Cinthya Gamino is the Executive Director at Healdsburg Senior Living, one of Pacifica Senior Living's Aura communities in Healdsburg, California. Having worked for Pacifica for several years, she has learnt and grown so much, all the while giving back to her team and residents. We sat down with her to talk about her inspiring story of ambition, and how she has risen through the ranks of Pacifica Senior Living, accomplishing her dreams every step of the way.
Tell us about your career path and time at Pacifica?
A week after graduating from Southern Oregon University I received an email with a job offer to start working at Pacifica Senior Living Vacaville as an Activities Director. This is where my career path started with Pacifica companies almost 8 years ago.
Prior to landing my dream job after college, I had already worked in senior living as a Caregiver, Activities Assistance and Concierge. I was so thrilled to work as Activities Director as I was 22 years old with a lot of energy and hungry to learn all I could about senior living.
I love the concept of getting paid to have fun with the residents, organizing events, taking them on outings, and being able to spend time with them. Don’t get me wrong, being the Activities Director is not an easy job, but it is very rewarding to see the residents have fun.
After a year of being Activities Director, my Executive Director at the time told me one day you will be the next Marketing Director as you have the energy and attitude for the job. The first time I interviewed for the job I had no clue how to respond to the questions and did a poor interview. I did not get the job promotion the first time around. Instead of being mad or angry, I said it’s just not my time yet, and continued to work hard. Three months later, I was promoted to Marketing Director.
Within one year of doing sales I became Rookie of the Year. Being able to do sales gave me a deeper understanding of working with families and walking the hard path of placing their loved ones in a senior living community.
After working at Pacifica Senior Living Vacaville for almost five years, the opportunity to open Pacifica Senior Living Santa Rosa (our new build property) was offered. I was very excited and took the opportunity right away. After being at Pacifica Senior Living Santa Rosa for one year, I was transferred to Healdsburg Senior Living where my life changed. I was soon promoted to my favorite job, Executive Director.
Being Executive Director has always been my dream job. I am very clear that my role sets the tone for the building. I try my best to know the impact of my decisions and my actions.
What has been the most important lesson that you’ve learned in your career so far?
If you don’t get an opportunity right away, it was not your time just yet. Continue to work hard and always remember people are watching you. If you want a promotion within the company observe the different positions. Ask managers questions and let your supervisor know that you would like to continue to learn and get promotions within the company. Take extra tasks to learn new skills.
I never saw helping or getting a new assignment as a burden, but instead as an opportunity to learn a new skill. Always have a positive attitude and remember to smile.
What is your favorite memory from Healdsburg Senior Living?
The feeling of my first annual state visit and getting zero deficiencies which is the equivalent of getting an A on your test. My other favorite memory is seeing the farm around July to September blooming with flowers and fruits and vegetables.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I had a great mentor along the way. Some of my favorite mentors are Lucy Woolsey and Leslie Quintanar. Both are amazing leaders and always want to help you grow.
What inspires you?
Being an immigrant inspired me. I came to the USA at the age of thirteen years old. My mom brought my sibling and myself to this country with nothing but a dream for a better life. She always said education and the drive to grow will be your key to success. My mom worked very hard to provide an education for us and she was the foundation that inspired many opportunities. Coming to this country, learning a new language and getting adjusted to the culture was not easy, but my mom always said America is the land of the brave and the land of opportunities. I am so grateful to this country that if you work hard you will achieve your goals.
How have you grown professionally while with Pacifica?
I started working with Pacifica at the age of 22 years old. At 23 I was a Sales Director, and at 28 I became the Executive Director. Within 8 years I had 3 job promotions. I just can't wait to see what my 30’s will look like. I want to continue to grow with Pacifica. My goal is to become the VP of Operations for Pacifica Companies.
Why senior living? Why Pacifica?
I truly enjoy working for seniors and being around them. I enjoy learning about them, their history and all the things they did throughout their life. I love connecting with them and their families. Why Pacifica? Because they have given me the opportunity to be creative and allowed me to be myself along the way. Pacifica truly lets you be a leader. I wanted to implement internships with college and high school students and Pacifica has always been supportive to all my ideas and feedback. A great example of Pacifica’s support is Pacifica allowing us to continue to have a farm in the back of the community in Healdsburg Senior Living. They loved the concept and always supported my crazy ideas. With Pacifica there is no thinking outside the box. Pacifica will allow you to think like there is no box.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
“Never settle for less”
I learned this in college and I apply this until this day.
Another quote is “Who gets the milk, the baby that cries or the baby that doesn’t?”
This means if I want something I will continue to pursue and work for it. People will forget but I won’t if it matters to me.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love doing arts and crafts and going for group exercise classes in the afternoon. I also love spending time with my dog Nella.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I will tell my younger self ‘great job’ for taking on many responsibilities. Take it easy and enjoy the process of growth. Be patient and never lose your smile.
What is your favorite part about working in the senior living world?
Creating a team, seeing them grow, and getting promotions within the company. The way I see my team is I have to train them for bigger promotions. A great example is Mitchell, my Senior Business Office Manager. He is very dedicated to his work and also produces amazing results. I saw his need to succeed and his hunger to learn and achieve more. Only a year into his role as Business Office Manager, Mitchell was promoted to Senior Business Office Manager. I am proud to say that almost 80% of my team have been promoted within the company. Oftentimes we seek talent without knowing we have it in house. All they need is an opportunity and mentor them to be successful.
I hope my story motivates young professionals in Pacifica Companies to continue to aspire for more.
Want to learn more about Cinthya and Healdsburg Senior Living? reach us to us, or come by for a visit! Our friendly staff are always on hand to answer any questions or show you around with a private tour.