At Galerie Living, we support our communities through a commitment to excellent leadership, consistent execution and well-nourished personal relationships. This commitment ensures that every resident, family member, loved one, or future neighbor is welcomed into our communities with open arms. It also ensures that the excitement we have for the future of dignified senior living is carried through in every aspect of our approach.
Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Lisa Swafford has helped to bring the Galerie Living vision to life, through her constant attentiveness and eagerness to inspire joy while solving problems. Her guidance has garnered the admiration of her colleagues, residents, and fellow community leaders.
Lisa’s calling to senior living was first ignited through her time in the Girl Scouts, having “adopted” a grandmother from a local nursing home. She recalls visiting Grandma Vivian every Sunday for roughly a decade, checking in on her and offering her love and support. Lisa saw the positive impact that she could create with seniors – simply by being there, hearing their stories, and spending time with them. She followed this newfound interest and started volunteering in the dining room of an assisted living community, before eventually landing a job as the concierge.
It was through this position that Lisa began to see the massive impact she could have through her work. She reflects on this period fondly, recognizing that as a concierge, she was the first face many residents saw as they entered their new home. Through her kindness and attentiveness, Lisa helped them feel welcomed, and the relationships that grew between her and the residents blossomed. Residents would stop by the front desk and share stories and laughs with Lisa, and she found that the impact of her presence in their lives was far from a one way street – she was growing and flourishing as much as the residents were. She found passion and purpose in the time she was spending with those around her. Ultimately, it inspired her to study Gerontology and pursue a position as Director of Community Relations.
The word “dignity” is often used when discussing the future of senior living. Dignity through kindling independence. Dignity through celebrating histories. Dignity through beautiful design and exceptional care. While these are important pieces of a dignified life, Lisa reminds us of an equally, if not more important facet of dignity; the dignity of being seen and valued for our time and company.
In her career, Lisa was drawn towards sales as a way to build relationships with seniors from a position where she could make a genuine difference in their lives.
“I really wanted to be a part of that initial discovery with the family, learning about the person, seeing what we could do to help, helping them move in, and watching them thrive – that was the reward for me”
Lisa’s success is not just the result of “effective sales tactics” or “good business strategy,” it’s the result of valuing the residents’ time, experiences, and priorities. She notes that sales in this industry is a constant commitment to the residents, and as she’s shifted into operations, she feels even more empowered to fulfill that promise.
“We have to prove to our residents and their families every day that what they invested into is going to make them happy and that it’s what they want.”
Lisa’s leadership is driven by her compassion for the seniors she welcomes into our communities and for our team members who bring our ideals of a better senior living industry to fruition. Every day, she forms and fosters relationships with her residents, creating an environment that truly feels like home.