Whether interacting face-to-face with residents and planning activities daily, or cooking behind the scenes in the kitchen, every employee at Ovation Chai Point plays a role in positively affecting the residents.

Two employees who take their roles very seriously, and continuously offer outstanding care and service to residents are; cook, Desiree Winston, and activities coordinator, Ahava Mann. On June 15, 2021, Desiree and Ahava were recognized for their hard work and dedication. They were awarded the prestigious Lore & Martin Lewin Chai Point Employee Excellence Award.

“These two ladies continue to demonstrate outstanding commitment to our residents by going above and beyond their duties,” Chai Point Executive Director Trish Cohn says. “With an emphasis on resident care and teamwork, you continue to fulfill our mission every day.

“There are two things every resident asks themself when they wake up every morning, ‘what am I going to eat and what am I going to do today?’ Cohn continues. “With Desiree and Ahava, residents don’t worry.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

When Desiree is cooking, residents aren’t concerned about what they will be eating, they know it will be good.

Inspired by her grandmother, Desiree is known facility-wide for her soups and omelets. Residents can always tell when Desiree is in front of the stove cooking with love.

“I have to tell you, if you’re ever here on Friday mornings between 7 and 9 am, you have to come to the second floor breakfast room and eat one of Desi’s omelets,” Chai Point resident Barb Franczyk says. “They are to die for. I have told her many times she should open her own omelets only restaurant.”

Since she began working at Ovation Communities, Desiree has strived to become a better cook for the residents.

“I just want to say thank you and let the residents know that everything I do, I do for them,” Desiree says. “It’s the residents who make this job important to me. I come in everyday and think about what I can do to make their day better, and I appreciate the way they appreciate me.”

HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF ACTIVITY

When residents see Ahava roaming the halls, they know their day is going to be action-packed.

For two years, Ahava has worked hard to connect with residents.

“This is my niche,” Ahava said. “I love just sitting with residents and talking to them. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything extra, like putting in more time or more energy into making anything extra special. I’m just being me.”

Among the more popular actives Ahava organizes and plans for residents are a ceramics class, a share and tell open dialogue discussion, and a pre-COVID baking club.

“I have had many firsts here,” Chai Point resident Flora Abramson said. “Ahava helped me bake my first challah. I had never baked. I had never used dough, and Ahava made it a really fun experience.

“She also got me to do ceramics, which I had never done before. She has given me a lot of firsts. Thank you.”

This award and Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation fund were established in 2015 by Lore and Martin Lewin’s daughter: Sharon Lewin and her husband, Jack Edelstein, to honor Sharon’s parents.

When her parents moved to Chai Point, Sharon and Jack found great peace of mind knowing they were in an outstanding place that provides wonderful care and services.

Both Lore came and Martin were immigrants from Germany. Lore came to Milwaukee just before WWII, and Martin came after. They were both residents of Chai Point and greatly valued the dedicated employees who made their lives a blessing.

“My mom worked at Kohls and she knew how important customer service was,” Sharon Lewin said. “The frontline people are the most important people in any business. I don’t care if it’s somebody in Trish’s position or the maintenance department, the activities department, the cleaning department or the cooks and servers; they are the ones making sure the customers are happy and their needs are being met.

“I think the people that work so hard, should be rewarded,” Sharon continued. “That’s why this award is so important to us.”