Rachael Operacz’s official title at Sunset Village is Admissions Counselor. But for new and potential Sunset residents, her role is that of an educator, a sounding board, and a move-in coordinator.
“When people visit Sunset Village, we’re often their first stop as they begin to learn about living options,” explains Rachael. “Listening to their struggles and offering empathy tends to help lessen their anxiety.”
Rachael started her career with Sunset Communities in 1996 at Sunset House. Following a break to spend time as a stay-at-home mom, she returned in 2009 to Sunset Village.
After graduating from Woodmore High School in Elmore, Ohio, Rachael earned a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University. She then went on to become a licensed social worker.
"I love hearing visitors describe the warm feeling they get when they walk through our doors."
Away from work, Rachael’s most preferred activity is reading—indeed, she describes it as her only hobby. She generally loves any music that’s not rap—classic 80s and current pop rock, especially. And speaking of music: people tell Rachael that she’s a good singer—but she’s a self-professed lousy piano player.
Having visited Hawaii twice, Rachael is partial to the state as a travel destination. She likes movies (The Sound of Music, Sixteen Candles, The Shawshank Redemption, and So I Married an Ax Murderer) and television shows (The Resident, 9-1-1, Madam Secretary, and This Is Us, among others). She’s a fan of the Detroit Tigers and Dallas Cowboys, but her favorite sports teams to root for are those on which her son plays.
Rachael says that meeting families and showing them around the beautiful Sunset Village building is the best part of her job.
“I love that we are so person-centered when it comes to providing care,” says Rachael. “I love hearing visitors describe the warm feeling they get when they walk through our doors. And I love working for a nonprofit organization—and all that we’re able to offer our residents because of our nonprofit status.”
Her official title aside, Rachael sees her role as mentor, advisor, cheerleader, and coach for families trying to navigate the care for their aging loved ones. And from our residents’ perspectives, she’s just the person for the job.