Tribune Print Share Text

Spirit to serve

Michael Friedel promoted to associate executive director at Eagle’s Trace

Created date

July 31st, 2017
Michael Friedel is the new associate executive director at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston, Tex

Michael Friedel is the new associate executive director at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston, Texas.

Michael Friedel’s career has taken him places he couldn’t have imagined as a young man growing up in Baltimore, Md.

Friedel was recently promoted to associate executive director at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston.

“I originally studied hotel and restaurant management,” says Friedel, who spent 20-plus years working for Marriott hotels and resorts, first as an executive chef, then as a food and beverage director.

Solid foundation for success

When Friedel was offered the opportunity to transition to Marriott Senior Living, a division of Marriott International that owned and operated continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), he sensed a nudge he couldn’t ignore.

“It felt like a calling,” says Friedel, who went to work as the food and beverage director at a Marriott Senior Living community in North Wilmington, Del. “I recognized an opportunity to serve a unique population.”

In 2002, Marriott Senior Living was purchased by Sunrise Senior Living. Shortly after the transition, Friedel was asked if he’d like to enter a training program to become a nursing home administrator.

“In the service industry, you’re only going to be successful if put your heart in your work,” says Friedel. “This was a chance to pursue my passion. Working at a CCRC gave me the sense that I could make a positive impact in our residents’ lives.”

After Friedel became licensed as a nursing home administrator, he oversaw a Sunrise Senior Living and memory care facility in Delaware, and then worked as a nursing home administrator in Pennsylvania.

Enter Erickson Living

“While I was working for Sunrise, I heard of a new CCRC coming to Glen Mills, Pa., in 2006,” says Friedel. “It was Maris Grove, an Erickson Living community.”

Thanks to industry connections, Friedel was able to tour the new community.

“My first impression was that I’d like to work at an Erickson Living community one day,” says Friedel. “I was impressed with the size and scope of the amenities. I also knew that Maris Grove had one of the fastest reservation paces in the company. It was a testament to the popularity of Erickson’s maintenance-free lifestyle and exceptional health care offerings.”

Friedel’s opportunity to join Erickson’s team came in 2011 when he was named assistant nursing home administrator at Oak Crest, the Erickson Living community in Parkville, Md.

He was soon promoted to assisted living manager and then director of continuing care at Oak Crest.

In 2014, Friedel relocated to Texas to serve as director of continuing care at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston. Friedel is a licensed nursing home administrator in four states—Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

“I still cheer for the Baltimore Ravens, but I love Texas,” says Friedel. “The people are friendly, and Eagle’s Trace is a thriving community. We’re poised for great things in the years to come.”

Well positioned for future growth

After a little more than a year as director of continuing care at Eagle’s Trace, Friedel received the 2015 Erickson Living Leadership Award. The recognition is given to an Erickson Living manager or director who continually demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities and inspires, motivates, and empowers his or her team members to commit to excellence in serving residents.

Now, in his new capacity as associate executive director, Friedel will assist and support Executive Director Stephen Aigner with leadership of the entire community.

“Having Michael join the administration team as associate executive director will add a tremendous resource to our office and positions Eagle’s Trace well for future growth,” says Aigner. “Michael is a servant leader who always has a kind word for a resident or employee and never hesitates to roll up his sleeves to help a team member.”

Comments