On each of the talented teams supporting residents at Atria communities, certain figures stand out for their longevity and for the profound impact on the lives of those they serve.

At Atria Walnut Creek in California, one such person is Sulpi Caburi, a recent recipient of the California Assisted Living Association’s 2024 Excellence in Service Award.

As part of the dining room waitstaff for over three decades, Sulpi reflects the very best of her community and has earned the admiration of residents and coworkers alike.

“Sulpi takes care of people, from our residents to new employees. She is a true team player on every shift that she works,” says Kelli Greene, Executive Director of Atria Walnut Creek.

Sulpi smiles when discussing her recent CALA award. “This is the first award I’ve ever won! I was excited and also a bit nervous,” she says. “My husband and my two boys were very happy for me, as well.”

Her commitment to providing exemplary service goes beyond serving meals in the community dining room. Sulpi goes out of her way to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where residents feel valued.

“I like to entertain members of the community if they are down or feeling sad. I will sing to help them feel better – I get to be a singing server!” Sulpi laughs. “I sometimes sing about how much I care for them and how special they are. Making residents smile and feel happy is the best part of my job.”

Kelli notes that Sulpi has had several opportunities to ascend and take different positions in the company. But she has always wanted to remain part of the waitstaff.

“That’s because the dining room is the one place in the community where you get to visit with all our residents. Sulpi truly loves what she does, and the residents have a fantastic time with her,” Kelli notes.

Sulpi reflects on the importance of her career with Atria, “I’ve been serving seniors for nearly 31 years. For part of that time, I also cared for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. I treat our residents with the same care and service I’d give my own family.”

When asked about whether she has a favorite resident, Sulpi beams, “Well, they’re all my favorites! They are all very sweet people. They are always respectful and kind to my coworkers and me.”

Kelli recounts one occasion when Sulpi went above and beyond for the residents at Atria Walnut Creek, “At our Veterans Day celebration, she wore her red, white, and blue outfit to serve lunch. And after the meal, we had live entertainment. Sulpi danced with some of the residents in the dining room, which brought a smile to their faces.”

Sulpi’s exemplary service is marked by joy and compassion. She embodies the spirit of excellence that Atria Walnut Creek provides to its residents. Each day, Sulpi continues to uplift and inspire those around her.

“I always say the residents are like family to me,” she says. “And they like me, too!”