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40 Years of Serving Hearts

Celebrating the Sunrise Team of more than 22,000 serving hearts.

For more than 40 years, Sunrise has proudly created more than a warm and inviting home for seniors; we’ve built a lifestyle centered around holistic, dependable, industry-leading, and deeply personalized services where every resident can live with dignity and purpose. Through the last four decades, and even more so two years into a global pandemic, creating this unique customer experience is only possible thanks to our team of more than 22,000 serving hearts. These dedicated, passionate and skilled team members show up every day, providing support and care, building meaningful connections, and showcasing an endless amount of empathy, kindness, and love.

The Sunrise team has been at the very heart of this company and of every community since Paul Klaassen and Terry Klaassen opened the first Sunrise in the early 1980s. “I'm very, very aware that the only reason we even got to open Sunrise number two and then number three, much less hundreds, was somehow or another we attracted incredibly talented people, often from an incredibly diverse set of fields, some with healthcare experience, many without, who were just drawn to this work,” reflected Paul. “My ongoing message is of deep appreciation for the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people - people who have made Sunrise what it is today. And I, I don't think we can ever say thank you enough.”

It takes a special kind of person to choose a service-oriented career, and someone even more special to join the senior living industry. Chief Executive Office Jack Callison knows that for many, choosing to join the Sunrise team means much more than accepting just another job. “This isn’t just a job, it’s a journey. It’s a career. It’s a mission and a way to give back,” he said. “And there's a path, that's consistent with their life goals, where if I want to continue growing with the organization, and I have the skill, and the will, and the passion, there's a very clear path of development that I can pursue as a team member with Sunrise.”

Thousands of team members have chosen to make Sunrise their career, many having worked in the same community for decades. Many others joined Sunrise after being inspired by friends and family members who are also part of the Sunrise team. And just like we pride ourselves on a personalized experience for residents, team members can also expect a unique career experience that encourages them to lean into their individual strengths, backgrounds, talents, and personalities.

For Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Kay (MK) Gribbons, creating a work setting where people can be their full selves is a top priority, “I want to ensure our team members can fulfill their passion to serve in a nurturing environment that fosters diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” she said. “I look forward to supporting our team grow and thrive by continuing to listen and learn. Together, we’ll seek opportunities to benefit our team as well as the cherished residents and families we serve.”

Sunrise’s commitment to team members is reinforced with our foundational principles and values, our ongoing training and development programs, and a robust listening strategy. It’s a big part of what makes Sunrise a great place to work and enables us to grow by recruiting and retaining top talent. And, just as we continually evolve our communities and operations to meet the changing needs and expectations of our residents and families, we are also focused on understanding what matters most to current and potential team members so we may adapt and shape the best possible employee experience into the future.

“The Sunrise team is amazing, and I am passionate about ensuring each team member feels supported, heard, and fulfilled,” said MK. “As we look to the future of Sunrise, we know we will only succeed because of the hard work of this great team. As such, we are committed to focusing on programs that develop diverse talent at all levels of the organization and encourage the next generation of leaders who will help us continue to champion the quality of life for all seniors.”

As we celebrate love this February, we encourage you to give special thanks to the serving hearts in your lives, most especially Sunrise team members.

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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