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Sunrise Designers Named 2023 EFA Design Champions

Celebrate innovation and excellence in senior living design as Environments for Aging names Nicole Bergquist and Tina Ruiz-Ellen, Senior Directors at Sunrise Senior Living, as the 2023 EFA Design Champions. Explore their visionary approach and commitment to transforming the landscape of senior living environments.

In a momentous celebration of innovation and dedication to senior living design, Environments for Aging (EFA) proudly announces the 2023 Design Champions. Among these achievers, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on the exceptional achievement of Nicole Bergquist and Tina Ruiz-Ellen, Senior Directors on the Design team at Sunrise Senior Living.

EFA's Design Champions awards program, an annual beacon of recognition, honors professionals committed to transforming the landscape of senior living environments. Nicole and Tina stand tall among the champions, advocating for meaningful change in the lives of residents, staff, and the broader community.

Reflecting on their achievement, Nicole and Tina express, "Humble excitement, the opportunity to be recognized as a team for this award could not have come without our design department’s hard work and dedication to improving the lives of seniors."

Recognized for their outstanding contributions, Nicole and Tina have demonstrated a tireless mission to evolve and improve the senior living sector. Together, they reflect on the philosophy that drives their department: "Paul and Terry Klaassen’s quote: ‘The best senior living is yet to be invented’ drives our department forward. We consistently strive to bring the best in senior living to each built environment."

Tina shares that, “serving others, creating experiences and elevating design has always been an integral part of my life.” The mission-driven industry attracted her to senior living design and ultimately, Sunrise. “It was extremely meaningful to have the ability to combine my personal value of serving others, with my hospitality and residential design background to create unique experiences for all seniors.”

Echoing this sentiment, Nicole added, “I’ve always wanted to help improve the lives of others. Working for Sunrise allows me to bring that value to work every day. Our department prioritizes our residents and team members through both the experiences we create in the environments we design and the interactions we have with each other.”

The Winter 2023 issue of Environments for Aging will feature a profile of Nicole and Tina, shedding light on their visionary approach to senior living design. From skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory care to independent living, their senior-specific solutions resonate with a commitment to the built environment enhancing the quality of life for seniors.

The celebration doesn't end with the publication; it extends to the stage of the 2024 Environments for Aging Conference + Expo. Scheduled for April 2024, in Atlanta, this event will honor Nicole and Tina, among others, during the magazine’s annual awards luncheon.

Join us in applauding the achievements of Nicole Bergquist and Tina Ruiz-Ellen, true Design Champions who embody the spirit of evolution and improvement in senior living design.

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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