ALFA recognizes five with Hero Awards

Veteran actor Ed Asner had the crowd in stitches as he served as master of ceremonies at the Assisted Living Federation of America’s (ALFA’s) Hero Awards Luncheon today, preceding the awards with jokes and stories about his life and peppering the awards presentations with wisecracks.

“These really are the golden years, due to people like you and the people I’m about to introduce,” he said to event attendees in Tampa, Fla., before introducing the five awardees. The winners, he said, helped older adults with issues related to “mobility, quality of life and, above all, dignity.”

ALFA Hero Award nominations of ALFA-member assisted living community staff members were submitted by community executive directors/administrators or company and regional executives. Voting took place in January and February.

2015 ALFA Hero Award winnersRecognized with 2015 ALFA Hero Awards at the annual meeting:

  • Jerry Carson, maintenance technician, Langston Place (Enlivant), Clinton, SC (second from left, next to Ed Asner);
  • Edward Esguerra, life engagement manager, Autumn Leaves of Cy-Fair (Autumn Leaves), Houston (fourth from left);
  • Joyce Fowlkes, activities/enrichment coordinator, Hidden Lakes (Holiday Retirement), Salem, Ore. (third from left);
  • David Noles, dietary aide, Heritage Woods of McLeansboro (Gardant Management), McLeansboro, Ill. (right); and
  • Allyson Sweeney, director of community relations, The Arbors at Shelburne (Benchmark Senior Living), Shelburne, Vt. (second from right).

In addition to being featured in a video shown at the luncheon, Hero Award winners had their airfare, conference registration and one night at a hotel paid for them. They also received a $500 check.

Named as finalists for Hero Awards:

  • Angela Brayfield, business office coordinator, Elmcroft of Xenia (Elmcroft Senior Living), Xenia, Ohio
  • Schelle’y Cunningham, sales director, The Windsor of Venice (Legend Senior Living), Venice, Fla.
  • Gabrielle “Gabby” Dolgin, escapades producer, Governors Crossing (Brandywine Senior Living), Englishtown, NJ
  • Micah Foreman, receptionist, The Ballentine (Commonwealth Assisted Living), Norfolk, Va.
  • Sarah Garner, CRMA/PCA, Woodlands Memory Care of Brewer (Woodlands Senior Living), Brewer, Me.
  • Sherry Glass, certified nursing assistant/med tech, Allegro, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Mary Kealey, human resources assistant, Brookdale at Orchard Park (Brookdale), Clearlake, Calif.
  • Rosario Lantin, medical technician, Tiffany Court (Five Star), Walnut Creek, Calif.
  • Hollie Moone, senior vibrant living assistant, Brightview Commons (Brightview Senior Living), Wakefield, RI
  • Melissa “Mel” Reydak, maintenance coordinator, Villa at the Lake (Randall Residence), Conneaut, Ohio
  • Linda Rizzo, administrative assistant, Willow Heights (IntegraCare), McKees Rocks, Pa.
  • Rita Roberts, life enrichment coordinator/activities assistant, HarborChase of Venice (Harbor Retirement Associates), Venice, Fla.
  • Birgit Schmidt, bistro manager, Lighthouse of Waconia (New Perspective Senior Living), Waconia, Minn.
  • Denise Solomon, supervisor in charge, Spring Harbor West (HHHunt Senior Living), Hendersonville, NC
  • Patricia Townsend, life enrichment manager, Sunrise of Lincoln Park (Sunrise Senior Living), Chicago

Read more about the Hero Award winners and finalists on ALFA’s conference website.

Other awards

The Hero Award winners were celebrated during Wednesday’s lunch, but many others were honored at the ALFA annual meeting.

  • Donna Hester, ALFA Senior Living Leadership Award winnerSenior Living Leadership Award. ALFA’s Senior Living Leadership Award recognizes an executive director of a senior living community judged to be an ideal representative and role model for the thousands of executives leading senior living communities. The 2015 winner was Donna Hester of Elmcroft of Sherwood in Little Rock, Ark., an Elmcroft Living Community (flanked by presenters Elmcroft CEO Pat Mulloy, left, and Tim Buchanan, founder and CEO of Legend Senior Living). In addition to being featured in a video shown during today's general session, Hester had her airfare, conference registration and one night at a hotel paid. She also was invited to participate in a conference breakout session.
  • 2015 ALFA Statesman Award. ALFA recognized Florida Sen. Eleanor Sobel (in absentia) and Florida Rep. Larry Ahern “for their efforts championing independence, choice, dignity and quality of life for Florida’s older adults” through the introduction of assisted living reforms subsequently passed by both legislative bodies in the state. (See Long-Term Living's exclusive article about the regulations, including interviews with Sobel and Ahern, here.)
  • Best of the Best Awards. ALFA formally recognized its Best of the Best award winners during Tuesday's opening session. The awards honor new programs and services judged to be innovative. In 2015, the awards focused on programs and initiatives advancing excellence in senior living by addressing topics in human resources, sales and marketing, clinical, health and wellness, information technology, green living and property management, and resident and family engagement. A panel of experts selected the winners. Read more about the winners in the May/June issue of Senior Living Executive, ALFA’s magazine.
  • Film Competition o​n Ageism. A short film called “Transforming the Perception of Aging,” by John Jeffcoat, won the contest and was shown during today’s general session.

Related content:

Florida passes assisted living reforms

Topics: Activities , Alzheimer's/Dementia , Articles , Clinical , Executive Leadership , Finance , Leadership , Operations