Priority Life Care recognizes team members and communities for outstanding performance in 2023

March 5, 2024

March 5, Fort Wayne, Ind.—Priority Life Care recently recognized a select group of team members and communities whose service, dedication and commitment embody the company’s mission and helped drive its continued success and growth in 2023.

The company honored its Associates and Executive Directors of the Year, as well as its Community of the Year, at its 2024 Symposium, which took place in January in Jupiter Beach, FL, and reflects its unique and innovative focus on recognizing employees from all levels and aspects of the organization. Three Priority Life Care team members were recognized as part of the company’s Associate of the Year award, and three were recognized as part of its Executive Director of the Year award for their outstanding performance from across the company’s 63 communities across the country.

Each honoree was recognized for going above and beyond in ensuring all aspects of their respective community combined to create a safe, welcoming and nurturing environment for residents and fellow staff members. The Symposium also featured a keynote address from Heisman Trophy winner, college football national champion, bestselling author, and motivational speaker Tim Tebow.

“Each day, these dedicated team members drive our mission forward with unwavering commitment, care and expertise,” said Sevy Petras, CEO of Priority Life Care. “Their impact is immeasurable, shaping the lives of the seniors we serve. We’re thrilled to recognize these outstanding team members for their effort and commitment throughout the year. They truly embody what it means to be ‘Lighting the Way.’”

Executive Director of the Year

Executive Director of the Year (left to right): Sevy Petras, CEO of Priority Life Care; Jenny Brown; Melissa Brandt; Cheryl Roberts; Bobby Petras, COO of Priority Life Care

Melissa Brandt Perrault of Celebration Villa in Shippensburg, PA, was honored as Executive Director of the Year. Perrault originally worked at Celebration Villa from 2012-2018, rejoined the community in 2021 and was named Executive Director in December 2022. Her experience across several different positions at the community inspires her approach to leadership, as she works tirelessly to create an atmosphere for both residents and team members built on the values of love, family and teamwork. The community’s outstanding reputation among team members, residents and families is testament to Perrault’s passion and leadership.

Other Executive Directors earning recognition were:

  • 1st Runner-up: Cheryl Roberts, Celebration Villa, Manresa, MD. Roberts’ passion for her community and team is matched by the care and compassion she has for her residents and families every day. Her leadership has helped the community maintain 100 percent occupancy while increasing net operating income in 2023.
  • 2nd Runner-up: Jenny Brown, Vivera Senior Living, Jeffersonville, IN. Brown’s commitment to service and passion for teambuilding were critical in helping Vivera – a new community serving Jeffersonville and the surrounding areas – off to a successful start, and her operational vision has been equally critical in ensuring that success continues. This includes positively impacting the community’s census growth and operating efficiency in 2023.

Associate of the Year

Associate of the Year (left to right): Sevy Petras, CEO of Priority Life Care; Rachel Benson; Lacy Dalton; Stephanie Suida; Bobby Petras, COO of Priority Life Care

Stephanie Suida of Independence Court in Quakertown, PA, was honored as Associate of the Year. A 17-year veteran of Independence Court, Suida had worked in a number of different roles before realizing the community’s front desk was the perfect spot for her. Since then, she’s become the beloved voice and face of the community, making meaningful connections with residents, families and team members thanks to her positive, outgoing personality. The entire team at Independence Court prides itself on creating a true “family vibe,” and no one does a better job of embodying that vibe day in and day out than Suida. She brings much more to her role than her personality of course; she recently earned Med Tech certification, for example, to be able to support staff in times of increased need.

Other Associates earning recognition earning recognition were:

  • 1st Runner-up: Rachel Benson, Vivera Senior Living, Jeffersonville, IN. A housekeeping supervisor at Vivera, Benson demonstrates her commitment to residents by working tirelessly to provide a clean and safe community each day. Beyond her daily responsibilities as housing supervisor, she’s been known to do whatever it takes around Vivera, including working the front desk, serving in the dining room, and even helping decorate for special events.
  • 2nd Runner-up: Lacy Dalton, Celebration Villa of Highland Crossing, Fort Wright, KY. Described by colleagues as equal parts caregiver, team player and leader, Dalton understands the importance of her role as a caregiver and the daily, positive impact she has on the lives of residents and families alike. She’s always ready and willing to help her team out in any way to ensure the community provides a safe, welcoming and caring experience.

Community of the Year Cup

Celebration Villa of Loyalsock, PA, was honored as Community of the Year for 2023. With outstanding resident care and customer service combined with a meticulous approach to facility quality, Celebration Villa’s near-total occupancy, and high customer ratings are little surprise. Add to that a team boasting extensive experience and expertise, and it’s easy to see why Celebration Villa earned a spot among the top 10 percent of communities in 2023’s Great Places to Work survey.

“We are proud to celebrate all of these honorees – they are truly deserving of this recognition,” said Bobby Petras, Chief Operations Officer for Priority Life Care. “The Symposium is important for our company for many reasons, not the least of which is being able to honor the team members and communities that consistently go above and beyond in ensuring all aspects of their respective communities create a safe, welcoming, and nurturing environment for residents and fellow staff members.”

About Priority Life Care

Founded in 2009, Priority Life Care is a nationally recognized Great Place to Work with a growing portfolio of more than 63 communities across several states in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast U.S. The organization is built on a mission of lighting the way through supporting independence and a belief that everyone deserves dignity, compassion, and respect – residents and coworkers alike. Its focus on healthy choices and an active lifestyle helps to ensure residents at each Priority Life Care community can live their retirement life to its fullest. For more information, visit the Priority Life Care website.

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