AmericanWay Management Corp. Receives 2010 Best of the Best Award

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The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) national award recognizes innovative best practices. AmericanWay, based in Portage, Wisconsin, was recognized for its leadership skills development program designed to help prepare direct-care staff to progress to management positions.

Janis Deets Nowak, President, AmericanWay

I view this award as a tribute to our employees...I'm very proud of our team

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) has awarded AmericanWay Management Corp. in Portage, Wisconsin, its prestigious 2010 Best of the Best Award, a national recognition reserved for the nation’s most innovative and effective business practices in the senior living industry. The company is one of only 25 companies to receive a Best of the Best Award this year. AmericanWay and the other 2010 winners will be profiled in the May/June issue of ALFA’s flagship magazine, Assisted Living Executive. Award winners will also be recognized at the ALFA 2010 Conference & Expo, May 25-27, in Phoenix.

“These innovations recognize companies that have put their imaginations to work to continually improve and streamline operations, enhance resident care and services, train and retain quality employees, and much more,” says ALFA President and CEO Richard P. Grimes. “Plus, the industry-wide benefit of the Best of the Best Awards is the program’s ability to multiply excellence as these and other companies in senior living adopt these best practices as their own.”

AmericanWay Management Corp. was recognized for its leadership skills development program, a 10-month program designed to help prepare direct-care staff to progress to management positions. President and Owner Janis Deets Nowak, who was the administrator of a 2006 "Best of the Best" award-winner before founding AmericanWay, created the program as part of AmericanWay's commitment to promoting from within.

All employees who aspire to leadership are invited to participate in the leadership development program. The course, led by Nowak, covers a range of leadership topics from team building to self-management. Participants also spearheaded leadership projects such as developing volunteer programs. Throughout the course, participants developed a camaraderie and enthusiasm that transcended the boundaries of their day-to-day roles and spilled over into the community.

The goal of the program was to begin preparing staff for management positions within the company as those positions become available. “This leadership workshop shows the entire staff that their voice really does matter,” Nowak says. She adds, "I view this award as a tribute to our employees. Without their motivation, professionalism and desire to learn and develop new skills, we wouldn't have experienced this level of participation. I'm very proud of our team."

About AmericanWay: Founded in 2007 by Janis Deets Nowak, C.P.A., N.H.A., CAed, AmericanWay operates seven assisted living homes in four locations in Wisconsin’s Columbia, Dodge and Dane Counties. Deets Nowak is a founding board member of the National Certification Board for Alzheimer’s Care, an Advisory Board member for the Training Research Institute (TRI) which is based at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Center on Age and Community, and president-elect of the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association (WALA). Founding AmericanWay is the fulfillment of her dream to establish innovative senior living environments where residents and staff alike are able to grow and flourish.

About the Assisted Living Federation of America: Founded in 1990, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the only national association exclusively dedicated to professionally operated senior living communities. ALFA’s member-driven programs promote business and operational excellence through national conferences, research, publications, and executive networks. ALFA works to influence public policy by advocating for informed choice, quality care, and accessibility for all Americans seeking assistance with long-term care. Visit for more information.

About Assisted Living Executive magazine: ALFA’s flagship publication, Assisted Living Executive reaches more than 20,000 c-level and senior executives. Published six times per year, the magazine focuses on best practices and strategic solutions that advance operational excellence for senior living companies. Assisted Living Executive is an ALFA membership benefit and also available by subscription. Go to for details. Visit the magazine’s digital edition at

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