Parkville, Maryland--Brittany Woodard balances dual roles in her busy life: she is a Sales Associate at Oak Crest retirement community and serves her country as a Senior Airman in the Military Police of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Before beginning her military duties, Brittany had applied for a new position within the Oak Crest Sales Department. She began her career with Erickson Living at Charlestown in 2009 before coming to Oak Crest in 2015 as a dining manager.
She got the job in sales, but as timing would have it, learned shortly thereafter that her ship date for basic military training was soon approaching. As Brittany describes, she took the time to meet with her new manager, Dan Plakatoris, now the Associate Director of Sales, to explain the situation.
"Dan was very encouraging and assured me that my job would be waiting when I returned," recalled Brittany. "While at training, he and the team sent me letters of encouragement and photographs to keep my spirits high. After being away for nearly seven months, I was welcomed back with open arms."
"It was simply the right thing to do," noted Dan. "We are proud of Brittany's service to our nation; she took a courageous path. Brittany is a member of our family, and it was natural for the team to want to show her our full support."
Brittany has had a busy year. Her Air Force Reserve responsibilities have included weekend assignments, technical school and seasonal training. She noted that Dan "kept the line of communication open and even invited others to work on a temporary basis in my absence, providing them with job experience to pursue their own careers. I could not ask for a better leader than Dan."
As a result of this collaborative spirit, Brittany nominated Dan for a "Patriotic Employer" award as conferred by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Office of the Secretary of Defense. On June 5 in front of their colleagues on the Oak Crest Sales Team, Brittany was proud to present Dan with the award.
Officially, the plaque recognizes Dan as a "Patriotic Employer for contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America's National Guard and Reserve Force."
"I simply wanted Dan to feel appreciated," said Brittany.
On August 9, Brittany will face a new challenge: she begins a nine-month overseas deployment.
"Throughout her upcoming service abroad, all of Oak Crest will be thinking about Brittany," Dan said. "She is truly an everyday hero."
For more information about career opportunities at Oak Crest, please visit https://jobs.ericksonliving.com. Visitors can register for email alerts about job postings by field of expertise and location.
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Parkville, Maryland. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,100 residents and 1,250 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Oak Crest. Additional information can be found at OakCrestCommunity.com.