Seasons celebrates 10th Anniversary Milestones

2019 marks the tenth anniversary of Seasons Retirement Communities.  Since 2009, our company has grown an impressive three times our original size with 21 locations in ON and AB, employing over 1,490 individuals.

“We are proud of our ten-year track record of delivering quality care and service to our residents,” says Mike Lavallée, CEO. “This would not be possible without our dedicated Team Members, who are enthusiastic about working with seniors and demonstrate their commitment to great customer service and care, day after day.”

Here is a look back at the most important milestones that shaped the Seasons brand.

A brand is born!

Seasons Retirement Communities was established in 2009.  CEO Mike Lavallée and COO LeighAnne Voll were employees #1 and #2, respectively.  They are considered to be our company’s ‘Thought Leaders’ as they were tasked with establishing our operating platform and corporate brand. 

Partnership with Disney Institute  

Seasons has always aimed to provide excellent care and customer service.  When it came time to form the company’s service culture, our leaders looked for an inspirational model and found it in Disney, an iconic company known for its great customer service. We partnered with the Disney Institute for three years to learn their business principles and employee training methods. We now make sure to talk constantly about company culture and the importance of interacting with each other and our customers.

Launch of Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents 

We believe it’s important to acknowledge the accomplishments of our residents. The annual Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents program highlights the remarkable lives of our residents and celebrates them.

As a company, we believe that when we take time to connect with our residents and show them that we care, we can affect positive change in people’s lives. The Remarkable Residents program has a lasting, positive impact on the residents whose stories are heard. It also positively affects our team members who learn something personal and amazing about the residents they serve each day.

Introduction of Mildred & Service Fanatics program 

We introduced our employee intranet portal, ‘Mildred’ to provide team members with direct access to Seasons policies and procedures, training modules, internal communications and directories. Most importantly, Mildred was created to keep service team leaders connected to the brand and to one another.  Disney taught us that we needed a place to record our company legacy and share our employees’ stories. We also hosted a contest and named this spot ‘Mildred’, to honour the many Mildreds that have lived in Seasons retirement homes!

Service excellence starts with our team members. The purpose of the Service Fanatics program is to recognize team members for carrying out our culture and values. We give shout-outs when we catch team members being ‘Brilliant at the Basics’ or creating ‘Wow Moments’ for our residents. Name tag flags are awarded at Service Fanatics Meetings to represent the hard work of our employees.

Establish Embrace Today™ philosophy

The Seasons Memory Care philosophy is based on authentic relationships.

Each of our highly trained service team members commits to “Embrace Today:” which means they approach the workday with a promise to do his or her best to make all interactions positive and meaningful, one moment at a time.

That is why Seasons also fosters an unhurried environment where building genuine friendships with our residents and their families is prioritized over our daily routine. Above all, we strive to really understand our residents in order to adjust our interactions and respond with whatever is needed at the moment.

Alberta acquisition

In 2016 Seasons successfully acquired all nine Sunrise Village Communities located primarily in the Edmonton to Calgary corridor of Alberta. The acquisition of this portfolio and then The Gardens at West Highlands in Lethbridge, provided geographic diversity for Seasons portfolio and laid the foundation for future growth in Western Canada.

Spread the Love Party & Food Bank Donations

To help tackle food insecurity in our communities, corporate office employees and service team leaders participated in a Which Wich® Superior Sandwiches, Project PB&J® Spreading Party. In one hour, Seasons employees made 8,937 PB&J sandwiches. All of the sandwiches were donated to local food banks near the GTA. Seasons also donated an additional $500 to Second Harvest.

While our staff and residents also participate in local fundraising for a variety of important causes, Seasons’ primary corporate giving efforts are focused on food banks in the communities where we operate retirement homes.

“HungerCount 2016”, a report from Food Banks Canada indicates that as of March 2016, food banks assisted 335,944 people in Ontario and 79,293 in Alberta. Of those numbers, 16.1 per cent of food bank users in Canada are seniors, aged 65 and older. This finding hits Seasons close to home because many of our retirement communities are located in small towns. We want to fight food insecurity for everyone, but especially for vulnerable seniors living in our Ontario and Alberta communities. Since we began working with Food Banks Ontario and Food Banks Alberta in 2016, we have donated a total of $50,500 along with 3,700 turkeys and hams.  

FUN programs: Kickin’ It Up, Seniorosity, Pennies for Poppies

Kickin’ It Up at Seasons!

Kickin’ It Up at Seasons is a company-wide initiative that started in 2017 to encourage our residents to move more. There are many health benefits to increasing physical activity. For instance, exercise helps to improve strength, endurance and balance.

Pennies for Poppies

Seasons is proudly home to many veterans. In November, each Seasons Retirement Community participates in our Pennies for Poppies program by collecting pocket change donations in support of its local Royal Canadian Legion. Seasons team members ‘plant’ hundreds of paper poppies in the gardens to create a visual display of commitment to honour the brave men and women who served our country.

Seniorosity

To keep residents connected to the community and realize the benefits of volunteering, Seasons Retirement Communities launched its newest signature program, Seniorosity™ in June 2018.

Seniorosity™ is designed to provide opportunities for residents to connect with people in the greater community, build friendships, provide meaning and increase feelings of happiness.

Partnership with celebrity Chefs Michael & Anna Olson

We understand how important it is to serve quality food that our residents love to eat. To further demonstrate this commitment, Seasons launched a partnership with celebrity chefs Michael and Anna Olson in 2018.

Each month, all Seasons Retirement Communities bake and serve a delicious Anna Olson dessert. Twice annually, Michael provides seasonal menus for our Dining Services Managers to serve. In addition, Michael and Anna have attended various onsite events to serve some of their signature dishes, to judge our Apple Pie Baking contests or to educate the community on different foods and their preparation.