a­tions, Yahaira has her own ideas about what make Smith com­mu­ni­ties spe­cial. We pro­vide care for Res­i­dents as they tran­si­tion through lev­els of liv­ing. We’re the one con­stant in a chang­ing world for them and their families.”

In her new posi­tion, she leads 200 CNAs, LPNs and RNs car­ing for Smith Cross­ing and Smith Vil­lage Res­i­dents. She is proud to say, we pro­vide very good qual­i­ty care because our health­care pro­fes­sion­als make sure they are aware of each Resident’s needs and they are skilled to pro­vide the care they give.” For fam­i­lies, it’s com­fort­ing to know we are doing a good job.” And for employ­ees, it’s very ben­e­fi­cial to watch them grow. Some CNAs return to school to become LPNs or RNs.”

Respond­ing to the chal­lenge of work­ing with nurs­es on two cam­pus­es rather than walk­ing the floor of only one, she says, I believe in build­ing rela­tion­ships with my col­leagues, to have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the needs and aspi­ra­tions of both staff and res­i­dents.” She adds, I am hon­ored to be entrust­ed with con­tin­u­al­ly eval­u­at­ing both cam­pus­es to make sure we’re con­sis­tent­ly meet­ing and exceed­ing top qual­i­ty standards.”


Coleen Barkmeier

Corporate Secretary and Executive Administrative Assistant

Coleen Bark­meier deft­ly bal­ances her respon­si­bil­i­ties as cor­po­rate sec­re­tary for the Board of Trustees and exec­u­tive admin­is­tra­tive assis­tant to CEO Kevin McGee. This is the per­fect job for me. I can com­bine my love of work­ing on behalf of seniors and my skills in the hos­pi­tal­i­ty indus­try.” Her expe­ri­ence in both began ear­ly in life. My grand­fa­ther lived with us when I was young. And when I was in third grade, I remem­ber vis­it­ing the Wash­ing­ton and Jane Smith Home (now Smith Vil­lage) with my Brown­ie Troop.”

In her teens, Bark­meier had intern­ships at Chicago’s Depart­ment on Aging and a col­lege-lev­el pro­gram at Dis­ney World, which she put to use plan­ning activ­i­ties at a South Side nurs­ing home and lat­er coor­di­nat­ing wed­dings and cor­po­rate events.

After rais­ing four chil­dren and return­ing to the work­force, Bark­meier was attract­ed to Smith Senior Liv­ing because, I have always had a spe­cial place in my heart for seniors and every day I am in awe of the time my co-work­ers give to their jobs.”


Shelly Genis

Volunteers Coordinator

Shelly Genis, Vol­un­teers Coor­di­na­tor, recruits and trains a team of vol­un­teers who have donat­ed close to 70,000 hours of tal­ent and time dur­ing the last sev­en years. She says, our vol­un­teer pro­gram ben­e­fits both our Res­i­dents and our vol­un­teers because they learn from each oth­er.” About work­ing at Smith, she adds, where else can some­one have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to be cre­ative and inter­act with some incred­i­ble peo­ple while learn­ing some­thing new every day?”