Illinois Pioneer Coalition Board Members

Sarah Watson, MSW, President

Director Resident Services
Vi at The Glen
The Senior SPACE

Sarah Watson's Bio

Co-Founder, The Senior SPACE


Sarah’s mission is to celebrate Seniors by using out of the box thinking and innovative interventions that promote independence and quality of life. This has allowed her to build a foundation of Person – Directed Care. Sarah has worked across all of the continuums of care in Senior Living.

In 2020, Sarah Co-Founded The Senior SPACE, which was founded to support and empower Seniors and their Families to foster independence, maintain quality of life and assist in life transitions. The mission of The Senior SPACE is to celebrate Seniors and work to create a new story.

Sarah received her Bachelors of Arts in Gerontology from the University of South Florida and her Masters in Social Work with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from Dominican University.

Lee Moriarty

Lee Moriarty, B.S./CTRS, Secretary

Deputy State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Illinois Department on Aging

Lee Moriarty's Bio

Deputy State Long-Term Care Ombudsman


Available:  Northern IL, Chicago and potential for other areas in the State

Lee works with the State of Illinois as the Deputy Long-Term Care Ombudsman. In her role as the deputy Ombudsman, Lee works with the Regional Ombudsman throughout the state to promote the mission of advocacy for those who live in long-term care communities. Lee’s past roles include working as a consultant for Nursing Homes, Assisted Livings and Continuing Care Communities where she promoted person centered/directed care by focusing on quality of life, dementia care and life enrichment. As an educator, Lee has provided continuing education programs and seminars both statewide and nationally on a variety of timely topics. Lee is honored to serve on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Pioneer Coalition where she is a founding member and past president.

Lee Moriarty's Speaker's Bureau Topics

Deputy State Long-Term Care Ombudsman


Available:  Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • The Need for Change in Long Term Care – How to Find Dignity and Choice in a Nursing Home
  • Providing person-centered care and services for the Short Stay Rehab Elder
  • Dementia Care and understanding how “behaviors” communicate needs and wants
  • Understanding what Culture Change means and how to start the Journey.
  • Ability Centered Care for the Dementia Elder
  • Person Centered Discharge Planning
  • Understanding the role of the Ombudsman and how to utilize the role effectively for person centered/directed care


Fee: Please contact to discuss

Leslie Pedtke

Leslie Pedtke, MHA, LNHA

Trenton Village Assisted Living Memory Care
Trenton, IL

Dignity Quotient

Leslie Pedtke's Bio

Owner/Founder Dignity Quotient


Available: Statewide

Leslie Pedtke, MHA, LNHA is currently the owner and founder of Dignity Quotient a long-term care consulting company, and Trenton Village Assisted Living and Memory Care – King Management Company. She is also an adjunct faculty professor for Maryville University of St. Louis.

Leslie was the owner of three skilled and two other assisted living communities. From 1994-2017 she was the Administrator of Aviston Countryside Manor. Through this experience, she has built a foundation of person-directed care.

She is an author for Health Professions Press. Her book, What Living as a Resident Can Teach Long-Term Care Staff: The Power of Empathy to Transform Care, was released in October, 2017 and is a teaching tool for long-term care professionals, families, and students.

During her time as administrator, Aviston Countryside Manor was featured in the 2013 Spring/Summer LTC Today, “Aviston Staff Walk in the Resident’s Shoes”, March 2012 Issue of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, “You’re Hired”, Spring, 2011 LTC Today publication, “Consistent Assignments”, the April 2010 issue of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News in the article, “Empathy Crash Course” and the HCCI Members Only newsletter for the Intergenerational program, “Bringing Resident’s Stories to Life.” She was named one of the HCCI’s 2010 Heroes in Long-Term Care. In 2018, she was selected the Illinois Pioneer Coalition’s Culture Change Champion of the Year.

Leslie is a national speaker on topics including dementia, culture change and workforce development and teaching empathy.

She has been a board member of the Illinois Pioneer Coalition since 2010 in which she has served as the summit coordinator, Vice-President and President. She graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication and Maryville University with a Master’s in Health Administration.

Leslie Pedtke's Speakers Bureau Topics

Owner/Founder Dignity Quotient


Available: Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • Eliminating Personal Body Alarms and Reducing Falls
  • “Through the Looking Glass” – A Lesson In Empathy
  • Behavior in Dementia or Symptoms of Just Being Human – The Power of Language
  • Person Centered Care – For Professionals and the Community

Natalie Mueller

Accounts Receivable Manager, Medicare and Insurance
Palladian Management
O’Fallon, IL

Natalie Mueller's Bio

Palladian Management, Accounts Receivable & Medical Biller


Natalie Mueller has been with Palladian Management; formerly King Management; since 2001. She is currently working as Accounts Receivable Manager overseeing Medicare and Insurance. Palladian Management currently handles all accounts receivable for twenty-one nursing homes and two assisted living homes. She started her LTC career in 2001 at the Aviston Countryside Manor location. She has had many roles in the LTC community from housekeeping supervisor, facility BOM, corporate medical biller and her current position of AR Manager for Medicare and Insurance. Natalie has a true commitment and passion for culture change and person-centered care. She has participated in Aviston’s “Through the Looking Glass” experience, which is a challenge to move into a nursing facility and live as a resident. This experience opened her eyes and her heart, to some of the challenges residents in long-term care experience every day. After this experience she committed to helping as many elders as possible to have a better today and tomorrow. Culture change is now her passion, and she is an advocate for person-centered care. She has been involved with the Illinois Pioneer Coalition Summit planning committee since 2009 and Board Member since 2017.

Joyce A. Steber

Joyce Steber, BSN, RN, Treasurer

Manager, Educator
Steber Training, LLC
Marian, IL

Joyce A. Steber's Bio

Steber Training, LLC, Manager


Available: Statewide

Joyce Steber’s introduction into LTC began with her first summer job – working as a nursing assistant in a rural nursing home before certification was required. The LTC world & training methods have changed in many ways since then. Following a stint in acute care nursing, her focus shifted to educating long-term care providers. After teaching for 20+ years in the nursing and CNA programs at John A. Logan College, she fulfilled the duties of monitoring CNA training programs and providing educational programs statewide as the first Education Coordinator with SIUC Nurse Aide Testing Project. Sharing methods of teaching and encouraging person-directed care was bolstered by her involvement with IPC. Currently, Joyce enjoys being the primary educator and consultant with Steber Training, LLC which she opened in 2014. Providing lab and clinical instruction to CNA students through a local Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program (BNATP) and conducting Train the Trainer Programs for RNs seeking approval as BNATP instructors are her main responsibilities.

Through a collaborative effort in 2016, she teaches an IDPH approved independent
Resident Assistant Training Program to long-term care communities. She also provides consultation services for new and established BNATPs, including facility-based programs. Her passion for elder care led to her involvement on the regional Southern Illinois Pioneer Coalition Planning Team (Carterville, IL) in the early 2000’s; she continues to be an active member of this team. One highlight of her involvement has been as a member of the Think Tank for the Consumer Education Project, Your Way! How to Find Dignity and Choice in a Nursing Home. Since 2017, she feels honored to serve as a board member on the Illinois Pioneer Coalition. She is currently the Treasurer for this amazing board.

Joyce A. Steber's Speakers Bureau Topics

Steber Training, LLC, Manager


Available: Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • Resident Assistant Program
  • Variety of In-service Topics for CNA’s
  • Culture Change
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia

Fee: Training Fees for TTT and RA Programs; Travel Expenses

Angela Simmons, LNHA, Vice President

Anna Veterans Home

Angela Simmon's Bio

Anna Veterans Home, Administrator


Available: Statewide

Angela was born and raised in Southern Illinois.  She graduated nursing school in 1997 earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business in 2009.  In 2006 she became the Administrator of an 83-bed skilled nursing facility and began her Culture Change/Pioneering journey. In 2013 she was appointed as a Senior Public Service Administrator with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and assigned to the Anna Veterans Home.  In 2015 she won the Illinois Pioneer Culture Change Champion of the Year.

In 2017, through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, she received her Certified Dementia Practitioner certification.  Angela is a member of the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Association, Southern Illinois Pioneer Coalition Board, and a member of the Illinois Pioneer Coalition Board of Directors since March 2017.

Rindi Reeves

Rindi Reeves' Bio

Rindi Reeves

Rindi received her Master in Social Work from SIU-Carbondale in 2007. She developed a passion for working with older adults after taking a class in gerontology. She worked as a Program Coordinator at the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging in Carterville, IL for over 10 years where she helped lead and coordinate the local Southern Illinois Pioneer Coalition until 2021. She became a member of the IPC Board in 2021.

Candice Mitchell IPC board member image

Candice Mitchell, MHA

City of Evanston Long Term Care Ombudsman

Candice Mitchell's Bio

Candice Mitchell, MHA

Candice serves as the City of Evanston’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and her Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Saint Francis.

She is passionate about promoting person-centered care through nursing home culture change. In her role as resident advocate, she oversees Evanston’s nursing homes to ensure that resident preferences are considered, that resident voices are heard, and that the quality of life for our residents is maintained. Candice is a Regional Leader for the Chicago and the Chicagoland Illinois Pioneer Coalition chapters and enjoys offering educational presentations regarding person-centered care for her area.


Candice is thrilled to serve as a Board member for the Illinois Pioneer Coalition.

Katie Fasullo IPC board member image

Katie Fasullo, DNP, RN, GERO-BC (she/her)

Corporate Director of Population Health and Health Equity
Chicago Methodist Senior Services
Chicago, IL


Katie Fasullo's Bio

Katherine Fasullo

Dr. Katie Fasullo is a board certified gerontological nurse focused on the health and wellness of older adults. She has over 14 years of experience throughout the healthcare continuum as a nurse leader and clinician. She obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Advanced Public Health Nursing from Rush University where she developed the GOLD program to provide visibility for LGBT+ older adults through storytelling. Katie has been recognized for exploring best practices in the care of LGBTQ older adults in long-term care settings through her publication in the Clinical Gerontologist titled, “LGBTQ Older Adults in Long-Term Care Settings: An Integrative Review to Inform Best Practices.” She now serves as the Corporate Director of Population Health and Health Equity at Chicago Methodist Senior Services where she continues this work by ensuring that older adults age in a system that recognizes their whole selves. Katie is passionate about creating an environment for older adults where inclusion and support of LGBT+ individuals is the gold standard.