Carlton Senior Living Wins the Gold for 2023 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards for Innovator of the Year –

Concord, CA, September 21, 2023 –(– “Winning the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards for Innovator of the Year is huge for us!” exclaimed Taren Petros, VP of Business Operations & Technology at Carlton Senior Living. “At Carlton, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technology and winning this award truly validates all the work our residents and staff have put into making this project a success. Every day, our staff and residents use Alexa devices and platforms like Speak2 to connect in a unique and efficient way, saving staff time and putting residents at ease, knowing their requests are being heard and taken care of. We are proud of the work we have put into this project, and we will continue to push the boundaries of how voice-activated technology can help connect our communities. We thank McKnights for acknowledging technology is important to the industry and honoring us with this award.”

The 2023 McKnight’s Award for Innovator of the Year is a significant achievement for Carlton. It underscores the organization’s dedication to staying at the forefront of technology and its relentless pursuit of excellence in senior care. The award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Carlton’s residents and staff in making this transformative project a resounding success.

At Carlton, everyday life is enhanced by using innovative technology, including Alexa devices and the Speak2 platform, to facilitate unique and efficient communication. These tools save staff time and provide residents with peace of mind, knowing that their requests are heard and attended to promptly.

Senior living providers face the complex task of catering to existing customers while attracting a new, tech-savvy demographic and maintaining a dedicated staff. Carlton’s approach sets them apart, focusing on treating staff as valued customers rather than just employees.

Dave Coluzzi, President of Carlton Senior Living, emphasized the organization’s commitment to its staff: “There is a reason we show up on ‘Best Places to Work’ lists. It is because we listen to staff, appreciate their perspective, and strive to meet their needs.” This focus on staff ensures our commitment to resident and family satisfaction.

To tackle the staffing challenge, Carlton collaborated with Amazon partner Speak2, a New York-based senior living technology platform specializing in Alexa solutions. They aimed to harness Alexa’s capabilities to streamline staff responsibilities and enhance resident communication.

Matt Smith, CEO of Speak2, explained Carlton’s innovative approach: “Carlton wanted to make it possible for their residents to ask for help and provide as much information as possible so they could triage incoming requests. Instead of pressing a pendant for non-emergencies, they could ask for information or request a specific department, making it easier for staff to manage their time.”

The technology deployment included a mix of mobile apps for staff, a hybrid of app and web for management, and Alexa devices for residents, creating seamless communication across the community.

Jennell Revera, Executive Director at Carlton’s Elk Grove location, described the impact: “My staff loves the app. Moving away from old-school systems empowers them. They make announcements, schedule daily reminders, and can take attendance in real time. Meanwhile, residents can ask Alexa for information, call the front desk, and even book rides. It is an amazing transformation.”

The efficiency gains resulting from the implementation of Alexa have reduced the time staff spend addressing basic questions and handling non-urgent requests, freeing up valuable time for more critical tasks.

Carlton’s partnership with Alexa Smart Properties and Speak2 has yielded impressive outcomes, including an 83% reduction in data entry, a 91% reduction in duplicate visits, and a 34% reduction in resident emergency pendant requests—all of which contribute to improved staff efficiency and a person-centered care approach.

This award-winning collaboration reinforces Carlton’s commitment to delivering top-notch senior care through innovative solutions. The Innovator of the Year award from the 2023 McKnight’s Tech Awards is a testament to their dedication to enhancing the lives of residents and creating a better future for senior living.

For more information about Carlton Senior Living and their innovative technology solutions, please visit

About Carlton Senior Living:
Since 1985, Carlton has been a trusted provider of senior care services, dedicated to enriching the lives of older adults through exceptional person-centered care. With communities throughout Northern California, Carlton Senior Living offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care lifestyles, ensuring a comfortable and supportive environment for seniors to thrive.