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Excellence in Service Award!


Our very own Laura Cardoza has been honored with the Outstanding Department Director Award as part of the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) Excellence in Service Awards.  Laura has worked at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria since 2008 and she was chosen as the Outstanding Department Director for the entire Southern California region.  All Department Directors working in the senior living industry are eligible for this annual award designed to recognize and support outstanding service and to encourage continued dedication and commitment in the field of assisted living.  

Laura was chosen for her ability to cultivate relationships and inspire residents.  She also taps into residents’ expertise to create meaningful, resident-led programs with a sense of purpose. In addition, Laura coordinates programs in the community-at-large, such as the Alzheimer’s Walk team and the Merrill Gardens float for the parade. A few years ago, she led the charge that resulted in Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria resident Luella Shell being named Most Inspiring Senior in the United States by

“I truly believe that retirement communities are where people come to really live, and I am so proud of our Santa Maria team!  It seems like this opportunity to work here at Merrill Gardens is where my life prepared me to be,” said Cardoza.

CALA’s Excellence in Service Award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond their job descriptions to provide outstanding care and service to residents.

“Laura is an inspiration to all of us at Merrill Gardens.  Residents are motivated by her passion and commitment to enriching their lives on a daily basis.  We are so proud to see her receive this well-deserved recognition,” said David Eskenazy, president of Merrill Gardens. (shown above with Laura) 

Laura was presented with her award at the annual CALA meeting recently held in Palm Springs.  Here is the video produced by CALA celebrating her award.

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