Argentum Logo_RGB2
Thanks to the 2022 Argentum Hero Awards sponsor.

The 2022 Hero Awards, sponsored by Benchmark, were a highlight of the Senior Living Executive Conference and Expo opening session. The awards recognize individuals who are ideal representatives of people serving in the senior living field.

Nominated by company and community executives, each hero was introduced, recognized, and honored on stage for service to their companies and communities, with one award being present posthumously. It was an endearing ceremony and celebration of the personal stories of four heroes and each received a standing ovation.


Jaimie Harel
Sales Counselor, Brookdale Springs Mesa
Brookdale Senior Living

Last year, Brookdale lost one of their longest-tenured members to cancer. Known throughout Spring Mesa by team members and residents who still share stories of how she made their lives feel special, Jaimie Harel left behind a legacy of caring and kindness.

One resident recalls the reason he and his wife moved to Brookdale Springs Mesa – it was because of Jaimie. She always introduced him to others when giving tours and he has fond memories of her kindness and friendliness in the community. She had a way of making each person in her life feel special.

While facing cancer multiple times, Harel still put others first, but no one knew the battle she was fighting. Dedicated to her mission of serving, she maintained a bright and cheery disposition and carried on for as long as she could continue to work. The day she passed a light went out in senior living but thankfully, the compassion and dedication she radiated continues in the memories of those whose lives she changed. (Award presented posthumously and accepted by her husband, Phil Harel.)

Janie Whipple
Receptionist, Academy Point at Mystic
Benchmark Senior Living

Janie Whipple has a genuine love of people and is committed to making every interaction a positive one. She has transformed the reception area of her community into a concierge hub and goes out of her way to listen to residents and find a solution to meet their every need.

From leading an evening game of Scrabble to ordering books online from her personal account, Whipple has a servant’s heart. She goes out of her way to accompany residents to weddings and other special events, and even arranged a standing weekly dinner reservation at a local restaurant so a new resident can continue an important tradition.

Whipple’s commitment to improving the lives of others goes beyond her community. She has also helped raise funds for several causes including the Benchmark One Company Fund, Argentum’s Silver PAC, the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut, and The Terrie Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, all from her hub at reception.

Johnell Washington
Concierge, Victory Centre of Park Forest
Pathway to Living

At the age of 16, Johnell Washington volunteered with seniors and learned how to communicate with people with Alzheimer’s. “They just need love and care. I knew then that I had the heart to work with older adults and make a real difference in their lives,” said Washington. Today, he embodies that spirit of compassion as a concierge in the senior living industry.

Washington often greets with is signature high-five, known to hand out recognition buttons, which he supplies. Each has an uplifting message such as “I’m a Superhero” or “You’re Awesome” In addition, his commitment to making a personal connection with residents includes playing music and hosting spontaneous hallway dance parties.

Dedicated to inspiring those around him, he also sends colleagues motivational morning emails with encouraging words such as “Reach your dreams” and “Make a difference.” One message he shared was “It’s Transformation Tuesday, and it’s not about perfection; it’s effort…Team, keep up the amazing leadership.”

Anthony Vaughns
Executive Director, New Perspective Senior Living Waukesha
New Perspective Senior Living

Anthony Vaughns is the epitome of an empathetic leader. He has a very patient, yet convincing way of explaining to family members that he has the talent and supportive team to help the seniors in his care. This was recently the care for a  resident and family making the difficult decision to move from Independent Living to Memory Care. He focused on the care his team would provide and gave the family emotional support.

Vaughns began his career in the hospitality and hotel industry. He worked and learned by experience all aspects of the business from food and beverage, front desk, management, and sales. With a red-carper approach to everything he does, he successfully brought his high caliber of hospitality to the senior living and health care environment.

Committed to creating a warm and hospitable atmosphere for both residents and team members, he always thinks about everyone he can help within his scope of influence and is a senior living industry leader.

See the Argentum press release announcing the 2022 Hero Award honorees

Stay Connected

Get updates on the latest news impacting senior living through our Argentum Daily newsletter.



Forgot Password
Create an Account