Meet the leadership team
Shelly Sun – CEO and Founder
Shelly Sun is the CEO and Founder of BrightStar Group Holdings, Inc., the parent company of BrightStar Care® and BrightStar Senior Living & Memory Care. BrightStar Care® is 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 healthcare staffing. BrightStar Care has grown to over 325 locations nationwide and in Canada serving over 20,000 families.
Shelly served as the International Franchise Association (IFA) Chairwoman 2017-2018, was named IFA 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year, and is a Certified Franchise Executive. Shelly Sun and BrightStar were featured on CBS’ Undercover Boss. Shelly also published her first book, Grow Smart, Risk Less, where she discusses her journey as an emerging franchisor through amazing growth, lessons learned and game-changing ideas.
BrightStar Care® is consistently named in Forbes’ Top Ten Franchises under $150,000 initial investment. BrightStar® is also the only franchise home care brand to receive the Joint Commission’s Enterprise Champion for Quality Award – every year 2013 through 2018.
Thomas Gilday – Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer
Thom Gilday is Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative 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.
Andrew Andress- Chief Operating Officer
Andy Andress is BrightStar Care’s Chief Operating Officer. Andy is responsible for the Franchisee operations, including the Field Support Group, Sales START, National Accounts Operations and the Learning & Development group.
A versatile executive with a broad range of experience, Andy’s most recent role was Chief Operating Officer for DeVry Medical International, a $300M+ provider of international medical and veterinary education; Ross University and American University of the Caribbean. His responsibilities included Operations, Marketing, Recruiting, Finance, Student Services/Financial Aid, Information Technology, Human Resources, and other areas. Prior to DeVry, he held senior positions in Operations, Marketing, Finance and Strategy at ACCO Brands and Sears Roebuck. Andy’s demonstrated success in leveraging strategic insights to drive superior results is attributable to starting his career with over six years in management consulting at Bain & Company. He holds a bachelors degree from Skidmore College and an MBA from Kellogg/Northwestern University.
Andy lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Megan, and two teenage daughters. His civic experience includes Ward Chair for his local caucus and 12 years of youth soccer coaching.
Steve Schildwachter – Chief Brand 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 CBO, 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.
Dean Ulizio – Executive Vice President of Global Strategic Development
Dean currently serves as BrightStar’s Executive Vice President of Global Strategic Development overseeing corporate development and new brand development activities. This includes the international expansion of BrightStar Care, development of new brands and lines of business such as BrightStar Senior Living, and Mergers & Acquisitions. Prior to this role, Dean Ulizio served as BrightStar’s Senior Vice President of Technology, bringing deep experience in building process and technology infrastructure to drive operations, product development and revenue growth at start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He joined BrightStar Franchising and BrightStar Technology group at the beginning of 2010 to lead the overhaul and upgrade of all of BrightStar’s technology platforms.
Prior to leading the technology department, Dean was one of BrightStar’s original franchisees and area developers. In 2006, Dean opened the BrightStar Care agency serving Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson and Adams Counties in Colorado. Dean opened his second agency in Denver in 2009. As an early franchisee, he found many opportunities to collaborate on the evolution of the BrightStar model including being the founder and chairperson for BrightStar’s Information Technology Committee and being elected as a charter member of BrightStar’s Franchise Advisory Council. BrightStar named Dean the 2007 Brand Advocate of the Year.
Prior to BrightStar Dean worked for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and Level 3 Communications.
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