An interview with CC DeGraff…

Executive Director of Kensington Sierra Madre CC DeGraff with Kensey the dogJust before the New Year, CC DeGraff joined our team at The Kensington Sierra Madre. Since taking the helm, she has spent countless hours with our residents, family members, and team members – sharing, learning, inspiring, and supporting.

For those Kensington friends and family members who are not with us locally, or who haven’t had a chance to meet CC in person, we wanted to give you a little more insight into who she is, and what she hopes to accomplish at The Kensington. Learn more about our new Executive Director in this brief interview…

How did you get your start in Senior Living?

In high school, I volunteered at a convalescent home. I befriended a senior who had no family and became her surrogate granddaughter, visiting her every week throughout my high school years. She passed away the year before I left to college.

I began working as a receptionist while I was going to college. I loved it so much that I remained and worked in different roles from administrative assistant, business office and management.

Describe 5 of your most meaningful contributions to senior living and/or The Kensington.

  1. Starting a safety program in a community and maintaining a safe injury free environment for years.
  2. Assisting team members with their education so they could advance in their careers.
  3. Creating new life enrichment programs to enhance the lives of seniors who do not typically participate in daily activities.
  4. Incorporating pet therapy into our program for resident engagement.
  5. Assisting residents when they have had no family or friends to assist and ensuring their well-being.

Why are you proud to work at The Kensington?

I am honored to work at The Kensington because of the wonderful culture which is felt the minute you walk through the entrance. My values are aligned with this community who cares about the seniors we have a privilege to know and take care of as well as sincere bonds with the team members that work in this environment.

What professional expertise/skill are you most excited to bring to The Kensington, and why?

I am excited to bring my passion for development and education to the community.

Describe the goals you want to achieve for The Kensington?

I hope to inspire, encourage and touch the lives of others in a positive way.

List 5 words that describe your personality.

Thoughtful, Positive, Resilient, Determined, Compassionate

What differentiates you from Executive Directors at other communities?

I am unique as I am the only soul with my particular combination of positivity, joyfulness, resiliency, compassion and determination.

Describe your relationship with The Kensington’s residents.

I see our residents as extended members of my family who can provide such wisdom and inspiration.

Describe your relationship with The Kensington team members.

I see my colleagues as resources for greatness as each individual has strengths that we can all learn from and share.

Who or what event is your greatest inspiration?

My greatest inspiration is life. Every living being is unique and taking the time to appreciate and be grateful for our experience is inspiring.

Name ONE word that sums you up (Yes, just one!):  HAPPY

What other tidbits, if any, are you willing to share that you’d like others to know about you:

I love inspiring others and making a difference in the lives of others. I enjoy volunteering at the homeless shelter and animal shelter. We can all positively affect the lives of others with something as simple as a smile or kind gesture.

My two children and my husband are my foundation.

What are some other things you would like others to know about you?

I have a love for all animals and was on the board of a local humane society (The San Gabriel Humane Society) for 15 years. I started their dog-walking program and am very proud of the improvements we did for the shelter. I enjoy volunteering and assisting where I can. I was also involved with helping the homeless population.

I love outdoor activity. Hiking and scuba diving are my favorites. I love being in nature and outdoors. I also love to travel and explore new countries. At home, I love reading.

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