A team filled with expertise, humility, and heart - together guiding meaningful change in memory care.
FOUNDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Founding Executive Director, Lorenzo’s House
wife, mom, care partner, entrepreneur, strategist, educator, school leader, fundraiser
Over 30 years of experience in urban education, Diana co-founded Perspectives, a network of public charter schools in Chicago. What started with 40 students, herself and a colleague was scaled to five campuses, nearly 2000 students and over 250 staff. Serving as Co-founder & President at Perspectives for nearly 25 years, she co-created ‘A Disciplined Life’ – a curriculum that teaches social, emotional & ethical competencies. Perspectives received national attention, earning a U.S. Department of Education dissemination grant.
Diana served as lead fundraiser, attracting more than $50M over her years with Perspectives to support innovative education for students living in under-resourced communities. Leading galas that raised over $1M to capital campaigns at $25M, Diana drove strategy and built relationships with such partners as, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Walton Family Foundation, EY, Exelon, AAR, Allstate and more
A contributing columnist for publications including Smart Business, Medium, and various ‘ethical leadership’ articles – Diana is the Executive Producer of the “I Am For Peace” documentary, featuring the former US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and performer Jennifer Hudson. A speaker on social emotional learning panels at local and national conferences, including Chicago Innovation Lab and SXSW. Diana earned a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership from Loyola University-Chicago.
In 2021 Diana transitioned from Perspectives to launch a new venture that is close and personal called, Lorenzo’s House. After her husband was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s, she quickly learned about the gaping care gap in the memory care space and decided to make meaning of this dark and isolating diagnosis of the family by creating a place that builds community, delivers on innovation and brings light. Lorenzo’s House will be a holistic care model for families navigating Alzheimer’s.
Marc Wortmann is CEO of Marc Wortmann Consultancy in the Netherlands, supporting chronic disease and aging organizations globally in strategy, advocacy and fundraising. He was Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) from November 2006 till June 2017.
Marc studied Law and Art in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands and was a member of the Parliament of the Province of Utrecht and worked closely with various charities and voluntary organizations. He became Executive Director of Alzheimer Nederland in 2000. Marc joined ADI by the end of 2006 and was responsible for external contacts, public policy (especially towards World Health Organization and United Nations), and fundraising. He is a speaker at multiple events and conferences on these topics and has published a number of articles and papers on dementia awareness and public policy.
As a consultant, he is still mostly involved in the Alzheimer’s and dementia movement worldwide, but also in other chronic disease areas and the philanthropic sector as such.
Tessa Garcia McEwen, AM, LSW
Tessa is a lead social worker at the Memory Center at UC Medicine, providing quality of life and family support services. Tessa brings 18 years of working with diverse populations, doing her best to listen first before giving care. She is interested in providing patients, care partners, and families with personalized access to resources and exploring strategies together for increased quality of life.
At UChicago Medicine, Tessa primarily supports all of those that come through The Memory Center, with Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias (ADRDs). She also provides support via consult for all of the outpatient neurology and neurosurgery clinics, which includes patients with ALS, epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and more. As a graduate student recipient of the Albert T. Schweitzer Fellowship, she focused on bringing grief and loss support to local communities, and cultural competence and compassionate care to medical settings, and continues to do so through speaking engagements for medical professionals, graduate students, and community members.
Tessa completed her B.A. in Sociology at The University of Notre Dame and a master's in clinical social work at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.
Jonny is a young adult cancer survivor who co-founded Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization that connects a cancer fighter (or caregiver) with someone who has fought and survived the same cancer. Imerman Angels carefully matches and pairs up a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel).
Imerman Angels was chosen as “Top 3 Most Innovative Creator Idea in Midwest of 2017” by WeWork (2017 Creator Award), “Top 25 Most Innovative Programs of 2015” by National Journal / Atlantic Media, and #1 Charity in Chicago by Haute Living in 2010.
It has been featured by numerous media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Harpo Radio’s “Oprah and Friends” with Dr. Oz, CNN, and TEDx. Jonny received a 2015 Michigan Avenue Magazine 'Chicago's Leading Men' Award; 2015 ‘The 100’ Award from Mass General Cancer Center; 2012 CNN Hero Award as well as many other awards.
Imerman Angels taught Jonny and his team how to brand a cause--their supporters love to wear t-shirts/apparel and build brand awareness. So, they created CLOZTALK to share and scale what worked for Imerman Angels to help ALL great nonprofits.
CLOZTALK is an online directory of 250+ vetted nonprofits like Feeding America. CLOZTALK sells high-quality, logo t-shirts & apparel that are made on-demand & drop-shipped— at no cost to any nonprofit.
Jonny grew up in Bloomfield, MI, and lives in NYC.
Leslie's passion for helping older adults thrive is demonstrated in over 35 years’ experience at LeadingAge, a national nonprofit organization based in Washington DC. LeadingAge is dedicated to advocating for older adults, increasing awareness of issues, and improving lives by working to solve problems and create new opportunities.
She served as VP for Member and State Relations when she transitioned from the organization in 2017. This role involved, member retention, recruitment and engagement, and liaising with state associations. Previously she was Regional VP, where she established regional structure and acted as liaison to 14 state associations; developed and managed SHARE (State Home Association Review & Evaluation) process; planned and facilitated state association board retreats and managed disaster relief for Hurricanes Katrina & Rita--$1.2 million distributed (2005).
Leslie is a Senior Advisory Board member for Embodied Labs, an organization providing virtual-reality training programs to providers of care and services to older adults. Through this training, staff and caregivers can “embody” an older adult with dementia, bringing better, more compassionate care. Leslie is a board member at CMSS as of 2021.
Leslie currently lives in Chicago and Michigan.
Bill Lowe has over 40 years of experience in the nonprofit health care industry. For 31 years, he has been a part of the leadership team for Chicago Methodist Senior Services, serving as the President and CEO since 2005. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University, Bill has skillfully led CMSS through a period of slow and steady growth, allowing the agency to thrive because of its diversification of service offerings.
Chicago Methodist Senior Services is committed to enhancing the lives of older adults by empowering them to experience life with dignity and respect. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, CMSS offers memory care in both assisted living and skilled nursing communities; short-term rehabilitation programs including specialties in cardiac, orthopedic, and neurologic rehabilitation; long-term skilled nursing; supportive living; para professional home care services; and low-income senior apartments.
Under Bill’s leadership, CMSS and its subsidiaries have entered into many joint ventures and strong partnerships including vertical integration initiatives, wherein CMSS has become a client owner of services that were previously provided to CMSS by unrelated parties.
Jennifer Walker has nearly 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and development. She discovered her passion for working with older adults when she started working as a nursing assistant just out of high school.
During that time, Jennifer witnessed the challenges and injustices in the senior care space. Although she transitioned to the education sector, serving as the Director of Development for a private school, she always remembered her experience as a CNA and returned to her passion for senior care when she joined New Perspective Senior Living - a 24 site company across three states.
Jennifer has served on their senior leadership team - and for five consecutive years has earned top sales performer company-wide. She led the turnaround of a struggling site by her vision and execution of a resident-led marketing campaign, which included a community referral program. These efforts not only led to a significant increase in occupancy but created a culture of pride and belonging among residents.
Jennifer’s profound compassion, unparalleled generosity of spirit, and remarkable grit guide her professional ethics. Her philosophy is that person-centered senior care starts with personal connection - and that authentic relationship building is at the core of all high-standard care. When a community is connected and feels like family, older adults have the opportunity to live meaningful and joy-filled lives.