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Customer experience comes first

New Riderwood executive talks about resident satisfaction, building relationships

Created date

April 17th, 2015
Rider wood Associate Executive Director Chris Leinauer
Rider wood Associate Executive Director Chris Lein

As Rid... continues to grow, the Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., has added a third member to its executive leadership team. 

In January, Chris Leinauer became the second associate executive director. He joins Executive Director Chip Warner and Associate Executive Director Chandra Kumar. 

Prioritizing resident satisfaction

Leinauer says his first order of business will be to learn the unique Erickson Living way of community leadership. In addition to providing leadership, Leinauer will be charged with ensuring residents’ satisfaction with the community.

“The customer experience is important, as the resident always comes first,” he says. “Using hospitality principles and relationship-building techniques, I’ll work to ensure high levels of resident satisfaction.”

In his first few months on the job, Leinauer says he most enjoys building relationships with both his colleagues and residents and interacting with the people who live at Riderwood. He says he will make himself easily accessible to residents who have questions or who want to bring a concern to his attention.

“I have an open-door policy of communication,” Leinauer says. “Residents can walk into my office at any time and will have my undivided attention.”

Experienced executive

Leinauer brings more than a decade of experience to Riderwood. He began his career with a short stint in hospitality management at Marriott International and has worked for several years in the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) industry. 

He worked for American Retirement Corporation (ARC) as both director of finance and executive director. He was promoted to ARC’s corporate office, and the company later merged with Brookdale Senior Living and Alterra Senior Living. 

Leinauer worked for the new combined company until 2013, when he took a job as division finance director for Emeritus Senior Living, which was also ultimately acquired by Brookdale. 

As a Baltimore/Washington, D.C.-area native, Leinauer says he was eager for a professional opportunity that would allow him to return to the region. He says he was particularly interested in working for Riderwood because the large size of the community provides an excellent opportunity for him to continue developing as a professional in the CCRC industry.

“Riderwood is the largest licensed CCRC in the nation,” Leinauer says. “Therefore, coming to Riderwood is a great opportunity for me to gain experience working in the largest campus-oriented, resort-style CCRC in the nation. 

“Also, the on-site health care component is new to me, as this is not found anywhere else in the industry and really differentiates the Erickson Living model from everyone else.”