Memorial Day is a special day in the United States to honor and remember those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. It is a time dedicated for many to show their respect and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by military personnel to defend our country’s freedoms. This holiday is of particular importance at Vi, since many of our residents and employees have served our country. We are incredibly proud and honored to have veterans living and working in our communities, along with our home office. We look forward to all the ways that they will be honored, celebrated and remembered. These types of celebrations are in large part how we maintain a positive spirit across our communities, which is a part of Vi’s Living Well philosophy.
At Bentley Village, for example, large American flags will be hung on residents' banisters. Resident Building Captains will coordinate a time to present the American flags. All resident veterans will be given a card thanking them for their service. Care Center residents at Bentley Village will be treated to patriotic-themed cupcakes handed out by the nursing team.
At The Glen, an orchestra will perform a Memorial Day concert from outside the building. Traditional Memorial Day barbecue cuisine will be put together and delivered to residents. Barbecue meals will also be put together at Grayhawk and at Highlands Ranch, where American flags will be displayed as part of the “Vi Community Wave.” There will also be a patriotic concert shown on the in-house TV channel.
In addition to a barbecue meal at Silverstone, a Memorial Day prayer honoring those who have passed while in the armed forces will be read and streamed several times on the in-house TV channel. Aventura’s resident poet will also recite a Memorial Day-themed poem that will be recorded and streamed. The resident pianist at Aventura will lead a live Memorial Day sing-along on the in-house TV channel.
We know that each Vi community will celebrate their residents in their own special way during this holiday. We extend our utmost gratitude and appreciation to our veteran residents and employees working in our communities and corporate office.
Assistant Vice President of Living Well
Vi is grateful for the long tenure of our Housekeeping team members. We are proud to highlight some of our many housekeeping professionals who contribute to the safety and well-being of our residents.
Dear Vi Residents and Family Members,
Vi is an active member of Argentum, the leading national trade association serving companies that own, operate and support senior living communities. Argentum is calling on Congress to take swift action to ensure the safety and well-being of residents and staff of senior living communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to the senior living industry, as individuals who are at the greatest risk from the virus include people over 60 years old. Timely access to testing is a critical component in prevention, detection and response, and we recommend that forthcoming legislative packages provide for adequate supplies to prevent, test for and respond to any outbreaks and that communities have the resources to enable them to maintain operations throughout this pandemic and beyond.
While communities are taking measures to prevent, detect and respond to the virus, there is no support is needed from the federal government to help keep residents and team members safe. It is imperative that lawmakers hear not only from industry leaders, but from constituents who are most directly affected by this crisis, and hear why Congress must prioritize senior living communities.
Please take a moment to send your federal legislators a note on the urgent need to prioritize senior living in the COVID-19 response, as it is critically important that lawmakers hear from senior living advocates now. Argentum’s goal is for 500,000 letters to be sent to Congress. We are asking all Vi residents, employees and family members to show their support. This is very easy to do and will only take a few minutes. Please join us in this effort and send a prewritten letter (see the computer link below) to your congressional representative and U.S. senators.
Please click on the appropriate link below to register your support for the senior living industry and ensure that your voice is heard in Washington, D.C.
Thank you for your participation!
Residents | Family Members | Community Staff | General Advocates
Stephanie Boudreau describes herself as a realtor of people. She oversees the day-to-day operations for Vi at La Jolla Village, but she says her focus is also on keeping her community’s 500-plus residents and some 350 employees safe.
Boudreau started her career at Vi in March 2010 as the Care Center administrator, a position she loved. When an opening for executive director in her community occurred, she was tapped to be the interim director. She said she had no expectations, but she quickly realized she loved that role too. In March 2011, she officially took on her current role as executive director.
Boudreau, who graduated from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in marketing and business, is a big proponent of professional development. It has enabled her leadership journey, and it separates Vi from other companies like it.
“We hire good people, but we also give them the tools to continue to grow their skills,” she explained.
Boudreau has taken advantage of many development opportunities over the years. For instance, in 2017, she attended the Harvard Business Publishing partners meeting on the power of authentic leadership as well as several workshops at Harvard Business School in Boston. She’s attended Ken Blanchard Situational Leadership classes, multiday learning experiences she enjoyed with La Jolla’s directors of Nursing and Engineering before they came back to share what they learned with the rest of the team.
She also credits taking the CliftonStrengths Assessment by Gallup for a great deal of her and her team’s success. Not only does the tool detail what they’re good at, it reveals which skills they need to work on. That transparency—and her team’s willingness to learn about themselves and each other—has elevated their ability to collaborate.
Boudreau has several leadership tenets that guide her work: Don’t be afraid to hire well-educated people who can do a job better than you can; have fun—themed staff luncheons with games happen monthly; and always be genuine.
“I’m not the boss who sits in the white tower,” Boudreau said. “Every member of my team knows that I would get in there and work alongside them. I know their weaknesses, preferences, how they like to be communicated with and how they like to receive information, recognition and feedback. Treating everyone as an individual is very important.”
Boudreau said her progression isn’t special—it’s typical, thanks to Vi’s intense focus on development. Further, she’s actively helping to train future executive directors. La Jolla’s former dining room director was promoted to associate executive director before leaving to run Vi’s community in Glenview, Illinois. Two years ago, the community hired another associate executive director. In November 2019, that employee was promoted to executive director for the community in Lantana, Florida.
Meanwhile, Boudreau recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary with Vi. “I love my job. I have the ability to spend time with the kids”—Boudreau has twin girls and two sons—“and do things at home when I need to. I don’t see how anything could be better than what I already have.”
The pandemic has impacted thousands of organizations as they have been forced to put events on hold to ensure safe social distancing practices. The Girl Scouts of the USA, whose cookie season was cut short this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is no different. Many troops and Girl Scouts have been left with large volumes of unsold cookies that normally would have been sold in person.
The Girl Scouts of the USA is working closely with its 111 local councils across the United States to ensure that troops, girls and volunteers are not left financially responsible for any excess inventory of Girl Scout cookies.
To support the Girl Scouts and recognize the ongoing commitment of our team members, Vi purchased over 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to distribute to Vi employees who have earned their care badge during the pandemic.
We continue to be grateful for the outpouring of encouragement and support expressed by Vi’s residents. We are thankful for the hundreds of compliments and gestures of kindness from our residents. We are honored to share some excerpts from their many kind words of appreciation.
“I feel compelled to report on what I believe to be a stellar job Stephanie is doing, dealing with this crisis and managing operations."
“We are being held to obey all the protocols. Meals and packages are being delivered to the door by masked employees. All the safety precautions are being taken, information is updated daily, plus we are being showered with videos, games, in-place activities, daily pep-rally-type get-togethers (you might have seen something on the news about that) and an overall feeling that we are being taken care of."
“It appears to me that Ms. Stephanie has made it her personal mission to keep every one of us healthy if she can possibly do so. Of course, I wish her every success in that mission."
“They say the true test of a leader is how they perform not when everything’s going well, but in crisis and chaos. I believe Stephanie is showing her leadership skills in an admirable way and thought you might like to hear about it from someone with firsthand exposure to it."
“I feel lucky that she is in charge at a time when my health and safety are at risk.”
Top of Their Game
“Thank you so much for your letter with such encouraging and kind words. The staff of Vi at Bentley Village could not be taking better care of us. Everyone has been at the top of his/her game. You would think the staff had only us to think about and not their own families. I’m sure each of them has great concern for his/her own spouse, parents and children as well.”
Surprise Gratitude Expressed by Silverstone Residents
“With the welcome and able assistance of Jeff Missig, Director of Facilities Management here at Vi at Silverstone, our joyful THANK YOU banners and ground signs have been installed thanking our extraordinary staff. We have placed standing banners in the Care Center lobby, in the Employees’ Garage entrance, and in the front lobby of the Main Lodge."
“If you go to the Employee Parking Lot, you can walk up the path to the employee entrance to see our ground signs and hanging banner. Coincidentally, a special employee lunch happened TODAY in the parking lot, so they all saw the signs! Timing is everything! Jill Wolverton attended the lunch, and she called afterward to thank us sincerely. There are so many employees whom we never see, and we are grateful for this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all of them. We thank those residents who donated to this ongoing THANK YOU project. We hope to see the end of our stay-at-home edict soon, followed eventually by a final farewell to this historic pandemic. We wish you good health!”
Life Has Changed but Team Has Kept Us Safe
“Thank you very much for your informative and positive letter. I think you hit all the right points. Life has changed, and we will have to get accustomed to a modified lifestyle. Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy our lovely campus. I have enjoyed discovering new flowers and reading the little name boards identifying the trees. Ten wood storks have been interesting to observe as they move to different spots to get the sun, and that mammoth alligator has been getting some attention."
“If anybody should be congratulated, it is not us, but our management team and staff for making our life so pleasant and keeping us so safe. Wish the whole country received this kind of protection and leadership.”
Making Mother’s Day Special
“You all conspired to make this Mother’s Day a little more special to make up for being apart from the people who made us mothers (and grandmothers)! The extra added touch of macaroon treats and the adorable little plant prettily packaged in a bag with lovely ribbon (yes, Heather, we recognized your special touch) is so thoughtful and lovely!"
“The weekly fireside chats, including hearing from staff on what’s happening, especially behind the scenes, has been reassuring to everyone I’ve asked. So, thanks for the extra effort, everyone!”
Living Violet Made Mother’s Day Special
“Thanks for all the extra, unanticipated work you have been putting in during the shutdown times. Today’s Mother’s Day bag obviously involved a lot of creativity, planning and manual labor. The living violet is special to me, having previously considered whether I might make a project out of trying to grow these. Now I have a really nice one to try to ‘mother’ in spite of not having a claim to any such gift on Mother’s Day. I also found the children’s poems surprisingly great and wondered who Sarah is. If a teacher, she is doing her students a big favor in getting them into such an activity."
“I appreciate the mental energy and hard work that you must be putting into the various shutdown activities and entertainments that are outside of your normal job expectations. I know that most people I communicate with enjoy many aspects of the new activities you are arranging for us, but few are inclined to express that directly, so I am saying a simple thank you on behalf of quite a large number of other silent residents. Please, also take care of yourselves and your families, and stay healthy.”
The Wow Factor
“Wow! You and your team sure made this Mother’s Day 2020 happier with the beautiful surprise of the decorated gift bag full of candy, good wishes and the collection of poems. In this difficult time for us, you brightened our day! Of course, we also appreciate every day that you provide us with activities to keep us as sane as possible! I, and other Vi residents, feel fortunate that you are in our lives! May you continue to spread the cheer you bring to us every day!”