By Elaine Hauptman
An ambassador is a bridge between one country and another. This person becomes a messenger, representative, delegate and goodwill contact between these two entities. At Riderwood the Resident Ambassador program is exactly that.
The moving process can be overwhelming to most people. Many residents are downsizing from a large home into an apartment. Many others have lost a spouse. Others have moved out of state to be near family and children. Many are alone and terribly lonely. There is a definite need to match neighbor to neighbor. Friendship and sociability must be the goal.
The resident ambassador program is a volunteer club made up of 75 to 90 residents who have volunteered to advocate for Riderwood. During a sales event, the Riderwood Sales Department tries to personalize prospective residents’ experience by pairing them with an “ambassador.” Ambassadors escort prospective residents into various models of apartments, have lunch or dinner dates, and are a wonderful source of information about life here at Riderwood.
Certainly, all this information is provided by the sales staff, but having an interested person answering all your questions and concerns is truly a benefit. The prospective buyer feels like a VIP when escorted around the campus.
Any resident can volunteer for this program. There is an optional questionnaire asking what interests, career, talents, and programs the resident in which they have been involved. Personalities are linked with the prospective residents. Often, people coming from the same neighborhood make a good match. Often solo residents are paired with another solo. Couples are paired with couples whenever possible. Age has no restrictions. A ninety- year-old person can be vibrant, interesting and dynamic. Enthusiasm is the most important element in the Ambassador Program.
Two ambassador appreciation and training luncheons are held each year. Ambassadors attending the luncheons are given updates on new construction, told of exciting new plans for the campus, provided with helpful tips with connecting with prospective residents and appreciated for driving results that are shared.
Although this program was initiated in 2012, new ideas have constantly been integrated within the program. At the present time, an additional resident sponsorship program is in the planning stage.