Supernova Winner 2020

Shelby Austell

– Summit Hills Supernova Winner 2020 –

The Supernova is the highest individual honor that our company gives and each year, one individual on the leadership team at Summit Hills is voted as the community’s Supernova. The winner of this award is voted on by their colleagues and the honor is bestowed upon them at the company’s yearly Annual Meeting.

The criteria for voting are based on upholding our company’s mission to be caring professionals dedicated to quality services. Additionally, this individual will consistently deliver excellent customer service (to Members and colleagues), lead positively with integrity, take accountability, put the team before themselves and will embody the company’s vision to create communities where people live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

This year, we are proud to congratulate our Human Resources Director as the recipient of the 2020 Summit Hills Supernova Award. This honor was bestowed during Summit Hills Supernova Celebration on Friday, August 14th at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“It gives me the greatest satisfaction to see potential in someone when they don’t see it in themselves, constantly encouraging and uplifting them and watching them grow and do big things in the world.”

Shelby grew up in Greenville, South Carolina with aspirations of becoming a nurse. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and worked in the healthcare industry for close to ten years. She always had a passion for leadership and obtained her Masters in Business and Healthcare Management from Liberty University. During her Masters coursework she enjoyed taking classes about Human Resources which sparked her passion for the field. At Summit Hills, Shelby combines her healthcare work and passion for leadership as the community’s Human Resources Director.

Interview with Shelby Austell

How do you feel being chosen as your community’s Supernova by your peers?

Honestly I was so shocked to win, I didn’t expect it at all. I was so overcome with emotions – the things my teammates said about me were just amazing, humbling and to think that I made that big of an impact on them as well as our employees and community it’s the best feeling. I can be very hard and direct sometimes but I am also that person that is their friend and will laugh with them after a disagreement. This is by far the best leadership team I have ever worked with, we trust each other, learn from each other, respect each other and love each other. The funny thing about this is that last year when our Lifestyle Advisor, Trina Roe won this award, I asked her if I could take a picture with her award. I hung it on my computer and it just reminded me everyday to serve out my purpose and live out our guiding principles. Award or not, with those Guiding Principles I would be successful in life, so to have it come full circle is amazing.

Shelby Austell

In your position, how do you fulfill the company’s Guiding Principles (People First Always, We Exist To Serve Our Members and We Have A Responsibility to be Full)?

I love our Guiding Principles. During orientation, I always explain to the new team members that if you can live out these principles not just at work but in your personal life you will see so much growth and blessings in all aspects of your world.

People First, Always

My sole purpose is to serve our employees, whatever their needs are – if that means coming in early, staying late, walking around dancing music passing out candy, just finding ways to always make our employees feel valued, appreciated and like their voice is heard.

We Exist to Serve Our Members

I love this community because it’s truly like walking around with 200 grandparents everyday and to me my grandparents mean everything to me. Getting to know them personally, learning from them, listening to their stories – knowing that just sitting and talking to them, smiling and laughing with them can brighten not only their day but be a blessing in mine.

We Have a Responsibility to Be Full

Hiring the right employees to care for our Members is so important to me. You can hire anyone but I always tell people in a job interview there are two things I look for and that is someone that has a servant’s heart and someone that wants to grow because you can’t teach those qualities. A servant’s heart is needed to keep us 100% occupied because it takes a special person to love and care for our members.

What do you want people to know about living at a retirement community?

Summit Hills isn’t just a retirement home, it’s a beautiful, one of a kind, welcoming community. Your ability to grow at any position, your ability to serve Members that have experienced more than we will ever get to see or do, the feeling of being a part of a family. I like to tell people I will never forget the first day I walked into Summit Hills for my last interview – it was breathtakingly beautiful from the outside gates, to the manicured laws to the inside sparkling chandelier; it smelt so clean not like a typical community and everyone was so nice and inviting. It’s special when you walk in and every person you come into contact with smiles and introduces themselves and makes you feel welcome without even knowing who you are. To me that was when I knew I had found my home. Our Members have more fun at Summit Hills doing exciting activities/events, enjoying the most delicious food and being loved by the best staff and that alone separates us from everyone else. It’s the ultimate experience to keep you forever young.

Positions that are eligible to vote and win the Supernova Award include: HR Director, Business Manager, Assistant Business Manager, Care Services Administrator, Director of Nursing, Assistant Director of Nursing, Resident Care Director, Lifestyle Advisor, Lifestyle Advisor – Care Services, Move-In Coordinator, Social Director, Activity Director, Wellness Director, Director of Facility Services, Director of Dining Services, Executive Chef, Client Services Manager (Live Long Well Care).