Norma Sandoval loves family. And she loves working with members of her own family at Country Meadows Retirement Communities as well within the warm family environment that the family-owned organization has created.
Norma Sandoval enjoys
A Lebanon resident, Sandoval came to Country Meadows in 2002 as a Dining Associate at the Hershey campus. She worked her way through school, and up the ladder. Today she serves as the campus Receptionist where in addition to answering calls, she greets visitors and helps residents and co-workers with numerous tasks. She is a director of first impressions, and has many responsibilities to help resident and co-workers navigate through the day. She enjoys her job, especially the relationships and advice she’s gained.
“I love my job. There’s so much interaction with residents and their family members as well as my co-workers. I like getting to know little tidbits from their lives,” she says. “It’s a privilege, even to be a small part of someone’s life.”
Honoring and helping people are values instilled in Sandoval. “We, my culture, have a very high respect for the elderly. They are to be looked after, to be cared for and comforted,” she says. “We would not be who we are without them. If it wasn’t for their life experiences, their sacrifices, their values they passed down to us, we would not be the people that we are.”
Sandoval often talks about her job with her family at home. Her family members noticed her commitment to her Country Meadows family and decided to come and work for the organization as well. Both her sister and cousin work on campus as a Personal Care Associate and Dining Associate, respectively. Sandoval loves seeing them at home and at work. “We are very close and have a very playful rivalry that adds to our relationship. I really like working here and what I do, and now they like it too,” she says. “It’s awesome to go home and see them and come here to see them too!”
As a family-owned company, Country Meadows has many family groups working at its 11 locations. The family of former Pennsylvania Governor George Leader leads the organization and works alongside team members every day. “It’s not every day, or even once a year, that people get to see their CEO walking through the building, talking to everyone,” says Sandoval. “I’ve seen Mr. Leader walking through here so often I’ve lost count. [Caring] is a value here. It’s not just said and then never followed through—you see [all the Leader family members] here. I can’t say enough how well the family atmosphere resonates through the campus.”
While content in her current role, Sandoval plans to continue to climb the ladder, perhaps taking on a managerial role in a few years. Her sister and cousin also have moved up by taking advantage of Country Meadows’ educational programs. “If you are interested in growth, this is the place to do it. If you love the senior population, if you have an honor and respect for the elderly, I would recommend Country Meadows to grow not only your career, but to grow as a person.”
In addition to strengthening her career, Sandoval also learns a lot about life from the residents. “Our residents have been through so much and give advice from their life to help you. They’ve taught me to have patience; the importance to move ata slower pace no matter what is going on; and understanding,” reflects Sandoval. “They’ve gone through so much. I choose to believe they are the young at heart, and that very much reflects on us.”