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MN SWAP Award Nomination Information

Each year at the fall conference, MN SWAP honors individuals who have excelled and stood out in supporting the activity profession and aging services. Members of MN SWAP have the opportunity to nominate an individual(s) who they feel have gone above and beyond in their commitment and service in promoting quality of life to our residents and seniors. The following categories are available for nomination.

All nomination applications are due July 1st of each year to be considered for the fall conference award. Nomination applications forms and letters of support are mailed to the current MN SWAP Vice President. The nominees receiving any of the above awards may be considered for the awards given by the National Association of Activity Professionals.

Mail or email all award nominations to MN SWAP Vice President
Michele Henifin

Activity Professional Award of Excellence (Click here for nomination form)
The professional nominated for this award has made a significant impact in the activity/recreation profession, emphasizing their contributions to the quality of life for the aging population. They have shown dedication and service through accomplishments in their facility and leadership in local, state, and/or national organizations. The nominee can be an individual working as a director or assistant in the field of activities/recreation/leisure services, and must be a current member of the MN SWAP organization.

Volunteer of the Year (Click here for nomination form)
The Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to a person or group of individuals engaging in regular, unpaid volunteer activity-oriented service within a facility or agency of which a MN SWAP member is employed.

Excellence in Administration Award (Click here for nomination form)
This award is presented to an Administrator, Executive Director, CEO, or someone in a similar position that has consistently given support to the advancement of activity and recreation services and the profession. To nominate an individual for this award, the nominating person must be a current MN SWAP member. The nominee will have significantly supported the MN SWAP Activity/Recreation Professional in their contribution to the health and resident’s quality of life of the facility/agency; supported the activity/recreation professional’s role in local, state, and/or national activity professional associations, continuing education endeavors, and professionalism.

Congratulations to MN SWAP's 2016 Award Winners!

Activity Professional
of the Year

Annette Gunnerson
Annandale Health & Community Services
Annandale, MN.





First as a housekeeper and then as an activity assistant, Annette began her career working with seniors more that twenty decades ago. Her sense of humor love for seniors gave her the intiviative to go back to school to become a certified Activity Director. Her housing director states the Annette has truliy revitalized our activity programming, increased participation and has developed community connections with various groups. Annette is also a certified Demientia Practitioner and has developed meaningful programs for her Dementia popluation.

Congratulations Annette!



Excellence in Administration

Anthony Fenstad
Country Manor Senior Apartments
Sartell, MN



Anthony strives very had to uphold the mission of our facility “to enrich the quality of life for the individuals and families we serve by providing superior healthcare and services.” He supports activity programming by making them a part of team meetings and discussing the calendar.  He support his staff by giving them the opportunity to attend MN SWAP and other education activities. 

Anthony is known to help on Sunday morning brunches as well as pouring wine at the bi-monthly candlelight dinner.  He always has a listening ear when we have concerns.

A nursing assistant in high school in his facility, later a college internship, and now 21 years later the director of housing and community services at Country Manor Senior Apartment of Sartell. 

Congratulations Anthony!

Pictured with Anthony is Sue Breeschoten, Activity Director, who nominated him for the award.

Volunteer of the Year

Deb Dongen
Ecumen Meadows
Worthington, MN




We aren’t the same place without her and certainly miss her when she isn’t here.” Her activity director describes her as “a breath of fresh air whenever she is around.” She works tirelessly to improve the quality of life for our residents. Being ready with a smile and an outstretched hand, she knows when a resident needs a hug. As an effective group leader, she readily leads groups big or small helping those around her to have a pleasant encounter or feel better about themselves.
Deb says that volunteering brings meaning to her life. She has another job that "pays the bills" but coming to our home "fills her up." Definitely not shy, she uses her gift of humor and outgoing nature to lift those around her by helping them to laugh.

Congratulations Deb!

Pictured with Deb is Cheryl Dinsmore, Activity Director who nominated her for the award.

Interested in nominating someone you know is deserving of these awards?
Click on the "Awards" link above for more information and the nomination form.
Submit nominations to the MN SWAP Board by July 1st for next year's conference.