Jim grew up in a large family in the Twin Cities area and has lived in St. Paul with his wife, Heather, and their two children for twenty years. Trained as a mechanical engineer, Jim worked for 3M and MTS Systems with extensive experience leading development teams before launching SYNERGY HomeCare in 2009.
“I really feel like I’m in this business because of my mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2001, and my father, siblings and I cared for her for six years. She wanted to stay in the home she loved, so we worked to make that happen, but it was a struggle.”
Jim’s memory of this experience is never far from his mind when working to place caregivers with clients. He runs his business with integrity and compassion, and an honest understanding of what it is like to need, or offer, care.
Jim graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and from the University of Minnesota with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He enjoys downhill skiing, carpentry, coaching swim team, spending time at the family cabin, and watching Vikings football—even when it hurts.
Tammy Krause Cruz – Director Office Operations
Tammy has 27 years of experience in the health care industry. As office manager, she oversees day-to-day operations and helps to ensure clients’ satisfaction through regular communication.
After a life-changing experience in Guatelmala where she lived and volunteered for three years, Tammy knew she wanted a career that focused on helping people. While in Guatemala, Tammy taught English to high school students, translated letters for a scholarship program, and worked for a local church. She is fluent in Spanish.
She gained experience as a caregiver when she helped care for her mother during her time in hospice.
“I thoroughly enjoy my job as Director-Office Operations at Synergy MSP because I get to combine my experience in caregiving, client care and communications while working with a fun-loving group of people.”
Tammy earned her B.S. in Speech-Communications from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband live in St. Paul and have three children.
Rosalinda began her career at SYNERGY in 2015 as our full time Scheduler. She transitioned into GM at the end of 2015, taking on the dual role of scheduling and managing.
Rosa has been in healthcare for 8 years and in management roles for 14 years. She holds a degree in Business and has started and run 2 of her own businesses over the past 2 decades.
Rosalinda enjoys bowling, playing pool & cards, and family. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband.
Christy Smith – HR & Operations Manager
Christy began her career at SYNERGY in 2011 as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and moved into the office in 2012 as a scheduling assistant. Today, as a full-time HR & Operations Manager, Christy is responsible for hiring and on-boarding caregivers. She also works with the Client Care Coordinator to ensure all operational i's are dottend and t's are crossed so the team can provide exceptional service to their clients.
“I love working at SYNERGY and helping to manage all the important work that takes place here and in our clients’ homes,” said Christy. “It’s such a privilege to be a part of business where I feel like I make a difference every day. And I love that I still have relationships with the people I once served as a caregiver.”
Christy received her AS in Business Administration from the Minnesota School of Business. She lives in St. Paul with her husband and children.
Rena joined SYNERGY in 2015 as a caregiver, helping clients with a variety of different needs. Her job was quickly expanded to include client coordination. Along side Christy, she is tasked with working directly with clients to address their needs and ensure their continued satisfaction.
Rena has a passion for healthcare, especially geriatrics. she is currently enrolled in school where she is studying Healthcare Management. Rena lives in Minneapolis with her daughter.
Laura joined Synergy HomeCare in 2009 as the staff nurse. She oversees care plans for clients, trains caregivers, and visits clients for quality care checks.
Laura has more than 25 years of experience working with the elderly. She spent 15 years at Bethany Convent (Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet) providing direct care and care management, specializing in geriatric nursing. Laura also worked for several years as an elementary school nurse.
She holds an RN degree from St. Mary’s. Laura loves caregiving and has a special passion for end-of-life care – she acted as the primary caregiver for both of her parents and in-laws.
She lives in St. Paul with her husband and children. And 2 dogs.
Nicole began her career at SYNERGY in 2010 as a caregiver. After becoming a registered nurse, she remained in home care in the NW Twin Cities area. She was rehired by SYNERGY in 2014 as a Staff Nurse.
When she was younger, her grandfather told her that he felt she was gifted in caring for the elderly and that affected the direction of her career. Today, she enjoys supporting families through the challenges they face when a loved one is struggling with medical challenges.
Nicole lives in Minneapolis with her husband and cat Jasper. She enjoys reading, writing and playing violin with a small team of musicians.
SYNERGY Office Staff
Left to Right: Nicole Merry, Christy Smith, Laura Ryan, Rena Littleton, Rosalinda Smith, Tammy Krause Cruz. Back row: Jim Zenk
Jim & Shane, Heather, Mackenzie (holding Lucy) and niece, Amanda