Atria supports a culture where residents are empowered to stay active, set goals and find purpose – and where employees are encouraged to grow personally and professionally. Just ask Atria’s Senior Vice President of Functional Operations, Abby Figueroa. Abby has charted a meteoric course on her career path, in large part because her commitment to serving residents has uncovered talents she never knew she had.

On the move

Originally from New Mexico, Abby moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in 2007 to start her career as a Staff Accountant at Atria’s Support Center. That role dovetailed well with her skillset. “I’m an introvert, so community accounting was a good fit for me,” Abby said. “At the Support Center, you’re there to support the communities, so it provided an opportunity to take in the scope of the company from a bird’s-eye view.”

Two years later, Abby saw that a Community Business Director position was open at Atria Vista del Rio in her home state, and she decided to apply. To this day, she still considers that role one of the most eye-opening experiences of her life. In her six years there, Abby grew from a numbers-oriented specialist into a leader adept at everything from helping the community staff sign up for benefits to assisting residents with setting up their Wi–Fi and finding their grandkids’ addresses when sending out valentines.

“I felt like I was making a difference in the big things and the small things,” Abby said. “It’s like I came alive personally.”

“This is why I love what I’m doing”

After subsequent promotions to regional leadership positions, her skill and experience during the COVID-19 pandemic led to her current role leading the community operations that help keep residents and staff safe. In this position, Abby regularly communicates protocols out to the field so everyone is on the same page.

Abby attributes her success to being empowered by Atria to blend the complementary sides of her interests – the detail and process side, and the human side of supporting residents, their families and her fellow employees.

She loves the energy of walking into an Atria community or giving prospective residents and families a tour for the first time. She is inspired by residents who were trailblazing women in their respective fields and cleared the path for Abby to be a leader today. She’s moved when she witnesses residents rediscovering their talents and discovering new purposes.

“To me, the most amazing stories at Atria are how community life helps residents really blossom. They take up painting or volunteering. They’re able to resume having a relationship with their daughter as their daughter again, not as their caregiver,” Abby said. “It’s exciting to see. Those are the moments when you’re like, ‘This is cool. This is why I love what I’m doing.’”