Belmont Village Senior Living Employees Honored with CALA Excellence in Service Award

Belmont Village Senior Living, a renowned developer, owner and operator of senior living communities across the U.S. with 15 communities in California, is honored  that James Arp, Senior Executive Director at Belmont Village La Jolla, and Dora Siguenza, Caregiver at Belmont Village Encino received the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) Excellence in Service Award during an awards celebration luncheon at the 2023 CALA Fall Trade Conference & Trade Show. James and Dora were awarded for going above and beyond to support the care and well-being of community members and their commitment to fellow team members. Arp received the Outstanding Executive Director Award and Siguenza was recognized with the Outstanding Caregiver Award. Jean Yves Etesse, tenured Chef Manager at Belmont Village Westwood, was also named a finalist for the Outstanding Team Member Award.

“Our team members are integral to our success as a senior living community that provides the highest level of care,” said Patricia Will, CEO and Founder of Belmont Village Senior Living. “We are so proud that James and Dora were honored with these awards, as they embody an unwavering dedication to the seniors who entrust us with their care. They provide an exceptional level of service to our community residents and support to their co-workers on a daily basis. James and Dora are truly an inspiration, and we are so grateful they are a part of our team.”

Since joining Belmont Village in 2007, Arp has exemplified the company’s vision and mission. He started as a memory program coordinator at Belmont Village Westwood and worked his way up to serve as the community’s executive director for eight years before joining Belmont Village La Jolla’s team as the executive director when it opened in 2022. Arp has been instrumental in developing the management training program within Belmont Village and has won numerous awards, including the 2018 Community Leadership Award at the Argentum Senior Living Conference. With a background as a hospital certified nursing assistant, Arp is known for his approachable leadership style, close relationships with residents and their families, endearing bedside manner, and willingness to take on any task to help his residents and staff. When a sister community in Albany, Calif. took in seniors from neighboring communities impacted by the Santa Rosa fires, Arp volunteered during his time off, taking on 12-hour nightshifts.

“James has an unmatched commitment and passion. Throughout his long and industrious career with us, he has always ensured that his communities are operating at the highest level possible,” said Will. “He greets every new resident with open arms, making them feel welcomed and included by personally getting to know them and helping them connect with other residents. James creates a thriving environment for growth, mentoring his staff and finding opportunities to make a difference in the greater San Diego community.”

As a lead caregiver who provides training for the memory care team at Belmont Village Encino, Siguenza focuses on providing person-centered care to every resident she works with, building trust with residents and their families. She advises new caregivers and ensures they can support residents when faced with challenges, demonstrating a positive, validating approach while working with residents and team members.

“Dora is someone who leads with her heart, showing kindness to every person she interacts with at Belmont Village,” said Will. “Her compassion shines through and families are comforted knowing Dora is providing exceptional care to their loved ones. Dora’s co-workers say that every person with dementia should have a ‘Dora’ to care for them. That truly demonstrates Dora’s approach to the care she provides.”

Etesse joined Belmont Village in 2009, helping open the Westwood community. Prior to that, he was an executive chef in restaurants around Los Angeles and now utilizes those learnings in his role as chef manager. Etesse goes out of his way to listen to the needs of residents, going so far as to seek out their favorite recipes to incorporate into the menu. He works side-by-side with his staff, offering guidance and support to ensure every team member takes ownership and feels that can make a lasting impact.