Looking back on 18 years of Riderwood

PioneerStaff
Jason Spivey (left) poses with fellow long-time Riderwood employees (from second left to right) Frank Robinson, Fiona Divecha, and Jack Vargo. (Photo by Chris Taydus)

By Almeda Girod
Resident Writer

Jason Spivey remembers well the opening of Riderwood in May 2000. He smiles as he recalls that “there was a lot of dirt.” The Village Square clubhouse and Park View were the only structures, and he recalls that one could almost see from Village Square to the back gate through the construction equipment.

Jason served as security manager and recalls the attention Erickson gave to hiring employees who would carry out the Erickson mission of creating a culture conducive to the well-being of the residents. Fiona Divecha was a “bright-eyed bushy-tailed college student” working at the front desk. Jack Vargo (Grounds supervisor) even then had a “special flair for creating attractive nature displays.” Frank Robinson (Maintenance) has always “quietly led by example.”

Jason and Jack recall activities such as the “Haunted Trail” near the Park View Nature Trail where employee volunteers dressed up as vampires and zombies with Jason dressing up as Jason from Friday the 13th complete with hockey mask. Former Associate Executive Director Bo Lundh’s son still remembers being scared on the 2000 Haunted Trail.

Jason, who had been with the Erickson organization since 1995, first working at Oak Crest and later Greenspring. He left in 2004 to work for another retirement community, Edenwald, in Towson. When the opportunity presented itself in November 2017, he returned to Riderwood as the assistant General Service Director. He had carried with him fond memories of the Erickson values and culture.

Jason grew up in nearby Glen Burnie and followed in his father’s footsteps into police work. He first heard of the opportunity for employment at Erickson while a student at Anne Arundel Community College. Jason is an avid motorcyclist but does not plan to drive to work from his home in Baltimore County through the “crazy traffic.” He has been married to Heather, a nurse, for 10 years. He delights in being the father of 9-year old Ava who he describes as a “fiery redhead with a personality to go with it”. After a recent visit to Riderwood, Ava asked if the family could move here.

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