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Leader at the financial helm

Devonshire’s finance director brings experience, confidence to his work

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December 31st, 2015
Devonshire Director of Finance Berwick Drews
Devonshire Director of Finance Berwick Drews

Berwick Drews, director of finance at Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., brings more than 20 years of finance and operations experience to his position. 

He came to Devonshire following seven years as finance director at Erickson Living’s Greenspring community in Springfield, Va. 

Drews joined the company in 2006, attracted by its mission statement: “We share our gifts to create communities that celebrate life.”

He also adheres to its core values. “The company not only realizes that its mission is to provide an environment in which residents thrive,” he says, “but that residents play a role in creating that.” 

Drews says that when he first interviewed nine years ago, he quickly grasped that employment with Erickson Living meant far more than holding a job; it was an avocation, and he liked that. 

He believes that how you perform your job helps to define who you are. And when your job is meaningful, you draw energy from it.

More than a financial role

As Devonshire’s director of finance, Drews is responsible for the financial management of both the retirement community and Chatsworth, the continuing care neighborhood associated with Devonshire.

More specifically, he establishes and maintains comprehensive accounting controls and procedures, reviews and analyzes all financial reports, supports the financial needs of community operations, assists in establishing policies and procedures for financial operations, and supports the continuous training and development of his accounting staff.

Any senior financial position includes those responsibilities, Drews says. But he considers staff development plus assisting and communicating with community members as paramount. 

“The opportunity to talk with the people who live here about the company’s past financial results and what will happen in the future makes this environment exciting,” says Drews.

His enthusiasm stems from his understanding of Devonshire’s business model, the economic forces that affect the retirement community, and that Erickson Living is positioned to maintain a strong financial base throughout any situation. 

Leadership experience

Before he entered the business world, Drews was a Marine. It was a transformative experience that shaped his character and his sense of confidence. 

“In the Marines, you learn you’re capable of accomplishing almost anything you put your mind to,” he says. “But you’re capable of accomplishing a whole lot more as a team. It was a wonderful experience to know that as you finished a ten-mile run, it wasn’t just yourself that needed to cross the finish line. It was everybody in your group.”

He applies that lesson in his daily interactions with his four-member finance staff, the rest of the Devonshire team, and with community members.

Drews says the focus now is to continue to build on the confidence and stability Devonshire now enjoys after being purchased by Erickson Living.

“Everything we do here is meant to improve the experience of our current residents,” he says. “They’re our best advocates for attracting new people. We want everyone who lives here to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle they’ve always led.”

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