Our Team

Merle Sampson- CEO & Owner
Merle Sampson – CEO & Owner

Merle Sampson is CEO & Owner of the various companies under the umbrella of Spectrum Health Companies.  Merle has held this position since acquiring the first of these companies in 1998.

Previous to this Merle was founder and CEO of Focus Homes, Inc. This start­ up company grew from 1 site to 90 in 14 years and served 400 developmentally disabled men and women in group homes.

In 1981, Merle entered the long term care industry as a senior executive with the Good Neighbor Corporation. He helped grow and develop that organization until its sale to the Good Samaritan Society in 1992.  At the sale Good Neighbor Corporation had 33 nursing homes and related businesses throughout Minnesota with 3,500 employees.  Good Samaritan Society had operation in 26 states, with 25,000 employees.  Merle stayed with the Society for 5 years, in several senior level corporate positions.

Prior to health care, Merle had a series of progressively responsible corporate and operating positions with NSP (Xcel), Honeywell, and Northwest Bancorporation (Wells Fargo).

Merle has a MBA and BA in Business from the University of Minnesota.  He is a commercial pilot and has traveled to over 95 countries.  He enjoys the outdoors and plays Squash regularly.



Marilyn M Hanson
Marilyn M Hanson, Executive Vice President of Operations

Marilyn Hanson has been with Spectrum Health Companies since June, 1999.  Past positions as a field nurse, branch and regional managers of both homecare and housing, have prepared her for her current position as Senior Vice President of Operations. She has been in this position since July 2012.

Personal enjoyment is found in watching her two granddaughters play hockey, international travel, volunteering on medical missions in Eastern Europe and Africa as well as reading, biking and gardening.




Shawn Franklin, MSN, BSN, RN Regional VP of Operations
Shawn Franklin, MSN, BSN, RN Senior Vice President of Operations

Shawn re-joined the Spectrum team in July 2016.  Prior to working with Spectrum, she worked as a Director of Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, Director of Patient Care Services, RN Supervisor, and a MDS Coordinator.  She first started her health care career as a CMA, but quickly realized she wanted to continue her education. She then obtained her LPN, RN, BSN, and MSN in Leadership and Management.  Shawn is currently working on her certificate in Occupational Health.

In her role as the SVP of Operations, Shawn provides education and support to staff,  patient centered care, enhances the companies financial stability, and collaborates with other healthcare organizations. Other responsibilities include marketing, budgeting, planning, and quality.

Shawn lives in Cold Spring, MN with her husband, 4 children, and 1 grandchild.  The family enjoys being outdoors, gardening, and spending time with their dog and cat.