OVERLAND PARK, KS ( March 16, 2015) -- Jean Landreville, the new executive director of Tallgrass Creek retirement community managed by Erickson Living in Overland Park, KS, proves the adage that experience is certainly the best teacher.
Landreville has spent 20 years in the senior housing and health care industries and most recently served as executive director at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va.
She also served as the associate executive director at the following Erickson Living communities: Riderwood, in Silver Spring, MD, and Fox Run in Novi, MI. She joined Erickson Living in 2005 and helped open the continuing care neighborhood at Fox Run.
Landreville is excited about her new home in Kansas as well as the unique opportunity at Tallgrass Creek.
"I love the community spirit and just the overall energy here," says Landreville, who started her new position at Tallgrass Creek in February. "Ive met almost all the residents, and their welcoming attitudes have meant everything to me."
The following Q&A with Landreville sheds light on how she is acclimating to her new position at Tallgrass Creek:
Q: What is the first thing you want to accomplish here?
A: My experience with Erickson Living shortens the learning curve at Tallgrass Creek immensely. It allows me to accomplish my first goal quickly, which is to meet as many residents as possible and find out whats on their minds. Im having a great time attending committee meetings, town hall meetings, and other activities.
Q: What is your favorite part of the executive directors job?
A: The variety of things you get to do in one day. Im also so impressed and challenged by the residents who have or formerly had such successful careers. They have well-thought-out opinions, and their talents, information, and advice is right on. It makes my job easier, and Im grateful for it.
Q: What have the different positions youve held at Erickson Living taught you that you didnt know before?
A: So much. Ive seen firsthand many times over how older peoples lives are enhanced in quality retirement communities. Academic and social learning, physical activity, healthy eating, sociability, and quality medical attention are what people of any age thrive on. For seniors, its more important than ever. Ive even seen residents look and act younger when exposed to the quality lifestyle Erickson Living communities offer.
Q: What are your first impressions about living in Kansas?
A: I heard great things about Tallgrass Creek from coworkers, but my husband Steven and I knew very little about Kansas. We both now get what the term "Midwestern hospitality" means. Were buying a home in a nearby suburb, and people here at Tallgrass Creek and in the surrounding communities are so genuine and helpful. We truly love being here.
And the location of Tallgrass is just incredible. The area is so sophisticated and varied with all the businesses, museums, shops, and restaurants. Its all here. But speaking of learning curves, Im still finding my way around (laughing).
Q: Tell us a little bit about your family.
A: My husband Steven and I are native Michigan residents and celebrated our 32nd anniversary this year. We have two grown sons who both live and work in Michigan.
Prior to my moves with Erickson Living, Steven and I lived in the same house in Detroit for 30 years where we raised our boys, so I totally get the concept of downsizing, cleaning out, and transitioning to a new life. Ive talked with many residents about their downsizing experiences, and we always agree that as hard as downsizing is, its freeing to be rid of "stuff."
My husband is also in the midst of selling a floor cleaning business hes owned for a very long time, so this is truly a new chapter for us, too.
Q: Can you tell me a surprising fact about yourself?
A: Well, I come from a family of ten children and am a twin. Another fact: My husband, boys, and I are big hockey fans as youll see from my car with its Detroit Red Wings sticker. The boys played hockey their entire lives and still play recreationally when they can. We love the sport.
Q: Have you found a favorite spot yet on the Tallgrass Creek campus?
A: There are so many lovely spots. But from the very beginning, I loved the drive up Metcalf Avenue and, suddenly, there is this beautiful, rolling acreage with a grand, gorgeous building right in the middle.
The long drive up to the front door is also stunning as you wind through all the native plants and flowers. Its a wonderful hint as to what this active, energetic community is all about.