Teepa Snow TrainingPlymouth Harbor prides itself in being a leader in so many ways, so it should not be surprising that as steps are being taken to develop expanded assisted living and memory care, we are stepping out further than most.

We’ve already begun to increase the level of intensive instruction for all clinical staff so that they are adept at interacting with and providing the best of care for residents with dementia.  At Plymouth Harbor our goal is even larger.  We are committed to providing some level of training to all staff  in all departments, to develop a deeper understanding of the needs of residents with any stage of dementia and to build confidence in how to help each individual feel secure.

Plymouth Harbor has adopted the Positive Approach to Care (PAC) to accomplish this goal.  This model was created by the renowned Teepa Snow and widely recognized as the highest standard of care for those with all forms of dementia.  A wide range of residents, staff, and board members had an opportunity to learn from Teepa first hand during her visit to Plymouth Harbor in January.

After intensive training, Plymouth Harbor staff member, Brandi Burgess, BA, SW, was awarded national certification as a PAC trainer. She will be passing on her in-depth knowledge and experience as the facilitator of all training sessions here at Plymouth Harbor.

There will be twelve training sessions encompassing three levels of instruction.  The level of instruction will vary based on job assignment and the level of interaction with residents.  The first sessions took place on March 4th and March 18th, and included 24 clinical staff members.  The first round of training will continue through June 17, 2015 until all staff have participated.  Training will be offered on an annual basis to refresh skills at various levels of instruction.  In addition, an introduction to PAC will be provided during new staff orientation.

The experiential learning process consists of an adept blending of lecture, discussion, hands on practice, and hand-picked videos to provide information about the physical impact of progressive dementia.  More than once during training, various staff voiced, “so that’s why…”, as they picked up aha! moments and reflected how it applied to the residents with whom they work.

The first session was very well received and those present were anxious to begin using what they had learned!


She calls herself a free spirit, but Lanette Davis has a remarkably stable and loyal streak in terms of her service to Plymouth Harbor. It was forty-two years ago that her friend, May Byrd, suggested she interview for a job at Plymouth Harbor.  May had been working in Housekeeping Services and thought that her young friend was just the person Plymouth Harbor needed.  She called and got an interview that day. The next day Lanette received the news “you’ve got a job!”  She was just 22 years old and it was December 1972.

Lanette is originally from Marianna, Florida and the oldest of 9 children (5 girls and 4 boys).  She had left Marianna a while before and came to stay with a cousin in Sarasota, which seemed like a fine place to be.  However, not long after she had landed this first job at Plymouth Harbor it was necessary for her to take a leave of absence for a family emergency back in Marianna.  With family as a top priority, she upheld her responsibilities, but as soon as she could she returned to Sarasota and the job at Plymouth Harbor.  Marking 1974 as the start of her long tenure, she, with the entire Plymouth Harbor community, celebrated her 40th anniversary on the 30th of April. Lanette Davis, with her 40 years, is the longest serving employee in the history of Plymouth Harbor.

When asked how she came to stay for so long, she noted the caring culture of the entire housekeeping staff. Lanette spoke of residents with whom she had long relationships, who became family to her.  John and Fran Aulhammer come to mind with many others now gone.  Ruth Entrekin is a notable friend as well.  And it was not just the residents that she came to love. Many children and grandchildren of residents brought joy to her life and she to theirs.

Her supervisors and co-workers have been quick to report, “Lanette is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.  Her residents on the 16, 17, & 18th floors love her.”

In fact, when Lanette had her 30th employment anniversary, all of her residents signed a Shining Star that read:  “For thirty years Lanette Davis has been a Shining Star of Plymouth Harbor and the lives of the residents of Colony Sixteen have been blessed by her loving, caring ways, her sparkling care of our apartments and her unfailing good nature.  She has brought sunshine into our lives and made it a pleasure to look forward to the hours she spends with us.  We lovingly congratulate her on her attaining this outstanding record of dedication toPlymouthHarbor and wish her many more years of good health and happiness.”

Residents also gathered on her 40th anniversary to shower her with love and appreciation. On this occasion, and when she was first surprised by a visit from CEO Harry Hobson and the entire senior staff early in the morning on April 29, Lanette was handed a bouquet of yellow roses, her favorite flower.

During that party, Ish Pedersen said she and her husband Norman felt very lucky that Lanette had been taking care of their home for 10 years. Of course she added, “She smiles all the time and gives wonderful advice!”

Surprised and feeling “a bit overcome,” Lanette graciously accepted the adulation and returned the love by saying, “You all are a ray of sunshine in my life!”

Away from the bustle of the gatherings, Lanette recalled the many fun times with her “housekeeping family.”  These were the signs of her free spirit being expressed. She speaks of friendly pranks of teasing of her co-workers as she stirred up ways to have fun.  In her own way, Lanette laid down her own set of rules. If someone came to her singing a tale of woe she’d say, “We’ll have none of that!”

“I believe in having fun and keeping things bubbly,” she added. “I don’t want any of this depressing negativity.” Now, that’s the likely source of this ray of sunshine.

It was one of her friends and co-workers, Bea Davis who introduced her to her husband now of 28 years.  Thanks to Bea for arranging that meeting with her husband’s brother Bobby Davis, Sr.  Together that have parented their blended family of six: Tameka, Dewey Jr., Bobby Jr., Lisa, Yolanda, and Angela and has several grandchildren.

Her oldest daughter, who lives nearby in Sarasota, is her partner in crime as the enjoy many of the same leisure time activities.  Well, one in particular: shopping.

“We’re two peas in a pod,” Lanette says. They like to go anywhere as long as there is shopping involved.

In fact, Lanette has said that if she had all the money in the world she would buy a cruise ship and cruise from coast to coast with her entire extended family. What would they do in each port of call?  The world travelers would shop until they dropped!

Then she says she would return to her own island and write a book titled, “How Plymouth Harbor Turns”. We all know, that will be some story!!  Congratulations, Lanette!

Congratulations to Carlos Anguiano-Moreno, our April 2014 Employee of the Month.

Carlos is originally from Tamaulipas, Mexico, however moved to the United States in 1993. Luckily for us, he chose to re-locate to Sarasota in the late 1990’s and by 2010 he was working at Plymouth Harbor on our Dining Services staff as a full-time Steward.

Always willing to work hard, he’s quick to identify what needs to be done and equally quick to take action.  Of course, his supervisors love that!

Not only is he quick and efficient, providing service that keeps our dining room humming, Carlos is loved for his courtesy and good humor with dining guests as well as his co-workers.  No wonder he was promoted to Lead Steward in 2013 and is now our Employee of the Month.

On a personal note, Carlos has two grown children.  His son lives in South Carolina and his daughter and her family live with Carlos.  He enjoys spending time with them.  Congratulations Carlos, well deserved!

Congratulations to Luis Santiago for being nominated by his peers and being honored as the Plymouth Harbor“Employee of the Month for March 2014.”

Luis is originally from Panama,Central America, however moved here to Sarasota while still in school. He was not only an athlete, but an accomplished musician as well. While attending the Booker High School Visual & Performing Arts program, he played clarinet and baseball. Luis was one of the best pitchers in the tri-county area, but he still made time to go to concerts and enjoy all kinds of music.  After graduating from Booker High School, he went on to earn an Associates degree from State College of Florida in 2008.

Always working while attending school Luis served  at Pei Wei Sarasota as a Dishwasher and Pantry Cook, at Kobernick House as a Server, and at Sweetbay Supermarket as a Cashier and Customer Service Rep.  His previous employers describe Luis  as personable with customers or residents and a good employee.

Luckily for us, Luis came to Plymouth Harbor as a full time Lead Steward in March 2012 where he was quickly noticed as the person who consistently asks if there is anything he could do to help when he has a few spare minutes.  Within a year he was promoted to Dining Services Houseman in April 2013.

Now everyone knows that Luis always does whatever it takes to help make the kitchen run smoothly. He’s efficient at cleaning up after and organizing everyone’s untidiness or accidents.  He tries to keep a smile on everyone’s face and lightens their spirits.

Always the professional, he listens and follows instructions and criticism effectively while keeping a good, upbeat, and enthusiastic attitude.

And just to emphasize the fact that he is a hard worker, Luis is still in school. This time he’s working toward earning a Radiology certificate at State College of Florida.

Frances “Fran” Vancil is originally from Lancaster, California.  A veteran of the U.S. Army, Fran and her family moved to Reno, NV, where she was a stay-at-home mom for 5 years.  She worked as a security officer for Grand Sierra Resort and Washoe County Regional Parks in Reno, NV. When she moved to Florida she naturally sought an opportunity that used her security experience.

A track record in security work was indeed her entree and Fran was hired as a security officer at Plymouth Harbor  in September 2011.  But there was more out there for her and she later transferred to the maintenance department to do something new.  In Maintenance she serves as an e-tech.

Fran has been recognized as a “valuable asset to the department” and is appreciated by her co-workers and supervisor for as a key member of their team.  In addition, residents and her co-workers frequently compliment Fran on her helpfulness and friendly attitude. She’s just good to be around

However, her work at Plymouth Harbor is not the only concern on Fran’s mind.  She keeps busy with her three sons.  Brody,  at 11 years old, is her oldest and next are 9-year old twins, Davon and Aiden.  Together they enjoysagoing to the famous Florida tourist attractions and theme parks.  It’s also not surprising that  they all enjoy physical activities like the beach, biking, trail hiking, zip lining, and camping with grandma.  Special memories are their camping trips in Yosemite National Park!

Congratulations, Fran!


Originally from Hungary, Ibolya Elizabeth Acs, is known to her Plymouth Harbor family as Liz, a dedicated member of the housekeeping and laundry operations staff.  Liz has been a resident of the USA since 1984, and prior to coming to Plymouth Harbor, she worked at Kobernick House and Kensington Manor.  Starting as a full time Housekeeper in May 2005, Liz has since transferred to Plymouth Harbor’s laundry operation demonstrating her flexibility and ability to multi-task, a quality noted often in her appraisals.

Frequently recognized for her great attitude, her supervisors describe Liz as cooperative, knowledgeable, helpful, and always on the go. “Liz loves to keep busy.  She can work in any area, from cleaning apartments to laundry.  She takes pride in her work.  She enjoys her job very much and will go above and beyond our expectations.”

Residents and co-workers, who frequently award her Shining Stars, often point out the cooperative and kind demeanor that Liz always displays. For many reasons, including her great attitude and willingness to go the extra mile, Liz has been honored as the December 2013 Plymouth Harbor Employee of the Month.

Liz can feel proud of her accomplishments at Plymouth Harbor. Even more, as one co-worker observed, “We know she feels very proud to be part of the Plymouth Harbor family.”

When Michael Johnson was first hired as a part-time server at Plymouth Harbor in May 2000, he was immediately recognized as an asset to the dining services staff. Promoted to full-time wait service Caption in 2002, he continued to go above and beyond his responsibilities jumping right in to take care of what needs attention.

Thirteen years after his initial hiring, Michael is still being recognized for his good work, this time at Employee of the Month in November 2013.

In the nomination, one of his supervisors was quoted, “Michael is very caring and gives impeccable service to the residents.  It has been great watching him grow and mature in his tenure here.”

Disciplined work and the growth that results enabled Michael to further his career with a full-time administrative position with Chapman & Associates and night school at Sarasota County Technical Institute, all while continuing to work part-time at Plymouth Harbor.

Through these years and most recently, Michael has received several Shining Stars from our residents.  They all complement his skills, professionalism, patience, accuracy, and overall pleasant disposition when providing services to the residents.

As with many of the long-time staff in this community, work is a family affair.  Michael met his wife, Susie, while working here at Plymouth Harbor.  They now have a son Collin, 3 ½  years old, who keeps them both very busy.

Congratulations, Michael!  Your work is appreciated by so many here!


Please join us in congratulating Armando Cortez, our Employee of the Month for October 2013.

Armando came to Plymouth Harbor as a part-time Steward in February of 2010 and was promoted to full-time status two months later.  Prior to working at Plymouth Harbor, Armando was employed by the Manatee Fruit Company for almost 20 years as a laborer.

Throughout his time here at Plymouth Harbor Armando has received several Exceeds Standard remarks on his appraisals from Chef René, in the categories of job knowledge, quality of work, responsiveness to supervision, attendance, attitude, relationship with people, and personal conduct.

Comments from his supervisor are very complimentary:  Armando is a very good worker who follows all the rules, keeps a positive attitude, and is liked by the staff. His demeanor and work ethic are to be admired.  He is a team player.

Armando, originally from Jalisco, Mexico, has resided in the local area for over 20 years.  He and his wife Dionisia will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary next April.  They have a son Juan Armando and three grandchildren who live in Bradenton.

We are very pleased to bestow this well-deserved recognition upon Armando.  Thank you for choosing Plymouth Harbor as your employer!


Please join us in congratulating our August 2013 Employee of the Month Pete Berkery!   Pete has been with Plymouth Harbor as a Security Officer since April of 2012.  He retired after 30 years from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and worked as a Firearms Instructor at the Sarasota County Technical Institute prior to joining us.

From the very beginning Pete has received Exceeds Standard remarks on his appraisals in several categories such as Quality of Work, Efficiency, Problem Solving, Attitude, Responsiveness to Supervisor, Safety, and Care of Property. 

Comments on Pete’s performance include:

Pete is always willing to assist others.  His desire to perform in an optimum way is recognized and admired by his peers.  Pete has a great attitude and he expresses a big degree of interest and enthusiasm to support the mission of Plymouth Harbor.  He consistently maintains a cooperative and positive relationship with his peers, residents, and guests. Pete has been a real asset to Plymouth Harbor.  He is a very dedicated employee. 

Originally from the Bronx, NY, Pete graduated from Riverview High School and received a BA degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He enjoys hiking and nature.  He and his wife Karen have three children and 4 grandchildren. 

Thank you, Pete, for all of your hard work, and congratulations on being recognized with this fine distinction!