Eagle’s Trace Provides Growth, Benefits, and Pride in Dining Services Careers

Jill Dutton
November 18, 2022

Being a member of the Dining Services team at Eagle’s Trace provides unique opportunities for employees to gain valuable life skills and career experiences, while also being encouraged toward long-term success. Supporting the ongoing education and career development of team members is one of the many reasons why Eagle’s Trace is considered among the best places to work.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the Eagle’s Trace dining services team,” said Michael Heilman, dining director at the Erickson Senior Living community located in West Houston. “The rewarding work, diverse training opportunities, and other benefits that are inherent with our dining services positions provide an ideal pathway for a successful and rewarding career.”    

When people join Eagle’s Trace team, they gain more than a great job in a booming industry – they receive unparalleled access to an array of rich experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that will prove invaluable to their personal and professional growth. What is also rewarding for them is that they get to impact lives for the better.

Adam Perkey started as a line cook at Eagle’s Trace in 2014. He has seen continued growth and promotions and is now the executive chef. As a creative, he enjoys the range of the types of cuisines offered, allowing him to learn new methods of cooking.

“We have chefs from all over the world that work in these communities and they're constantly adding recipes to the database we use. From a culinary standpoint, I enjoy getting to add different flavors to the menu such as Italian, Indian curries, Thai curries, and more,” notes Perkey.

Generous Employee Benefits and Rewards

Eagle’s Trace’s comprehensive total rewards go far beyond an average benefit plan. In addition to multiple health care plans and choices, employees can enjoy a full range of services that enables them to build their careers, enjoy a healthy work-life balance, and plan for their future financial security.

Perkey says one benefit he enjoys is the opportunity for travel. “Because this is a country-wide organization, I've gotten to see a lot of the United States working here.”

Some of the many employee benefit differentiators include tuition reimbursement, student scholarships (in the past two annual fundraising cycles, more than $7.7 million has been raised for Student Scholarship Fund campaigns across the enterprise), 401K, generous paid time off including for volunteering, Erickson Senior Living University class offerings, rapid advancement opportunities, on-site employee health and wellness centers, employee discount programs, and so much more.

Santiago Castaneda, now the general manager of dining room one, has experienced exponential growth since he started in 2015 as a server in the restaurant. He says the opportunity for advancement is abundant if someone sets goals for themselves, and he has moved from positions as a server, dishwasher, prep cook, acquisitions, and assistant general manager, to his most recent promotion as general manager. 

Of the scholarship fund, Castaneda said he was enthusiast to take advantage of the benefits, in particular the tuition reimbursement. “I’ve received my Associate’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree with the assistance of Eagle’s Trace and Erickson Senior Living. It’s such a great benefit to help further your career.”

Another rewarding way dining services team members can earn the skills and industry certifications to build a lifelong dining services career is by continuing their education with Erickson University’s School of Culinary Arts. This professional culinary training program is offered right within the workplace at no cost to the employee. A 2021 graduating class is pictured here.

To learn more about available career opportunities and benefits at Eagle’s Trace, visit https://www.ericksonseniorliving.com/careers. Eagle’s Trace is a not-for-profit community, managed by Erickson Senior Living® and supported by National Senior Communities (NSC) Inc., the largest independent board of continuing care retirement communities in the nation.