Sifton hires General Manager for Dorchester Retirement Residence


Denise Winger, the general manager at the Dorchester Terrace retirement residence, slated to open in June 2017, poses for a picture next to an artist's rendering of the new building on Byron Avenue following a presentation at the Lions Senior Centre.

Residents have witnessed the new building springing up from the ground on Byron Avenue.  Denise Winger was hired earlier this summer as general manager of the Sifton Properties retirement residence, Dorchester Terrace. She did a presentation recently for prospective residents at the Lions Senior Centre.

“It's almost like I'm back home now,” she says. Winger grew up on a dairy farm between Barrie and Orillia and she has friends from college that live in the area.

“This is the very best,” says the new general manager, of helping open the long anticipated residence. She looks forward to seeing all of the vibrant residents happy together and socializing, with many years still ahead of them. Winger started working for Sifton at the beginning of August in the company's head office in London. She has rave reviews for her new employer, says it's an amazing company and the training is extensive.

“They make you feel very welcome at every level.” Employees are more than welcome to share their thoughts and experiences. Winger has been trained on computer systems and human resources. She said that Sifton has a wonderful program for recognizing employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. They have a quality assurance program to track their performance on the job so they can help them out if something is not completely done.

Winger said she believes she was chosen as the successful candidate because of her experience and passion for the business. “I love it.” She has specific experience with opening facilities, having started up eight new long-term care buildings, and said it's not easy.

The new GM is helping with marketing and community outreach. She will be recruiting managers in early 2017, and looks forward to managing them and motivating the team to do their best.

She is very involved in the building process and does a walk through every two weeks “I think it's great to see your building grow and what is behind the wall.”

Winger is excited for the opening of Dorchester Terrace in June 2017 and is pleased with the response so far. She looks forward to being involved in the community and has already met with service groups and attended events. Winger is more than happy to arrange for speakers who can talk about seniors' topics and health topics.

She said her door is always open. “Communication is paramount.”

Winger has dreams of sharing her passion for senior living. She hopes to interview as many candidates as required to bring in the best employees possible who will help offer an enviable level of service. She also looks forward to getting to know residents and family members before and after they move to Dorchester Terrace.

Winger lives in Stratford. She attended Centralia College and studied food and nutrition management. She started out in that field and then moved to long-term care. The general manager is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner. Four years ago, with encouragement from her children who were starting university at the time, she went back to school and got a degree in social work from the University of Waterloo. Her goal was to be a general manager. Winger worked in a 120-suite retirement residence in Waterloo, which she helped open. She was there for five years and found out about the Sifton job through a networking opportunity.

Dorchester Terrace will be a four-storey, fully accessible 90 suite residence offering local and area seniors one bedroom, one bedroom with den, and two bedroom accommodations with a full spectrum of wellness support services including a first-response emergency system. In addition to personalized health and wellness services, residents will enjoy housekeeping services, laundry facilities, and daily dining in an open restaurant-style dining room. The residence will also include a theatre, coffee lounge with Internet library, a cards and games room, crafts and arts centre, hair salon with esthetics and spa, physiotherapy, exercise room and gym, a party room with demo kitchen and outdoor courtyards.

Click to learn more about Dorchester Terrace

Source: Spence, Wendy. “Sifton hires General Manager for Dorchester Retirement Residence.” The Signpost September 14, 2016: Pg 5. Print.