See Argentum’s press announcements from the Senior Living Executive Conference in Phoenix.

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(Alexandria, Va.) – Argentum has announced the honorees for its three 2020 Hero Awards, presented by Benchmark, and its 2020 Senior Living Community Leadership Award. These annual awards celebrate life-changing actions by individuals working in senior living who go above and beyond to serve residents, employees, families, and the industry as a whole.

“We are so pleased to present these awards and to honor the extraordinary contributions these individuals have made to their communities and to the industry,” said James Balda, Argentum president and CEO.  “This year in particular, we are so grateful for these honorees and the many everyday heroes who work to serve, protect, and care for residents in the best of times and the most challenging of times.”

The Hero Awards, presented by Benchmark, recognize ideal representatives of those serving in the senior living field. Nominated by regional/company executives and executive directors, these individuals to show the highest levels of excellence, caring, and dedication. A special category, Hero Award for Leadership in the Face of a Natural Disaster, was introduced in 2018 and recognizes an individual who demonstrated courage, valor, and clear thinking during a natural disaster.

Meet the 2020 Heroes:

Hero Awards

Mastrella’s intergenerational programs have changed not only the Avita of Wells community, but also the surrounding neighborhood, increasing interaction, decreasing isolation, and introducing students to concepts in careers in senior living.

With a background that ranges from television production to social work, Sawicz continually takes action to help residents realize their dreams—whether a veteran sharing his story, a writer publishing a book, or an expert teaching a class.

Hero Award for Leadership in the Face of a Natural Disaster

During not one but two hurricane evacuations in a row, sales manager McLaurin pitched in to help serve every need of residents, assisting in everything from morning exercise to meals to accompanying a resident to the hospital.

The Argentum Senior Living Community Leadership Award recognizes executive directors for exemplary leadership, including quality in day-to-day operations; maintaining staff, resident, and family engagement; and budget adherence and regulatory compliance. Meet the 2020 Senior Living Community Leadership Award honoree:

McAlister’s honesty and openness with staff helps create a culture of confidence and vulnerability that keeps the community both relaxed and energized. He also works to support the industry, through a scholarship program he established.

The 2020 honorees are profiled in the July/August issue of Senior Living Executive magazine.

The 2020 Hero Awards are presented by Benchmark:

About Argentum
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults.

Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services. Along with its state partners, Argentum’s membership represents approximately 75 percent of the senior living industry—an industry with a national economic impact of nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars and responsible for providing over 1.6 million jobs. These numbers will continue to grow as the U.S. population ages.

Argentum’s programs and initiatives are driven by its membership. For more information about joining Argentum, please visit Learn more at


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