Since 2004, Atria’s rigorous Quality Enhancement program has ensured life at our communities reflects the highest standards in the industry.

Quality, or ‘Q’ awards, are conferred to high-performing communities. Employees receive special recognition and can earn financial bonuses for their achievements.

Holiday Lighthouse Pointe in Chesapeake, Virginia recently received a Q Award for exceptional performance. General Manager Susan Kovacik and Assistant General Manager Dayna Carlson provided insight into the workplace culture behind their success.

Congratulations on the achievement! How did your staff respond to winning the award?


They were thrilled! It’s an honor to receive the award – it’s validating. With that said, the award reflects what our team does every day and the level of service we expect to provide. Our priority is to create a safe, vibrant environment for our residents and we work hard at that. We don’t think of it as working for an award.

What is your leadership style for overseeing this community? Are there specific principles or ideals that you focus on?


We try to lead by example. We focus on integrity and kindness toward residents and our staff in every interaction. It’s really second nature and has become part of the culture here. We have a solid team that works well together. One person can’t be everything to the community, so it really is about the team.


One of my greatest enjoyments is working with each employee, finding their gifts and goals, and positioning them to be successful. Our principles are to be flexible and use common sense. We must understand each other’s roles and how they influence one another so we can step in to help when and where it’s needed.

Do residents take pride in living at a Q Award-winning community?


They were proud of us, certainly. But it’s more personal than just that. They know we work hard. They see us jump in and serve daily. They’ll watch us wash the dishes. Our residents were proud, but they weren’t surprised. Our staff holds the bar high for themselves, and the residents see that.

How do you promote a positive and supportive workplace for your residents and staff?


We love what we do. We love our residents, and our staff enjoys working together. That doesn’t mean we’re walking around care-free all day, but we enjoy what we do.

Our staff knows what needs to be done day-to-day, and we offer each other helping hands. It feels good.

This is service work. We serve our residents. Each morning, we are here to get the coffee out and start their day.

But you know what? They help us start our days too.