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What’s RAC got to do with it?

Four members weigh in on why they serve

Created date

November 23rd, 2018
(From left) Mary Swanson-Rosen, Charlie Reckner, Cheryl Plunkett, and Mimi Travis all serve on the Ann’s Choice Resident Advisory Council.

(From left) Mary Swanson-Rosen, Charlie Reckner, Cheryl Plunkett, and Mimi Travis all serve on the Ann’s Choice Resident Advisory Council.

People who live at Ann’s Choice, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., enjoy abundant on-site amenities and more than 100 activities and special interest groups.

One of the more important and time-consuming activities is serving on the community’s nine-member Resident Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC acts as a liaison between community members and Ann’s Choice management.

The overall goal is to maintain a high-quality environment for the good of residents and staff alike. To achieve that, each RAC member, except for the chair, liaises with a specific campus department.

A love for Ann’s Choice and a desire to help their neighbors inspires residents to run for a seat on the RAC. Elected by their fellow residents, they take their commitment seriously.

Their ‘Why’

Four RAC members shared their feelings about serving the community in this way.

Cheryl Plunkett works with Human Resources and Marketing, a position for which she’s well-suited: Cheryl had a long career in the human resources field.

On the RAC, her experience in shouldering responsibility, conveying authority, and practicing diplomacy serves the community well.

Cheryl hadn’t expected anything like the RAC when she moved last year from Bensalem. “I thought, ‘This is amazing,’” she says. “The residents really do have a voice.”

Charlie Reckner, who’d resided in Bluebell, also uses career skills in his RAC position. Charlie’s areas of expertise, procurement and materials management, ideally equip him to liaise with General Services. The General Services umbrella covers areas including maintenance and security.

“I understand what goes on here, and I can explain it to people,” Charlie says. “Being able to respond to resident problems and making things happen are the best parts of [this position].”

Mary Swanson-Rosen, who moved from Chicago, Ill., just last year, decided to immediately become involved in the community. “I wanted to learn more about Erickson Living and Ann’s Choice,” she says. “I thought RAC was a good way to do that.”

Following a nursing career, Mary became an attorney. On the RAC she liaises with the finance department. Because it’s not her background, she often draws on expertise provided by the RAC’s eight-member finance committee.

Chair Mimi Travis oversees the RAC. Her prime interest is to help her neighbors. “We can do a lot with management for the betterment of Ann’s Choice,” she says.

Charlie seconds that: “The RAC doesn’t have power, but we do have influence.”