By Mickey Thaxton
Associate Executive Director
Please come and join the next “Conversation with Administration”
at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, October 18 in Lakeside Commons Encore Theater.
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 August.
• Listening sessions held with Health Services of the Resident Advisory Council are providing feedback to staff regarding access issues around campus such as the issue with Town Center restrooms not having automatic openers for the doors, which was missed. These access issues are being worked through by the committee and residents such as Suzan Wynne. Please take advantage of these sessions as we coordinate a Town Hall focused around the accessibility issues with the subject matter experts and designers present to hear your concerns. At the same time, share how the decision-making process works.
• Jeff Kimbell, Director of Dining Services, updated us on the new menu available! He encourages everyone to attend one of the Voice of the Customer focus groups. Sign-up sheets are available at each hostess stand. Jeff said that through good feedback and large attendance of over 148 participants, the BBQ in Town Center has moved to every Friday. Jeff expressed his desire to become more connected and to have small intimate conversations with residents through the Discussions with Dining group meetings. All questions, comments, and concerns are collected and posted on the MyErickson website for review. Jeff thanked the residents for the great feedback received on the Seasons Lounge, now open!
• Resident Satisfaction Surveys are now available and the survey will close on October 19. You have received a survey in your cubby, and it is also available online for completion. Once results are received, each department will develop action plans which are worked on throughout the year. Every February, the information is presented by Executive Director Gary Hibbs in the State of Community town hall. Past years have received fair results; however, this year we would like to see resident participation over 85%.
• We are continuing to hire employees based on referrals of our residents. If you know someone who would be a great fit for Riderwood, feel free to submit their resume to administration. A resident, Norm Gordon, referred his granddaughter, Shanna Gordon, and she is now one of our new Operating Associates. Shanna is an example of the individuals that we actively and intentionally are hiring in search for the best talent in the market. We encourage you to refer family and friends who may be a great asset to the Riderwood community.
• In updates with our General Services department, Andrew Janosko addressed the re-roofing project, which started at the residential buildings that are part of Montgomery Station and will continue through the fall. He stated that replacement of the flooring surrounding the buffet lines at Windsor dining room in Montgomery Station is proposed and awaiting final contracts. Andrew said that the new playground, with picnic tables, is now available behind Garden View and Madison Green overlooking Heart Lake. This is for residents with small children who visit to enjoy. He reported the low-vision steps now have a yellow riser and a white lip to assist residents taking exterior stairs. Andrew assured residents workers will be mindful of noise levels during the repairs to the Chapel area while removing the wallpaper. Last, the cooling towers are being replaced starting with Village Square. The cooling unit powers common area and residential apartments and they look forward to breaking ground in December for completion in the summer of 2019. He reminded residents that General Services town hall meetings will address their direct concerns and are recorded for review on Riderwood TV.
Questions and comments by Residents:
1. I feel the furniture and fire pit outside of the Celebrations room are not used to their full potential, specifically the umbrellas. Can anything be done so they are usable during the day?
Other residents have expressed similar concerns in person and via e-mail. We will look into a solution to this issue and provide communication as soon as possible.
2. Is the piano returning to the Town Center building now that renovations are complete?
The piano is coming back, though an exact date has yet to be determined. We will communicate the date to the residents once it’s been decided.
3. Why does the shuttle service seem slow at times, but quicker at others? Is the express shuttle quicker than the local shuttle?
The local shuttle bus has a lift for residents with wheelchairs and electric mobility vehicles, and because of this, that shuttle can sometimes take longer due to the time it takes to lift those mobility devices. If you’re in more of a rush, we recommend using the express shuttle route.
4. With the budget and fee development process currently underway, is there a resident involved in the planning process?
While residents are not directly involved with the specifics of the budgeting process, the Resident Advisory Council does provide feedback on some budgetary items and the group submits suggestions for needs around the campus. Feedback is also taken from the RAC Finance Committee. That committee is now looking for new members, and residents can volunteer by speaking to RAC Finance Liaison, Carmen Maymi.
5. What is the future plan for the existing pool in the Village Square building?
While no specific plans have been determined, ideas that have been suggested include additional classroom space, art studios, or possible conference rooms. Recommendations are welcome, so contact the administration office with your thoughts.
6. Where are residents that regularly eat at Overlook Dining Room expected to eat during the dining room’s renovation process?
By the time the Overlook Dining Room is scheduled for its renovations, the new pub eating venue in Lakeside Commons should be open. The pub is expected to seat at least 100 patrons inside and 48 additional guests outside. Additional accommodations are currently being discussed to mitigate longer wait times in Lakeside Commons.