April 14, 2023

Arrow Senior Living Staff Share How They Got Their Start in Senior Living

Category: Senior Living

Author: Arrow Staff; Bennett, Cecil, Ladd, Masline, and Moore

Emily Bennett, Regional Director of Operations

My aunt inspired me to join senior living, and after a few detours, I finally listened. She retired from a skilled nursing community after over 20 years as their Director of Nursing. Growing up I enjoyed going to her “party place” and visiting with the residents. After college, I worked in various social service settings, but senior living stayed on my mind. I saw a newspaper ad for interviews for an Administrator in training program and took a chance. I didn’t get that job, but the company offered me an Activities Director position. I eventually transitioned to Memory Care Director at the same location and remained there until joining Arrow Senior Living in December 2017.

My mom was the primary caregiver for her parents throughout my childhood and I saw the impact it had. She managed to navigate the health system for her parents, an unsupportive employer, and our family all at the same time. Mom inspired me to join senior living and she is my inspiration to stay in senior living. The resources we provided to our staff, residents, and families each day is invaluable.

Tracy Cecil, Regional Director of Operations

My senior living career began during my last occupational therapy clinical rotation in March 2004. I had my mind set on working with children until my experience in a skilled rehabilitation community, there I had the opportunity to meet the most amazing people. It was such an honor to learn about each resident’s life story and help them regain their independence to return home. I also found a passion in memory care; helping others understand how to communicate with residents and support family members who were walking through this journey with their loved ones. I never looked back. After 15 years working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, I decided to go back to college to earn a degree in Health Care Management. After graduating in 2009, I was fortunate to be offered a position as an Assistant Administrator and later Executive Director for the same organization where I had provided therapy services.

My senior living career began during my last occupational therapy clinical rotation in March 2004. I had my mind set on working with children until my experience in a skilled rehabilitation community, there I had the opportunity to meet the most amazing people. It was such an honor to learn about each resident’s life story and help them regain their independence to return home. I also found a passion in memory care; helping others understand how to communicate with residents and support family members who were walking through this journey with their loved ones. I never looked back. After 15 years working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, I decided to go back to college to earn a degree in Health Care Management. After graduating in 2009, I was fortunate to be offered a position as an Assistant Administrator and later Executive Director for the same organization where I had provided therapy services.

I joined the Arrow Senior Living family in August 2021 as a Regional Director of Operations. I love this role because I can still interact with older adults, while supporting multiple communities through coaching and collaboration. Our Executive Directors and their teams provide the best lives possible for our residents.  

Justin Ladd, Vice President of Operations

My journey into senior living started when I was graduating high school and my family was beginning the process of moving my grandmother into a skilled nursing facility, as she could no longer stay at home with caregivers. I remember watching my grandmother and mom struggle with making such a hard decision, even though everyone agreed it was necessary.

I had developed an interest in the medical field, but also enjoyed the business classes I had pursued during my high school career. During a college visit, an admissions counselor suggested a degree in healthcare administration to merge my interests. After learning more about opportunities with the degree and observing the challenges my grandmother and mom were facing during the transition from home, it was clear to me this was going to be my path. I went on to complete my Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, obtain my Licensed Nursing Home Administrator license and have been serving older adults for the past fourteen years. I have made some of the best memories in my career and I look forward to many more years to come.

Christine Masline, Regional Director of Operations

My career in senior living started as a Director of Rehabilitation in the skilled nursing setting. While I loved working in therapy, I always felt there was something more I could be doing. My team would always joke about how we would make a perfect senior living community and what we would offer. Little did I know this would be my next step. During COVID, I didn’t feel I was helping seniors the way I used to. 

I was referred to Arrow Senior Living by a previous co-worker, after watching Vitalia Westlake being built. I used to tell my husband I should apply, but never did. I always planned on either obtaining my Licensed Nursing Home Administrator license or something similar. Finally, after being with the same company for almost fifteen years, I found the courage and applied with Arrow at a new, open community. It was the best and scariest decision I’ve ever made! I was offered the Executive Director position at Vitalia Rockside. This has been the most fulfilling career. Every day I learn new things and grow. I am so lucky to be a part of Arrow Senior Living!

Tim Moore, Regional Director of Operations

After 25 years working in pharmacy and home medical equipment with the same company, I was searching for a second career due to acquisition. A good friend and mentor, Mr. Tweten, contacted me about a company he was “familiar with,” indicating it might be my next great opportunity. After spending lunch with Mr. Tweten to learn more, I applied. During an on-site interview with Virginia Winfrey, she told me that I had a great personality, just not the credentials for Executive Director. About two months later I was contacted by recruiting for a role as Regional Director of Operations. I knew I had enjoyed my time with older adults during my 25 years in pharmacy and medical equipment and felt this could be a great transition. It has been an amazing four and half years and I am looking forward to many more!

Arrow Senior Living and I invite you to reach out and learn more about a career in senior living. Working in this industry can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you’re interested in caregiving, management, or another aspect of senior living, there are a wide variety of roles available that allow you to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and their families.

Saint Charles, Missouri-based Arrow Senior Living manages a portfolio of communities that offer varying levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Each and every senior living community supports residents by focusing on dignity, respect, and quality of life. The programs and amenities offered are selected to provide only the highest standard of quality and comfort.

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