Compassion, integrity, inspiration, excellence, diversity and generosity
Heather Ratlieff | Branch Manager I came to BrightStar November 2018 with over 20 years experience working in healthcare settings. I have many years of experience working with the Dementia population. My most recent position before joining BrightStar was as an Executive Director at an assisted living community. I feel the most rewarding aspect of my career is to help our clients live a purposeful life by providing personalized quality care to our clients in their homes. I truly enjoy leading my team of compassionate professionals so that together we can provide ongoing support to our clients, direct care staff and family members.
Kaeleigh Tessman | Customer Experience Manager I joined the Brightstar Care team in November of 2018. My role is to educate potential clients on what we can provide and how we partner with other agencies in the community to provide a higher standard of care. Prior to Brightstar, I had worked in home care, hospitals, and hospice for 10 years. Through my previous experience, I can guide clients through their options to create a team to care for their loved one. I find joy knowing I am able to provide a much-needed service to those in Racine, Kenosha, & Milwaukee counties.
Colette B Trotta | BSN, RN, WCC I like many aspects of my job; however, I love seeing clients out in the field, especially wound care clients. My passion is taking care of the worst wound and monitoring the wound through the different phases of healing. This is an amazing aspect of our bodies in the healing process. I’m compassionate and empathetic with my care of my clients, while maintaining professional ethics and boundaries with my clients. I strive to be the best in my care for my clients, as well as working with the office staff. I value opinions of staff and client and try to be part of the solution, when an issue arises.
Jessica Santos | Customer Care Manager I choose to work at Brightstar because I was offered a position that I could help someone get care in the home so they are able to stay home as long as they can. I love the team that I work with because we are all here and feel the same way about helping someone fit their needs and also offer compatibility so they are comfortable and happy.
Valarie Heiser | Staffing Account Manager I come from a long background in healthcare. I started working the floor in a skilled nursing facility at age 16, and it really opened my eyes to the ever-demanding need for quality and compassionate nurses and caregivers. I moved around the industry over the years, from Unit Coordinator at a local hospital, surgical tech to scheduling and HR. Many of my certifications are still current. I was brought into the S & J family in 2018 and never looked back. I manage client satisfaction, fulfillment and quality for our clients in the Racine territory. BrightStar has given me the support I need to grow within the company, and I have passed along that same support to the staff that I manage so we can all shine bright together. We aren't only a team, we are family.
Tony Moore | Staffing Employee Engagement Manager I came to BrightStar Care in March 2020 with over 12 years experience working in healthcare settings. Before Brightstar, I had been a private caregiver and worked in Cardiac & ER as a CNA. My most recent position before joining BrightStar was as the GM of Butcher & Barrel Gastropub in Downtown Racine. The most rewarding aspect of my career was the change in lifestyle and the ability to help others. I truly enjoy helping our Staffing department employees to enjoy every day at their jobs.
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.
Lori Tebrinke | Director of Nursing Before coming to Bright Star, I was a night RN at UW Hospital and Clinics on a general internal medicine unit that specialized in Geriatrics and Special Pathogens. I am excited to bring my evidence-based, best practice nursing skills, experiences and training into the private setting. My Bachelor’s degree in Nursing is from UW Madison; additionally I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Iowa State University in Communication Disorders with a minor in Psychology. Working here at Bright Star as an RN Case Manager, I feel I have truly come full circle by being able to provide this level of care to my clients in their own home!
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.
Hattie Truss | Business Office Manager While I loved my previous position as a pharmacy technician, I was looking for more human interaction when I came to BrightStar Care- and I definitely found it here. I especially enjoy communicating with staff, clients and their family members to solve issues with billing, payroll and all aspects of our scheduling software.