Press Releases

Leading Age Awards 2017

Traverse City, MI – March 21, 2017– Long time Grand Traverse Pavilions Residential Services Director Penny Hanks and her daughter Erin Hanks, a Grand Traverse Pavilions volunteer, have been recognized by LeadingAge Michigan ( for their accomplishments in elder care.

“We are very excited that LeadingAge Michigan has recognized both Penny and Erin for their service to the residents of Grand Traverse Pavilions,” said Kory Hansen, Administrator/CEO of Grand Traverse Pavilions. “Throughout her career Penny has always been a shining example for her co-workers and an advocate for her residents.”

Penny Hanks was awarded the 2017 Shining Star Award, which recognizes a gifted aging services professional who has consistently demonstrated dedication, commitment and enthusiasm in their profession, and has made a significant impact upon the lives of older adults. Hanks has worked at the Pavilions since 1990, and is praised by colleagues, residents, and family members for her kindness and dedication.

“Her years of experience, along with her calm and kind demeanor, have made her a resource for many when seeking advice and information not only on services provided by Grand Traverse Pavilions, but on community resources for the aging and elderly as well,” said Rose Coleman, COO of Clinical Services at Grand Traverse Pavilions. “Penny is highly respected among her colleagues both at the Pavilions and in the community.”

Grand Traverse Pavilions volunteer Erin Hanks was named 2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year. With obvious influence from her mother, Penny Hanks, Erin has been a great help and comfort to our residents over the years. The award recognizes her extraordinary service to seniors through her volunteerism with Grand Traverse Pavilions. Hanks has volunteered at the Pavilions since she was 13 years old, serving the residents in a variety of ways from helping with events, outings, and running the gift shop in Hawthorn Cottage.

“Erin is everything you could want in a volunteer,” said Elizabeth Sonnabend, Community Relations Assistant. “She’s reliable and always puts the resident’s needs first. She’s willing to do whatever she can to help and we are excited to see her recognized for her years of service.”

“Grand Traverse Pavilions works to provide a family-like atmosphere for its residents,” says Hansen. “This unique opportunity to recognize two members of the same family for the impact they made on the entire Pavilions family was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up, especially with Penny and Erin retiring from their work at the Pavilions at the end of April.”

LeadingAge Michigan will be recognizing award recipients from throughout Michigan at its Member Awards Gala during the 49th Annual Conference. The event will be held on Tuesday, May 23, from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

About Grand Traverse Pavilions
Grand Traverse Pavilions is the region’s first and only nonprofit continuum of care. Providing services for more than 300 residents and 100 daily program participants, Grand Traverse Pavilions is a community of caring and innovation primarily serving our region’s low-income seniors. The Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation is working to potentially bring PACE, Program of All-Inclusive Care to Northern Michigan as the next level of service in that continuum.  A recipient of the Governor’s Quality Care Award, The Pavilions is owned by Grand Traverse County and governed by the Grand Traverse County Department of Human Services Board. For more information on Grand Traverse Pavilions, including how you can help support the Pavilions through volunteerism and fundraising, please visit



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