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Meet the Staff

Emily Sprtel,  Executive Director

Emily joined the team at Willowbrook Place in March of 2018.  Emily graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration and Business Management. During her time in school, Emily had an internship at Froedtert Hospital & the Medical College of Wisconsin in their safety & security procedures department.  After college she worked for GE Healthcare before finding a passion in Senior Living.  That passion grew through personal experience with a loved one, which turned into a career path.  That decision ended up opening a new door of opportunities for Emily, including an Assistant Executive Director role.  In that role she had the opportunity to help with projects for  multiple communities while training to become an Executive Director.  Emily  loved the challenge and learning experience.

Ironically enough,  one of the very  first buildings that Emily had the opportunity to get to know and love so much was Willowbrook Place.  It may have been left to a little bit of fate, but she is “thrilled to be back!” In her spare time, Emily enjoys being outdoors, traveling and being surrounded by close family and friends.

Jennifer Thelen,  Assistant Executive Director

Jenn joined the team as Assistant Executive Director in September 2019. This position oversees the day to day operations in the community and assists the Executive Director.

 Jenn has been working in the healthcare field for 11 years as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She has experience in skilled nursing, rehab, hospital, and a management role in home healthcare. Jenn has a true passion for helping others and enjoys building relationships with the residents in the community.

 In Jenn’s spare time, she likes to hang out with her family, travel, volunteer at her church, and be active outdoors with her fiancé.

Ryan Nettesheim,  Community Relations Director

Ryan has been a familiar face to Willowbrook since 2014.  Ryan worked at various jobs within Willowbrook such as dietary aide, groundskeeper and maintenance tech  while attending college.  In 2012, he graduated from  St Norbert College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communication.  After graduation, Ryan worked for a non-profit refugee resettlement Agency in Chicago for 2 1/2 years.  During this time he worked with hundreds of families from all over the world who left their home countries for a chance at a better life.   In his free time Ryan enjoys traveling, playing music with his friends, recreational sports and volunteering locally and abroad.  Ryan enjoys working with the Willowbrook team and getting to personally know the residents.




Shannon Marchu,  RN  Wellness Director

Shannon joined the team as Wellness Director at Willowbrook in March of 2018. The Wellness nurse,  oversees the caregiving team and directs the care of the assisted living residents. She assesses new residents prior to admission and coordinates an individualized service plan for each resident.  Shannon oversees the overall wellness program for residents with the goal of providing a safe and healthy environment for all while providing for personal resident needs.

Shannon graduated from MATC with an associates degree in nursing and obtained her RN license in 2010.  Shannon’s background is primarily in skilled nursing rehab, but she wanted a change, as it is nice to be with the same resident’s for years versus the short term of rehab. She enjoys getting to know the resident’s she cares for and building relationships with them.

Shannon is married with two children and enjoys taking hikes, playing at the park, fishing, going “up-north,” and spending time with her family.

Tanya Beck, Dietary Director

Tanya joined the team as Dietary Director at Willowbrook Place in in May of 2019. Her role oversees and directs the kitchen team to ensure proper procedures of food handling, cleaning and sanitizing are adhered to. Tanya is responsible for menu planning, event planning, food ordering, maintaining proper department logs and other director related duties for the kitchen department. Tanya is highly self-motivated, very passionate and dedicated to providing best customer satisfaction. She continues to expand her knowledge and understanding of new ideas and proper procedures in the food service industry by attending educational. Tanya has a love for food and a passion for service.

Tanya has always had a passion for food even at a very early age she was in the kitchen learning from her paternal and maternal grandmothers. Her father had a major impact and her views and strive. Tanya’s father would complement and give her the constructive criticism on what her referred to as Tanya’s creations!

Tanya received her Dietary Managers Certification & Food Professional Certification from the Wisconsin Dietary Managers Association (DMA) and the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)   She received her formal education in Health Sciences/Dietetics and Culinary Arts at MATC.

Tanya also has an educational back ground in Political Science/Criminal Justice she studied at the UWM–Milwaukee and later transferred to MATC. In 2006 Tanya had a life changing experience in which her major in studies transitioned back to her passion of food and service.

Her goal is to provide quick and high-quality customer service. Tanya strongly encourages team work to boost productivity. The culinary world is constantly changing and is an open learning ground. Having open ears to criticism as a means for change and correct to increase positivity and confidence to providing an overall a safe and healthy dining experience while providing understanding of resident food needs.

Lisa Brost, Housekeeping Director

Lisa has been employed at Willowbrook Place since 2002!  Lisa takes great pride in maintaining our community as well as keeping our resident homes as clean as a whistle.  She is an avid dog lover.  She has two great dog companions.  Lisa is married but her first love will always be her dogs!!





Steve Ulm,  Maintenance Director

Steve  has 30 years of experience in building maintenance, 20 of those years maintaining Senior Living facilities. He also has 26 years of fire service with the last 21 years with Port Washington Fire Department where he holds the rank of Captain.

Steve has been married to his wife Sandie for 18 yrs. They have two children and two dogs. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, volleyball, and spending weekends with the family at their place in Wautoma.


   Liz Hayes, Activities Director

Liz comes to Willowbrook with an Education background. Having taught middle school, high school, and college, Liz brings a new outlook to activity planning. In her free time, Liz enjoys hiking (especially with her dogs), cooking, reading, knitting, and attending theatre productions and movies.