LeadingAge NC Spotlights Lee Syria

July 20, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight

Lee Syria, President & CEO
United Church Homes and Services

Board members of LeadingAge North Carolina are leaders among our membership and volunteers to the association who offer their time and expertise to enrich the field of aging services. This month we learn more about our new board chair, Lee Syria, President and CEO of United Church Homes and Services. Thank you for sharing, Lee!

1. Why did you become involved in LeadingAge North Carolina?

I started my involvement and work with LeadingAge NC in 2000 when I volunteered to serve on and subsequently chaired the Education Committee. Through this service, I learned the value of the peer networking, resources and learning that LeadingAge NC offers its members. I have always felt that the more I am involved, the more value I receive.

2. What makes our mission meaningful to you?

LeadingAge NC has many of the best providers in our field as members. Our mission is meaningful to me because it is the foundation that connects all members in how we work together to expand the possibilities for aging.

3. If you had unlimited resources, what is the one thing you as a board member would like to do for the population we serve?

Other than find a cure for Alzheimer’s, then I would say find a solution for the workforce shortage of quality direct care givers that we are facing.

4. If you could swap jobs with a staff member for a day, what would you want to try and why?

Definitely a direct or front line team member as a CNA, housekeeper or dining services employee in order to have more direct and less formal interaction with the residents. Many years ago, our organization scheduled a few days where our leadership at the home (corporate) office worked alongside and job shadowed various positions within our community. I still remember ending the day with blisters from the mopping in housekeeping. It was a great experience and raised my level of respect for the role that each person plays in order to deliver great service.

5. What do you do to relax, to get away, to recharge your batteries?

Spending time with my dogs (Oscar and Juliette) relaxes me because they are always happy to see me no matter what kind of day I’ve had. Also, I am fortunate to live in a walkable community with a nature preserve, so spending time outdoors is another way for me to relax. Many times when the weather is good, I do not drive my car at all on the weekends. I also cherish any time that I can spend in my favorite role as Aunt Lee to my two nieces!