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A life-changing move

Linden Ponds’ new sales counselor credits her mother’s wisdom

Created date

July 26th, 2011

Cathy Gray s life-changing moment came more than six years ago, during a difficult, emotional time in her life. Her mother was gravely ill and Gray and her five siblings brought their mother home to care for her in her final days. In order to spend more time with her mother, Gray took a leave of absence from her job as the executive assistant to the president of a large company. Three days before Gray s mother died, the two had the conversation that changed Gray s path. When you start taking care of someone you love, it becomes crystal clear what is important, Gray says. She confided in her mother, explaining her doubts with her profession, in which Gray had worked for 15 years between two companies. She said, Cathy, you just need to stay true to who you are, Gray remembers of that Easter Sunday in 2005. On her first day back to work, Gray gave her two-week notice.

Career changes

A year later, Gray began working at a retirement community near her home in the western suburbs of Chicago. At the time, Gray s two children were in college and she worked long days, but she says, I really did love my job because I was working with the residents all the time. Several months ago, she was approached by Erickson Living with the opportunity to move into a new role at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass. Her children were out of college and her husband supported the change, so this March, Gray accepted the job as Linden Ponds sales counselor. I love what I do; I love the company I work for, Gray says. I m helping people plan a really nice retirement one that is safe, one that is happy, one that is unburdened. Gray meets with people considering a move to Linden Ponds and educates them about the lifestyle, answering and asking questions to determine if the community is a fit. She also listens. You have to be a really good listener. They ll tell you what s important to them and what they need if you just listen, she says.

Cohesive team

Gray works as part of a cohesive team that includes Linden Ponds Personal Moving Consultant Lynne Ford and Director of Sales Christine Hansen. Cathy arrived in early March and made an immediate impact on the team, the community, and with our prospective residents, Hansen says. Potential new residents are immediately taken with her engaging approach in identifying their needs, uncovering their barriers, and walking them through the process of a move to Linden Ponds. Gray was also immediately impressed not only with her team but also with the people living at Linden Ponds and its vibrant community. I wake up every day and I m excited to go to work, Gray says. She is commuting between Linden Ponds and her Illinois home, which she typically returns to two weekends a month. If this didn t mean anything to me I wouldn t be doing the commute I think the job that I do is very important.