Grace Ridge Welcomes New Executive Director Chris Romick

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Grace Ridge Retirement Community welcomes Chris Romick as its new Executive Director. Romick will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Life Plan Community, which offers an active, independent lifestyle with a full continuum of care. “It’s an honor to be part of the Grace Ridge family and Morganton community and I look forward to getting to know all the residents and team members,” Romick said. “I’m also excited about the investment made in this community and the continuation of upgrades and renovations that started in 2013.” Romick brings more than 20 years’ experience in the senior living industry. He is a licensed nursing home administrator and has previously held the roles of marketing director, regional director and executive director. “In those roles, Chris succeeded by developing financially sound communities with high resident satisfaction and team member engagement scores and we’re confident that he’ll have continued success at Grace Ridge,” said David Pope, vice president of clinical services, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge. Romick’s background provides a diverse knowledge of what it takes to develop a well-functioning community. Notable projects include a $147 million retirement community redevelopment, a $126 million start-up continuing care retirement community, and working with a groundbreaking amenity for senior living communities designed to make residents’ lives simpler, healthier and happier. The U.S. Navy veteran holds a B.A. in Gerontology Administration from Kent State University and an MBA in Marketing from American Public University. Romick succeeds Brenda Yost, who retired from Grace Ridge in...

Grace Ridge Staff Recertified as Ageless Grace Instructors

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Press Release: Grace Ridge Retirement Community has recertified staff members, Kelli Harris Huggins and Evelyn Beaver, as Ageless Grace instructors. Designed for healthy longevity of the body and brain, Ageless Grace is a fitness program that combines research from areas of medicine, neuroscience, physical therapy, martial arts and fitness. Grace Ridge is one of the few senior living communities in North Carolina, and the United States, with certified instructors. Juicy Joints, Gentle Geometry, Rockin’ Rockettes and Spaghetti Spine are examples of the anything but ordinary exercise classes offered under this unique fitness program. The program’s 21 tools (movements) are based primarily on the science of neuroplasticity to help stimulate different areas of the brain: analytical, strategic, kinesthetic learning, memory/recall, creativity and imagination. “This program is one of the many ways our residents have fun and stay healthy with our Good Moods and Well4Life programs,” says Kelli Harris Huggins, wellness coordinator, Grace Ridge. “All the movements have creative and imaginative names, like Shake it up Baby! and Zoo-ology, so they are easy to remember,” adds Evelyn Beaver, director of life enrichment, Grace Ridge. “They are designed to be performed seated in a chair, but they can also be done on a bed, standing near or behind a chair, down on the floor or standing. Almost anyone can do them, regardless of their physical condition, and they are simple to do at home.” The Ageless Grace program was founded and created by Denise Medved, a leader in the fitness world and trainer for movement modalities for the last 27 years. The program is offered in other...
Good Reflections of a Good Leader: Brenda Yost Retires from Grace Ridge

Good Reflections of a Good Leader: Brenda Yost Retires from Grace Ridge

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Just a few weeks shy of her 9-year anniversary as Executive Director of Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton, NC, Brenda Yost is embarking on her own retirement adventure: A move to Auburn, Ala., back into the same home she and her husband, Danny, originally moved into 31 years ago. We sat down with Brenda to reflect on her time at Grace Ridge and find out what her plans are for life’s fourth quarter. A Match Made in Heaven Brenda Yost didn’t initially pursue the role of Executive Director at Grace Ridge. Rather, the opportunity serendipitously found her. Needing to move back to North Carolina from Alabama to be closer to her mom, Brenda applied for a few jobs near the I-85 corridor, including Patient Safety Officer at Charlotte Memorial Hospital (now Carolinas HealthCare System). However, the human resources department thought Brenda’s geriatric nursing skills were a better fit for a different position: Executive director at a hospital-affiliated retirement community. “Long story short, I came to Morganton for an interview and fell in love with the people and fell in love with the place,” she said. “I knew I wanted the job and that it was something I wanted to do. It was like a match made in heaven.” First Impressions, Tearing Down Barriers During her first 30 days, Brenda jotted down her observations and questions in a notebook that she recently came across while cleaning out her office. Sparse landscaping, decades old carpet with duct tape on the seams and a bird aviary in need of some TLC were noted in the book....

Good People: Meet Evelyn Beaver, Life Enrichment Director

🔊 Listen to This Blog. As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Evelyn Beaver, our Life Enrichment Director who has worked at Grace Ridge for nearly 18 years. Evelyn plans activities for residents, including medical and leisure transportation, wellness massage therapy, trips and events. She also works with the media to share the good work that Grace Ridge is doing with the community. Evelyn attributes her tenure to loving her work and says she has the best job ever. Evelyn appreciates the opportunity to grow and learn from such great co-workers and residents. Evelyn literally gets to help make dreams come true. One of the best parts of her job is when she gets to help residents fulfill their “bucket list” activities, such as zip-lining, visiting New York City at Christmas and going on a cruise on the St. Lawrence River. However, she said, the most important part is building relationships with residents and their families. Evelyn enjoys meeting residents and their families and feels that she would be lost without them. If she didn’t work at Grace Ridge, she would like to write a book about her time working at Grace Ridge. She has been recognized multiple times for her outstanding work with Grace Ridge and has received the Carolinas Healthcare System Pinnacle Award and a merit award of excellence. When Evelyn isn’t working, she enjoys life by traveling, painting, making pottery, knitting, being active in her...

Good People: Meet Alice Clay, Massage Therapist and Activity Assistant

🔊 Listen to This Blog. As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Alice Clay, who is a massage therapist and activity assistant. Alice has worked at Grace Ridge for 17 years, starting as an activity assistant and then working her way through massage therapy school. Alice is very proud to know that she makes a positive difference in the residents’ lives through massage therapy and assisting with activities that Grace Ridge offers. She said she enjoys working with the residents at Grace Ridge because each day is different. Alice approaches each resident as a unique individual with individual needs and likes. These differences allow her the opportunity to personalize her services to meet the residents’ specific needs. If Alice didn’t work at Grace Ridge, she feels like she would have missed out on what she describes as “the best job ever,” – working with wonderful people. One of Alice’s favorite memories during her tenure at Grace Ridge occurred when her teammates and residents surprised her with a 50th birthday party. She was so overwhelmed that she started to cry. One of the residents said, “Hon, don’t cry! You need a tissue.” Then, the resident jokingly pulled out a maxi-pad from her sweater sleeve, which made everyone laugh. Alice has been recognized multiple times for her outstanding work with Grace Ridge, including an award of merit and recognition for 15 years of employment. When Alice isn’t working, she enjoys...

Good People: Meet Dennis Gardin, Director of Plant Operations, Safety and Security

🔊 Listen to This Blog. As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Dennis Gardin, our Director of Plant Operations, Safety and Security. Dennis is another long-term employee who has worked at Grace Ridge for nearly 22 years. He attributes his tenure to treating everyone with respect, doing a good job, meeting deadlines and being a good leader. Dennis feels great pride when residents and their families comment on the community’s excellent maintenance as one of the reasons they chose Grace Ridge. Dennis especially enjoys meeting residents and their families and learning about their careers, hobbies and families. If he didn’t work at Grace Ridge, he said he would be working in a similar business where he can interact with people. Dennis has been recognized multiple times for his outstanding work with Grace Ridge. He has received awards for being the Employee of the Quarter, a Tier One Leader (twice) and the #1 Team Leader in the resident satisfaction survey. When Dennis is off-duty, he enjoys riding his motorcycle to unwind and building projects at his house. Thank you, Dennis, and all of Grace Ridge’s outstanding...