LeadingAge Florida, the state’s only association representing the entire continuum of care for older adults, recognized outstanding senior living communities, employees, and residents during its 59th Annual Convention and Exposition in Orlando last week.
“Each year at our Convention we have the distinct honor of recognizing the best of the best in senior living,” said LeadingAge Florida President & CEO Steve Bahmer. “The passion, dedication and commitment of our award winners are second to none, and they are an affirmation of the values of LeadingAge Florida member communities. This year’s winners have reimagined service and redefined value for their community and residents, something critically important in the ever-changing senior-living landscape.”
LeadingAge Florida recognized:
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Harry Hobson – Plymouth Harbor, Sarasota, for his career-long dedication to advancing senior living.
- Caregiver of the Year – Pam McMullen – Penney Retirement Community, Green Cove Springs, for providing 50 years of outstanding direct care and demonstrating extraordinary dedication, stellar customer service, and a commitment to enhancing the quality of life for residents.
- Chair’s Award – Mike Randall – Assured Partners, Orlando, for his active role in strengthening LeadingAge Florida’s Political Committee.
- Emerging Leader – Ariana Fielder – Azalea Trace, Pensacola, for her initiative, self-direction, and decisiveness at a level uncommon for such a young leader.
- Employee of the Year – Patricia Wilson – The Terraces at Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs, for her dedicated service to her residents, her leadership and her commitment to innovation.
- Excellence in Collaboration – Air Force Enlisted Village, Shalimar, for their deep connections to the local culture and surrounding communities, collaborating with local businesses, churches, chambers of commerce, healthcare providers, and numerous veteran service organizations.
- Executive of the Year – Jaritza Smith – Amavida Living, Ft. Myers, for her COVID mitigation efforts and establishing a culture that has kept turnover rates well below industry averages.
- Innovation Award – Sinai Residences, Boca Raton, for using new technologies and best practices that enable their team to spend more time nurturing resident relationships, to ensure resident health and safety, to drive operational efficiencies, and to become the first senior living community in the world to deploy new technology.
- Service Coordinator of the Year – Sixto Antonio Acea – Council Towers South,Miami Beach, for developing deep relationships across his community that enable him to bring services and benefits to his residents. He has been an advocate, resource, and asset to residents who have grown to love him for his knowledge, professionalism, and commitment to service.
- Trustee of the Year – Marjorie Phillips, Westminster Communities of Florida, for her 14-year commitment to her community’s mission as a member of the Board, including five years as Chair. Under her leadership, among other achievements, the organization expanded in all of its business lines, including the addition of affordable housing from the east coast of Florida to the west coast.
- Volunteer of the Year – Shirley Kelley – Sandhill Cove, Palm City, for her help providing housing for the homeless and raising money to improve the lives of at-risk teens and their families.
For nearly 60 years, LeadingAge Florida has been the state’s leading advocate for high-quality senior living, aging services and care. We are the only statewide association representing the full continuum of care for seniors. The Association provides up-to-date regulatory information, a wide variety of educational opportunities, representation before the Legislature and government agencies, group purchasing services, and opportunities for networking with peers to help member communities best serve the needs of Florida’s senior population.