Meet the Executive Board

Deb Greiner, President

Has spent her career trying to make life better for elders. She has worked in long term care since 1983. Prior to that she did home health care. Over the 35 years in the industry she worked at five different facilities in a variety of organizational types that included the corporate arena, a social service agency, a privately owned home with a unlimited budget, and 2 County owned homes where her career mission has been the design, development and the maintaining of a person centered activity focused special care units caring for people with Alzheimer’s Disease  and related dementias. This variety of types of homes with varied income sources required she prove that fabulous person centered programs can happen no matter what the budget if you think outside the box. Shes done consulting and public speaking both locally and nationally throughout  her career, she was a leader in education at RUSH Alzheimer’s Disease Center for the ASSIST Network, annual CNA conferences and Special Care Unit leader certification courses. She was part of a small group of professionals who developed and wrote SUB Part U for the state of Illinois Special Care Unit regulations. Deb has helped create and been featured in many education films in colaboration with TERRA NOVA to help caregivers of every discipline do care better.  She has run Alzheimer’s Association support groups and independent Alzheimer’s support groups and created family  and friend care partnership programs for caregivers after placement of their loved ones to a facility. Now retired but still dedicated to making life better for people with dementia she continues to present education sessions at different venues through out the state, is on the steering committee for Northern Illinois Pioneer Coalition, and is the new President of IAPA. Where she hopes to work with the Board to build the organization’s membership, build awareness of IAPA throughout Illinois and put together with the Board fabulous affordable annual education conferences for all activity professionals through out the state. All while speaking with Administrators throughout the state to help the gain understanding of how important the Activity Professionals role is to the people they serve as well as how the type of education we offer can put their facility on the radar for people seeking a special place for their loved one because people are happy with their quality of life.

Everything in life is an activity and we are there to make life special.

IAPA has 40 Years of Making Life Magical!

Misty Smith, Vice President

Misty Smith began working in the healthcare field at age 17. She has worked at the Mary Bryant Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Springfield, IL. for almost eighteen years. Fifteen years as the Activity Director and almost three years as the Director of Community Outreach, she still supervises the Activity Department and values her relationships that she has built with her residents over the years. She has been involved with IAPA since 1999. She had served on the conference committee and certification board for many years. She is a Certified Activity Professional and was honored to receive the Dorene award in 2014. She looks forward to this opportunity to serve as the Vice President of IAPA.


Jody Baalman, Secretary

Jody Baalman began working with elderly citizens in 1974 when she was hired at the local Senior Center.   She was the transportation supervisor and assisted with facility programs and overnight trips.  Sixteen years later a new Long term care facility opened and she was courted/wooed until she accepted the position of Activity Coordinator for the nursing home.  Almost 80% of the residents being admitted had been active at the Senior Center and they were instrumental in my changing professions.  It was a great transition due to already having relationships with the majority of the residents on her first day.   Her career as an activity professional has spanned 26 years and four facilities.  She was an active member of ADAM (Activity Directors Association of Missouri) for 10 years and currently a member of IAPA for the past 11 years.  She is a Certified Activity Professional through IAPA.  She is honored to be a board member, and is looking forward to being more available after her upcoming retirement in December of 2016.   “The best teacher and training an activity professional can acquire is from the networking and opportunities IAPA has to offer.  I am honored to be a part of IAPA.”

Kathleen Clark, Treasurer

Kathy’s bio may never come, but we are certainly glad we have her on the board. Kathy has been the treasurer of IAPA for a number of years and a member of the organization for even longer. She is a Certified Activity Professional and was winner of the Dorene Award in 1983. Kathy is the Resident Service Coordinator at Franklin Grove Living and Rehabilitation. 

Kenny Shuman, Past President

Kenny Shuman started his career in long term care at the age of 15 as a Teen Volunteer. His passion and desire to be a part of the senior community found it’s calling as an Activity Director. His professional career includes five years as an Assistant Administrator and most recently the completion of his Degree from the University of Phoenix in Health Care Management. He has served as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee for the IAPA and has been an active member since the early 90’s. Kenny now looks forward to serving the IAPA, in yet another capacity, in guiding and mentoring Activity Professionals around the state.  Kenny currently serves as the Director of Activities and Volunteer Services at Hope Creek Care Center, a 245 bed facility, in East Moline IL.