When Lisa Rodriguez was selected as the Tanglewood Group’s Employee of the Year in December 2012, she was shocked and surprised. Rodriguez, who is in her 13th year working for the company, was recognized for her hard work and dedication as the third shift supervisor at Tanglewood Manor. Her award consisted of two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States or Caribbean, and $1,000 spending money.
The choice of a destination was easy for Rodriguez. She chose Puerto Rico, the place where her father was born. She still has family members who reside there and the beach location was perfect because it combined the warmth and relaxation of the tropics with the opportunity to explore areas that she had heard of from family members who had visited the island before her.
Her trip was indeed a family affair, as she gave her extra airline ticket to her twin sister, Amy. They traveled with their brother, Steven, and his wife, Angela. Their trip included a stay in Luquillo, where they enjoyed the beach at Playa Azul during the day. In the evenings they sampled the local cuisine that was offered at the various Kiosks along the main strip. Her favorite Puerto Rican specialties were Mofongo, Chicarron and Alcapurrias, as well as fresh Coco Frio on the beach.
Lisa is known for her “work hard, play hard” attitude and this trip offered her a chance for excitement when they braved the zip line course at El Yunque National forest. Another adventure that they experienced was a challenging hike through the rainforest to see the beautiful LaMina Falls.
They learned a bit of family history along the way, discovering that her grandfather was a part of the Civilian Conservation Corps a work program created during the Great Depression under President Roosevelt’s New Deal. This program built the trail that they had hiked on in the National Forest. Rodriguez and her traveling companions also had an opportunity to spend time with extended family; they visited with a cousin who lives on the island during their stop at Old San Juan.
An area native, Rodriguez is a graduate of Jamestown High School and attended JCC and West Virginia University, where she studied music education. She started working at Tanglewood in 2000, when it was recommended to her by a friend. She loves her work and noted that she feels the company “cares for its staff as well as its residents.” She loves the friendly atmosphere of the facility and the residents for whom she cares.
Rodriguez said she was very grateful for the opportunity to take this trip and she hopes to return to Puerto Rico at some point in the future. She documented her trip by sending home some pictures of her “Traveling Tanglewood T-shirt,” a feature that showcases the many travels of Tanglewood employees and friends.