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Argentum Honors Recipients of the 2018 Hero and Senior Living Community Leadership Awards


(Alexandria, Va.)—Argentum recognized four extraordinary senior living employees at the 2018 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference in San Diego, Calif. They represent this year’s recipients of the Argentum Hero Awards, honoring employees who represent the highest levels of excellence, caring, and dedication across the industry, and the Argentum Senior Living Community Leadership Award, recognizing exemplary leadership in senior living community management. Award winning journalist Joan Lunden helped to present the awards to each of the deserving individuals.

James Arp, executive director at Belmont Village Westwood, a Belmont Village Senior Living community in Los Angeles, Calif., was honored with the 2018 Argentum Senior Living Community Leadership Award. Through his passion for connecting with residents, establishing community outreach programs, and supporting professional development for employees, Arp has created an exceptional community environment that’s best in class.

“James is dedicated to quality and consistency in providing care and service to our residents and families,” said Patricia Will, founder and president of Belmont Village Senior Living. “He is known for doing whatever is necessary to ensure that his community is operating at the highest possible level, whether that means rolling up sleeves to pitch in or leading by example and providing his team with the tools to be successful. He has grown with the company and continues to act as a mentor for our employees. It is a privilege and honor to have James as part of our Belmont Village family.”

This year, three individuals received Argentum Hero Awards. Emily Horne, life engagement manager at Autumn Leaves of Towne Lake, a LaSalle community in Woodstock, Ga., was honored for her passion, positivity, and energy working with memory-impaired residents at her community. Noted for always putting others first, Horne is known as “The Sunshine of Towne Lake.” Nkeiru Uzegbu, active living program director at Merrill Gardens at Lafayette, a Merrill Gardens community in Lafayette, Calif., was recognized for providing an inspiring environment for residents, families, and staff, and acting as a mentor at her community.

Additionally, a new category of Hero Award was added this year—Leadership in the Face of a Natural Disaster—recognizing an employee who went above and beyond during a time of crisis. Lisa Thomas, life enrichment coordinator at Sabine Place, an Enlivant community in Orange, Texas, was honored with this award. When Hurricane Harvey forced an evacuation of her community and several relocations as a result, Thomas made the most of the situation and left a lasting legacy at many of Enlivant’s sister communities during temporary stays.  

“We are pleased to present these awards and express our deepest appreciation to James, Emily, Nkeiru, and Lisa, for their outstanding efforts and compassionate service,” said James Balda, Argentum president & CEO. “They are exceptional role models for those serving across the industry and have shown the impact of working to make a difference in the lives of residents, staff, and families.”