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Our Staff

Meet the Owners

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Larry & Kera Platte and John & Christy Cherwinski are no strangers to running a business. Between the two couples, they have owned and operated several small businesses in and around the Gaylord community.


They also have personal experience placing a loved one in assisted living. It was through this experience that they realized they could do things better! The group set out to develop a fresh new approach in assisted living that would change not only the look and feel of the building but the level of service and professionalism available to meet the varied needs of its residents.


The couples researched and toured assisted living communities all over the state to determine what best practices they could bring to their community. They have committed to creating a welcoming, home like environment, hiring a highly qualified team with a sincere passion for serving seniors, providing three delicious home cooked meals every day.


While ensuring residents have plenty of opportunities for exercise, entertainment, social and creative activities. All four owners will be involved in the daily operations of The Porches to actively participate in the implementation of their vision.

Meet our Executive Director

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Laura Beyer is new to the Gaylord community but her experience in assisted living and ensuring the provision of exceptional care and service to seniors spans 15 years. Her qualifications include a bachelors degree in management from Michigan State University and over 25 years of customer service experience.


Along with many years of continuing education in leadership, risk management, dementia care, documentation and licensing, she holds several certifications including the Certified Assisted Living Director (CALD) and the Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) programs. Among her most significant educational experience was moving her own parents from their home to assisted living.


Laura’s passion is helping families navigate the sometimes difficult and emotional process of moving a loved one to an assisted living community as well as watching residents thrive and flourish in their new environment.

Meet our Life Enrichment Director

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Meet our Life Enrichment Director~Elizabeth Shirley is a life long resident of Gaylord and a graduate of St. Mary’s High School. She has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Therapeutic Recreation from Central Michigan University.


Liz has worked with seniors in an assisted living setting since graduating from Central four years ago. Lucky for us, her return to Gaylord coincided with the opening of The Porches. Liz will ensure our residents are kept active and engaged while she focuses on preserving their quality of life.


Liz is passionate about helping others and making a difference in their lives. She has found that while her goal is to enrich the lives of her senior residents it is they who truly enrich hers.

Meet our Nurse


Jamie Kernozek, LPN is a life long Gaylord resident. She started her assisted living career as a caregiver twelve years ago. Since then, Jamie has earned her associate degree in nursing from Kirtland College and received her LPN licensing.


She has worked as a nurse for the past eight years in assisted living, long term care and a physician’s office. Jamie has found her passion working in assisted living. Getting to know the residents, celebrating special moments with them, and helping them feel their best always brings a smile to her face.

Meet our Caregivers

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Alexandria Copeland, Candy Calkins, Heather Iler, Casey Haas and April Wilson. Together, these remarkable women represent over forty years of experience in providing exceptional care to seniors.


They were chosen to be part of our inaugural team for their upbeat personalities and team spirit coupled with compassionate hearts and a true desire to enrich the lives of seniors. Our residents will be in good hands with these ladies as they have successfully completed their initial training demonstrating their understanding and competency required to provide quality care and assistance.


This group is committed to continuing education and sharing their knowledge as we continue to grow.

Meet our Culinary Team

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Cyndi Hall and Gale Tuck form the duo that will provide three delicious, fresh, homemade meals for our residents every day. Cyndi is a graduate of Gaylord St. Mary’s High School. She has been involved in food service for 40 years including 26 years with Gaylord Public Schools focusing on baking and catering.


Cyndi is a graduate of the JW Allen Baking School, she has her Serve Safe Management certification along with continuing education in Food Safety, Food Management, Quality Control and Communications. Cyndi’s passion is FOOD. She loves to make, create, and serve delicious food. She is looking forward to incorporating recipes and ideas shared by our residents into her weekly menus.

Gale has lived in the Gaylord area since moving North in 1990. She began her career in food service as a dishwasher when she was 14 years old. Gale is Serve Safe certified and has 25 years experience as a professional cook and food service manager. Her specialties include made from scratch pierogies, golumpkie, and many other comforting dishes.


After Gale cared for her own parents in their later years, she developed a passion for working with seniors. She spent 5 years as a medical assistant before realizing she could provide much needed care and comfort to her residents through preparing their favorite meals and treats.

Meet Our Therapy Dog

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Tilly is an Australian Labradoodle and Certified Therapy Dog. She resides in Gaylord with her parents, John and Christy Cherwinski. She is 21 dog years old (3 in human years) and working at The Porches will be her first full time job. Tilly was trained and certified by Ultimate Canine, LLC in Westfield, Indiana where she was born.


In her spare time she loves to run and play outside with her fur sister Tia. Tilly is looking forward to greeting our residents, making new friends, and sharing her love with them.

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