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Village Shalom Names Employee, Rookie of 2013


Village Shalom recently honored two staff members for outstanding service to the continuing-care retirement community with the presentation of the 2013 Employee and Rookie of the Year awards. The winners were announced at Village Shalom’s year-end employee holiday celebration.

Introducing the award presentation, President and CEO Matt Lewis said, “We are wrapping up a great year. So many residents and families tell me personally how appreciative they are of the work that you [employees] do.” He added, “This is our seventh straight year of 95 percent or higher occupancy. That does not happen without exemplary, skilled staff.”

Lewis explained that Village Shalom is able to recognize outstanding employees throughout the year because of the Charles M. Helzberg Employee Recognition Fund, which was established when Village Shalom opened in 2000. “Charles Helzberg is a strong believer in recognizing and rewarding staff for the important work they do at Village Shalom,” noted Lewis, adding that the fund “makes it possible for us to provide a meaningful monetary reward to our Employee and Rookie of the Year.”

He introduced Charles Helzberg, who praised Village Shalom’s employees for their dedication. “This community supports Village Shalom because of you,” he said. “I do a lot of fundraising [for Village Shalom], but it isn’t that hard because I have a fantastic ‘product’ – not just the facility, which is beautiful and financially sound – but what makes the difference here are the people and the culture of Village Shalom.”

Lorena Williams,Programs Supervisor,was named Employee of the Year. She has been a member of the Village Shalom staff since September 2008.

Lorena Williams, Village Shalom Employee of the Year

“Lorena is a great asset to our organization, and she really impacts everyone on our campus,” said Eileen Miller, Director of Resident Services in making the presentation. “Her job involves planning events, training staff, attending meetings and care conferences, documentation and going on outings off-campus with residents. She performs all of those quite unrelated duties in a professional and accurate way.”

Miller added that Williams “takes her responsibility to her staff very seriously. She provides lots of coaching and education opportunities, and has ensured that all her full-time staff members have become certified activity professionals. Residents and families know her by name, love her and praise her abilities. She does a lot behind the scenes to offer a variety of meaningful, challenging and fun events for our residents. It is my pleasure to work with her.”

Williams offered her thanks, saying “Village Shalom is a great place to work. You have to be hard-working and dedicated, and Village Shalom has always supported me. I appreciate all those resources, and I’m thankful.”

As Employee of the Year, Williams received a certificate, a statuette and a check for $5,000.


Danette Roe, Senior Staff Accountant at Village Shalom since April 2013, was named Rookie of the Year.

Danette Roe, Village Shalom Rookie of the Year

“Danette has a smiling face and a happy attitude, and I am grateful to have her as part of my team,” said Nicole Anthony, Director of Finance, who presented the award. “She does a great job interacting with co-workers and management, but she also goes out of her way to meet residents and participate in Village Shalom activities.”

Anthony noted that other managers had commented on Roe’s willingness to “roll up her sleeves, dig in and get things figured out. She’s on top of things and has the patience to work side-by-side with management.”

She received a Rookie of the Year certificate, a statuette and a check for $1,000.