Senior Living Advisors
Senior Living Advisors
When I started this business, I felt God was directing me down this path. I am privileged to work alongside a team of strong Christian individuals who feel that what we do each day is serving others in need. Our core values of faith, compassion, integrity, and service are lived each day as we share our expertise.
Even though most people want to remain in their home as they age, statistics show that it isn’t always possible for a variety of reasons. When a health crisis happens, it’s often the adult children or caregiver spouse who become overwhelmed. We simplify the process and minimize that feeling of overwhelm for those who need to start a search.
I launched Choice Connections in 2009 after leaving a large company position to be more available to my family. I had always loved older adults and when vetting several businesses concepts, I fell in love with the idea of working with older adults and their families.
Choice Connections was the brainchild of a couple in Michigan who had a home care agency. They knew that many aging adults eventually need to move to alternate senior living. Their vision was to grow the company to become a franchise. Today, there are a number of Choice Connections offices in different states, all independently owned, rather than franchisees.
The Twin Cities had two other offices up until the pandemic when both the North and then West office owners retired to pursue other interests. Those changes prompted me to move the company forward by investing in additional staff to expand across the remainder of the Twin Cities and by establishing a new owner in the north metro. Choice Connections now provides more comprehensive services than ever.
I believe the service we offer is extremely valuable. For that reason, as I thought of retirement down the road, I knew I didn’t want Choice Connections to disappear but wanted to see it grow to bless even more people. We have continued to grow with a heart-centered team that truly enjoys getting acquainted with our clients and connecting them to the “best choice” in senior living.
Our days are numbered on this earth. We feel honored that our guidance can help make those days quality days. My favorite Bible verse is: Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalms 90:12).
Shari Claypool is an accomplished Certified Senior Advisor® and Licensed Social Worker with a genuine passion and heart for serving seniors and their families. She holds degrees in Psychology and Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the University of North Dakota, respectively.
Shari has over 15 years of experience in skilled nursing homes, transitional care units (TCU's), home healthcare and hospice, and as a community living specialist providing support and resources to the aging throughout the Twin Cities.
She combines her knowledge and experience with compassion as she guides families through the challenging transition from their home to finding the best choice in senior housing. Her goal is to ensure that the senior and family feel supported, respected, and heard throughout the entire process.
In late 2021, Shari became President and Owner of Choice Connections—North/Northeast. Her strong values of faith, trust, and desire for meaningful work are at the core of all that she does. She finds strength in scripture and one of her favorite passages is Isaiah 40:28-31, which ends with: but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
Spending her life surrounded by her great aunts, uncles, and grandparents fostered within her a desire to advocate for those who are most vulnerable. In fact, her first volunteer position was as a candy striper at Unity Hospital in Fridley, MN. Shari's friends and family will tell you she is caring, honest and kind—all character attributes she carries into her career.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Shari and her husband are recently empty nesters and reside in the Lino Lakes area. She enjoys going for walks, spending time with her family, and loves all the seasons Minnesota has to offer.
Greg DeMarco is a Certified Senior Advisor® with Choice Connections. He has a heartfelt curiosity to know well those he serves, earn their trust and accurately understand their wishes and needs. His sincere goal is to help seniors feel they are in the right hands to make their housing transition safe, secure and successful.
After 25 years in business publishing sales and production, he is now honoring his social service roots by serving local seniors as a tribute to his parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles. They all gave him tremendous love and support along with the tools and determination to succeed.
Greg’s psychology and business backgrounds, familiarity with the area and its history, as well as his experience in the mental health services give him a broad network of connections to the numerous resources across the Greater Twin Cities metro.
With his strong Christian background and beliefs, Greg is driven to deliver solid solutions that offer comfort and confidence. Our Choice Connections families treasure Greg’s capabilities, caring presence and calm reassurance.
As a lifelong Minnesotan, Greg enjoys finding new opportunities to engage within the community. He and his wife are Catholic and public-school supporters, volunteers at their church and recent empty nesters.
Janelle Meyers is a Licensed Assisted Living Director with the goal of helping people live their best lives. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University and a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Saint Catherine’s University. Janelle is also a Leadership Academy Fellow with LeadingAge.
With over 25 years of experience in memory care and assisted living operations, Janelle has held positions in programming, innovation, sales, and management. Through the years, she has helped to guide and support many families.
In the Twin Cities, we find many options available for seniors and their families when it comes to senior housing. Janelle’s experience working in non-profit and for-profit operations gives her the knowledge needed to evaluate and select the best senior living choices. She maintains an expansive network of professionals in aging services.
Christian faith and family are what Janelle values the most. She has always had a calling to help others and knew the Lord was pursuing her to make a career change. In 2021, she joined Choice Connections.
Janelle leans on this guidance from Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Trust is something that she gives freely to God because she knows that He has been faithful throughout her life.
Janelle, Brian and their two children live in the Northwest metro and have been active members of their faith community for over 20 years. She enjoys reading and considers herself a lifelong learner. She also loves time outdoors and with family.
As a Certified Senior Advisor® with Choice Connections, Libby Jensen’s passion is to help families navigate the ever changing, and often confusing, world of senior housing options. Each person is unique as is their situation. Libby takes great joy from partnering with those who are looking for advice and counsel on what is the best, most appropriate care setting for themselves or their loved one.
Libby’s career spans 40+ years with a focus on the senior industry over the last 11 years. This past decade afforded her the opportunity to get acquainted with a wide array of people and their families. Some were looking for a senior living community. Some needed assisted living or memory care, and many were in a crisis situation.
Some years ago, Libby found herself in need of guidance when her mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. The expertise she received from senior advisors was invaluable. They found the perfect setting for her mom, and it was then that Libby felt the calling to help others in this way.
Libby’s faith is the foundation of her life. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Giving thanks in and for all situations is something she strives for each day.
Libby and her husband, Ned, have lived in Minnesota their entire lives and have made the southwest metro their home. They love to travel, play golf, garden, and enjoy time with family and friends.
Tracy Hestekin is a Senior Living Advisor with Choice Connections. Tracy was born and raised in MN and attended the University of MN and the College of St. Catherine’s. She holds degrees in Psychology, Occupational Therapy and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.
Tracy Has 30+ years of experience serving seniors in transitional/long-term care settings and providing home therapy to seniors in their homes, assisted living and memory care communities.
Tracy’s goal is to provide expertise, support and empathy during the challenging, overwhelming process of finding the “Best Choice” in senior living communities. She vows to walk alongside you and your loved ones during this entire transition.
Tracy is a diehard Minnesotan and loves the four seasons and MN sports teams. You can usually find Tracy enjoying the outdoors. Some of her favorite locations are the county/state parks, the north shore, and anywhere in water on the river or one of our many lakes.
Tracy’s family and friends will tell you she has a heart that is kind, compassionate and honest. Tracy’s Christian faith provides another layer of strength in serving seniors. A verse that comes to mind for her is Galatians 6:2 “ Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ”.
Megan Diaz is a Certified Senior Advisor® with Choice Connections. She has been with Choice Connections since November of 2022 initially as a Client Coordinator.
Megan’s love for caregiving formally began in childcare in 2012 at an in-home daycare. Working with aging adults fits with her love of caring for people. She realizes the growing need in our aging population. Megan’s attention to detail and listening skills will help guide the senior and their families to find the “best choices” in senior living. Megan understands that senior living can be a blessing not only to the senior but to their families so they can go back to being the daughter, son, or spouse and not the full-time caregiver.
Growing up Megan spent a lot of time with her Grandparents in Michigan. She also spent long weekends with her grandma in Wisconsin. She helped care for her Michigan grandmother when she moved to Minnesota. She enjoyed hearing stories of them in their younger years and now enjoys hearing stories about her clients. She truly wants the best for each person she works with and their families. Working for Choice Connections has been a true calling and blessing.
Megan has resided in Minnesota most of her life. She lives in the south metro with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies with her family, walking in nature, reading, cooking, and crafting.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34