Our organization is guided by compassionate and experienced leaders from across the community.

Our Staff

Tom Nobel

Founder/Executive Chairman

Tom founded Baruch 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. Tom currently serves as a member of the Senior Living 100 Advisory Board and the Leading Age Michigan Board of Directors.

Mitch McNeal

President & CEO

Mitch McNeal joined Baruch Senior Ministries in January, 2011 as its Community Outreach Manager, and in 2014 was named Vice President of Business Development. He was appointed President in November 2018 and assumed the additional duties as CEO in July 2022. 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.

Connie Clauson

Chief Operating Officer

Connie 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. 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. Connie was then promoted to Executive Vice President of Operations in 2021 and was promoted to COO in July 2022. Connie currently serves on the Adult Foster Care Licensing Advisory Council for the State of Michigan.

Joan Cornelison

Vice President of Spiritual Care and Church Partnerships

Pastor Joan Cornelison joined Baruch Senior Ministries in September 2020 as our Vice President of Spiritual Care and Church Partnerships. Pastor Joan will be leading the effort to carry the Baruch mission and philosophy of spiritual care throughout the organization. This will include management of our Chaplain program and further development of local church partnerships and other programs to ensure that we are meeting the spiritual needs of our residents, families, and staff. Pastor Joan holds a Bachelor of Education Degree, Master of Literature Degree, Certificate in Christian Ministries, and a Master of Divinity Degree. She served for 15 years as the Executive Director of Pastoral Services for Hope Network, a Michigan organization that serves those with disabilities and disadvantages. She is also the Founder of Esther’s Hope Ministries, which educates and mentors underprivileged young women in Africa. Pastor Joan furthermore served on Baruch’s Board of Directors prior to accepting this new role.

Brian Nitz

Vice President Advancement

Brian joined Baruch Senior Ministries in July of 2006 when Baruch acquired Somerset Manors. Prior to this acquisition, Brian worked for Somerset Manors for 15 years. He started working there as a college student doing grounds and maintenance. While working on his bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University, Brian was offered multiple internships with Somerset Manors which would land him in roles including the Associate Administrator and the Executive Director. Brian graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1997 with his Bachelor of Business Administration and received a minor in Aging and Adult Development. Since joining Baruch 15 years ago, Brian has been positioned in various roles that include: Marketing, Administration, and most recently he spent the last 5 years as a Regional Operations Director. With almost 30 years of experience in senior care, Brian transitioned to Vice President of Advancement in January of 2021 to strengthen and expand the mission and impact of Baruch Senior Ministries.

Christopher P. Murphy

Vice President Business Development

Christopher 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.

Chris Meengs

Vice President Human Resources

Chris joined Baruch Senior Ministries in March of 2013. Prior to working at Baruch, Chris spent 15 years in the IT and Education industries. Chris initially started as an Operations Support Coordinator, but as the company continued to grow, his responsibilities in Human Resources continued to grow. He spent several years as the Director of Human Resources before transitioning to his current role as Vice President of Human Resources in 2022. Chris received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Calvin University and received his MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from Davenport University. He also holds his PHR certification from HRCI. Chris has a passion for helping Baruch fulfil its mission to take care of people as they age, and enjoys working with our operations team to help find fellow employees who share that vision.

James tew

Chief Financial Officer

James has served in various finance roles within the banking industry and other organizations throughout his 12-plus year working career. James originally joined Baruch in 2015 as a Financial Analyst, primarily involved in analyzing the financial impact of potential acquisitions and new building projects, along with managing other aspects of the due diligence process. After leaving Baruch in 2017, James continued to work in various finance roles, most recently serving as the Assistant Controller for a multiple entity organization. He returned to Baruch in early 2020 as the Accounting Manager to help transition the entire finance function away from a third-party service provider and into Baruch’s own internal full-service Finance Department. Following that transition he took on increased responsibilities and in January 2022 transitioned to the role of Vice President of Finance and was promoted to CFO in July 2022. James was also a Staff Sergeant in the Michigan Air National Guard from 2005-2011 where he was a Propulsion Engineer. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Davenport University. James is focused on implementing innovative structures to position Baruch for the expansion of the mission into the future.

Our board

David Koetje

Board Chairman

David Koetje served as President/CEO of Christian Schools International and is now retired. He currently serves as chair of Grand Rapids Community College Board as well as Haiti Foundation Against Poverty. He is also currently a consultant for Sim Com LLC: “Simplifying Complexity,” focusing on education and service industries. David and his wife have three adult children as well as eight grandchildren.

Matt McGowan


Matthew 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.

Ken Drenth

Board Member

Ken 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.

Scott Zylstra

Board Member

Scott Zylstra is the Vice President of Finance for Automatic Spring Products Corp, a manufacturing company based in Grand Haven, MI. Scott previously served on the Baruch board from 2008-2016 after Baruch purchased several properties from his family. Scott graduated from Calvin University with a B.S. in Accountancy. He and his wife Anna are parents to two children. In addition to Baruch, Scott also serves on the Board for Treetops Collective, a non-profit organization focused on connecting new Americans with people and opportunities in our community.

Khan Nedd, MD

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Janis Petrini

Chairman of the Board

Bio coming soon!