sharon stiles, executive director of sterling
house shelby, a Brookdale senior Living
community in shelby, north Carolina,
doesn’t think of her job as work.
“it’s a blessing,” stiles says. “i love
coming in every day … i love the residents
and making them happy.”
stiles has worked in senior living for 36
years, and in her more than six years with
sterling house, has created numerous
to encourage seniors to feel more
comfortable with technology, stiles started
heart to heart Connections—a skype
program for residents, who can chat with
their loved ones who don’t live nearby.
stiles has also fulfilled some of her
residents’ dreams through brookdale’s
Wish of a Lifetime program. After surveying
the residents about what they’d like to do,
stiles helps make their wishes a reality.
One 90-year-old resident piloted a plane.
Another made Krispy Kreme doughnuts. two
residents traveled to Atlanta and visited the
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Lindsey Albrecht, life enrichment
coordinator of sterling house shelby,
nominated stiles for the ALfA hero award.
Albrecht says stiles is truly dedicated to
her residents and improving the entire
community—and no detail is too small for
stiles, who will take time out of her day to
hold the hands of residents who need it.
“You don’t see many executive directors
helping in the kitchen or with housekeeping.
she does it all because she puts the
residents first,” Albrecht says.
Although appreciative of the recognition,
stiles said she doesn’t see herself as a hero.
“i really don’t see myself as a hero as
much as being dedicated to making a
difference in the lives of the residents that
i serve,” stiles says. “it’s an honor to serve
ALfA hero sharon stiles, pictured with ALfA Chairman Mark
Ohlendorf (left) and ALfA President and CEO Rick Grimes.
Kentucky state Rep. Susan Westrom
was honored with the 2011 ALFA
Statesman Award. Westrom, a tireless
supporter for senior living, helped guide
Kentucky House Bill 444 to passage,
updating the state’s assisted living
regulations to include resident access to
hospice and medication assistance.
ALFA also spotlighted several
new Officers and directors
standout entrants from its first annual
Short Film Competition. The winning
short film, Mind the Gap, was created
by 26-year-old Chapman University
student Jon Byron as a tribute to his
relationship with his own grandfather.
Mind the Gap (online at www.alfa.org/
ageism) powerfully illustrates the mis-
more Hero profiles will appear in future
issues of Assisted Living Executive.
Also during the 2011 conference, Mark
Ohlendorf, co-president and chief financial officer of Brookdale senior Living,
took his seat as the new chairman of
the ALFA Board of Directors. Ohlendorf succeeds granger cobb, president
and CEO of emeritus senior Living, as
understandings and stereotypes that can
create barriers for seniors.
The 2011 Best of the Best Award
recipients were also recognized during
the conference, as were the ALFA 2011
Heroes during the can’t-miss annual
Hero Awards lunch. Two of this year’s
Heroes are profiled on these pages, and
In addition, new directors Lawrence
cohen, CEO of capital senior Living, and
dan hirschfeld, executive vice presi-
dent of genesis healthcare, took office
during the conference. Brad Klitsch,
senior vice president of market develop-
ment for direct supply, will assume
an ex officio role on the board and has
been named chairman of the ALFA
President’s Council due to his long and
meaningful service to ALFA and the
senior living community.
For more, including photos, videos,
and presentations from the conference,
visit ALFA.org. Be sure to mark your
calendar for the ALFA 2012 conference
& expo in dallas, texas, May 16-18.