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Crestavilla General Manager Myra Aragones Myra Aragones’ life has been laid out like the pages of a cherished book, with each chapter revealing glimpses of the places she has been, the experiences that have shaped her, and most importantly, where her journey will take her next.

Fortunately for residents at Crestavilla, Kisco’s first Signature Community, Aragones’ latest chapter finds her starring as general manager at the picturesque Laguna Niguel community. Although working in senior care was never part of her plan when she was younger, it’s a role she calls “the perfect fit.”

“I just love it,” says Aragones, who moved to California from the Philippines when she was 18. “I love the connectivity of people with the same interests, being with people who have already contributed to society, and finding out what we can learn from them. They still continue to grow, and because of that I’m still growing and getting better.”

Just a few weeks into her new role, Aragones can be spotted throughout the Spanish Colonial interiors of the community – conversing with residents in the dining room, participating with them in activities or simply lending a friendly ear.

Connecting with the residents is one of the many ways she ensures their voices are heard. “I’m very transparent to residents,” she says. “My door is always open.”

She especially loves hearing residents’ life stories, many of which remind her of her own immigrant roots, filled with uncertainty and sacrifice.

“In the Philippines, we were well off; but you give that all up to move here,” she recounts. “You start living with relatives, who are gracious to allow us to live in their home, but at the same time it’s a culture shock for us.”

Aragones’ career path began in 1988 when she went to nursing school and started working as a licensed vocational nurse in hospitals and skilled nursing settings. Although her passion was promoting club events in Los Angeles, nursing paid well, and she was able to use her salary to help her family.

Myra Aragones, Crestavilla General Manager For a time, she had the best of both worlds – nursing by day and event promoter by night. But, as often happens, marriage and family changed her course. She quit her night job and concentrated on her career in health care full time. She also went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

With her full focus on senior living, Aragones began climbing the corporate ladder. She filled various resident services roles, eventually becoming a senior executive director for one of the top senior living companies in the U.S., where she supported 40 communities west of the Mississippi and traveled 190 days a year. She enjoyed working with the company, but wondered how long she would be able to sustain life on the road.

When the opening for an executive director at Woodbridge Terrace, a Kisco lifestyle community in Irvine, Calif., came up in 2022, she jumped on it. “I lived a mile and a half away,” she explains. “I could be there until 8 o’clock and still go home and cook a quick meal. How can you go wrong?”

Aragones embraced her new role with enthusiasm, implementing unique monthly activities centered around culinary traditions, such as a “Wine Taste and Tell” talk and “Chocolates of the World” tasting. She also made great strides in increasing diversity within the Community.

She was just getting into her stride at Woodbridge Terrace when the general manager role opened up at Crestavilla in May 2023. Still an easy commute, Myra was intrigued by the opportunity to oversee Kisco’s first Signature community.

She is already bringing that Signature lens to Crestavilla, where she hopes to introduce more innovative programming, such as intergenerational programs that bring together seniors and younger people and technology classes with the community’s Tech Concierge.

Even in her short tenure at Crestavilla, though, she’s realized the core principles of senior care remain the same, Signature community or otherwise.

“We will always foster a sense of belonging, ensure residents’ needs are met, and create a warm, welcoming environment,” says Myra. “Ultimately, the most important thing is to listen to the residents and understand their needs and desires, which will allow us to tailor our approach and ensure we are providing the best possible experience.”

Outside of work, Aragones has been happily married for 29 years and is the proud parent of two children. Despite her busy professional life, she always makes time for family and travel as she believes that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to her success.