Conversation with Administration Recap: April 2019

By The Riderwood Reporter Staff

Please come and join the next “Conversation with Administration” at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, in Encore Theater at Lakeside Commons.    

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 without changing the accuracy of the information presented or omitted due to spacing issues for this column in the Reporter.

The following reflects the highlights of Conversation with Administration conducted in February:

Updates from the Executive Team

• Gary Hibbs introduced Judi Hensley, the new Administration Executive Assistant. Judy comes to Riderwood with 30 years of similar experience at Verizon.

• Gary also introduced the new Riderwood project manager Chris Davis. Chris will be taking on the role most recently held by Eric Williams, and, before that, Diane Johnson-Sipes.

• Jason Spivey was promoted to the position of Director of General Services. Jason was previously the Assistant Director of General Services since November of 2017.

• In May, Riderwood will host a meeting with members of the Riderwood Board of Directors to discuss the annual report and the audited financials for 2018. More details on that meeting will be coming soon.

• Jason Spivey, Director of General Services, spoke about the new cooling tower installed in Village Square. He said that work is currently underway to get the new equipment up and running, and it will be done before the warmer temperatures of late spring and summer begin. Cooling towers in Montgomery Station and Town Center are also scheduled to be replaced this fall as well.

• The roofing of Village Square and the adjoining residential buildings will be replaced starting this spring. More information will be provided as we get closer to the project’s start date.

• The Riderwood Security team recently acquired a new Ford Explorer SUV for patrolling and getting around the community.

• The Dining Services team launched a new dining menu on March 18.

• In response to the Resident Satisfaction Survey, dining will be looking to improve service across all the dining rooms. As part of the service improvement strategy, all dining room servers will go through retraining.

• The carryout areas of the dining rooms also recently instituted a quality assurance process. Each carryout meal is now assembled in the kitchen then double checked at the point of service. Residents utilizing carryout will now see a flyer attached to their meals that provides a number to call in the event of an issue with their meal.

• The dining plan for the new Lakeside Commons Pub and the relaunched Overlook dining room is currently being developed. A series of town hall meetings will occur over the next few months for residents to get updates and voice their opinions.

• At the end of the session, Gary introduced the three new Operations Associates that are working at Riderwood to learn about the ins and outs of operating a continuing care retirement community. The OAs are Shanna Gordon, Alexandra Bloom, and Derek Gainsboro.

Resident Questions and Comments

• I have some concerns about the Charles Terrace elevators. It seems the elevators are down somewhat frequently, and I’ve been told that the contract with our elevator service vendor is that they’ll respond within 24 hours. I don’t believe that is adequate with the population at this community.

We will talk to our vendor and our corporate partners about a prompter response for elevator issues.

• When can we expect to get key fobs for exterior door entry?

At this time, the possibility on getting key fobs is still under discussion and is not yet a certainty.

• Does Riderwood have any information about whether or not any of the medical specialists or general physicians will be practicing at the new Adventist Hospital?

Discussions are underway between Riderwood and the new hospital about the relationship between the two, but at this time, no information can be shared. A town hall meeting with members of the new hospital is currently scheduled for Friday, April 12 at noon in Maryland Hall.

• Are the cooling towers the same as the Makeup Air Units (MAU), and, if not, has an MAU been installed?

MAUs and cooling towers are two different pieces of equipment. Cooling towers are responsible for air cooling in an entire neighborhood (community building and residential buildings) while the MAUs are specifically responsible for heating and cooling the hallways for each residential building. The Makeup Air Unit in Park View is currently being replaced (as of this meeting) and will be ready by the warmer months.

• The Erickson corporate IT team mentioned that the communities might have smart apartments as soon as January 2019. Is there any update on that?

Riderwood has not received any word from our corporate partners about an update on the installation of smart technology in residents’ apartments.

• I want to thank the administration and the staff for their response to the mid-week snowstorm that we had yesterday (February 20).

Thank you, and we appreciate the compliment.

• With the renovations of Lakeside Commons scheduled to start soon and the Wellness Center currently under construction, are there any plans to building larger meeting spaces such as classrooms specifically in the area presently occupied by the Village Square pool?

There are currently no definitive plans for the space where the current pool exists. Some ideas have been suggested and are being taken into consideration. Our goal is always to create multi-purpose spaces that can fit a variety of uses.

• Can anything be done about getting more heat out of the existing fireplace in Town Center?

Modifications were made to the fireplace to hopefully better suit the residents of Riderwood including removing the colored beads and replacing the fogged glass. We are currently working to find a way to modify the existing fireplace to provide more heat, but no major renovations are planned for the structure.

• The Riderwood Computer Club recently met with Hans Keller (Erickson Living Vice President of Information Technologies) to discuss issues with Riderwood Connect. An article was published in the March edition of the Riderwood Reporter with more information on reporting your issues (such as speed and coverage in your apartment) with the Riderwood Connect system.

We appreciate your comments and the work the computer club is doing to help improve this system for our residents.

• Is there any plan to have a Fishing Tournament this year?

There is no fishing tournament planned for this year. Instead, there will be other events throughout the year. Look for flyers and the monthly calendar for more information as it comes up.

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