For Charles Dellaria, leadership means always being present for those around him. Charles is the General Manager of Holiday Ormond in the Pines, a Holiday by Atria senior living community and a place where employees are excited to clock in.

“The staff always looks forward to going to work with Charlie,” says Yunia Gonzalez, Regional Vice President.

Charles recently earned the Florida Senior Living Association’s 2023 Outstanding Leadership Award, an acknowledgment Yunia says was a long time coming.

One of the promises in Atria’s Employee Value Proposition is centered around recognizing employees for professional milestones and personal achievements. Yunia nominated Charles shortly after witnessing his response to Hurricane Ian in 2022.

“He was so steady on delivering safety and making sure residents were okay,” she says. The storm caused significant damage to Woodlands Village, another Holiday by Atria community nearby, so Charles and his team welcomed 45 of their residents to stay at Ormond in the Pines.

As the storm raged, one resident had a health emergency. Because 911 responders didn’t know when they’d be able to mobilize, Charles drove the resident to the ER himself. On another occasion, Charles helped a fellow employee who was stuck in flooded streets get home safely.

Throughout the ordeal, Charles spent four days straight with his community, sleeping on a couch in his office. Even in the aftermath of the hurricane, Charles assures there were good times to be had.

“We had a lot of fun,” he said, after recounting several impromptu events and community gatherings.

If finding moments of joy in an emergency doesn’t speak to the sense of camaraderie in Charles’ community, his numbers certainly do. In 2023, Atria rolled out an online Employee Engagement Survey across the entire portfolio for the first time. Ormond in the Pines’ participation score was 93% and their results earned the community a 2023-2024 certification from the Great Place to Work Institute.

Charles credits the survey results and certification to the way he leads. “I’m constantly out there with them,” he says.

The way Charles tells it, he’s just doing his job, but his endurance and dedicated team members make it clear. As Yunia says, “It matters where you work. But who you work with matters more.”