Congratulations to Yvonne Peterson, our marketing director, on being recognized as the top Shining Star of 2017!

Gardant Management Solutions, the company that manages Heritage Woods, recognized the 2017 Shining Stars during an awards luncheon held at the Kankakee Country Club.

Shining Stars are employees who put residents first and embrace the company values of love, compassion and dignity. Gardant Management Solutions shines brighter because of their commitment to ensuring the men and women who live at our communities are treated with the dignity they deserve.

Read the nomination letter below to learn more about why Yvonne was nominated for this special honor:

Yvonne Peterson, Heritage Woods of RockfordYvonne takes the values and mission of Gardant  beyond the brick and mortar of Heritage Woods of Rockford.  There are no limits or boundaries when it comes to her reaching out and enhancing the experience for one of our seniors.  Even if services are not needed from our supportive living community, Yvonne is quick to jump to her feet and fully embraces the opportunity to help someone.  Yvonne has touched countless lives, giving our residents and other seniors in the Rockford community dignity in their twilight years and their families’ peace of mind.

With her personal touch and impact on more than 600 seniors in Rockford, Yvonne was received several awards, including the Rockford Woman Manager of the Year Award presented by the Chamber of Commerce.  She has been recognized by State Rep. Steve Stadelman and Rep. Cheri Bustos for her creative initiatives in educating the public and local leaders about supportive living and preventative health.

If you were to ask Yvonne what she sees herself doing in five years, she’d say, “I can’t see myself doing anything else.”  She then says, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It is easy to see Yvonne truly loves what she does. Yvonne is devoted to Heritage Woods, but as you will see, her passion is far stretching throughout the Rockford area.  Nicknamed the committee queen, she is serving our outside community regularly.  Yvonne was the chair to Money Smart week; chair of the Alzheimer and Arthritis Walk; kick-off chair for Seniors Spring into Wellness Fair. For about 11 years, Yvonne has been instrumental as a Steering Committee for ADMIT, a group dedicated to serving seniors. Yvonne, consciously or not, is marketing for Heritage Woods of Rockford and the Illinois Supportive Living Program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Every senior she is able to help, she captures as a win. Even though Yvonne participates in these committees voluntarily and her efforts have led to Heritage Woods of Rockford having a prestigious reputation, Yvonne will always credit the staff.  Housekeeping, dietary and nursing are the regular recipients of accolades due to positive community feedback.

Yvonne has furnished apartments for seniors who had no home before moving to our community. She has  made curtains and personally purchased items to make their new apartment feel like home.   She looks past the admission, wait list and commission and looks at the person, guiding them to dignified living and ensuring their needs, passions and desires are met.  With her investments into the families of our community, she is regularly called upon as an official senior case worker or social worker.  Yvonne, Director Marketing is a prime example of servant leader.  She promotes encouragement to young and old alike; she empowers the staff and pushes them to go further and be better, praising them along their journey.  Heritage Woods of Rockford as well as the many other communities Yvonne has worked with; are fortunate to have the influence of Yvonne as a team member.

Submitted by Administrator Jaclyn O’Keefe