By Bob Merikangas
When you read this article, you may have already talked with our new Associate Executive Director, Alphonso Westley. When I spoke with him on April 4, shortly after his arrival on March 25, he had walked all around the campus, talking with residents in every neighborhood. He told me he was putting time in his daily schedules so he could visit every floor in every building, to see names and faces everywhere. He wants to have conversations and begin engaging in relationships with all residents and staff.
Alphonso, who can be greeted also as Fonz or AW, came here after working eight years with Sunrise Senior Living communities, most recently as Regional Director of Operations in Northern Virginia supporting eight communities. With Sunrise he also held administrative positions in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Their communities provide separate facilities, for independent living, assisted living, and memory care.
Why did he come here? He heard good information about Erickson Living communities, about the way of life that is put into practice. He had spoken with Erickson employees in various contexts, including at conferences. He then had interviews with Erickson and decided the best-fit location for him was Riderwood due to the proximity to his home in Fort Washington, Maryland.
Alphonso’s education and experience have prepared him for this career. He earned degrees from Boston University and Cambridge College involving health care management. He did National Community Service work with AmeriCorps in 2006-2008 for inner city youth, and work involving care for hospital-patient relations in Partners HealthCare at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Now here at Riderwood, Alphonso is getting involved in many activities, including the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. His main focus in administration is partnering with the departments of Resident Life and Director Lori Simpson.
Alphonso is committed to good communication with residents and staff, being in touch with people all over campus. At the time of the interview, he was preparing to meet one-to-one with all the members of the Resident Advisory Council. The Riderwood Community is excited to welcome Alphonso to our community!