When Karin Beaufoy was seven, her parents began going to the same hotel every year for a family vacation. This was how Karin, who grew up in Germany, became convinced she wanted to be a server in a restaurant. She ended up achieving her dream—and more—but has always loved the unique opportunities within the server community.
Karin came to Minnesota 14 years ago, her life revolving around the hotel industry. She completed an apprenticeship in housekeeping and kitchen work, eventually moving her way up from a receptionist to general manager at a Marriott hotel. After a decade, an unexpected change in the company helped Karin realize it was time for something new. Combining her service skills with her servant heart and passion for seniors, Karin found her calling serving older adults at Walker Methodist Highview Hills. Now, it’s safe to say Karin’s life revolves around people.
“People want to feel important and special,” said Karin, dining room supervisor. “I want to help residents feel at home, and the best way to do that is by knowing someone’s name and making them feel comfortable.”
Whether she’s scheduling servers, training staff, doing administration work, or helping dishwashers behind the scenes, Karin’s always taking care of people. If there are 10 people or 100 in the dining room, she’s dedicated to get to know every person she meets.
When new residents move in, she learns their names and room numbers. She learns about their food preferences and dietary needs. Karin even remembers who likes whole milk and who doesn’t care for cucumbers. In the Highview Hills dining room, she’s created a connected community. Residents and families know they can come to her if they have any questions or concerns. Not only that, but they also know Karin and her team will do their best to help and work hard to find a solution.
Even her staff of servers and dishwashers, mostly teenagers, look up to Karin as a role model. She simply calls it “teaching them the basics,” but she goes above and beyond to lead by example and demonstrate respect toward the people she serves.
“Interacting with residents and their families is absolutely my favorite part of my job. They have amazing stories, and I love to listen,” she said. “I give everything I have and get it back a million times over. I get paid in hugs, and that’s worth more than money or recognition.”