Climbing the Career Ladder at Siena Lakes

Michele Wojciechowski
November 15, 2022

Sometimes when you go to work in the dining department of a company, you find yourself in that same position year after year. That’s not what Stephanie Missar was looking for. After graduating from culinary school, she interviewed with Maris Grove, an Erickson Senior Living community located in Glen Mills, Pa. She knew right away that it was the place for her.

Missar had worked at a retirement community in high school, and she enjoyed working with seniors. That’s what she experienced at Maris Grove. “Serving the same residents every day, you form a special relationship with them that you wouldn’t necessarily have at a public restaurant,” she says. “I believe the culture at Erickson is what keeps people here. The company also puts employee satisfaction at the top of the list and makes sure that the benefits and wages are always competitive.”

Over the years, Missar moved from line cook to lead cook and then to sous chef. Today, she works at Siena Lakes, an Erickson Senior Living community in Naples, Fla., as an executive chef. And she loves her job.

“As well as having relationships with the residents we serve, I also enjoy the challenges—having to think outside the box and being creative when plating our dishes,” Missar says. “I also value health and nutrition and stand by our mission to provide a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.”

Plenty of opportunities

Missar says that she didn’t move up by herself. She had a lot of encouragement and assistance. “Erickson does a great job of simply recognizing people who truly care about what they do. They give you opportunities. Over the years, I’ve found this to be very encouraging and have truly appreciated the time and effort my mentors invested in me,” she explains. “At Maris Grove, everyone from my dining managers to my HR partners were invested in my growth with the company. I appreciate the time they took to show me how to navigate the systems. They helped shape me into a well-rounded manager. I benefitted from the leadership classes they ran as well as supporting me going offsite for a few leadership workshops.”

Siena Lakes offers tons of opportunities in the dining department as well. “One of our highest priorities as Siena Lakes is to foster a culture of personal growth and appreciation that provides our dedicated and diverse team of dining services professionals the experience and incentives to achieve ongoing career success,” says Executive Director Mike McCormick. “There is nothing more exciting than seeing team members make significant contributions and enjoy career advancements because of the opportunities they have been afforded to build their portfolio of skills.”

Missar has also enjoyed being able to have a personal life outside of Erickson Senior Living. “It is universally known that being in this industry can be physically taxing on someone--along with making it next to impossible to have a relationship, let alone a family,” says Missar. “The work/life balance Erickson Senior Living allows me to have as well as the endless opportunities to grow within the company are the main reasons I have enjoyed my journey with Erickson Senior Living.”

Interested in checking out exciting opportunities in Dining Services at Siena Lakes or other career paths? Please visit the careers website!