2013 Excellence in Service Award Winners for Southern California

Today, CALA awarded the 2013 Excellence in Service Awards for Southern California. Four exceptional Assisted Living employees were cheered and lauded at the 2013 Fall Conference & Trade Show by a room full of their friends, family members, and co-workers.

Vista Village Outstanding Caregiver / 2013 Excellence in Service Awards / CALAOutstanding Caregiver: Daniel Perez

Perez has been a caregiver for 14 years, and continually exceeds expectations at Vista Village. According to executive director Charlie Bloom, “Daniel is an example of how to do things right: someone who goes beyond whatever he’s asked to do, inspiring the good ones to do better and challenging the rest to step it up.”

According to Bloom, Perez offers remarkable, intuitive care and service to residents. Understanding the challenges of making the transition into Assisted Living, he goes out of his way to ensure residents feel at home and families enjoy peace of mind. A natural leader, Perez also helps coworkers navigate daily challenges. His dedication and service to residents far surpass the responsibilities of his role, and he considers his work to be a true labor of love.

Park Plaza Outstanding Team Member / 2013 Excellence in Service Awards / CALAOutstanding Team Member: Reyes Hernandez

Reyes Hernandez is the maintenance technician for Park Plaza for 8 years. According to Executive Director Bruce Hoggan, “Reyes’s work ethic, enthusiasm and positive attitude, along with his ability to build relationships with residents and staff, play a huge role in creating a warm, secure and friendly environment for everyone at Park Plaza.”

According to Hoggan, residents know that, no matter what they need, they can depend on Hernandez to help them. He shows great care and compassion in his work, whether it is normal maintenance work, extra projects, or one-on-one interactions with residents. A great example to all who know him, Hernandez never takes credit for his actions, but he revels in the joy of helping others.

Gardens of Santa Monica Outstanding Dept. Dir. / 2013 Excellence in Service Awards / CALAOutstanding Department Director: Alan Graza

Alan Graza, the Health and Wellness Director for The Gardens of Santa Monica, previously worked as a data analyst for a Fortune 500 company before earning his LVN degree. He has worked in Assisted Living for 6 years. Graza says, “Over the years, I have realized that in order to be a nurse, you not only need head knowledge to treat an illness, but you also need the heart to truly serve others; not just the residents, but everyone you encounter.”

Executive Director Monica Pavelka says that Graza has received many letters of gratitude from families and four certificates of commendation from Brookdale’s CEO for service excellence. In whatever capacity he serves, Alan develops relationships with residents and encourages them to engage in life-enhancing programs.

Valencia Terrace Outstanding Exec Dir / 2013 Excellence in Service Awards / CALAOutstanding Executive Director: Brian Grandbouche

Brian Grandbouche had two years of experience in Assisted Living when he became the executive director of Valencia Terrace in 2011. Prior to that, he worked in retail and hospitality for over 20 years. According to one of his team members, “I have learned from Brian how to be a great leader and lead a team that is efficient, effective, and successful. He is sincerely concerned with my professional growth and has proven to be a great mentor.”

As the executive director of Valencia Terrace, Grandbouche has implemented many programs to enrich the lives of residents, families, and team members. He introduced a monthly family newsletter that has received praise from family members for being informative and fun. He also initiated the “I Will, I Can” award to recognize associates who take initiative; this award recognizes a worthy recipient each quarter. His passion and perseverance for excellence in evidenced in making Valencia Terrace a great place for residents to live and associates to work.

Congratulations to all four Excellence in Service winners! Your dedication, empathy, creativity, and hard work are truly outstanding. CALA members in Northern California, do you have an exceptional employee at your community? Check the CALA website for the Spring 2014 Excellence in Service Awards call for nominations!


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