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The ‘grande dame’ of Ann’s Choice

Marie Dmoch brings passion to work every day

Created date

August 23rd, 2011

Marie Dmoch says it s ridiculous to call her the woman who built Ann s Choice or the community s grande dame. I m like a piece of the furniture because I ve been here so long, she says. Last month marked her ten-year anniversary. Hired at Ann s Choice before there even was a welcome center, she s ideally suited to the job. As a child, she dreamed of being a stewardess or maybe a kindergarten teacher both caring careers. Mainly, I wanted to be married, be a mom, and have five children. A south Philly native, she married and raised four daughters in Holland, Pa., where she still lives. When the oldest was ready for college, Dmoch traded stay-at-home-mom status for a nurse s aide position at a continuing care retirement community. She advanced from nurse s aide to activities director to marketing director, then became marketing director at a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Wilmington, Del. Just as she tired of the nearly two-hour commute, Jim Kelly, former executive director at her first CCRC and now vice president of sales and marketing at Erickson Living, recruited her for Ann s Choice. It was the best move I ever made. I truly love it, says Dmoch. When you re here this long, you feel like everyone is your family. And family matters most to Dmoch. That s not to say my daughters and I never disagree, she says. They ask my opinion, then do what they please; they try to mother me and I do what I want. But we re very close and talk on the phone many times through the week. She raised her girls to be independent. I told them they could be anything they wanted. Don t let anyone tell you you can t do something because you re a woman, I said. But I also said, You can t live more than 150 miles from your mother. That last caution didn t stick. Dmoch s youngest daughter, Jackie, lives in Holland, Pa.; Kim is in Maryland; Chrissy, in Massachusetts; and Nicole, in Oregon. When Nicole visits, everyone, including nine grandchildren, gathers at Mom s house, the five-bedroom, split-level where the girls grew up. I ve always been very healthy and I don t sit still much, Dmoch says. I feel you have a small window with grandchildren, between when they re born until they re 10 or 11 and their interests and friends take over. So now I m down on the floor with them, climbing with them, swimming with them. On weekends she does chores, gets together with friends and family, dog sits for vacationing daughters, and gardens. She s established multiple flowerbeds on her three-quarter-acre property and planted a vegetable garden this summer to entice her Holland grandchildren to eat more veggies. She also cheers the Phillies and reads books that tell interesting stories through unpredictable plots. And, having grown up in the birthplace of Dick Clark s American Bandstand, she loves to jitterbug. From when the girls were little to my grandchildren now, we always dance in the kitchen, she says. The radio s always on. If there s music, we all dance and jump. Dmoch says she will live at Ann s Choice one day to not burden her children with her care. She ll also fulfill another childhood dream there to be an artist. My goal is to take the watercolor class and not be embarrassed to show anybody my paintings. You can schedule an appointment and tour with Marie Dmoch by calling 1-800-695-9082.