By Mickey Thaxton
Associate Executive Director
Please come and join the next “Conversation with Administration”
at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 12,
in Maryland Hall at Montgomery Station
These monthly conversations provide an opportunity for residents to share concerns and receive feedback. They also help Administration understand what we can do to improve service to residents. Transcripts of questions and answers from the meeting may be rephrased for this column in the Reporter without changing the accuracy of the information presented.
The following reflects the highlights of Conversation with Administration conducted in July.
• The new 2018 resident handbooks are now available. Special thanks to Resident Life Administrative Assistant Gerri Perry and resident Jim Torri for their assistance with the updates. In an effort to keep the information up to date, the PDF version on MyErickson will be periodically refreshed with new information and resident recommendations.
• Jeff Kimbell, Director of Dining Services, notified residents that all dining locations had rolled out updated menus on July 16. Jeff expressed the importance of the Voice of the Customer meetings that are held before each new menu rollout. This is the opportunity for residents to make suggestions for new and updated menu offerings. The new Wye Oak Bistro menu also recently launched with its new Mediterranean-themed menu featuring more healthy options as well. Jeff also mentioned that with Seasons Restaurant getting ready to reopen, the new Seasons Lounge will also open. The Lounge will have many of the favorites previously available on the Wye Oak Pub menu.
• The Sales and Marketing department has returned to Town Center according to Sales and Marketing Director George Mishraky. George revealed that through June the community had averaged a 96% occupancy rate, which translates to approximately 60 open apartments in Independent Living. Riderwood has welcomed 154 news residents into 110 apartments through June. Ryan Barkley, Sales Manager, left the community on July 27 to start as the Sales and Marketing Director at Windsor Run in Matthews, North Carolina.
• From the General Services department, Simone Gomez, Re-occupancy Manager, spoke on the return of the Mobile Post Office at various community buildings Monday through Friday. Simone also said that residents are asked to contact their local county council members to voice their displeasure with the conditions of the pavement on Gracefield Road and Beltsville Drive. She also said that repairs have begun on make-up air units (MAUs) that are not currently in operation.
• Fiona Divecha, Resident Life and Philanthropy Manager, provided updates from the Resident Life team. She pointed out that Riderwood TV would be undergoing some changes to its programming schedule in September and that the studio staff would be bringing that information to residents soon. As it pertains to Philanthropy, Fiona thanked all residents for their contributions to the Benevolent Care Fund. The fund currently supports nine residents. She gave a special thanks to the volunteers of the Treasure Chest. The organization, made up of about 70 resident volunteers, just donated $56,000 to the Benevolent Care Fund.
Questions and comments by Residents:
1. Is it possible to add call forwarding to the resident phone service?
While this is not a service currently available or currently being explored, we’ve spoken to our corporate partners in Information Technologies who will investigate it further.
2. I was unable to find a program I was looking for on RiderwoodTV.com. Am I doing something wrong?
Due to space limitations, RiderwoodTV.com can only keep programs on their website for a finite amount of time. If a resident would like a specific program added back to the website, please let the TV Studio staff know and, as long as the program isn’t too date sensitive, the station would be happy to re-air the program and add it back to the website. DVDs can also be purchased of most programs for $5.
3. In the future, can we refrain from using “Hearing Impaired” when referencing deaf/hard of hearing residents?
We apologize for the unintended offense and we will make the effort to improve our language in all outlets.
4. Are there any plans to have regular carpet cleanings in highly-trafficked areas of the community?
We are currently in the final phases of contracting a vendor that will clean the carpets on a monthly basis with the option of increasing the frequency as needed.
5. Is it possible to include sign language interpreters at more events across the campus including events like weekly Bingo and computer classes.
With over 240 resident-run groups and activities, it is fiscally difficult to provide sign language interpreters for many events. Riderwood strives to have interpreters for larger events such as town hall meetings. We will try to make the names of residents that are able to be sign language interpreters available in the near future.