Unwavering commitment to excellence

Kristen Kennedy named 2018 Leader of the Year at Eagle’s Trace

Created date

May 23rd, 2019
Kristen Kennedy was named the 2018 Leader of the Year at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston.

Kristen Kennedy was named the 2018 Leader of the Year at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston.

Kristen Kennedy, resident services coordinator at Eagle’s Trace, was chosen as the West Houston community’s Leader of the Year for 2018.

Eagle’s Trace is one of 20 communities nationwide developed and managed by Erickson Living. Each community nominates a leader of the year annually. Kennedy and the other 19 nominees were recognized at Erickson Living’s annual meeting in Baltimore, Md., on March 4, 2019.

“It was a complete surprise,” Kennedy says of the recognition. “I’m honored and grateful to be among such a dynamic group of peers.”

The award is given to a manager or director who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities and inspires, motivates, and empowers his or her team members toward excellence in serving community members.

“Kristen balances a host of responsibilities within the resident life department,” says Stephen Aigner, executive director at Eagle’s Trace. “She embraces these opportunities with enthusiasm and an unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional resident experience.”

Many hats

Kennedy joined the resident life team at Eagle’s Trace in 2015. She earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Howard Payne University and her master’s degree in social work from Our Lady of the Lake University.

“On a typical day, I wear three hats—social work, volunteer, and pastoral,” says Kennedy. “One of my favorite parts of this job is connecting with residents. It’s what drew me to Eagle’s Trace in the first place. There’s a friendliness here and a sense of living in community that’s very attractive.”

Kennedy also leads the Welcome Home program, partnering with the sales and marketing team to ensure a smooth transition for those moving to the community.

“I come alongside new residents as they make their home at Eagle’s Trace,” says Kennedy. “I’m available to answer questions and connect them with different departments on campus.”

Drawing from her background in social work, Kennedy sees the big picture—how all departments work together for the benefit of community members.

“Our residents have everything they need for healthy, active living right here on campus,” she says. “There’s the fitness center, medical center, clubs and activities, social opportunities, and a general services staff to ensure maintenance-free living. It’s a joy to see residents thrive as they engage at the community.”

Embracing wellness

In 2019, the resident life team at Eagle’s Trace is rolling out a new initiative, Embrace Wellness.

“When we mention wellness, we typically think of eating right and exercising,” says Kennedy. “There’s so much more, and we’ll be looking at the seven dimensions of wellness this year—social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical—to make sure we have resources to encourage our residents toward wellness in each of these areas.”

When she’s not at Eagle’s Trace, Kennedy enjoys spending time with her husband Dalton and their almost two-year-old son Oliver.