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Diplomat program offers an insider’s look at Highland Springs

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March 14th, 2017
Highland Springs resident Martha Skelton oversees the diplomat program, which connects new move-ins with current residents at the North Dallas Erickson Living community.

Highland Springs resident Martha Skelton oversees the diplomat program, which connects new move-ins with current residents at the North Dallas Erickson Living community.

With the opening of Pecan Grove, Highland Springs’s newest independent living residence building, the North Dallas community is experiencing a surge of new community members.

To ensure their new neighbors receive a warm Highland Springs welcome and to answer any questions they might have about the community, current residents are pairing up with the newcomers as part of the resident-driven diplomat program.

Residents Barbara Gill and Sally Davidson launched the diplomat program, an initiative of the Resident Life Committee, in April 2015 as the community was preparing to open Willow Ridge, another independent living residence building.

Martha Skelton currently oversees the program. Martha and her husband Perry moved into an apartment in Willow Ridge in June 2015. They had previously lived at Heritage Ranch, a 55-plus community in Fairview, Tex.

“My memories of moving are fairly recent, so I can understand what our newest residents are experiencing,” says Martha. “On the other hand, Perry and I’ve lived at Highland Springs for almost two years now, so we’re familiar with the community.”

When new residents are planning to move to Highland Springs, whether to Pecan Grove or to another residence building, the sales team passes their names to Martha. 

Warm welcome

“I send the new residents a questionnaire, asking if they’d like to be assigned a diplomat and a few get-to-know-you questions,” says Martha. “I also have a list of current residents who’ve indicated they’d like to be diplomats. I try to pair up diplomats with new residents based on common interests and hobbies.”

The diplomat’s role is to give the new resident an insider’s tour of the community, to share a meal from time to time, and to answer any questions the new resident might have.

“We were all new here at one time,” says Martha. “The goal of the diplomat program is to provide a resource to ease the transition.”

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