CCNJ Leadership

Sheli Monacchio

Sheli Monacchio

Founder & CCNJ Board President

Sheli founded Caring Connections of New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2011 with just two people and a vision. Caring Connections of New Jersey now has a network of over 600 qualified healthcare professionals throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Sheli’s 19 year experience in the senior care industry has lead her on a journey to help hundreds of families through her extensive experience in Assisted Living, Hospice, Home Care, Skilled Nursing and Senior Living Placement. She will educate families and help them sort through the confusion when it’s time for them to make some very important decisions for those who are planning ahead or those who are in mid-crisis

Her compassionate client-centric approach allows her to personally get to know her clients so she can put together the best options for the family caregivers or the isolated senior. Sheli is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and can assist families who are struggling to manage the behaviors of their loved one suffering from dementia.

Sheli credits the success of Caring Connections of New Jersey to the members who have supported this organization and give their best to serve the seniors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania on a daily basis.

Alex Amato

Alex Amato

Monmouth County Co-Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Alex has been in the healthcare industry her entire career.  Fun fact, she started as a “candy striper” at the young age of 11 years old!  Her professional experience includes critical care nurse at Monmouth Medical Center, Director of Community Relations in Assisted Living and currently is the Director of Business Development for Springpoint Senior Living.  She served as a chairperson for the Alzheimer’s of Greater NJ Chapter 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Monmouth and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner.

Gina Barnett

Gina Barnett

Mercer County Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Gina brings with her over 20 years of marketing and communications experience in the healthcare industry including assisted living, hospice and home care. Helping seniors and their families is something Gina feels very passionate about. Her work with elders and other professionals embodies the Springpoint mission: to inspire families with endless opportunities.

Gina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Montclair State University. A member of the New Jersey Chamber Singers, she enjoys singing, reading and living a healthy lifestyle.

Steve Besserman

Steve Besserman

Middlesex County Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

In January of 2010, Steve founded AriJoe Productions, LLC, for the purpose of realizing his lifetime ambition of bringing his parents’ Holocaust Survivors’ love story to the screen. He served as Executive Producer, Writer and Director of this award-winning independent documentary, Only A Number, which has appeared at film festivals, has been broadcast on PBS stations across the country, and is being used in the curriculum of New Jersey schools through the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.

Steve expanded AriJoe Productions to provide affordable video documentary storytelling for small-to-mid-size businesses, non-profit organizations and people who wish to capture, share and preserve their family history.

You can contact Steven at: SteveB@AriJoe.com or call 609-577-9206.

Cris Brown

Cris Brown

CCNJ Executive Board Member

Cris Brown has been in the healthcare profession for over 23 years. She has been the Director of Community Outreach and Education for Imperial Healthcare in Neptune for the last 14 years. Cris received her undergraduate degree from Monmouth University. Cris maintains a strong relationship with the senior community by providing education on the latest healthcare trends while also planning events that improve quality of life. She very much looks forward to being an integral part of Caring Connections and bringing valued resources to patients and their caregivers.

Sara Catalano

Sara Catalano

Somerset County Co-Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Sara is currently the Director of Community Relations at Brandywine Living at Middlebrook Crossing in Bridgewater, NJ. With over 12 years of experience in healthcare she has worked in a variety of settings including Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and outpatient physical therapy offices.  She has facilitated contract therapy services for home care agencies and hospice agencies in Assisted Living Communities. Her career started with a passion for physical therapy and operations that quickly evolved to providing the highest quality of care for older adults. She began working at Brandywine Living in 2011 overseeing the contract therapy program provided by Genesis Rehab Services along with teaching exercise classes to the residents, providing educational seminars and health and fitness testing. In 2016 she became the Director of Rehab at a subacute/long term care community but soon missed the merriment that Brandywine Living offers. In 2018 Sara became a Certified Assisted Living Administrator and officially joined the team at Brandywine in 2019. She loves the connection she has with her residents and enjoys helping families and their loved ones in their search for Senior Care options. Sara is looking forward to continuing to help people in Somerset County and surrounding areas and happy to support the Caring Connections Community.

Dana Goldfarb

Dana Goldfarb

CCNJ Board Treasurer

Dana joins Caring Connections with over 18yrs of senior living experience.  She is now the Marketing Director for Arbor Terrace in Middletown.  Dana began her senior living career as a Director of a Memory Care community.  While she loved working with those inflicted with dementia, she found her true passion in helping families during their time of need.  She is a Certified Assisted Living Administer, a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a mentor.

Dana feels that working with seniors and their families is an honor and a privilege.  Her drive to be a strong resource for families in need of direction and support is evident throughout her career.  Dana is looking forward to being more intricately involved with Caring Connections and offering more resources to the community.

Janet Kuebler

Janet Kuebler

Somerset County Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Janet Kuebler has a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. janet and her husband purchased the Right at Home franchise covering Hunterdon and Somerset Counties in 2007 and have been providing care to the senior community and disabled adults after personal experience caring for her in-laws. She is a Certified Senior Advisor, a Certified Dementia Practitioner and we are facilitators of the Virtual Dementia Tour, which is a hands-on sensory training tool for those providing care to dementia patients. Janet is also trained as a Mental Health First Responder. In addition to her professional experience supporting seniors in their homes, Janet has years of family caregiving experience over her lifetime caring for various family members.

Anne Markel

Anne Markel

Burlington County Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Anne Markel –Crozier BSW, CSW Bratton Law’s Director of Care Coordination, brings over 25 years’ experience working closely with the elderly in many different facets of health. She specializes in assisting her clients and their families in coordination of their health and long-term care, serves as their advocate and empowers them with the knowledge to attain the highest quality of life given their specific circumstances so they no longer have to manage the complexities of care coordination alone. Most recently, Anne was elected Committee Chairperson of the New Jersey Tri-County Regional Ethics Committee. She also serves as Vice President of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, a national network of holistic law practices that offers legal services, care coordination and advocacy support to help elderly clients and their families respond to the challenges of aging, long-term illness and disability. In addition, Anne is a co-instructor of the Certificate in Elder Care Coordination Program offered by Stockton Center on Successful Aging. Anne graduated from Monmouth College with a degree in social work, and received her Gerontology Certificate from Florida State University. In her free time, she is a volunteer community educator for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Linda Mundie

Linda Mundie

CCNJ Vice President

As the Director of Business Development at The Gardens at Monroe, a 5-Star subacute rehab and long-term care facility in Middlesex County, Linda Mundie has had many opportunities to help families as they navigate the journey of care for their parents and loved ones. She has more than 25 years’ experience in healthcare. Linda has previously held the position of Admissions Director at The Gardens, and, before that was employed for 8 years with Compassionate Care Hospice as a Community Liaison and Educator.

Creating strong relationships and partnerships has been Linda’s longtime approach to business success and she has built a large community of like-minded professionals to support the senior population that she serves. Her involvement with Caring Connections has given her many opportunities to further that objective.

Linda lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, Mike, and enjoys summer at the “Shore” and beautiful sunsets.

Lesley Ohlstein

Lesley Ohlstein

Monmouth County Co-Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Lesley Ohlstein has been the Director of Community Relations for Senior Helpers of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties for the past 12 years. She has a daughter, Amanda 27 and a son, Jason, 23. They are both living on their own and making their mom very proud. Lesley is very involved in volunteering. She has been closely involved with many organizations over the years including Special Strides and the Freehold Clergy Housing and Advocacy Program for homeless men. She is currently a big sister to a beautiful 12 year old girl for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey. In her spare time Lesley enjoys biking on the trails, playing Pickleball long walks, working out, reading, cooking and watching a great Netflix series. She is excited to be one of the 2022 facilitators of Caring Connections for Monmouth County!

Fran Pannella

Fran Pannella

Ocean County Co-Facilitator & CCNJ Board Member

Fran Pannella is a Licensed Practical Nurse, Dementia Care Practitioner, Senior Personal Trainer, and Brain Fitness Facilitator. She is a member of the American Senior Fitness Association and International Association of Story Keepers. Fran is currently working towards a certification as an Essential Oil Practitioner and Safety Advocate.

Fran has over 20 years of experience in geriatric nursing, dementia care, senior living sales and marketing, senior fitness and wellness and is passionate about positive aging and quality of life for those individuals living with dementia. She created a specialized fitness program for individuals with dementia called Movement Music & Memories and is a member of the Alive Inside Foundation Board of Directors.

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