Joseph Celebrates 17 Years with Skylark!
Seventeen years ago, I met Joseph Ben-dor. While job searching, he graciously agreed to help do some driving for Skylark in the fall of 2006. I think a mutual friend twisted his arm to help. Our Johns Creek center had just opened in April of that year, and I really needed some help. And, show up he did to help with the driving.
Over the following weeks we got to know each other. I discovered that he was one of the few people who really knows adult day as he had worked at the old Weinstein center at the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody for several years. Weinstein was one of the first day programs in Georgia with a rich history of vibrant and engaging activity programs and industry leadership. Eventually, I hired him and together we have built what is now Skylark.
We are fortunate to have several long-time employees. Joseph being our longest serving. Over the years, much of what he has preached from day one has become one of our Core Values.
Our center nurse is Carolanne Wright, who has been with us for 16 years. She is our second longest serving employee and celebrates her 17th year in 2024. As she writes about Joseph, she highlights one of our Core Values:
I have worked with Joseph for 16 of the 17 years that he has been here. In all of that time, his focus has never changed. “It’s about the members, it’s not about us.” He truly cares about the members, and he leads by example. Making sure the members are cared for, are safe, are enjoying themselves, and are well fed. Everything else is secondary. He is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. He would truly give you the shirt off his back.
His leadership at Skylark is the reason it thrives.
Running an adult day center is hard work. We manage different regulatory regimes (some of which are contradictory). There are many moving parts. Joseph and I spent many years figuring it out. Fran Weigard, our Director of New Member Services, writes about his commitment to excellence and work ethic that it takes to make it true:
Joseph is one of the hardest working, dedicated people I know. He is truly committed to making sure every Member feels loved and has a good experience at the Centers. He is very efficient and puts a high value for excellence in everything he does, but he balances it with grace. Skylark is very fortunate to have such a strong leader as Executive Director for 17 years. Skylark wouldn’t be the same without him.
Skylark has thrived because of our associates. It’s hard work finding new employees who share our passion and love for caring for seniors. It also involves helping some associates find their joy elsewhere, while mourning and celebrating with cherished associates that decide to move to new opportunities. His supervision and management is known for being no-nonsense and honest. Everyone knows where they stand and understands the expectations. It’s not uncommon to meet someone at Skylark who has been with Skylark for 5, 10, and even 17 years. Shannon Shinholster, a member of our New Member Services and Recruiting team, writes:
Joseph is one of the most amazing supervisors I have had the chance to work with. He is very fair, firm, consistent and an advocate for his team members. He has the best sense of humor and always makes me cry laughing! Always willing to jump in and support his team in any aspect, be it professional or personal. Joseph is a GEM and we are lucky to have him. Cheers to you for 17 years of service Joseph!
Finally, let me end with a word of thanks. Seventeen years ago, I could never have imagined the successes and challenges that we have navigated from filling with joyful seniors, opening multiple centers, and managing the throes of the COVID Pandemic. We’ve shared stories and pictures of our children growing up. It’s been a wonderful journey of discovery and success as we’ve built Skylark to be Georgia’s adult day leader.
Thank you for what you have done for our Members and their families.