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Lauren Gwinn Honored with LeadingAge Virginia’s 2023 Emerging Leader Award

June 12, 2023

Award recognizes Gwinn’s leadership, volunteerism and achievements in advancing services and support for older adults

The Village Orchard Ridge—A National Lutheran Community is pleased to announce that Resident Experienced Director Lauren Gwynn has been recognized by Leading Age Virginia as the 2023 Emerging Leader. The 2023 Emerging Leader Award recognizes Gwynn’s achievements, passion and contributions to leadership in the aging services field, specifically with her volunteerism and active leadership with the Shenandoah Fellowship Foundation, Seniors First and several other community organizations supporting older adults in the greater Winchester area. The recognition was announced during the general session of LeadingAge Virginia's Greater Good Annual Conference and Expo in Norfolk, Virginia, a statewide conference in which not-for-profit senior living industry professionals come together to learn and share knowledge and experience that will advance aging services and support across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Gwinn's recognition as the 2023 LeadingAge Virginia Emerging Leader award recipient came on the same day she graduated from the LeadingAge D.C., Maryland and Virginia Leadership Academy, a year-long graduate level curriculum that advances fellows’ leadership skills, expands knowledge and forges strong bonds of connection with peers in Virginia’s aging services field. The LeadingAge D.C., Maryland and Virginia Leadership Academy concludes each year with graduation events at the annual conference.

The Village at Orchard Ridge Executive Director John Loop says Lauren Gwinn is a model team member at the 132-acre Life Plan Community in Winchester. “Lauren is an incredible team member and leader who demonstrates all of our WeCARE values at National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS): Create smiles. She has been at the forefront of countless service enhancements and key initiatives for our residents, and she can always be counted on to meet every challenge with enthusiasm and creativity. There is seemingly no end to her positivity and passion for serving others, and that inspires other team members across our community. Like many, Lauren entered the aging services field inspired by her relationship with her beloved grandmother and we are all blessed to see how that passion has motivated her to rovidpe heartfelt service to residents.”

Gwinn has been employed with NLCS since 2018. She first served as community liaison for myPotential at Home—A National Lutheran Service in Winchester from 2018 to 2021. Gwinn was promoted to home care administrator for myPotential at Home in 2021 to oversee operations throughout Maryland and Virginia. In 2022, Gwinn returned to her Winchester home base to assume her current position as resident experience director for The Village at Orchard Ridge.

In addition to serving older adults through her work with myPotential at Home and The Village at Orchard Ridge, Gwinn has worked tirelessly to enhance support, services and the quality of life for older adults in the Winchester area through her work with numerous community organizations, including the Shenandoah Fellowship Foundation, where she serves as a trustee and second vice president. The Shenandoah Fellowship Foundation operates the Winchester House, an affordable apartment building for low-income older adults. Gwinn is currently leading the completion of a needs assessment for the possible construction of a second low-income apartment complex for older adults in Winchester.

Gwinn also serves on the advisory council for Seniors First (formerly the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging), which provides essential services such as meal delivery, social engagement and home care to area older adults. Gwinn’s volunteerism also includes supporting the Alzheimer’s Association, Literacy Volunteers and serving as a committee chair for Triad, a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies, individuals and organizations focused on reducing crimes and fraud against older adults.