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Leading the way to resident and staff satisfaction

Riderwood welcomes a new associate executive director Dee Dee Gray-Weaver

Created date

March 22nd, 2018
Dee Dee Gray-Weaver is Riderwood’s new associate executive director.

Dee Dee Gray-Weaver is Riderwood’s new associate executive director. 

 

The newest member of Riderwood’s executive team is Dee Dee Gray-Weaver, who became an associate executive director at the Silver Spring, Md., Erickson Living community last fall.

She comes to Riderwood from Choice Hotels, where she worked for almost 15 years. Gray-Weaver held a variety of positions, from human resources to running large, international call centers to leading the inside sales and account management organization.

“The common elements in all of my roles was leadership—working to grow and develop top talent in order to exceed our business objectives and customer service—exceeding our guests’ and hotel owners’ expectations,” Gray-Weaver says.

That experience translates well to Gray-Weaver’s role at Riderwood, where she is tasked with ensuring staff have the motivation, skills, tools, and technology to exceed resident expectations as they demonstrate Erickson Living’s culture and values.

Gray-Weaver works alongside Executive Director Gary Hibbs and fellow Associate Executive Director Michael Thaxton. Specifically, Gray-Weaver supports the resident life, continuing care, and health services functions of the community. She also serves as cochair of the diversity and inclusion committee.

“I was attracted to this job because of the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the community and to work with seniors,” Gray-Weaver says. “It was my goal to utilize the wide variety of skills I’ve gathered over the years in a nonprofit and/or health care setting where the work is purpose-driven.”

Helping others achieve their goals

As a leader in a large organization, Gray-Weaver says she believes it is her duty to help individuals learn and grow. As such, she says she seeks to get to know as many people as possible so she can understand their goals and make sure they have the tools to accomplish them.

She says that each staff member has important work to do that makes a vital difference in the lives of Riderwood community members. And she believes that recognizing individuals’ and teams’ successes is an important part of helping them grow.

“Riderwood is an amazing place full of opportunities but with high expectations for performance, so having honest, transparent conversations is a key part of helping people grow,” she says. “In addition, I strive to recognize individual and team successes so that everyone feels valued.”

Open-door policy

Gray-Weaver is accountable to fellow staff members as well as to community members. Her office has a window facing a high-traffic common area, so when she first started at Riderwood, Gray-Weaver made a point to leave her blinds open to send a message to residents that her door is always open.

“I want residents to know that they can stop by or call me with any questions or concerns,” she says. “With my background in customer service, I have been able to help with issues that are brought to my attention and to ensure timely communication.”

As for her own goals as associate executive director, Gray-Weaver says her first priority is establishing strong relationships with residents and staff.

“As I continue to learn and grow in the role, it is my hope that I can increase the focus on hospitality and customer service as a core part of the Erickson Way, while working on projects that help us in our other core competencies of operational excellence and integrated health and wellness,” she says.

Warm welcome

When she started working at Riderwood last October, Gray-Weaver received a warm welcome from both residents and staff. She quickly noticed how vibrant everyone is at the community, and how much it feels like a home.

“I look forward to seeing everyone each day, and that makes it fun to come to work,” she says. “I also enjoy the fact that you never know what to expect—each day is different, and I love the challenge that creates.”

One of her most memorable experiences from her first few months on the job was attending Riderwood’s Winterfest, where residents and staff bring their children and families to campus to enjoy holiday-themed treats and entertainment.

“It was like Christmastime at Disney World,” she says. “Everyone was having a great time interacting together and just enjoying being at Riderwood.”

Gray-Weaver lives in Bethesda. When she’s not working, she spends time riding bikes and swimming with her young son. She’s also an avid reader and a member of a book club, and she enjoys working on home improvement projects and getting together with friends.

One thing people may be surprised to learn about Gray-Weaver is that she has a background in dancing.

“As a child, I was a pretty good ballet dancer and even auditioned for Baryshnikov,” she says.

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