Meet the leadership team
Shelly Sun – CEO and Co-Founder
Shelly Sun is the CEO and co-founder of BrightStar Care®, a premium healthcare staffing company providing the full continuum of care, from homecare to supplemental staffing for corporate clients such as nursing homes and physicians. In 2005, BrightStar launched its franchising efforts, becoming the first and only franchising company in the country to specialize in both medical and non-medical care and health care staffing.
BrightStar Care has grown to over 300 locations nationwide serving over 15,000 families generating over $350 million in system-wide revenue. In addition to leading the strategy for the BrightStar Care®, BrightStar Senior Living Assisted Living & Memory Care, and BrightStar® Technology Group divisions, Shelly is charting the vision for complementary brands and services to help consumers care for their families and homes.
Shelly is a Certified Franchise Executive and participates on the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Board of Directors. Shelly will be Chairperson of the IFA Board of Directors in February 2017. Shelly was also selected by the IFA as the 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year. BrightStar Care® was named to First Place in the June 2014 Forbes’ list, and remained amongst the Top 10 on the 2015 and 2016 Forbes’ list, for franchises under $150,000 initial investment. BrightStar® was also selected for the Inc. 500/5000 every year 2010-2015. BrightStar Care® is the only franchise home care brand to receive the Joint Commission’s Enterprise Champion of Quality Award in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
BrightStar Care was featured on CBS’ Undercover Boss. (If you are a Netflix subscriber, click here to watch Shelly Sun on Undercover Boss.) Shelly also published her first book, Grow Smart, Risk Less – a low-capital path to multiplying your business through franchising, where she discusses her journey as an emerging franchisor through amazing growth, lessons learned and game-changing ideas.
Thomas Gilday – President and Chief Operating Officer
Thom Gilday is President and Chief Operating Officer of BrightStar Group Holdings, Inc. and is responsible for the day-to-day operating activities of BrightStar Group Holding and its affiliates. This includes translating the enterprise’s vision and strategy into action plans, monitoring system-wide financial and strategic progress against milestones and goals, and overseeing the launch and growth of future BrightStar brands.
Currently, Thom is developing a multi-unit owner platform and leading international franchise development efforts. Thom joined BrightStar in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer and has led the corporate finance, human resources, and technology teams; implemented financing programs for BrightStar Care franchisees; and assisted on the launch of BrightStar Senior Living, the company’s first residential product line focused on assisted living and memory care.
Before joining BrightStar, Thom served as Chief Financial Officer of Celebration Foods, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of frozen desserts and novelties, including ice cream cake brand Carvel®. During his tenure there, Thom directed the accounting, financial planning and analysis, information technology, human resources and risk-management functions. He has held numerous positions that support various international and domestic operations, including Allied Domecq QSR, the franchisor of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins.
Steve Schildwachter – Chief Marketing Officer
Steve Schildwachter is responsible for developing an integrated system-wide consumer and franchisee-centric marketing approach. This includes driving the overarching brand strategy, advertising, public relations and internal/external communications that support profitable business growth and increase consumer preference for the brand. As CMO, Steve is tasked with developing strategies that grow positive consumer experiences, brand value, and retention through strong franchisee relations and stewardship. Other responsibilities revolve around developing the talent and leading an effective marketing organization that is aligned with franchisees, operations and other key cross-functional departments.
Before joining BrightStar Care, Steve served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at rVue, Inc., an Elmhurst, Illinois-based advertising technology company. During his time at rVue, Steve helped advertisers and agencies plan, buy, traffic and analyze results. In addition, he worked closely with the Board of Directors, investment community and network operators while helping to build marketing operations from the ground up. Prior to that, Schildwachter held executive level positions with advertising industry giants such as Foote, Cone & Belding and Leo Burnett.
James Kearns – Chief Technology Officer
Jim is responsible for strategy, planning, and execution of the BrightStar Technology Group. The Technology Group is comprised of teams accountable for custom software development, software quality assurance, project management, infrastructure, and client support.
Jim brings over 32 years of technology, operational improvement, and change leadership experience, almost all of which are in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining BrightStar Care, Jim led the technical and operational transformation, from paper to electronic health records, of several health systems, including Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Delnor Health System in Geneva, Illinois.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Western Illinois University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC – Chief Clinical Quality Officer
Sharon oversees the BrightStar Care clinical-quality platform including operationalizing the client care experience, designing clinical operational systems for domestic and international BrightStar Care locations, and managing clinical policies and procedures. Additionally, she leads Joint Commission accreditation and related processes, clinical program development, and plays a significant role in BrightStar Senior Living, BrightStar’s first residential product line focused on assisted living and memory care.
Before coming to BrightStar, Sharon served as Senior Vice President of Health and Ancillary Services at Horizon Bay Retirement Living in Tampa, a senior housing company with over 90 properties in 20 states. In this role, Maguire was responsible for the oversight and execution of strategic company objectives within healthcare and memory care product lines including Medicare home health and private duty home care. Prior to Horizon Bay, Sharon was the Vice President of Clinical Services for Brookdale Senior Living. A publicly traded for-profit senior care and housing company, Brookdale is the nation’s largest provider of senior care with over 1000 properties in 42 states.
In addition to Sharon’s extensive healthcare background, she has served on numerous boards and associations in the industry, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Assisted Living Federation of America and was the President of the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners. She has been published in various professional and industry journals and authored chapters in well respected textbooks. She speaks at the national level on a variety of topics relevant to senior care including dementia, falls, therapeutic environments, person-centered care, and healthcare informatics. Sharon has taught in both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs, most recently in the role of clinical assistant professor at Marquette University.
Gregory Esgar – Chief Financial Officer
Greg Esgar is responsible for the financial activities of BrightStar Group Holdings and its affiliates. This includes the planning and controlling all financial-related activities, including being directly responsible for accounting, finance, forecasting, strategic planning, human resources, legal, and deal analysis as well as private and/or institutional financing.
Esgar brings over 17 years of franchising and accounting experience to the company. Prior to joining BrightStar Care, Esgar brings over 17 years of franchising and accounting experience to the company. Prior to joining BrightStar Care, Esgar was the Chief Financial Officer for Massage Envy Franchising LLC, the leading franchisor of the therapeutic massage industry. During his twelve years at Massage Envy, he helped grow the company from 14 units to over 1,150; including internationally. In his role, Esgar worked with the corporate team to develop overall strategy and budget, as well as working individually with franchisees to ensure they were receiving optimal profits. Before Massage Envy, Esgar was the Chief Financial Officer at MCL Enterprises, the second largest franchisee of Burger King in Arizona. He helped grow MCL from seven to sixteen restaurant during his five years with MCL.
Esgar graduated with an accounting degree from Arizona State University and is currently a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Arizona.
Jayson Pearl – EVP, Franchise Operations
Jayson Pearl is responsible for leading the BrightStart Team (providing selling and operational coaching for new franchisees) and the Field Support team (providing broad business coaching for all franchisees). Jayson also leads the National Accounts team and oversees regulatory affairs and managing improvement of the client experience for the BrightStar Care brand.
Jayson joined BrightStar Care in 2009 as Vice President of Marketing and Franchisee Onboarding where he led the implementation of a system-wide rebranding effort, development of the BrightStart franchisee launch program, and the pilot program leading to Joint Commission Accreditation of all US BrightStar Care® locations. Jayson leads teams responsible for marketing, learning and development, human resources, and National Accounts.
Jayson brings 25 years of executive leadership in marketing and operations. Prior to joining BrightStar, Jayson led strategic marketing and new product development for global brands working closely with quality and operations executives of global franchise groups.
Anthony Padulo, CFE – Executive Vice President of Global Development
Anthony Padulo is in charge of strategic expansion and oversight of domestic franchise growth, as well as international growth for the BrightStar Care brand.
Before joining BrightStar Care, Tony was Vice President of Franchise Development for Goddard Systems, Inc., the largest childcare franchisor in the United States. In that capacity, Tony had the responsibility for new franchise sales, resales, new school openings, market planning, real estate development, construction and franchisee financing. Prior to joining Goddard, Tony was the Vice President of Franchise Sales and Development for AAMCO Transmissions Inc., one of the leading companies in the automotive aftermarket industry with almost 900 units in the Unites States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Previous to this, Tony was employed by Dunkin’ Donuts for over 20 years and served in various sales and management capabilities, including Vice President of International Development, and Vice President of New Business Development, Domestic. While at Dunkin’ Donuts, Tony was responsible for launching over 30 new countries internationally for both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins.
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