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Meet Blake Marshall

Tallgrass Creek sales director on his new job, family, and life in Overland Park

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February 8th, 2016
At left, Sales Director Blake Marshall
At left, Sales Director Blake Marshall

In 2007, Blake Marshall was fresh off the Texas A&M University campus when he interviewed with Erickson Living, a company based in Catonsville, Md., that manages 18 retirement communities across the country, including Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, Kans. 

“I felt the difference when I walked through the door,” says Marshall, who accepted the job and, eight years later, is now Tallgrass Creek’s director of sales. “Every employee knew all the residents’ names and stories. Erickson seemed to care very much for both its residents and employees, and in turn, that makes living and working at one of our campuses enjoyable and fun.”   

Before coming to Tallgrass Creek, Marshall held positions at two other Erickson Living communities: Eagle’s Trace in Houston, Tex., and Wind Crest in Denver, Colo., particularly memorable as Marshall met wife Lindsey there. The couple moved to Overland Park in June. At the same time, Lindsey accepted a clinical liaison’s position at Tallgrass Creek’s continuing care community. 

We caught up with Marshall recently and asked him to share thoughts about his job, family, and personal interests.

Q: How is Tallgrass Creek different from other Erickson Living communities where you’ve worked?

A: It’s true what they say about Midwestern hospitality. Lindsey and I have felt welcomed from the beginning and formed some great friendships. Tallgrass Creek residents are especially active, interesting, and on the go. I get the same feeling here I got during that very first interview with Erickson Living.  

Q: What are some of the day-to-day challenges you face in your position?

A: I think there is a misconception about what retirement living is these days, and as a result, some people wait too long to move. Then when they visit and see how active this community is, the home they want isn’t always available. I’ve seen many potential residents become frustrated because they waited and the apartment style they wanted wasn’t available. 

They can avoid that by joining the priority list. It’s a risk-free way to ensure an apartment home is available when you’re ready to move. The earlier you join, the more likely you are to get the apartment you want. All it takes to join is a fully refundable $1,000 deposit and a nonrefundable $150-per-person application fee. 

Q: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about moving to a retirement community like Tallgrass Creek?

A: Joining the priority list is the best thing you can do so when the residence you want is available, you have the option of accepting it. But it’s equally important to attend the events we sponsor (which happen to be very fun), talk with our sales counselor and residents, and tour model apartments. 

In addition, I’d encourage not waiting to move until there is a health need. Making a move sooner versus later allows you to enjoy all the services and amenities we have in this active community.  

Q: What are the most meaningful parts of your job?

A: That’s an easy one. I spoke with a family member last night about their grandfather who just moved here. He’s encouraged by the connections he’s making with others, and it has given him a spring in his step. His family sees a very real difference. We hear this a lot, and it’s most gratifying.

Q: What are your favorite spots on the Tallgrass Creek campus?

A: I love our beautiful creek. Every morning as I walk from my car to work, I love crossing over the bridge. Also, I enjoy the back patio overlooking the putting green and glass-enclosed pool. It’s great to see people enjoying the active lifestyle here. 

Q: Switching gears, what do you and Lindsey do outside of your jobs?

A: Right now, our family consists of a very spoiled (thanks to us) English bulldog named Bentley. Also, Lindsey is a graduate of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., so we’re both from football country and big fans. We’re enjoying the Kansas City scene, and yes, this city does have great barbecue. We got here just in time to see the KC Royals win it all—a great time to be here.  

Q: What is a fun fact residents and perhaps your fellow staff members don’t know about you?

A: (laughing) When I was nine, I was selected from the audience to sit on Shamu at Sea World in San Antonio. I still remember what the whale’s skin felt like and the whole experience. For a nine-year-old kid, it was pretty exciting.

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