Angelina Pellegrin met Tony almost ten years ago while working as a dining room care manager. Tony, a former firefighter and carpenter, was 101 years old, had eight children, and had been married for decades. And he loved shrimp.
When she learned this fact about Tony, Angelina made him a special salad with extra shrimp. Tony was overjoyed, and that was the moment Angelina knew what she wanted to do with her career. “The smile on his face—his joy about a few extra shrimp—that’s why I do what I do,” she said. “To be able to feel that pure joy and excitement because of the food or service I’m giving someone… That’s what I strive to bring to every patient and resident.”
Now, Angelina has served Walker Methodist Westwood Ridge for nearly seven years, where she started as a lead wait staff and is now the dining room supervisor.
Angelina makes plans for her team and the community, schedules servers, and helps chefs. She sometimes runs the bistro or serves on the floor, creating menus and activities with her team. Whatever she’s doing, Angelina has one goal: to make sure residents and patients get what they need while having a great dining experience.
“If someone wants a cup of jello, I’m going to make it the best cup of jello they’ve had,” she said. “Maybe I’ll add whipped cream and a sprig of mint. I believe when you have compassion for people, joy is evident in all you do.” Angelina takes this belief to heart: residents call her “the flower girl” because she wears a flower in her hair every day.
Angelina’s dedication has been noticed: she was nominated for employee of the year, received multiple Partners in Excellence awards, and graduated from the Leadership Development Program in 2018.
Yet, she’s quick to praise her team of staff and servers. “They are fantastic. They’re in the dining room with residents, getting to know them. I look forward to going to work every day because of my team,” said Angelina. “They understand we’re not just serving tables—we’re serving people.”