Annual Excellence Awards

2023 Massachusetts Assisted Living Association Annual Excellence Awards Winners

For those of you who were not present at our Excellence Awards Dinner on July 26th, I hope to share a sense of the warmth, inspiration, and celebration that we experienced that evening, and for those who were present, I hope that you will enjoy remembering the event through this recap. The positive emotions of colleagues across the state coming together in person for the first time in three years were palpable through the opening hours of the event. During the awards program, there was a wonderful sense of community and support for not just attendees and award winners, but everyone in the room appreciating the countless acts of service that all had participated in through these challenging years. Eleven awards were presented to deserving assisted living staff, residents, and community volunteers.

Lifetime Achievement Award (click here to read the press release) – Nancy E. Moore

With more than four decades of dedicated service to Massachusetts older adults, Nancy E. Moore was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award “Throughout her career, Nancy has connected the experiences and insights of staff on the front lines of assisted living care delivery to the executive level, enhancing the lives of older adults and their families in the Commonwealth.

Resident Spirit Award (click here to read the press release) – Paul DeAngelo       

DeAngelo is a Marine Corps Veteran who brings light and love into his community as part of the welcoming committee. He creates beads for staff, residents, and family members personalized with their favorite colors, the receiver’s name, and either an angel, a silver bullet, or an angel’s wing. He also runs a program to teach fellow residents how to make their own signature beads. He brings residents a sense of purpose, promotes their dignity, and he never stops giving.

Dining Services Award (click here to read the press release) – Patricia Vigliotti

Vigliotti has been with the Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates for 15 years and has consistently gone above and beyond her role to make sure residents are satisfied. Over the past two years of the pandemic, when the once social and communal mealtimes became a solitary experience, Patricia ensured her visits to deliver individual meals offered much-needed socialization and laughter to isolating residents.

Executive Director Award (click here to read the press release) – Kimberly O’Brien

Kim has worked tirelessly to help her caregiving team, residents, and their families overcome the challenges the assisted living community has faced these past two years. The impact she has made is felt daily from the high standards she sets. O’Briens colleagues say that “she helped breathe new life into the building. Staff are smiling, having fun, and have a community to be proud of.”

Care and Wellness Award (click here to read the press release) – Kawsu “KK” Kajake

Kawsu is said to have found his calling in caregiving. He provides excellent care to residents with a permanent smile affixed on his face, giving them a sense of security and comfort in his presence. He goes out of his way to help and get to know his residents and mentor newer members of the caregiving team. His colleagues say that Kawsu “is a beacon of positive energy and we are so fortunate he is part of the Laurelwood family.”

Volunteer Award (click here to read the press release) – Jim Ryan

Ryan and his students provide an intergenerational program to the residents at the Edelweiss Village Assisted Living community, which is designed for students to interact with residents and collaborate on special and seasonal projects throughout the year. It creates dialogue to learn about the past, present, and future. The program has brought two generations together benefiting both residents and students. It gives students an opportunity to learn from past generations and community residents able to learn about technology.

Employee Leadership Award (click here to read the press release) – Jose Soto

Soto is a role model for others with his daily focus on making each day positive, accepting, and joyful for residents. He is dedicated to providing daily opportunities for memory care residents to be successful by getting to know the residents and their families as much as possible and collaborating with the programs and care team. Soto is an exemplary leader, offering support, guidance, and training to caregivers on his and other teams.

Program Innovation Award (click here to read the press release) – Ellen Meagher

Since coming aboard as a Program Director, Meagher has made an immense difference in resident engagement and human connection despite pandemic restrictions. Her greatest innovation has been the introduction of her Drum Circle program. Balancing inflatable exercise ball on top of laundry baskets, Meagher equips residents with drumsticks to hit the balls with. The program encompasses the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of a person and all participants have a wonderful time.

Sales & Marketing Award (click here to read the press release) – Amanda Polzin

For over 15 years, Polzin has worked to create a positive sales and marketing culture within her communities. Her customer-centric sales approach empowers her staff to sell with empathy and create an individualized customer journey experience. As a mentor, she provides exceptional support and commitment to her teams, discerning their individual needs to provide recommendations and direction for their growth and success. Her dedication and compassion are felt in every interaction she has with her staff and residents alike.

Facilities and Management Services Award (click here to read the press release) – Mike Hackett

For almost a decade, Hackett has gone above and beyond in his efforts to serve and care for his community’s residents. His calm demeanor and positive attitude, especially during the short-staffed peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, make him a wonderful asset deserving of high praise. His colleagues say that Hackett “sets the bar when talking about hard work, commitment to our residents, and being an exemplary team player.”

Activities Services Award (click here to read the press release) – Beverly Curry

Beverly has dedicated almost a decade of service to her community with love and compassion for her residents, their family members, and the teams she works with. Her contagious positivity, along with her person-centered approach, has been influential in developing a strong, quality engagement program based on all her residents’ interests.