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Like clockwork

Meet the dynamic team that helps activities at Riderwood run smoothly

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October 12th, 2017
Riderwood’s new community resources team includes (from left) Lead Coordinator Amy Holzer and Coordinators Libby Bernstein, Amanda Hixenbaugh, and Maria Aghguiguian.

Riderwood’s new community resources team includes (from left) Lead Coordinator Amy Holzer and Coordinators Libby Bernstein, Amanda Hixenbaugh, and Maria Aghguiguian.

 

There’s never a dull moment at Riderwood, the Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md. With about 220 resident-run activities ranging from piano and singing groups to golf and softball teams to photography and political clubs, residents can spend their days pursuing their favorite hobbies—and probably picking up a few new ones. 

While community members lead the clubs and decide which activities they want to have on campus, they coordinate with staff members to make sure their meetings, events, and excursions run smoothly. 

The people behind the scenes are members of the new community resources team: Lead Coordinator Amy Holzer and Coordinators Amanda Hixenbaugh, Libby Bernstein, and Maria Aghguiguian. 

The community resources coordinators work together to make sure rooms are reserved for meetings and that events have been advertised to the community. They also serve as liaisons between the resident-run groups and the staff departments that need to help execute events, such as Transportation, which provides shuttles for some outings. 

When residents want to start a new club, the community resources coordinators are available to help get it off the ground.

So, who are the dynamic, multitasking individuals behind all the daily hustle and bustle at Riderwood?

Amy Holzer

Holzer, lead coordinator, has a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland and previously worked at the ABC affiliate in Baltimore. She worked in Riderwood’s in-house television studio for four years before joining the community resources team. 

The best thing about working at Riderwood, according to Holzer, is the people. She says the residents and staff are like one big family. 

“People care about me on a deeper level,” Holzer says. “I recently got married, and my Riderwood family shared in my joy every step of the way.”

Over the summer, Holzer was focusing on turning her new team into a well-oiled machine. They were busy planning the annual Harvest Festival and working on starting Food Truck Fridays at Riderwood. 

“We are all talking regularly and working on projects together, which leads to wonderful group thinking that helps us to stay on the same page and come up with smoother processes for our work flow,” Holzer says. “Also, with a new team, I’m excited to plan some exciting new events and to jazz up and enhance old favorites.”

Holzer lives in Silver Spring. She spends her free time with her new husband as well as family and friends. She enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking and loves to travel. She recently visited Greece and India and is planning trips to Iceland and Thailand.

Amanda Hixenbaugh

Hixenbaugh is a California native who started working in the hospitality industry during high school. She attended Santa Barbara Business College and was previously an assistant manager and event coordinator at Fess Parker Inn in Los Olivos, Calif., and the Petros in Santa Barbara. 

“Event coordinating is my passion, and working with people comes very naturally to me,” she says. “I love my position as community resources coordinator because I am able to use my creative side with planning our community events as well as my customer service and managerial skills when working with our staff and residents on different projects.”

One of the big projects Hixenbaugh has been working on is the completion of Riderwood’s third art gallery. Two of the clubhouses currently house art galleries, and the newest one will provide even more space to showcase artwork created by both community members and staff. 

“These have been well received by our residents, and it is a wonderful way to show off the creative talents we have within our walls,” Hixenbaugh says. “We have some very gifted residents.”

Hixenbaugh spends her free time fishing, reading, or at the ballpark cheering on her favorite team. She lives in Chesapeake Beach, Md. 

“I fell in love with the laidback feel and the beautiful bay views that remind me of California,” she says.

Libby Bernstein

Bernstein studied psychology at the University of Delaware, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration management. 

She previously worked for a Johns Hopkins research program called MIND at Home, which aims to improve quality of life for people with dementia and provide emotional support to their caregivers. 

Bernstein works closely with Riderwood’s continuing education program, and her goal is to bring new and interesting classes to campus. She also works to update the My Erickson app, an online portal where residents can access the schedule of daily activities, on-site restaurant menus, resident and staff directories, and other information about Riderwood. 

“The thing I like the most about working at Riderwood is, by far, getting to help and interact with our residents every day,” Bernstein says. “Everyone here is so friendly, and they have been so welcoming.”

Bernstein lives in Federal Hill in Baltimore City. A lot of her free time is dedicated to her schoolwork, and she also enjoys riding horses and spending time with friends and family.  

Maria Aghguiguian

Aghguiguian is a familiar face at Riderwood. She started working at the community in 2005 as a server in the Dining Services department and worked her way up to become assistant general manager at Riderwood’s Windsor Restaurant. In June, she joined the community resources team. She has a degree in business management from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.

Over the years, Aghguiguian has built meaningful relationships with the people who live at Riderwood. She says those friendships are the best part of her job. She recently took a vacation to Armenia and says the welcome she received from a resident when she returned to work illustrates the close bonds residents and staff members share. 

“On my first day back from vacation, the moment I approached my office door I was greeted by a resident who walks by every morning and says hello,” she recounts. “On this particular morning, he greeted me with ‘pari louys,’ which means ‘good morning’ in Armenian. He continued asking about how my trip was and said how happy he was to have me back.”

In her first months in her new role, Aghguiguian was learning the ropes of the community resources department. She says one of her top priorities will be making sure meetings and events continue to run smoothly in the Town Center Clubhouse, which is undergoing a renovation. 

In her free time, Aghguiguian enjoys playing volleyball and played in a sports tournament on her recent trip to Armenia. She currently lives in Gaithersburg. 

“I recently got married, so a lot of our time is currently consumed with looking for a new home,” she says. 

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