Desire to Serve Led to Corporate Career Path
March 15, 2017
Like many of Brookdale’s corporate associates, Bear Mahon joined the senior living industry out of a desire to serve others. His introduction to senior living came through the therapy and rehabilitation field. During his 18-year career in the industry, Mahon has served in nearly every imaginable capacity, from activities director to executive director at a community, and in various corporate roles with Brookdale. In his current position, Regional Vice President – Operations Lead, Mahon is charting a new course for executive directors and community operations.
“At Brookdale our leaders and team members embrace a servant’s heart and empower us to touch the lives of the ones we serve,” Mahon said. “Our company provides many pathways to achieve your dreams of caring for and leading others toward fulfilling their mission and calling in life. We have the chance every day to show our love and how much we truly care. Joining our team will take your life from ordinary to extraordinary as we work together to make a difference. Take the leap and we’ll catch you.”
Mahon’s interest in service comes naturally. He grew up in a military family and both of his parents spent time in the medical field, working in hospitals.
“I grew up walking the floors, talking with patients, and spending late nights in my parents’ offices,” Mahon said. “I began looking around at other settings and discovered senior living. During my initial interview in a community, I instantly felt at peace. It felt like home. I quickly learned to transition my thoughts from taking care of patients to now taking care of residents. My ability to serve would be based not just on medical care, but focusing on providing care and support on all of the domains of life.”
Mahon began his career in rehabilitative services. After graduating from college with a degree in therapeutic recreation, he went to work as an activities director and rehab coordinator in an independent living facility in Georgia. He worked in several departments during his time there.
“I started with resident programming and transitioned into their rehabilitation department,” Mahon said. “That led to a job as the community business manager. Six months after that, I was offered a position as the executive director of an American Retirement Corporation (ARC) community, and eventually, I landed at Emeritus, managing multiple communities. Two communities led to four, which led to 46 and eventually 72 communities.”
He quickly moved up in the company from area director, to regional director of operations, then to vice president of operations for Emeritus’ Southeast Division. In 2014, when Brookdale and Emeritus merged, he became a regional vice president for Brookdale. He assumed his new role as RVP – Operations Lead in September 2016.
“People ask me what has helped me grow at Brookdale,” Mahon said. “I think it’s my passion, cadence, and love for what I do. My mission is to teach people how to love, care, and serve others unconditionally. I trust my leaders, support our mission, honor the process, and respectfully challenge assumptions for fruitful solutions.”Share this:
Dining Room Server Finds Leadership Opportunity
March 8, 2017
Her dedication to helping seniors and the support she received from supervisors at Brookdale put Amber Bossio on a career path that led from dining room server to manager of personalized living. A culture of caring, team-oriented environment and opportunities for growth kept Bossio with Brookdale for 17 years.
“One thing that I really love about Brookdale is a lot of our managers started out in hourly positions just like I did and worked their way up,” Bossio said. “I like that they promote from within. We are placed where our strengths are. There’s so much here for you if you’re willing to give your heart and time.”
Bossio was 16-years-old when she joined Brookdale as a dining room server. Less than a year later she was promoted to lead server and the next year she made another step up, becoming a dining room supervisor. Within six years of starting her career at Brookdale, Bossi was offered the position of dining room manager.
Learning how to lead
Each promotion came with the challenge of navigating relationships between her co-workers and transitioning into the role of a supervisor.
“It was always interesting going from working side-by-side with someone then becoming their boss,” Bossio said. “I had to show and prove I could do it. I’ve always felt that you want to treat people how you want to be treated. Just because you’re the manager doesn’t mean you’re better or smarter than someone else. I’d do anything for my team. I’m not going to make them do all the hard, dirty stuff. I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and clean a toilet if I need to.”
After spending nearly 12 years in the dining department, Bossio found an opportunity to work more closely with residents. She took a position as a Clare Bridge program manager, assisted residents with dementia. In this role she designed memory care programs and supervised the care staff. It was through a meeting with one of Brookdale’s health and wellness directors that Bossio realized she wanted a role that would let her make deeper connections with residents.
“I had a good one-on-one conversation with our HWD about how I can be in the world of caring for residents,” Bossio said. “I realized I just have a way of reading people before they even ask. When you’re caring for someone, you can anticipate what they want and make their lives so much easier. Sometimes they are not always going to ask. They have too much pride.”
Opportunity to advance
Bossio enjoyed working with seniors so much that she decided to pursue a degree in social services, a move that would qualify her for more advanced positions. During this time Brookdale allowed her to work part-time as a resident activities assistant. After graduating, Bossio was offered a position as manager of personalize living, her current role.
“When I graduated and was offered this position it was like a dream come true,” she said.
Bossio supervises a team of seven associates, offering coaching, counseling and evaluation. She also markets the program, coordinates services and assists with budgeting. A big part of her job is to motivate others and Bossio tries to lead by example.
“I take the whole community to heart,” she said. “Even if it’s not my department, if I notice something wrong I’ll take action. This is where our residents live and I’m going to make sure it’s the best home they can have.”
As for showing job candidates and current associates the opportunities for advancement that Brookdale has, Bossio says she simple shows them her resume.
“I pretty much grew up working here,” Bossio said. “I tell people all the time, the opportunity is here.”Share this: