Compassion, integrity, family, excellence, trustworthiness, accountability and diversity
Susan Rather | Owner I hold a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and a master’s degree in human relations from Oklahoma University. I have 25 years experience working in medical facilities and laboratories in Alabama, California, Colorado, Germany, and Wisconsin. Before opening the BrightStar business with my husband, Jeff, I was the Laboratory Manager at the Veteran’s Hospital in Madison. While this is a second career for me, helping out families in need and providing quality jobs for our great staff is the most meaningful and rewarding work I’ve ever done.
Jeff Tews | Owner I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota, and spent 30+ years in corporate positions at US West, Qwest and US Bank. A re-organization of US Bank started my search for an opportunity to run a small business. When Susan and I heard about BrightStar, we decided it was a perfect opportunity to help families, create jobs, and establish a business in this growing industry.
Linda Bruck | Director of Nursing I have been a registered nurse for over 40 years, providing care in long term facilities, medical clinics, hospitals, and family practice clinics. I am passionate about helping folks stay in their home by finding the best solutions for their needs. This includes their social and cultural needs, as well as their medical/physical requirements; I feel strongly about the overall big picture of our clients’ lives. I enjoy working with the rest of the BrightStar team to find the best solutions for our clients.
Wendy Sulzer | Director of Home Care I came to BrightStar Care with over 8 years experience in senior services marketing and management. I have always found working with older adults rewarding, but helping them reach their goal of returning to or staying at home is the best part of working at BrightStar. My goal is to create cohesive leadership teams of nurses and care managers who will be able to provide the care solutions our clients need.
April Deane | Branch Manager I began my career in healthcare 19 years ago as a Certified Nursing Assistant and have had the opportunity to work in a variety of areas including individuals with cognitive or physical impairments to those with AODA or mental health issues and geriatrics. Brightstar has given me with the ability to serve others, no matter the need. There is a great sense of purpose, fulfillment and truly making a difference with Brightstar.
Kristi Whaley | Customer Care Manager I came to BrightStar Care with almost 30 years of experience in the health care field including social work, human resources, admissions and home care management as well as providing direct care. Having experience as a CNA and Medical Assistant helps me understand the care our staff provides and guide them on their journey with BrightStar. I also currently service as Emergency Medical Services Director at my community fire department. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and doing volunteer work.
Margo Collins | RN Case Manager I have been involved in the healthcare field for 30 years. I was a CNA for six years prior to becoming an RN. This experience was my inspiration to become a registered nurse. My nursing background also includes orthopedic, cardiac and nursing home experience. Most recently, I spent ten years at an ambulatory surgery center. My passion is creating personal plans of care and helping our direct care staff connect with clients.
Tracy Pelland | RN Case Manager I earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from University of Illinois at Chicago and have been practicing nursing for 20 years in a variety of settings including critical care, cardiac, long term care/CBRF and have also enjoyed consulting and teaching. BrightStar has provided me with the privilege of helping our clients right where they want to be - in their own homes. I especially enjoy meeting with new clients and developing an individual plan of care to help our direct care staff meet their needs. I am honored to be a part of the caring and dedicated BrightStar team.
Ellie Kachel | Operations Manager I joined the BrightStar team ten years ago as a Certified Nursing Assistant providing care to our clients while earning my degree from UW – Madison. I have also served as a Customer Care Manager, and Office Administrator before moving into my current role. Over the years I have become the resident expert in BrightStar’s scheduling software, so much so that BrightStar headquarters has called upon me to test some of the new releases. I live in Madison with my husband and son, but I also support operations in our Janesville, Baraboo, LaCrosse and Racine offices including billing, payroll and all aspects of our scheduling software.
Susan Rather & Jeff Tews | Owners
Jeff Tews and Susan Rather have been part of the BrightStar family since 2006 when they opened the BrightStar Care franchise in Madison. Their business grew fast and they opened additional offices in Janesville, Baraboo and LaCrosse WI. Jeff and Susan have been named BrightStar’s “Franchisees of the Year” twice. Their home care and medical staffing operations are recognized in the industry for their excellence and are accredited by the Joint Commission. Hard work and innovation are the roots of their growth and success. They’ve developed a culture within the organization where continuing education and process improvement are top priorities, and the staff are empowered to provide great care. Each operations is staffed with team members that share the vision of delivering “Peace of Mind” for families by providing great care and service to their loved ones, hiring compassionate staff and ensuring they have the resources necessary to do their work, and being a charitable participant within the communities served. In February 2015, Jeff and Susan became the first BrightStar Senior Living franchisees. BrightStar Senior Living of Madison is an assisted living and memory care community delivering experienced, personalized services in an exquisite, intimate setting. The 25,726 square foot community features 30 suites that can accommodate up to 36 residents. The main level is geared toward providing assisted living care while the entire second floor is a state-of-the-art memory care neighborhood. By combining their home care and staffing business with BrightStar Senior Living, they have built an organization that is able to provide a continuum of quality care from the home to a residential community.
Susan graduated from UW – Eau Claire, studying Medical Technology. She also has a MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Susan worked 25+ years in various medical laboratory settings, with expertise in personnel management, regulatory compliance and process improvement Jeff is a Minnesota native and graduated from the University of Minnesota, earning his bachelors and a MBA. Prior to BrightStar, he worked in large corporate organizations (Northwestern Bell, US West, Qwest, US Bank), gaining expertise in organizational and team development, customer service and business ethics.
Questions about our care team?
Please contact BrightStar Care in Baraboo online or call at (608) 355-5015 and we'll be happy to answer them.