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What Makes Sequoia Living Stand Apart? Its Winning People.

Awards. Award with a star.

“At Sequoia Living, we prioritize people. Together, we celebrate superpowers and strive to have the right people in the right positions with the right support to excel each day,” said President and CEO Sara McVey. One way Sequoia Living celebrates its superheroes is with the annual Jamison Leadership Awards and Star Awards.

Three staff members received the 2022 Jamison Leadership Awards: Temika Moore, LVN at Viamonte; Kriselle Padua, LVN at The Sequoias San Francisco; and Samantha Fargeon, director of resident services at The Tamalpais Marin.

Sequoia Living Nurses

(L-R): Temika Moore, Kriselle Padua, and Samantha Fargeon


Moore gives residents 100% of her attention during the night shift. She creates a natural and comfortable environment for everyone around her. Padua has provided support to people living with dementia in memory care for the last six years. She says coming to work each day is memorable because of the lives she touches. Fargeon was recognized for her skills as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), which has been extremely valuable throughout the pandemic. She leads with kindness and compassion while providing counseling sessions, meditation classes, and support to 300 residents and 200 fellow staff members. She continues to remind her peers to take care of themselves.

Well-being is a top priority throughout Sequoia Living’s retirement communities and senior centers. Staff members continue to go above and beyond to protect each community and its residents. Over the last two years, the senior living industry as a whole experienced numerous challenges including staffing shortages, COVID-related safety mandates, and the daunting task of keeping the older population safe from an invisible threat.

Throughout the pandemic, staff members have undertaken new, challenging and evolving roles. People like Samantha, Temika and Kriselle work tirelessly, to help residents feel safe, stay healthy, and have their needs met. These individuals provide emotional support, help with daily tasks, and ensure that each community runs smoothly.

Stars Shine Brighter at Sequoia Living

The annual awards program has been a long-standing tradition during the nonprofit’s 64+ year history. It’s one of the many ways Sequoia Living recognizes its employees.

Ten employees received the 2022 Star Awards for their dedication and support provided to older adults. The awards ceremony honored the outstanding employees who touch the lives of seniors every day through their professionalism, commitment to excellence, quality of care, and diligence.

“The Star Awards are presented annually to employees and groups of employees who model Sequoia Living’s core values of service, integrity, stewardship, teamwork, excellence, and respect,” said Martha Atwood, Chief Human Resources and Compliance Officer.

Star Award winners include Diane Kostelak, Executive Assistant, Marie Ridley, Life Enrichment Assistant, and Paul Robitsch, Receptionist, from The Sequoia Portola Valley. Jhoanne Gan, Medical Administrative Specialist from The Sequoias San Francisco. Abner Alberto, Driver, and James Laco, Maintenance, from Viamonte at Walnut Creek. Rosie Cavan, Senior Accounting, Carlos Majano, Maintenance Tech, and Jennifer Williard, MDS Coordinator from The Tamalpais Marin. Leon Schmidt, Supervisor, Cinnamon Smith, Resident Service Coordinator, Victoriya Kushnir, Resident Service Coordinator, and Jane Lam, Resident Service Coordinator from the Community Services program.

Each Star Award recipient receives a $500 bonus, an extra day off with pay, and an engraved crystal star. Each Jamison Award winner receives up to $5,000 to support their professional development and leadership skills. The Jamison Award is named after a current resident and board member. These awards are an opportunity to shed the light on individuals, communities, and programs making the organization stronger and reminding all why Sequoia Living is a great place to live, work, and thrive.

We encourage you or someone you know to take a look at our open positions. Find your passion and purpose at Sequoia Living. Come grow with us.