Stephanie Schuler, our assisted living director, recently graduated from Leading Age’s Larry Minnix Leadership Academy. LeadingAge, a national senior living organization, offers the year-long leadership academy to enhance the leadership skills and core competencies of emerging leaders in nonprofit senior living.
Stephanie was encouraged to apply to the academy by Golden West CEO John McCarthy. “I didn’t know much going into the program or what to expect,” Stephanie said. “I have always liked constantly learning and growing as a professional and, from what John shared with me, this was the perfect opportunity to do just that.”
The academy strives to provide nonprofit senior living professionals with confidence in their own leadership abilities, teaching a broad understanding of leadership theory and encouraging self-awareness and relationship-building.
“One of the most important things I learned in the leadership academy was how to be a transformational leader,” Stephanie said. “I also learned how important it is to remain true to your authentic self.”
In addition to completing the academy’s curriculum, Stephanie has started workshopping ideas for an action learning project. She wants to team up with local universities, such as the University of Colorado in Boulder, to create a robust internship program that exposes students to health care roles.
“The basis behind this is getting people involved in aging services, as well as providing exposure to a field they may not have known about,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie began her health care career as a CNA, working in home care and memory care assisted living before earning a bachelors in healthcare administration and transitioning to management roles. She worked as a resident services coordinator and director of assisted living before moving into her current role at Golden West.
She said she’s drawn to the senior living side of health care because she enjoys interacting with residents and forming bonds with older adults. This passion is what ultimately drew her to nonprofit senior living and Golden West in particular.
As the director of assisted living, Stephanie is committed to ensuring our assisted living residents feel at home at Golden West. Stephanie said she hopes to use what she’s learned in the leadership academy to make Golden West a thriving community for our residents, and seniors in Boulder, for years to come.
“These tools have given me a new perspective on how to approach change and how to be an effective leader,” Stephanie said.