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A taste for community service

Dining committee ensures excellence at Riderwood

Created date

June 30th, 2016
Quality food and a variety of menu selections are just part of the Riderwood dining experience. Ambience and attention to detail are equally important.

Quality food and a variety of menu selections are just part of the Riderwood dining experience. Ambience and attention to detail are equally important.

Riderwood community members recently elected Bud Bare to the community’s Resident Advisory Council (RAC), an important and influential committee that serves as a liaison between residents and staff. Bud serves as liaison for the dining committee.

“One of my dinner companions indicated I should run because there was a need,” Bud says of his decision to run for RAC. “I think the folks here do a good job, so I have no great burning passion to change things, but if there is a need, I felt an obligation to keep things as good as they are.”

Taking requests

As liaison to the dining committee, Bud works with committee members and Riderwood staff to resolve any questions or concerns residents have about their dining experience. 

Each on-site restaurant has a comment box, where residents can submit queries to RAC. Bud fields those concerns and meets monthly with Dining Services Director Jeff Kimbell to figure out solutions. For instance, some residents recently requested that patio dining be made available earlier in the season.

“Traditionally, it has been open in the summer, but we have changed that,” Bud says. “Now the patio associated with the pub opened in early May, when the weather gets consistently good enough to use it.”

Along with the opening of the patio, the Wye Oak Pub held an evening patio barbecue on Friday, May 6, to kick off late-evening dining hours every Friday throughout the summer.  

Bud says he, along with the staff, try to respond thoroughly to residents’ requests. To facilitate that, Kimbell holds quarterly town hall meetings where residents can ask questions face to face. 

Bud says some members of the dining committee who typically eat meals at the on-site Seasons Restaurant requested to be involved in the planning to renovate the dining room, and Kimbell agreed to consult with them.

Top-notch dining experience

Fortunately, Bud’s job as liaison to the dining committee isn’t too difficult, as the overwhelming majority of residents are pleased with the dining experience at Riderwood and give the food high marks.

“It’s much better than I thought it would be,” Bud says of the cuisine. “I’ve eaten more fish since coming here than I ever did before, and the salmon and trout are particularly good.”

One of the other big projects that Bud is involved with through his role on RAC is the rollout of the Signature Dining program. The program, which features a greater number of made-to-order dishes at the on-site restaurants, is being tested at other Erickson Living communities and is expected to launch at Riderwood in early 2017. 

Bud says food that keeps well on the steam table, like sauces and lasagna, will remain there, but items like steak and fish will be prepared as residents order them to ensure a top-notch dining experience.

“What Jeff Kimbell is doing is having his key employees spend a day working in the other Erickson communities where they have already gone to Signature Dining, so they learn from that,” Bud says.

Worry-free retirement

Bud and his wife Jacqueline moved to Riderwood from Rockville, Md., about three years ago. Bud says the catalyst for their move was the derecho windstorms that swept through the area, damaging many houses and trees.

“Fortunately, we didn’t experience that, but we didn’t want to experience that in the future,” Bud says.

So he and Jacqueline moved to Riderwood, where they know they won’t have to deal with home maintenance or the inevitable expenses that come with unexpected repairs. 

They selected a combo apartment home, an extra-large unit with two bedrooms plus a den that was created by removing walls to combine two smaller apartments.

Serving on RAC keeps Bud busy, but he also carves out plenty of time to relax and enjoy his retirement. He and Jacqueline both play bridge with friends and neighbors at Riderwood, and Bud plays tennis in Rockville. 

“I work crosswords, and I do some investing—that is how I occupy my time,” he says.