One of the first people you meet when you arrive at Meadowood is Kristin Gartner, Lead Community Service Associate. While you may recognize the friendly face sitting behind the welcome desk of our Schultz Community Center (she knows yours!), read on to learn more about Kristin’s heart and passion for working at Meadowood.
Always on the Front Lines
In 2019, Kristin started her career at Meadowood at the prompting of a friend who also worked here. While this is her first role in senior living, she has always worked with people in a customer service capacity.
Prior to having children, now a grown son and daughter she loves so much she “wishes she could clone them,” Kristin worked in sales positions. After staying home and raising her son and daughter (managing the homefront battlegrounds), she took on a challenging role in the healthcare division of a large market research company. Cultivating relationships with physicians, HCPs, payers, decision-makers and opinion leaders, she coordinated and executed medical market research studies and surveys, always with exceptional attention to detail and high-touch client service.
From there, Kristin entered a fast-paced manufacturing environment, coordinating field service technicians for a material testing machinery company. She was fascinated by the machines that would test tension and compression, impact, melt flow, and even a machine that would fold paper 175 times a minute! Signing the calibration certificates, she felt like she had a part in the safety and functionality of some of the world’s major manufacturers.
Compared to working previous jobs, Kristin says working at Meadowood is “like working at Disney World.”
What attracted Kristin to her front line role at Meadowood was the opportunity to engage with the residents and staff. “Meadowood is like a magnet for people who are genuine and caring. It’s an amazing place. I wish I’d found this role earlier in my career!”
And if there’s ever an emergency at Meadowood? Kristin has been trained in CPR/AED, ready to further serve residents and visitors with whom she comes in contact.
Rainy Days and Mondays Never Bring Her Down: A Day in the Life at Meadowood
No day is ever the same at Meadowood! There are days when the phone never stops ringing, and others when there is always someone coming in the door. “In this role, you’re the hub. You have to know what’s going on,” says Kristin. “You’re here to help solve problems and answer questions. It’s exciting!”
Is there a bad day at Meadowood? “I can come to work on a rainy Monday and be happy. Then when I head out on Fridays, I feel like it was a great week and I’ll miss everyone over the weekends,” says Kristin. “I never had a job like this, nothing like I’m doing now. This field is filled with a lot of big-hearted people who genuinely care about people and enjoy their work.”
Some days Kristin is a shoulder to cry on for a resident mourning the loss of a spouse. Other days, she is hooking a necklace before a resident heads out the door. “On any given day, what may seem like a small problem to me may be a huge problem to a resident, and being able to solve those problems is so rewarding. And they’re so grateful. It seems menial, but it’s a good feeling. Every day I know I’ve helped people, and they are happy.”
When She’s Not Working at Meadowood…
An avid golfer, Kristin enjoys meeting people while golfing in and around the Montgomery County area. She’s always happy to be added to a foursome!
Amidst the pandemic, she’s spent a lot of time at home with family, trying to stay healthy to help protect Meadowood residents. When not doing home improvements, making charcuterie boards and drinking wine with her fiance have become favorite pastimes.
Her children are a big part of her life too – one is recently engaged, and the other is close behind (she thinks!).
How Living and Working at Meadowood Makes You Feel?
One of Kristin’s favorite quotes from Maya Angelou is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Kristin says she felt how special Meadowood was the first day she stepped foot in the community. Throughout her years here, she recalls special relationships she’s built with residents especially, being able to get to know them deeply – many have become like extra parents or aunts and uncles to her.
In particular, a memory she cherishes is Christmas caroling with the staff, going door to door to residents, singing and holding candles. “It was this picture postcard moment, spreading traditional holiday cheer around campus,” says Kristin. “I still get goosebumps thinking about it. It was beautiful, even though none of us intend to quit our day jobs to be singers!”
Is Working at Meadowood Right For You?
Kristin is proud of the culture at Meadowood that is shared by staff and residents alike.
“The community and staff are unlike anywhere else,” says Kristin. “Meadowood hires great people. I know this industry attracts special people, and I think for Meadowood, you’ve got to be even more special. From the top down, the people here are talented, caring, dedicated, and have integrity. If people feel half of what I feel when I am here, they’ll want to work here too!”
To work with Kristin or experience Meadowood for yourself, please check out our careers page.