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Lakeview Ranch activities director honored

When you love what you do and you’re a natural at it, people around you often want to see you recognized for it.
Cindy Henning, Lakeview Ranch activities director and Ridgewater College alumna, has such passion for caring for people with dementia that staff nominations led to her being honored as this year’s Minnesota Activity Director of the Year.
“To be honored for doing the job you love is awesome,” Henning said. “I feel very humble.” She received the award in October at the Minnesota Statewide Activity Professionals Conference in St. Cloud, surrounded by family and coworkers who surprised her with their attendance.
Lakeview Ranch, with facilities in Dassel and Darwin, is a long-term care provider that specializes in residents with dementia. Combined, Lakeview serves about 30 residents. Activity directors are often the staff who work with residents as they interact with others and participate in activities that engage their minds and their bodies. For many, it’s their reason to get up and out of bed.
“She just gets it,” explained Michelle Olson, Lakeview’s administrator. “She personalizes activities for seniors – it’s not just to have them busy, but to truly engage them.”
Olson, along with community liaison Susan Marco, stated it well in their nomination letter, “The heart and soul of this organization dedicated to dementia is our activities staff! Cindy is our Activities Director and she has embraced change, increased her leadership skills, taken on new challenges, and committed herself to the integrity of which is the Golden Rule … When she is here working with the residents, she is here FULLY and knows that their lives are validated by how they live and are treated.”
Activity Assistant Annie Luoto also contributed a letter of recommendation to the nomination process. “If I were to describe Cindy’s leadership style, I would say that she does everything with a lot of heart,” Luoto said. She loves working with her because she’s fun, creative and innovative.

For more, see the Dec. 2 print edition of The Chronicle.