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A familiar face

Cedar Crest hires second sales counselor to meet demand

Created date

April 12th, 2016
Sales Counselor Kate Tanis and family

For Sales Counselor Kate Tanis, Cedar Crest is a family affair. Her father works as the community’s project manager, her sister is a massage therapist, and her mother recently retired from its general services department.

Kate Tanis keeps climbing the ladder at Cedar Crest. Most recently taking on the role of second sales counselor, she will assist Sales Counselor Ruth Phillips with the volume of people interested in moving to the Pompton Plains, N.J., Erickson Living community.

“We are the biggest and most active continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in New Jersey. Because of that, there is always a high demand. We want to make sure that we are making the proper connections, getting people to join our priority list, and helping them get ready for the move,” says Sales Director Ray Guarino. “Many find out after visiting that they want to move sooner rather than later.  The second sales counselor helps us facilitate that demand.”

As sales counselor, Tanis works individually with people interested in moving to Cedar Crest to make sure it’s the right choice for their retirement lifestyle. Then together, they choose an apartment, and she coordinates with the sales team to facilitate a person’s move. 

Tanis says Phillips has been mentoring her in this role, and together, they make a great team.

“There are so many people researching Cedar Crest and coming in to see what we have to offer,” she says. Ruth really understands the individual attention each appointment needs. Having two of us will help increase our impact and allow more people to take the first step in moving to Cedar Crest.” 

Community for active living

Tanis joined the sales team last February, but she’s worked there since 2006—except for a brief period—holding various roles from front desk attendant to volunteer coordinator to program director for the on-site continuing care neighborhood.

“Cedar Crest is forward-thinking. I like the philosophy. It’s ahead of the curve,” she says.

In fact, she doesn’t call it a retirement community; she calls it “a community for active living.”

As a CCRC, Cedar Crest combines independent living with all levels of care on-site. 

To Tanis, though, the Erickson Living lifestyle makes Cedar Crest stand out among competitors, including a smaller community where she worked for about seven months before returning to Cedar Crest. 

Tanis cites three reasons Cedar Crest stands out: physical health, mental health, and independence.

Physical health

First, “It’s a proactive decision to take care of your health. Here, you have the fitness center, the aquatics center, and a medical center—all those things that promote healthy living,” she says. 

The community’s fitness center has daily group exercise classes as well as free weights and state-of-the-art machines specifically designed for older adults. 

Additionally, gym-goers can take advantage of personal trainers and fitness specialists who can guide them through exercises or even design a personalized fitness plan.

In the aquatics center, residents play water volleyball, take aqua exercise classes, or simply swim laps.

And throughout the community, people can log cardio by walking 365 days a year—outside when the weather permits, or inside any time. Glass-enclosed walkways connect every building so residents can avoid Mother Nature, yet still get to meals, activities, and medical appointments. 

Mental health

Second, “People underestimate how bad isolation is for you,” Tanis says. “Even if you don’t participate in any activities here, just going out to dinner once a day has shown to be beneficial.” 

Aside from meals, Cedar Crest’s 185 interest groups provide ample opportunities for people to get and stay involved. Activities include watercolor classes; current events discussion groups; a woodworking shop; sewing, quilting, and knitting groups; a hiking and walking group; and faith groups. 

“Regular socialization has been shown to help with memory and improve an overall sense of well-being,” Tanis says. “Even among all of our interest groups and activities, if you have an idea for a new one, we’ll help you start it. You’d rarely have that opportunity if you lived isolated in a house.”


Third, “Cedar Crest allows you to take control of your future and not leave it to your children,” Tanis says. “Because we offer all levels of care on a fee-for-service basis, you have the peace of mind that excellent care is available on campus, should you ever need it.”

Tanis says that joining Cedar Crest’s priority list is the best way to conduct retirement research and make an informed decision about where you’ll spend your retirement.

“Join the priority list and engage in the community as much as possible. You need to meet people who live here,” she says. 

“Research is also engaging in the community, going to events, seeing what it’s going to feel like, not just researching financials. To me, joining the priority list is an obvious choice. You pay a fully refundable $1,000 deposit, and you have access to the community. So you can get acclimated to it before you make your final decision,” she explains.

Priority list members also have access to Erickson Realty and Moving Services, which provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional.

“I think it’s a huge asset,” Tanis says of the service. “Prior to someone moving, they might have our personal moving consultant come out to help them decide on what floor plan they want based on their current home, furniture, and lifestyle. It’s part of what makes Erickson Living a forward-thinking company.”

She gets it

“I find it so incredibly exciting when we find the right apartment and begin the process of supporting people in this transition. Meeting the residents I helped make this move in the lobbies, restaurants, and coffee shop thrills me,” Tanis says. “I truly believe we help people live better lives, and seeing it happen right here and being part of it is extremely rewarding.”