From Our CEO: Welcome to the Gratitude Tour!

Posted by Dan Guill on October 21, 2021

Welcome to our Gratitude Tour!

Over the past year, we’ve achieved so much: more than 95% of our employees and residents are vaccinated against COVID-19, recognized as a Great Place to Work for three years in a row, and made inclusion a core value to ensure all our employees and residents feel like they belong.

There’s so much to celebrate, so our CEO Dan Guill and our leadership team are hitting the road on a Gratitude Tour, visiting communities and thanking them for everything they do to serve our seniors! 

Dan will be sharing highlights from the road and a look behind the scenes at each of the communities he visits. Check out his first stops to Bailey Place, Marigold Place, and DeWolfe Place below, and see highlights from our second Gratitude Tour stops right here.

Bailey Place: Bunkie, Louisiana

Bailey Place was one of the first places I visited to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for everyone at this special community. 

Bailey Place was home to dozens of residents and staff from Terrebonne Place, a coastal community in Houma, LA, who evacuated in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Between the two communities, more than two dozen staff members’ homes were impacted – some suffering minor damage and some completely destroyed.

In spite of the circumstances, Bailey Place perfectly exemplified Creole hospitality. As we entered the community, music filled the dining room. Immediately, I felt at ease. 

When I spoke with the team, our conversations weren’t about the hurricane – they were about Creole food, like boudin and cracklins, what it meant to grow up and live in this part of the U.S.

I couldn’t help but ask – with all the hardship, how could the teams have so much energy and vibrancy? I’ll never forget how Executive Director Renee responded: “They look at you and say we don't have a home to go back to, but we have a home here. What we built is more than a community.”

I’m lucky to have felt that firsthand. Before I left, the team gifted me an apron with crawdads on the front. That’s what Louisiana and Bailey Place are all about: hospitality, kindness, and a spice for life - even during difficult times. I left  inspired by the empathy, understanding, and humility I saw. And every time I pull out that apron, I’ll remember my visit to Bailey Place and my conversations with our teams and residents. 

Marigold Place: Alexandria, Louisiana

Our next Gratitude Tour stop was to Marigold Place. As for first impressions, this community was buzzing!

With a long list of new residents slated to move in, all the staff was helping to get the community ready – and everyone had a smile. The positivity was contagious; I found myself smiling, too. 

As I sat down with Executive Director Margaret and the leadership team, I had a feeling why all these new residents were choosing Marigold. And when I asked, their answer was no surprise: “word of (Marigold) mouth.” 

Residents and their families are having such fantastic experiences at Marigold Place, and they keep spreading the word.

Walking through the hallways, the vibrancy and fun of this community was infectious. This team and all the residents truly love connecting with people, whether they’re colleagues, visitors, or fellow residents. Throughout my time here, I found myself coming back to Enlivant’s five core values: compassion; humility; inclusion; excellence; and fun. And at Marigold Place, one was plain to see: fun.

Spending time at Marigold Place was energizing, full of positivity, and genuinely so much fun. I can’t wait to go back. 

DeWolfe Place: Marion, OH

My arrival to DeWolfe Place was one to remember. The team welcomed us with a luau, complete with a ukulele soundtrack, fruity drinks, and a traditional Hawaiian greeting: floral leis. What a welcome!

As the day went on, I spent time with our residents at the luau, chatting about what life is like at DeWolfe Place. I learned this community brings people together – even creating a newfound relationship between two residents! The new couple credits DeWolfe Place for their match-up, describing the community as always encouraging friendship and connection, both before and after the pandemic.

During my day at DeWolfe, the team, led by Executive Director Jessica, told me how they balanced the challenges of COVID-19 with focusing on enriching lives and creating community over the past 18 months. This team overcame those challenges, and now, nearly all of their staff and residents are fully vaccinated. 

As everyone’s getting back into the swing of things, I know Jessica and her team are to thank for making sure everyone had faith in our process and protocols, so we could make it through together. I’m so glad I was able to visit DeWolfe Place. The team was kind, welcoming, and visibly full of compassion and excitement for enriching the lives of their residents….and throwing fantastic luaus.

Want more Gratitude Tour? See highlights from our second Gratitude Tour stops right here!