SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- California Assisted Living Association (CALA) Advocate of the Year Monique Dixon wasn't looking to get into senior living when she became the executive director at Brookdale Yreka in 2013. She was simply seeking to make a difference in the lives of others with an organization whose core values matched her own, just like she has been doing for years.
"I'm not sure I chose this line of work. I think it chose me," says Dixon.
Before joining Brookdale, Dixon touched lives as an area manager for Goodwill Industries, overseeing mission services throughout Siskiyou County. She is also nationally certified as a job developer and as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). Other experience followed the same type of work – serving as an economic consultant to small businesses and working in governmental accounting and economic development.
And while her background may not have been one that made senior living leadership a logical next step, like many Brookdale associates, Dixon felt a calling.
"We look for a certain cultural fit at Brookdale," says Sheila Garner, senior regional vice president of operations for Brookdale. "When we add an associate to the team, a background in senior living is great, but more importantly, we want all our associates at every level of our organization to feel passionate about the work we do, about our residents, about fellow associates, about our industry, about our stakeholders. We can train a person to do a job, but we can't teach the kind of character it takes to create the superb customer experience for our residents and their families."
When she came to Brookdale Yreka, Dixon saw an opportunity to combine her passion for coaching others with enriching the lives of seniors. Not only is she the executive director of her community, but she also serves as a partner executive director for the company, meaning she helps orient and onboard new Brookdale community executive directors in northern California.
To say she has had a positive impact on her peers would be an understatement.
"Monique's love for this work motivated me and took away my fears," says Martha Nkhoma, executive director at Brookdale Clearlake. "She is very supportive and drives you to success."
Jim Cameron, executive director for Brookdale Vallejo Hills, agrees, saying, "Monique practices a mature form of leadership, helping others to do well and helping those who are doing well to do even better."
"Let me count the ways she gives to others," Roger Endert, executive director at Brookdale Fortuna, says. "It's endless. Above all, Monique is selfless."
CALA's Advocate of the Year Award honors members who actively build relationships, support policy priorities, and demonstrate a commitment to grassroots action on behalf of assisted living. Dixon was recognized at the CALA's advocacy day in April 6 in Sacramento.
"Every day I'm excited because of the coaching and mentoring opportunities that I have to help our associates succeed and grow," Dixon says. "I truly believe that a key component of my role is to take care of the associates, and they in turn do the amazing job of taking great care of our residents and families."
For more information about Brookdale, visit brookdale.com.
Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with approximately 1,123 communities in 47 states and the ability to serve approximately 108,000 residents. Through its ancillary services programs, the Company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.
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SOURCE Brookdale Senior Living