From the desk of Joy Upton Director of Concierge
I was born in Bainbridge Georgia on an Army Air Force Base and raised in Michigan. My parents were of the belief that a woman should not go to college but be a good housewife and if she had to work outside of the house you worked in retail. After high school graduation I found myself working in a large department store. Later I began working at Royal Oak Tribune, a newspaper company, when I got to hear the words, “stop the presses”, for it was the day President Kennedy was assassinated. That was also the day before I was marrying Nathaniel (Nat) Upton in 1963. It became a memorable date indeed.
A few months later we moved to San Diego, California where I began working as a dental assistant, and laying on the beach while my husband went to college full time. Upon his graduation we moved to Seattle Washington, where he pursued his master’s degree and I worked again as a dental assistant and took college classes. After he got his degree we moved back to San Diego where I worked in a private dress shop and got my Associate of Art certificate before having my daughter Brynn and four years later my son Brett.
As they were growing up, I worked in a church preschool for 7 years. While in college, life changes caused me to go back to work full time in 1990 where I went to work at Heritage Manor, a nursing home in Plano. During that time, I worked as a CNA, Therapy Tech, and a private duty sitter. I also obtained my certification from the Therapeutic Recreation Association of Texas. I found during that time I enjoyed working with the seniors and wanted to do so much more for them.
In 1995 I added to my resume activity director and gained my certificate from National Certification Council for Activity Professionals in 1996 while at Heritage Manor home. In 1997, I began working as a full-time activity director in the Assisted Living building at Presbyterian Village North in Dallas. There I started out with 75 residents and when they added another wing to the building it brought in 27 more residents.
In 2016, I was honored to receive the “Activity Director of the Year Award” from the Dallas Chapter of Activity Professionals. As a member of the Dallas chapter of Activity Professionals, I held the positions of Vice President, Secretary and Treasury in the early years. I retired from the assisted living center in December 2018 and started volunteering for Tribute Senior Living in January 2019. I became a part time employee by May of that same year and a full-time employee in June as the Director Concierge. I have seen a lot of changes over the past two years and have fallen in love with everyone here, for they are as much a part of me as I am to them.