By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Hudson – In November 1994 Sandy Aker was a student at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School and working part-time at New Horizons Retirement Community in Marlborough as a member of the wait staff. Following graduation she stayed on as a “fill-in” worker and after a year of service was offered a full-time position in sales and marketing.
“The manager of the housekeeping department at that time left for a maternity leave and I was asked to also run the housekeeping department while she was away,” said Aker. “Since I was bilingual I was able to communicate well with the housekeeping staff. I also ran the dining room at some point and then moved to the receptionist position.”
She has worked in every capacity at the facility including dishwasher, prep cook, payroll clerk and housekeeper.
“I even worked in the salon when one of the stylists had an emergency and had to leave. I finished styling the resident’s hair,” she said proudly.
In her present position – senior administrator – Aker manages the business office, providing administrative support to all departments; handling purchasing needs except food; and accounts payable.
Her enthusiasm and fondness for her position at New Horizons has influenced her two children – Brianna “Bebe” Monteiro, 16, and Ty Monteiro, 14, who are both part-time workers at New Horizons.
They became acquainted with seniors there on annual family days, country fairs and “Deco Night,” when staff members gather the Sunday after Thanksgiving to decorate the building for Christmas. These events heightened their interest and desire to work there. Bebe is a member of the wait staff and Ty is a custodial assistant. They are both students at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.
Beatrice Martin Wood, associate director at New Horizons, has worked with Sandy for 16 years and admires her dedication and calmness under pressure.
“Sandy really cares about doing her job well and supporting a positive residency for the seniors who live here. It is the highest compliment to an organization when an employee wants their own children to be a part of their place of work. Seeing Sandy’s children here is affirmation that we’re doing things right for residents and staff at New Horizons,” Wood said.
New Horizons, located at 400 Hemenway St. in Marlborough, is an assisted living community on a 40-acre country campus. It accommodates 500 seniors with personalized living plans and offers programs, recreation and a variety of services.