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LeadingAge Florida Presents 8 Awards at Annual Convention

ORLANDO, Fla. – At the 54th Annual LeadingAge Florida Convention and Exposition, the association recognized outstanding members, employees, and residents in eight categories. The awards highlight the best in the aging services field and recognize outstanding members and communities that have gone far beyond to serve their communities, employers, and residents.

“The LeadingAge awards showcase the quality of LeadingAge Florida communities and the ways they are innovating to provide the best possible care for Florida seniors,” said LeadingAge Florida President & CEO Steve Bahmer. “Our award winners are the best in the field of aging and seniors services. They represent their communities and LeadingAge Florida at the local, state, and national levels. I appreciate their passion, dedication, and commitment."

LeadingAge Florida presented awards in the following categories:

Lifetime Achievement - Peter Dys, CEO Emeritus, Shell Point Retirement Community: This is one of LeadingAge Florida's most prestigious awards and has not been bestowed since 2006.  This award is meant to honor an individual who, through his or her body of work, has provided LeadingAge Florida and the state with significant, transformative leadership in aging services.  The person selected for this award is a visionary leader and builder - someone who has made exceptional contributions over the course of a career and has positively impacted and advanced the aging services field.

Chairman's Award - Dr. Erwin Bodo: The Chairman's Award is one of LeadingAge Florida's most prestigious awards.  This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a passion for aging services, a depth of commitment to LeadingAge Florida, and a lasting impact on the field of aging services that is truly peerless in our state.

Executive of the Year - Elizabeth Sholar, Administrator and Senior Director of Health Care Services, Fleet Landing: This award is presented to the CEO, Executive Director, Administrator or Manager of a member community who has demonstrated the highest qualities of leadership, a willingness to mentor others, and innovation and significant contribution to the work of LeadingAge Florida.

Service Coordinator of the Year - Lisett Fernandez-Montero, St. Dominic Gardens:
The Service Coordinator of the Year Award recognizes one of Florida's many committed service coordinators who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to residents through innovative programming and supportive services, creative problem-solving, and genuine concern for each resident's well-being.

Employee of the Year - Kevin Mannix, Director of Dining Services, Cypress Cove at HealthPark Florida: Delivering excellent care - providing an excellent resident experience - relies on excellent employees. The Employee of the Year Award recognizes employees in LeadingAge Florida member communities who demonstrate extraordinary dedication, provide consistently excellent customer service, deliver outstanding performance, and demonstrate a commitment to the enhancement of the quality of life for residents. 

Trustee of the Year - Francis "Chance" Irvin, Chair of the Penney Retirement Community Board of Directors: Good governance for sound strategy, clear vision, and strong leadership, and trustees are the at the heart of that good governance.  The Trustee of the Year Award is presented to a volunteer who has served with distinction on the board of a LeadingAge Florida member home and has demonstrated a significant contribution of time and effort to the betterment of a not-for-profit community and its residents.

Best Practice - The Memory Bridge Program of Water's Edge Extended Care at Sandhill Cove:
 All across Florida, LeadingAge Florida members are innovating, challenging conventional thinking, and driving newer, better ways to deliver the highest quality of care.  The Best Practice Award recognizes an individual or group of individuals from a LeadingAge Florida member community who develop programs and services that are models of excellence, innovation, and best practices at work.

Volunteer of the Year - Shirley "Bunny" Weston, Resident at Bishop's Glen, a Retirement Housing Foundation Community: Much of the work getting done in LeadingAge Florida communities relies on the energy, passion, and commitment of volunteers.  This award recognizes a resident, resident organization or non-resident who is a volunteer who enhances the quality of life for residents, preserves the dignity, well-being and independence of residents, and demonstrates the mission of the member community in a number of ways.

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For 54 years, LeadingAge Florida has served as a nonprofit statewide association of more than 250 mission-driven communities, representing the full continuum of care for seniors with members ranging from affordable housing to nursing homes and from assisted living facilities to continuing care retirement communities. LeadingAge Florida is proud to serve quality leaders who devote themselves to creating a culture of excellence that motivates and inspires others throughout the aging continuum. LeadingAge Florida’s members are trusted with providing quality care and services to Florida’s seniors. LeadingAge Florida promotes practices that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.