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Meet the Team

Hand-selected a staff from across the country, The Garlands Management team is comprised of some of the very best and most experienced leaders in the hospitality and retirement living industries.  They are truly at the top of their professions and committed to one thing: providing the highest possible level of service to their members.

Istavan Abdai

Istvan Abdai

Director of Hospitality

Istvan is a graduate of Economisch College Hotel School in the Netherlands. From an early start, he has cultivated a passion for high quality service and exceptional cuisine working in fine dining restaurants throughout Europe. He has managed food and beverage programs for over 15 communities for a large senior housing operator.

He’s planned and opened several new, converted and acquired retirement communities. In total, Abdai has assisted with menu planning for over 75 communities and developed food and beverage training programs along the way. He’s made it his mission to improve quality and service by creating new systems and procedures.

Currently, Istvan oversees Food & Beverage, Member Services, Housekeeping and Activities for The Garlands of Barrington.


Ann Pateros

Director of Interior Design and Landscape

Ann is an expert in creating design concepts, finishing selections and accessorizing new renovations on constructed projects. She supervised and coordinated contractors and implemented job site orders per client’s specifications.

Furthermore, Ann has organized and managed efficient processes for multiple high-end retirement residences. She also has experience coordinating design concepts and implementing new construction sales model homes.

Jill LundJill Lund

Director of EngAGE

Jill Lund holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education from Northern Illinois University. As the Director of Activities for The Garlands of Barrington, she has 17+ years experience in senior activities and fitness.

Jill’s accomplishments include defining and developing all programming in the seven dimensions of wellness for The Garlands since its opening in 2002 which lead to the creation of EngAGE by The Garlands. EngAGE by The Garlands has been the recipient of the 2012 NuStep Pinnacle Award and the 2009 ICAA Innovator Award. Jill has six years in the senior ministry as well as experience as a Stephen’s Minister and an Education Leader on Church Council. She has had the privilege to speak at national and international conferences presenting at LSN 2010 Conference on “Best Practices: Resident Health and Wellness Programs” for EngAGE by The Garlands.

She has been a Board Member for the International Council on Active Aging Visioning Board, on the ICAA/ProMatura Wellness Benchmarks committee, a ICAA Engaging Group Member, a Board Member for Harper College Lifelong Learning Institute, and holds an American Senior Fitness Association – Senior Fitness Instructor Certification.

She has had the privilege to speak at international and national conferences such as the ICCA 2009 Convention, the LSN Annual Meeting and Exhibition at Navy Pier in 2011, the AAHSA convention in 2010 in Los Angeles and the LSN 2010 Conference on “Best Practices: Resident Health and Wellness Programs.” This December she will speak at the ICAA Annual convention in New Orleans on “Exploring the Seven Dimensions of Wellness with Community Partnerships, Staff and Residents.”


web scottScott Weimer

Director of Maintenance

Scott, a veteran of retirement communities for 20+ years, brings his knowledge and expertise to provide an efficient running and safe environment for all that reside and work within.

His career began in 1988 as an Assistant Building Manager for Whitehall North, a convalescent/rehabilitation facility in Deerfield, IL.  Here he began servicing and repairing systems, such as cooling towers, water heaters, etc.  Going onto 1994 through 1998 he became Building Manager for Hawthorn Lakes Retirement Community where his responsibilities grew from “hands-on” repairs to training and management of additional staff due to growth.  In 1998 to 2001, he decided to try a different profession of Director of Housekeeping where he was responsible for team management, training and monitoring; the opening of towers within a community and the development/management of budgets.

In 2001 he moved forward to a new retirement community opening in Libertyville as their Building Engineer.  Then in 2002, he was invited to become the Assistant Maintenance Director for The Garlands of Barrington, and was promoted to Director of Maintenance in 2008.

He holds many licenses and certificates such as HVAC, Refrigerant, pools, is a member of the RSES and is CPR AED certified.

Chef Nick at The GarlandsNicola Torres

Executive Chef

Nicola Torres has 40 years experience in the culinary field, with experience in different types of hotels, restaurants, clubs and casinos. Torres received a culinary art degree from a hospitality management college in Bari, Italy. Upon completion, Torres worked throughout Italy, learning different regional cooking.

Torres worked in Brussels and Belgium learning French cooking under French and Belgian chefs. Later, he moved to the United States to work for Stouffer’s as well as the Renaissance and Marriott Hotels. He was involved in hotel openings, managing task forces and training of culinary staff in various hotels, including assisting the corporate chef at their office test kitchen and executive dining room.

Among other achievements, Torres was the Executive Chef for Millrose restaurant in South Barrington, he opened Rivers Casino as a Commissary chef and attended several continuing education classes at the Culinary Institute of America at Napa Valley campus.

Chef Nicola is a Certified Executive Chef from the American Culinary Federation.