Today is International Women’s Day, a day that commemorates the rights of women in the workplace and highlights their contributions to organizations all around the world.
At Westminster Communities of Florida, we’re so fortunate to have a Mission to live out every day: We serve older adults. But we’re more than a family of not-for-profit, faith-based senior living communities serving residents who enjoy an active lifestyle. We are also employees who touch lives through service every day.
Our organization is fortunate to have countless women serving our organization — nearly 1,500 women on our teams serving as nurses, CNAs, chefs, servers, maintenance techs and housekeepers. We’re especially fortunate to stand out on women’s contributions in leadership roles, including our directors of nursing, executive directors, health services administrators, vice presidents and more.
This March, we’re celebrating the contributions of women in leadership to our organization. Their experiences tell a story, one of dedication to the Mission of serving our residents first and foremost and to the belief that women and men make an equal contribution to the workplace.
“Women often move toward the caring professions and go the extra mile to serve,” said Sandra Knoble, Director of Quality Initiatives. “Having women in leadership roles means we can identify and extend opportunities to other Westminster women to grow both in their chosen work and personally – in a manner consistent with the Mission – to honor each person and to use our resources well.”
Knoble, who has also served our organization since 2012 as Health Services Administrator and Executive Director at Westminster Manor, said that there was a time when it was uncommon to find women in leadership roles — even in senior living. But even then, what mattered most was one’s ability to do the work at an exceptional level.
In 2015, Knoble and the “Manor Proud” team of residents and employees at Westminster Manor was awarded the CEO Leadership Award by Roger Stevens, Westminster Communities of Florida CEO, in recognition of their hard work in transforming their community and making positive changes. Today, she oversees the organization’s quality improvement processes and our research partnership with the Florida State University College of Medicine. Learn more about the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Project in this article from 2017.
Des Marie Johnson agreed with Knoble’s assessment. “Diversity can only strengthen an organization,” said Johnson, one of our newest leaders and Health Services Administrator at Westminster Baldwin Park. Johnson is new to the organization but a veteran in the field of senior living, having served in capacities ranging from activities assistant to sales director. Westminster Baldwin Park is our newest community in Orlando’s Baldwin Park neighborhood, offering Rapid Recovery short-term nursing care and long-term nursing care. Under Johnson’s leadership, Westminster Baldwin Park recently obtained its Medicare certification. Learn more about Westminster Baldwin Park.
“As a woman in a leadership role, I have always tried to treat people fairly and with respect, regardless,” Johnson said.
Why should a leader strive for success? Knoble and Johnson agreed that the key is to push onward and achieve your goals. “Never give up on your dreams,” Johnson added. “It doesn’t matter what you may have to face. Don’t give up!”
Stay tuned to be inspired, as we honor the role of women in leading our organization and touching lives through service.