Going From Caregiver to Executive Director with Trisha Barbera

Trisha Barbera has been with Singh for a decade. Currently, she works as Executive Director of Oakland Helping Hands, but she has held a few different positions at Singh over the last ten years.


Oakland Helping Hands is the non-medical side of Waltonwood where caregivers provide care in the community and in Waltonwood’s Independent Living. They also provide companion care in assisted living and memory care units.


Before she joined the team, Trisha was laid off. Nervous and not knowing what to do, she reached out to the family. Luckily, her aunt and cousin worked at Waltonwood in Novi and told her to apply–so, she did. Trisha originally started as a caregiver and worked her way up after receiving her bachelor’s in social work. But she wasn’t done learning yet. She then became a med-tech and, after a couple of years, decided she was ready to get her master’s. After receiving her degree, she became the associate executive director, providing her the training she would need to take over as executive director in the future.


With years of experience and under her belt, Trisha is ready to share everything she has learned so far and why everyone should join the team at Singh. Here’s what she had to say!


How do you keep the Singh Tradition of Excellence thriving?


At the end of the day, my goal is to always make families and the residents themselves feel like this is their home too, and that we are all part of their extended family. I know that the company makes me feel that way, so my goal every day is to make the residents and families feel that way.”


What have you learned during your time at Singh?


The biggest thing I’ve learned is that work can be your extended family. I have a lot of friends that are in different fields or even the same field and I have to say that I’ve definitely learned that a job doesn’t have to just be a job. I come to work and feel like this is my extended family; everyone from the owners down to the front-line staff.”


What keeps you coming back every day?


“When I started with the company, I was 19 or 20, but I still remember when I was in memory care working as a caregiver. I was there for maybe 2 or 3 months and Gary Grewal himself sat down with us during an event. I still remember him asking us, ‘What don’t you like about being here?’ and all of us 19 to 25-year-olds were like oh my gosh we can’t say anything bad to the owner, so we all said, “nothing’. He said, ‘well that would be shocking, not everything can be great,’ but we said, ‘no, everything’s great’ and he said, ‘you’re going to tell me that everyday nothing bad happens?’. He was really trying to get that out of us and finally, we had a great discussion about things that we thought could be improved.



In my ten years here, I think about when I started and where we are now and it’s just amazing that the owners here do take in all of that feedback that everyone gives them; whether they’re dining or a caregiver, they take that all the way in and make those improvements every day, every month, every year.”


What advice would you give new employees?


“That it’s really not that bad. I tell my caregivers all the time when they first start, ‘if you need anything, call’ and I think that every executive director in this company feels that way because we know that corporate has our back, so if they need something and they’re not getting it then we can take that to corporate and they can help us get whatever is that we need. So, they just need to know that we are here for them and we are listening. I also think that Singh has done an awesome job with their incentive programs to help us. We can now send caregivers to be certified as a CNA, so just letting people know of those opportunities and if they stay with us, they will have opportunities where other companies aren’t doing that as much or as well as us.”


Are you willing to learn and ready to be part of the Singh family? Apply today and join our team!




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