Board & Staff
Our organization is guided by compassionate and experienced leaders from across the community.
After several years in the assisted living industry, Tom noticed that seniors living in his communities were often asked to leave when financial hardship struck. Tom recognized the need for a program that enables seniors to make their home with the assurance that they could stay even in times of financial or medical hardship. In 1997, he founded Baruch Senior Ministries, with the goal of providing permanent homes for seniors. He places a strong emphasis on providing excellent care not only for seniors’ physical well-being, but also for their emotional and spiritual well-being.
After 19 years serving as the owner and CEO of Leisure Living Management, Tom shifted his full-time efforts to Baruch Senior Ministries in 2014. Prior to1996, Tom was the Executive Vice President of Hospice of Michigan (1994-1995) and Executive Director and CFO of Hospice of Western Michigan from 1990 until 1994. Before working with Hospice, Tom, a CPA, spent twenty years with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young servicing healthcare organizations, privately held businesses, and several SEC-registered corporations.
Vice President OperationsConnie joined Baruch Senior Ministries in September 2000 as the Administrator of FountainView Assisted Living in Coopersville. Prior to Baruch, Connie worked for a large community healthcare system for five years, serving on the Leadership Council, integrating marketing and operation strategies, providing day-to-day oversight/guidance, and serving as the voice of the customers. Twenty additional years in the healthcare industry has prepared Connie for the responsibilities of sales/marketing, operations, training, and fundraising for the Baruch facilities. She has an extensive background in both profit and non-profit environments, with a track record of generating growth and retained earnings. In 2002, Connie transitioned to Regional Operations Director to service the continued growth of the Baruch Communities and in 2012 became Vice President of Operations.
Vice President Business DevelopmentMitch McNeal joined Baruch Senior Ministries in January, 2011 as its Community Outreach Manager, and in 2014 was named Vice President of Business Development. Immediately prior to joining Baruch, Mitch was employed in the oil and gas industry as an independent Landman in Michigan and North Dakota. Mitch also spent over 20 years as a co-owner/officer of Gus Macker Basketball, conducting multiple grassroots charity basketball tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. Throughout the years, he has been involved in all aspects of business management including personnel management, sales and marketing, contract negotiation, operations, financial management, new market development and event management. Mitch holds an undergraduate degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.
Chaplain, Spiritual Care DirectorPastor Rick came to Baruch Senior Ministries in January of 2010 after serving over 35 years as a staff pastor in five churches in New Jersey, Indiana, and Michigan. Baruch Senior Ministries seeks to care for the whole individual, and an important part of this holistic approach is the desire to provide emotionally and spiritually for our residents. Pastor Rick both directs and provides hands-on emotional and spiritual care to the residents of our communities. He works with area churches, pastors, and lay people to provide regular on-site worship and Bible studies at each of the Barch facilities. He also regularly visits each facility and makes pastoral calls on residents and leads worship and Bible studies. Pastor Rick is also a resource for the members of the Baruch leadership team in providing emotional and spiritual care to individuals as needed. He daily supports the ministry in prayer, praying for both the residents and the ministry team.
Christopher P. Murphy
Vice President AdvancementChristopher Murphy joined Baruch Senior Ministries as a full-time employee in January of 2017 after years of service to the organization on its Board of Directors in the role of Secretary and Treasurer, and through contracted financial management services to Baruch in the role of Controller/CFO/Treasurer for Leisure Living Management. Serving Baruch from the very beginning of the organization has provided valuable insight and has nurtured the current feeling of finally being home. Chris enjoyed a 19 year career with Leisure Living Management, Inc., a retirement community management company providing services to for-profit and non-profit assisted living communities throughout Michigan, serving in the capacities of Controller, CFO, and VP-Treasurer.Prior to his roles in the assisted living business, Chris spent 16 years working in the banking industry serving multiple banks in the areas of Retail Banking, Lending, Internal Audit and Loan Review, and finally holding the position of Vice President and Controller. Chris holds an undergraduate degree in Business from Davenport University as well as a graduate degree in Audit Management from The School for Bank Administration at The University of Wisconsin.
Vice President Finance
Chairman of the Board
Matt Wieringa is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at G&T Industries, an employee-owned company specializing in foam fabrication, contract assembly, global sourcing, and order fulfillment. He has a BA from Calvin College and an MBA from Indiana University. Matt is married to Melissa and has three children. In his free time, he enjoys coaching and refereeing soccer.
Secretary/TreasurerJim Tuinstra is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Masters Degree in Social Work. He is retired from Hope Network where he served as Executive Vice President of Program Development and later as CEO. Bi-lingual, Jim’s outside interests have been concentrated on activities of the CRC World Relief Committee, Cuban Refugee Good Samaritan Center, and Planning and Development in Spanish speaking countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and Haiti. These programs were in areas of healthcare, rehabilitation, housing, literacy, and disaster relief. Jim has also worked extensively with the disabled and was a past President of the Michigan Brain Injury Association and a past Chairperson of the Kent County Regional Interagency Coordinating Committee for Developmental Disabilities.
Board MemberKen Drenth is a retired public school superintendent. He is very involved in the Les Cheneaux Community located on the North Shore of Lake Huron, serving as the chair person of the local Great Lakes Boat Building School and the Les Cheneaux Community Foundation. For 10 to 12 weeks per year he and his wife move to Arkansas where they donate their time to a world hunger project entitled “The Heifer Project.” Ken received his doctorate in Educational Administration from Western Michigan University and was inducted into the Michigan Association of School Administrators Hall of Fame in 2009. He resides in Cedarville with his wife Sue, also a retired educator. They have two sons. Ken’s interests include fishing, hunting and working for his community.
Board MemberArie Goudswaard retired after forty years with Amway Corporation as Manager in Global Sales Development and Administration. Responsibilities included strategic planning, compensation design, staff training and development, and ensuring healthy business practices in international markets. Arie and his wife, Grace, have been married 45 years, have two children, and attend Ada Christian Reformed Church.
Board MemberMatthew McGowan is a Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Grand Rapids, MI. Matthew is responsible for managing a portfolio of middle market companies based in West Michigan. Through previous business relationships, Matthew has been involved with Baruch since 2011 and joined the board in 2015. In addition to board responsibilities with Baruch, Matthew also serves as a co-chair of Wedgwood Christian Services’ NextGen Council, whose mission is to extend God’s love to youth and families through professional counseling and educational services. Matthew graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in finance. Matthew and his wife, Susan, are parents to three daughters. When away from work, Matthew enjoys spending time at the cottage with his family, working on home renovation projects and CrossFit. Matthew and his family attend Crossroads Bible Church.
Board MemberJoan Cornelison is the Founder and President of a Michigan-based Christian nonprofit organization, Esther’s Hope Ministries Inc., which educates and mentors underprivileged young women in Africa. She is an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and popular conference speaker. Her career includes service as an inspiring college professor, devoted pastor, and visionary nonprofit administrator. After serving as Executive Director of Pastoral Services for Hope Network (a Michigan organization that serves people who live with disabilities and disadvantages) for 15 years, Joan decided to turn her attention to her nonprofit on a full-time basis. She is the author of “Esther’s Hope,” a short biography detailing her mother’s journey from poverty through an opportunity to influence in her country and in the world. Joan earned a Bachelor of Education Degree (1986) and Master of Literature Degree (1990) from Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; a Certificate in Christian Ministries (1997) from Kuyper College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; and a Master of Divinity Degree (2000) from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Joan grew up in Kenya, East Africa. She loves to read, write, and cook African dishes to share with friends. Joan joined the Baruch Board in 2017.