When dedication and compassion are coupled with 23 years of unwavering service, remarkable outcomes can happen.

Such is the case with Ingrid Weber – Life Guidance Director at Atria El Camino Gardens – who recently received the California Assisted Living Association’s 2024 Excellence in Service Award.

Even in the face of such a high honor, Ingrid’s characteristic humility shines through.

“Everyone told me I deserved it, which makes me a little embarrassed,” she says. “I do my job every day because I love it.”

With nearly 23 years in the senior living industry, Ingrid began her career as a caregiver, where she discovered a passion for providing compassionate care to older adults.

“You can’t perform well in this work without putting your heart into it,” she stresses.

Dedication to her craft led Ingrid to challenge herself at work. Continuously learning new skills and solving problems led to a promotion to Life Guidance Director, overseeing care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

When asked about helping older adults who are confronted with these challenges, Ingrid’s passion is clear. “Memory care residents can often recall those they have connected with. When they have concerns or needs, they’ll come right into my office and talk with me. They know me,” she explains.

Her relationships with residents are deeply fulfilling for Ingrid, reminding her that every effort she invests is worthwhile.

“I love making a difference in someone’s day,” she says. “Even if it’s just a 30-second encounter, those moments make all the work worth it. What I enjoy the most is interactions with our residents.”

Despite her humility, Ingrid’s recent accolade comes as no surprise to her Atria colleagues who know her well and witness her passion for serving residents.

“I see her as an inspiration and role model,” says Christina Ortiz, Assistant Executive Director of Atria El Camino Gardens. “Ingrid deserves this recognition. She loves what she does so much and doesn’t do any of it for praise. We need even more people like Ingrid in senior living.”

Originally from the Philippines, Ingrid views her work not as a job, but as a continuation of her previous vocation as a teacher and the values that reflect her heritage.

“In Filipino culture, we cherish and take care of our elderly. It’s embedded in you from a young age,” she says.

Ingrid also credits her success to lessons passed down from her parents. Her father, a carpenter, taught Ingrid how to be a leader. “He always spoke to others with respect and treated everyone well,” she recalls.

For over two decades, Ingrid has exemplified the true essence of caregiving, fostering deep connections with the residents she serves and prioritizing their happiness and well-being every day.

“I’m very fortunate to have a job I love!” Ingrid says. “This community is a haven for me. It’s my happy place!”

The residents and families she serves, coworkers at El Camino Gardens, and all of Atria Senior Living feel fortunate as well.