Our people are our greatest asset. From the full spectrum of adult homecare and elder care to childcare and more, the quality services we provide day in and day out would not be possible without the hard work and passion of our dedicated staff. Each member of our team embodies the core values of our business – compassion, integrity, family, excellence, trustworthiness, accountability, and diversity – and strives to make more possible for those in our care.
Cheri McEssy, Owner/CNO
For Cheri, BrightStar is the realization of a dream that she thought could never come true. Proud to be a nurse, she didn’t think that shecould find a business opportunity that would let her utilize her professional skills and experience in a way that would also let her answer the entrepreneurial side of herself. BrightStar’s environment of support, strong corporate leadership, and commitment to quality has made joining this family the best decision of her professional life.
She is committed to quality patient care and the development/promotion of a professional base of healthcare providers, as evidenced by the many clinical and professional roles that she has assumed throughout her 20-plus years as a Critical Care Nurse. She is very proud to now be representing the BrightStar name, and she is confident that she can, and will, provide care that is efficient, professional and compassionate.
She is currently the elected Chair of the Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) at BrightStar. McEssy is an active member of many professional groups including Illinois Organization of Nursing Leaders (IONL), Athena International, Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), National Private Duty Association (NPDA), Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and Chicago Health Executives Forum (CHEF). McEssy also has been credentialed as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sandy Gibson- Regulatory Nurse Consultant
Sandy, a Registered Nurse, has committed her life to healthcare and serving others. She began her career in neonatal intensive care, and quickly realized that upon being released home, many patients didn’t receive the continued care they needed. Sandy then joined one of the first nurse-owned pediatric homecare units, spending many nights on the road training skilled caregivers on how to provide quality healthcare to their patients. Sandy has been a part of numerous start up homecare companies, so the experience she brings to BrightStar is multi-faceted. Upon meeting Cheri, the decision to join the BrightStar Chicago team in August 2011 was an easy one for Sandy. Cheri’s energy, vision and commitment to quality care is a winning trifecta in Sandy’s eyes.
Sandy and her husband are avid motorcycle enthusiasts who participate in multiple charity rides for Veteran organizations. She is also a proud mother of three children and two dogs.
Adrianne Courtney, Healthcare Consultant
Adrianne is a born and raised Hoosier who started at BrightStar Chicago in August 2011. Prior to BrightStar she was a marketing manager for an Indianapolis based media company. After the initial meeting with Cheri, she knew this was the perfect place to be. Her energy and passion for her business was contagious, and Adrianne wanted nothing more than to be a part of Cheri’s team and help her achieve the high level of success she aims for. Adrianne is excited to pair her expertise in marketing with her passion to serve others. She knows from family experiences the benefits of in-home healthcare as her grandmother used a service for many years. She has also seen the burden taking care of loved ones can have on family members and understands the true value of a caregiver.
You’ll find Adrianne reading any spare moment she has. She is also a wannabe storm chaser, an avid reality show junkie and a lover of the arts. Adrianne is also a very proud aunt to her nephew, Mason, and niece, Kendall.
Jessica Copeland- HR Generalist
Jessica was born in Warner Robbins, GA, but moved/grew up in Southern IL (Mt.Vernon) not long after. She went to Eastern Illinois University (Go Panthers!) where she received my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Sports Studies, with a concentration in Exercise Science while obtaining a minor in Psychology. She is also a Stott Pilates Trained Pilates Instructor concentrating in rehabilitation through Elements in Motion here in Chicago. Jessica says, “preventive medicine is the best medicine!”
Helping others is the common answer to why people work in the healthcare industry. But even more than that, being behind the scenes in the office and given the ability to hire and give those healthcare professionals that meet BrightStar standards an opportunity to shine and make a big difference in the community, makes her proud to be with BrightStar of Chicago.
Jessica comes from a family of now 15 children (12 adopted/foster children; 3 biological children), all of which are from different nationalities/ethnic backgrounds. This has allowed her to be open minded and very thankful for everything and everyone!
Maria Damacela- Administrative Assistant
Maria was born in Milwaukee, WI. At the age of two she moved to the Chicago area, growing up in Cicero, IL. She graduated Morton College with an Associates in Applied Science degree in Office Management Technology. Prior to BrightStar, she worked as an Administrative Assistant for Youth Crossroads, Inc. for six years. Helping people has always been a part of her dedication to life. BrightStar has allowed her to continue to do just that!
The is the proud mother of two boys. In her spare time, she loves to play Sudoku and go on family walks to the park with Leia, her Old English Bulldog.
Brickles enjoys his time at the lake at Montrose Harbor and is the first dog to go through BrightStar training. He is extremely loving (a Golden Retriever trapped in a German Shepherd’s body, Cheri likes to say) and is all heart. Brickles is also the official greeter at the BrightStar Chicago office.