Meet Our Comfort Keepers

Our team of Comfort Keepers is uniquely qualified and ready to help 

Every member of our team of Comfort Keepers is professional and well trained. We conduct a thorough screening and interviewing process to identify the best home care providers, and only those who pass this process go on to complete training to deliver our special brand of home care and become Comfort Keepers. What truly sets our people apart, though, is their natural gift for caring for others. 

All Comfort Keepers pass extensive background checks and complete continuing education. They are bonded, insured and covered by workers' compensation insurance to protect our clients and their families.

Stephanie Howe

Owner, RN

Stephanie Howe, RN, is the owner of 4 Comfort Keepers franchises in central NJ.  She began providing services to her first client in 2005 in her first office in Hamilton and 2006 in Monroe Township.

Stephanie’s husband Rich joined the business in 2010 as a consultant and together they are working hard to deliver their dream of providing quality care to the community.  Together, they bought an office in Easton, MD in 2013.

The business started because Stephanie had a parent with chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis and was admitted into a nursing home at age 44, because there were no services like this available at the time.  Stephanie was diagnosed with the same disease at age 26 and did not want others to suffer as her family did.

She is committed to assisting not just the elderly, but anyone needing home care services in order to continue living safely at home. 

Stephanie is a Registered Nurse and has been elected by her peers to the National Advisory Council to represent other franchisees across the country at the Comfort Keepers corporate level.

In 2016, Stephanie opened the New Jersey Caregiver Academy to certify caregivers as Certified Home Health Aide's with the Board of Nursing. It is a great resource for training our caregivers with the best nurses and curriculum in the state!

Stephanie remains healthy and she and her husband reside in Robbinsville with their six children and five dogs.

Henry

Director of The "Golden" Rule

Henry, our four legged friend, serves as our Director of Love & Respect. Henry reminds all of us the importance of treating others how we wish to be treated... the "Golden" Rule.

As a fun loving pup, Henry can be found around the office to greet our guests. Henry also makes a point to stop by all of our staff's desks to give us a warm hug throughout the day.

When Henry is not in the office, he spends time visiting our clients and their families, and stopping to see our professional referral sources. In his off time, he is lucky enough to live with Stephanie and her family. We love having Henry on our team and he looks forward to meeting you!

Sheila Truncellito

General Manager

Sheila Truncellito is the General Manager with oversight of all services in the central office and four territories of the franchise. She began her career with Comfort Keepers as Client Care Coordinator in 2012. 

Sheila hails from Indiana where she grew up in a farming family.  She received a B.A. from DePauw University and went to work on the start-up staff of People Express airlines.  She gained human resources experience there which she put to work in a career as a human resources manager in the insurance field. 

She took a hiatus to raise her daughter and in those years also worked as a professional storyteller/singer, performing in many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, senior centers and schools in the tri-state area.  She has further served as a community mediator in her local municipal court system.  In her spare time, she loves singing in a cappella groups and costuming shows.

Sheila has been married to her wonderful husband, Gene, for 34 years. They have a lovely daughter, Eva, who previously enjoyed working for Comfort Keepers.

Her daily joy is knowing when Comfort Keepers has found the perfect match between client and caregiver that lets clients and their families feel at ease and in good hands.

Taylor Lubsen

Director of Franchise Operations

Taylor Lubsen joined Comfort Keepers as the Territory Manager of our Toms River office back in 2014. She has since become the Director of Franchise Operations for our four New Jersey locations. Taylor grew up in Point Pleasant, NJ so she is very knowledgeable of Ocean County and all that there is to offer the residents in her territory.

Taylor attended Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA where she graduated with a major in History and minors in Sociology, Anthropology, and Literature.

As a history major, Taylor has always been fascinated with people’s pasts and learning from their stories. She believes that understanding someone’s past is key to her success in building the relationships she has with her clients in Toms River.

Taylor is a world traveler and even studied abroad in London when she was in college. Her recent travels include England, Luxembourg, and France.

Prior to her employment with Comfort Keepers, Taylor worked for over two years in the Meridian Health Hospital System. Even though Taylor fully enjoyed her experience working with children at Meridian, she often calls herself an “old soul,” which is why she feels so connected to her job here at Comfort Keepers.

Lisa Stout

Director of Nursing

Lisa Stout, BSN, RN, is our Director of Nursing.  Lisa has oversight of all care being provided by Comfort Keepers throughout our four territories.  Lisa has a vital role in spearheading our Private Duty Nursing Program and supervises all services.  Lisa obtained a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Holy Family University located in Philadelphia, PA.

Lisa worked as a professional registered nurse for over twenty years in various areas including Maternal Child Health, Community Health & Education, and Nursing Administration at local community hospitals. Lisa is a certified CPR instructor through the American Heart Association.  Lisa has a passion for community health education and is able to fulfill this through educating nurses, caregivers, clients, and family members.  

Education is a very important aspect of our Comfort Keepers mission. Lisa also acts as the Director of the New Jersey Caregiver Academy. this school serves as a training resource for our current caregivers and helps to certify CHHA's with the Board of Nursing.

Lisa had her own business for a number of years as a Birthing Doula in which she fulfilled her passion of helping woman throughout their birthing journey.  In her leisure time, Lisa loves spending time with her family doing a variety of activities and traveling to warm destinations, such as Hawaii.  Lisa has been married to her husband, a local firefighter, for 27 years and they have a son and two daughters.  As a family, their favorite vacation spot is Hilton Head Island, SC.

Lisa Cugasi

Assistant Director of Nursing, RN, CDP

Lisa Cugasi RN, is our Assistant Director of Nursing. Lisa graduated from Mercer County Community College and her experience has focused on geriatric and pediatric home care. Lisa first worked as a caregiver for Comfort Keepers several years ago before returning as an RN and learning all aspects of the home health care business.  She has previously worked for Bayada Pediatrics, the New Jersey Turnpike, New Jersey Department of Corrections, a recruiting firm and a pharmaceutical marketing company. 

Lisa is approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing as a clinical skills instructor to educate those wishing to pursue a career as a home health aide through the NJ Caregiver Academy.  Lisa is a Certified Dementia Practitioner.  Approximately 80% of those seeking services through Comfort Keepers have some form of cognitive impairment.

Lisa and her husband, Pete, have been married 19 years and have two children.  She enjoys reading, writing and learning.  Two of her poems have been published in The Kelsey Review, Mercer County Community College's county-wide literary journal.

Kristin Harrison

Territory Manager - Robbinsville

Kristin Harrison is the Territory Manager in our Robbinsville office which services Mercer County. She graduated from Monmouth University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

Throughout college, Kristin worked in a restaurant as a server where she learned that she truly loves working with people. Her junior year at Monmouth, Kristin became a member of the academic club, PRSSA.  In her senior year, she became the Director of Media Relations for PRSSA. She also published articles in The Verge, Monmouth University’s online newspaper. With Kristin’s work experience in customer service, she has learned that working with people is her ideal job and is excited to be a part of the Comfort Keepers' family!

When Kristin is not working, she can be found kayaking, hiking or doing anything outdoors. She loves adventure and when she has free time, she is often tackling a new trail. One of Kristin’s dream is to hike across the Grand Canyon North Rim.

Kristin McCoy

Territory Manager - Monroe Township

Kristin McCoy is the Territory Manager of our Monroe Township location. She attended Monmouth University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology. Before college, she worked in various ministry opportunities including: a youth ministry in Lakewood, NJ, an international non-profit organization based in Israel, as well as travelling to South and Central America to help renovate homes and provide clean water to local families.

Prior to working with Comfort Keepers, Kristin worked in customer service at a small credit union. She has used those organizational and management skills to provide excellent support for her Monroe clients.

Kristin is empowered by the conviction that every individual-- regardless of age, demographic, or background—has a specific and intricate purpose. Every life is necessary and everyone has something unique and beautiful to contribute to society. In her work with us, she revels in meeting new prospective clients, hearing their stories, and growing the CK family.

Grace Meyer

Territory Manager - Toms River

Grace is the Territory Manager in Toms River, which services Northern Ocean County. Grace graduated from Cabrini University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, the University of Alabama with a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, and is working on a second Master’s degree in Social Work from Widener University.

Grace’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease while she was in college. Shortly after, her grandfather was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she saw firsthand how these diagnoses can impact a family. She witnessed the different caregivers and nurses in and out of their home. Those people really made a difference in their family dynamic and she quickly knew that was what she was meant to do.  

Before starting with Comfort Keepers, Grace previously worked as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Alabama and a pharmacy technician.  In her spare time, she loves to be with her family and friends or at the beach! 

Terry Westerhaug

Territory Manager – Warren

Terry Westerhaug is the Territory Manager of our Warren office that services Somerset and Union counties. Terry has been with Comfort keepers since 2007.

Terry grew up in Minnesota, where he studied architecture and business at the University of Minnesota. He spent four years as a professional skiing instructor and still loves to ski whenever he can. Shortly after getting married Terry and his wife moved to New Jersey. They love to entertain friends and show off their culinary skills. Their family includes a college aged daughter and an overactive Wheaton Terrier.

Having spent many years in the corporate world, as a purchasing manager, plant manager and director of operations, Terry decided to take some time off and spent six wonderful years as a stay at home dad. Terry brings vast experience as a manager, trainer, recruiter and business executive.  He is extremely dedicated to our clients and takes pride in the satisfaction of knowing their loved ones are in good hands.

Joe Fuhrman

Director of Business Development

A lifelong resident of Mercer County, Joe was born in East Windsor, raised in Hamilton, and now lives with his wife, Rebecca and son, Christian in Robbinsville.  As a graduate of Steinert High School and The College of New Jersey, Joe is excited for the opportunity to continue his career in the Mercer County area, while expanding to the other communities that Comfort Keepers serves.

In his spare time, Joe enjoys spending time with his son, Christian, and the rest of his family. A die-hard Yankees fan, Joe also enjoys making trips to Yankee Stadium a few times a year.

Prior to beginning at Comfort Keepers, Joe spent 12 years as an employee of the Hamilton Area YMCA, most recently serving as the Associate Branch Director. Now, as the Director of Business Development at Comfort Keepers, Joe looks forward to continuing to serve the community and strives to provide the best possible care for your loved one.

Megan Durbin

Staffing Coordinator - Robbinsville

Our Staffing Coordinator in Robbinsville, Megan Durbin, has been with Comfort Keepers since 2013. Prior to scheduling, Meg worked as a private caregiver. She had many clients whom she loved dearly. Megan will admit she is not a good cook, but her one client loved her spaghetti, even though she had to put two packets of sweet and low in it! Megan loved taking care of her clients, especially singing and dancing with them. She even gave one of her clients the nickname of “hummingbird” because her client would hum all day long.

Megan formerly resided in Maryland for seven years. Prior to Comfort Keepers and private caregiving, Megan helped care for her grandmother and was a manicurist at an upscale salon for 21 years. Megan loved doing nails, but she felt it was time for a change and decided it was time to revisit her passion in helping the elderly.

Carol Tezsla

Staffing Coordinator - Robbinsville

Carol Tezsla is a Staffing Coordinator in our Robbinsville office.  Prior to working in our office, she devoted the last three years to caring for our clients and was a much requested caregiver.  

She has also been a licensed Cosmetologist for the past twenty-seven years specializing in highlights and coloring.  Some of her clients have been with her more than twenty years, a testament to her talent and kind manner.

A mother of one, Carol likes to spend all of her spare time with her wonderful son, watching movies, riding bikes and swimming.  Another beloved member of her family is their Weimaraner named "Puddles".

Carol loves helping people and making a difference in their lives. 

Stephanie O'Brien

Part Time Staffing Coordinator - Robbinsville

Stephanie is our Part Time Staffing Coordinator in the Robbinsville office. She is proud to say she has lived in Hamilton her whole life. Stephanie enjoyed a career as an X-Ray Technician for 20 years. Now, she has been with Comfort Keepers for 4 years.

In 2016, Stephanie was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, but she is doing great and thanks everyone for all the prayers! She feels so lucky to be a part of such amazing growth at Comfort Keepers and seeing some of our dreams come true as a company. We are proud of Stephanie for achieving her goals of giving clients a place to come to for true comfort in their time of need.

Stephanie spends all her free time with her kids and their puppy!

Jessicarose Fattibene

Staffing Coordinator - Monroe Township

Jessicarose Fattibene is our Staffing Coordinator in the Monroe Township Office. Any time you call, you can be sure that she will greet you with a smile on her face and in her voice. Jessicarose helps manage the caregivers and client's schedules, among many other administrative duties.

Jessicarose started with Comfort Keepers in the Fall of 2016. She has over a decade of experience in customer service and administrative work under her belt. She has recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications: Professional Writing and is excited to put her skills to use with Comfort Keepers in helping to make our staff and clients receive optimal communication with one another.

Jessicarose has always had a desire to help others and goes above and beyond at work and in her personal time to assure that those who need a helping hand get that and more. In her spare time she likes to read and write, go on photography excursions, and volunteers with an animal shelter; hoping to bring happiness to her four-legged friends as well. 

Ashley Eads

Part Time Staffing Coordinator - Monroe Township

Ashley Eads is our Part Time Staffing Coordinator at our Monroe office in Monroe Township, New Jersey. Ashley was raised in East Windsor, New Jersey and studied nursing at Mercer County Community College.

Prior to working for Comfort Keepers, Ashley worked in the hospitality and customer service industry for eleven years. While working in this industry she was able to adapt to working in a fast paced work environment and learn new skills that benefited her in furthering her career. Here at Comfort Keepers, having the ability to communicate effectively is imperative and Ashley prides herself in being an excellent communicator. Being a caregiver herself for a short period of time, she uses those experiences to relate to and understand the caregivers when scheduling.

Whenever Ashley is not in the office you’ll find her in front of the television cheering for her favorite teams: The New York Giants and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Because she is such a huge fan of Ohio State, she even relocated to Ohio for some time. We are very excited that Ashley has decided to come back to New Jersey and has found a home with us at Comfort Keepers!

Kerry Ruggiero

Staffing Coordinator - Toms River

Kerry Ruggiero is our Staffing Coordinator in Toms River. In addition to her duties of scheduling caregivers for her clients in Toms River, Kerry uses her natural talent of matchmaking to assure that our caregivers and clients are the perfect fit! 

Originally from Kentucky, Kerry uses her Southern Charm and twang to bring her own personal style to our Comfort Keepers team. 

When Kerry is not tending to her two children, she is vigorously studying to complete her degree in business. Kerry balances her studying with spending time with her family in the outdoors and enjoying each day to the fullest. 

Juliette Millington

Human Resources Manager

Juliette Millington is our Human Resources Manager for all four of our Central New Jersey locations. Juliette joined Comfort Keepers in 2015 after graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in Human Resources and Labor Relations. She began as our Human Resources Recruiter and was promoted to HR Manager shortly after.

Prior to working for Comfort Keepers, Juliette worked for Six Flags Great Adventure where she was the Human Resources recruiter for the amusement park. She was able to combine her love for amusement parks and her passion of Human Resources.

Juliette understands that recruiting for four territories is never-ending because of our growth, but the fast paced environment at Comfort Keepers is what Juliette covets the most in her job. Juliette uses her creative edge to bring new ideas for recruitment to Comfort Keepers and is always making sure that our employees are happy and that they know what a difference they are making in the lives of seniors. 

In her spare time, Juliette enjoys yard work and tending to her new home. Juliette is also a full-time cat mom to her two cats, Cali and Rocky.

Lauren Wilhide

Human Resources Generalist

Lauren Wilhide is our Human Resources Generalist that is responsible for compliance in our employee files among other duties. Lauren graduated from Mercer County Community College where she studied Radiography. 

Prior to working for Comfort Keepers Lauren had extensive experience in the retail and customer service industry and she finds that these talents have been very helpful to her developing her career. Her communication, organization, and people skills are a great asset to our Human Resources Department at Comfort Keepers.

Lauren leads a very active lifestyle and exemplifies this in her work to make sure that our caregivers are physically fit for the job. She is also obsessed with dogs and puppies of all types!

Sean Connell

Human Resources Regional Recruiter

Sean Connell is the Human Resources Regional Recruiter for all four of our Central New Jersey locations. Sean’s background and education are what truly make him a great part of this team.  Sean graduated with his Associate’s Degree in 2014 from Ocean County College and is currently working towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Organizational Leadership at Southern New Hampshire University.

Before working with Comfort Keepers, Sean worked as a City Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service in Hightstown, NJ. Prior to that, Sean worked in several management roles at Six Flags Great Adventure over the course of his seven years with the company. During his years there, he worked as a Trainer in the Operations Department as well as an Area Supervisor, Dispatcher, and Rides Supervisor. He also worked closely with the Human Resources Department and assisted with recruitment and retention of the Operations Team Members. In 2015, Sean won the prestigious “Area Supervisor of the Year” award for his team work and excellent leadership skills.

At Comfort Keepers, Sean works hard to find the best candidates for our clients. He enjoys coming to work every day and meeting new people from all different back grounds and walks of life. Sean is passionate about finding the best quality candidates and keeping them knowledgeable and trained to fit our client’s needs. 

Carlee Leach

Human Resources Generalist Intern

Carlee Leach is our Human Resources Generalist Intern in the Robbinsville Office. She graduated from Rider University with a degree in Human Resources Management and Leadership. Carlee also minored in Spanish for Business, even studying abroad in Costa Rica and Barcelona. She is currently a full-time graduate student working towards her Masters in Business Administration.

Since 2016, Carlee has assisted with interviewing, hiring, and briefing new caregivers. She also supports our Finance department with invoicing and deposits. When Carlee is not working and studying, she enjoys travelling, shopping, and experiencing new things. She is a dedicated New York Yankees and Rangers fan—but loves watching her little brother play basketball and baseball the most! 

Betty O'Donnell

Quality Care Liaison

Betty O’Donnell is our Quality Care Liaison ensuring that each and every client receives the quality of service that they deserve and have come to expect at Comfort Keepers. She began her career at Comfort Keepers as a companion caregiver and transitioned to working in the offices because of her excellent phone and communication skills.

She has over 25 years of extensive experience in sales and marketing in the technology industry. She graduated with a B.S. from Farleigh Dickinson University in Marketing and has also dabbled in culinary arts as a chef. She enjoys teaching others some of her tricks of the trade in the kitchen. 

As a mother of two, Betty is naturally compassionate and patient, a quality that our clients and caregivers find comforting and reassuring. Betty extends her interest in public education by being an active member of her community. Not only does she organize the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Robbinsville, but she is also an advocate for all types of recreation events in her local community.

Dawn Pidcock

Billing/Payroll Coordinator

Dawn Pidcock joined the Comfort Keepers family in 2012 and serves as our Billing/Payroll Coordinator for all four of our territories in New Jersey as well as our office in Maryland.

Dawn graduated from Cittone Institute in Princeton and started her career off as a court reporter. She also worked for two medical groups previously.

When Dawn isn’t behind her computer working, she enjoys practicing vinyasa yoga, spending time in the outdoors with her family hiking, watching her children ski, and being an advocate for children with disabilities.

Danielle Davis

Part Time Bookkeeping Assistant

Danielle Davis is our Part Time Bookkeeping Assistant. Danielle graduated from Mercer County Community College with an Associate Degree in Applied Science and became licensed as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. Before working at Comfort Keepers, Danielle worked for over 18 years in the Oncology and Hematology field as a Medical Biller and MLT.

When Danielle is not at Comfort Keepers she is helping her husband run their landscaping business. She enjoys spending time running, reading, beach trips, traveling, walking her dogs and spending time with family. Danielle and her husband reside in Hamilton Square with their two children, cat and two Labrador retrievers.

Mary Puhalski

Administrative Assistant

Mary Puhalski is one of our Administrative Assistants at Comfort Keepers and has been with us since June of 2014. Mary attended Mercer County Community college where she studied nursing and completed her degree in applied sciences. 

Mary started her career off working in the medical field for a surgical office where she assisted with the scheduling and office management for a group of surgeons.

After spending many years with the surgical group she was blessed with having children. During this time in her life Mary discovered her hidden talent of painting and even started her own interior painting company with her friend. Unfortunately Mary does not paint too much now but enjoys other activities where she can spend time in the great outdoors, especially at the beach!

Paige Davis

Receptionist

Paige Davis is our part-time receptionist in our Robbinsville Office. Day to day, Paige answers phones and helps direct the calls where they need to go. She is always eager to help our clients and caregivers check their schedule or answer any questions. In addition, Paige assists each department in any special projects and reports. 

Paige recently graduated from Steinert High School in June of 2017 with honors. Paige is currently attending Mercer County Community College in hopes of pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Global Business. While she is not working at Comfort Keepers she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, two black labs, and cat.  Paige looks forward to traveling more in the future; one of her favorite places to go is Florida where she has family.

Jeffrey Raphel

Administrative Assistant

Jeffrey Raphel is one of the Administrative Assistants at Comfort Keepers. Prior to his employment, Jeffrey volunteered at Comfort Keepers where he enjoyed learning more about the family business. When Jeffrey isn’t spreading his charm in the office through interacting with clients and caregivers, he is assisting with office organization, compliance, and even managing the IT for all four office locations. Jeffrey is currently enrolled at Valencia College where he is pursuing his Associates Degree. After graduation, Jeffrey hopes to study Cyber Security at the University of Central Florida where he can pursue his dream of one day working in cyber security for a company like Facebook or Google. Jeffrey enjoys building computers, listening to music and also playing drums. One of Jeffrey’s biggest musical accomplishments was marching in the “Cadets 2 Drum and Bugle Corps” in the Cadets Winter Percussion drumline where they placed 6th in the world!

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