Lunch and a lot to learn

Windsor Run’s marketing luncheons are informative, fun, and pressure-free

Created date

September 26th, 2019
Sharing her personal experience moving to Windsor Run, community member Pat Bell speaks to guests at a bimonthly lunch and learn event.

Sharing her personal experience moving to Windsor Run, community member Pat Bell speaks to guests at a bimonthly lunch and learn event. 

Since receiving a “Healthiest Employers of Greater Charlotte” award from the Charlotte Business Journal, a record number of people are visiting Windsor Run, the Erickson Living community in Matthews, N.C. As a result, reservations are at an all-time high for the community’s bimonthly “lunch and learns.” These no-pressure luncheons provide an unparalleled opportunity to tour the Windsor Run campus, meet current residents, and enjoy a delicious, chef-prepared meal.

“Our lunch and learns are designed to provide an unbeatable and pleasant opportunity to see what living in a premier CCRC [continuing care retirement community] is like—from the people living here, to how they spend their time, to the numerous amenities they enjoy, all while enjoying the superior dining that is available to our community members every day,” says Windsor Run Director of Sales Ryan Barkley. “If ever there were a painless learning experience, a lunch and learn tops the list.”

Prior to their July 2018 move, Kathryne Sanders and her husband James “Rob” attended numerous events and found the experiences to be informative, fun, and pressure-free. As a result, Kathryne now volunteers her time as a resident ambassador, meeting with luncheon guests and sharing her personal experiences. 

“Because we were ‘pioneer’ residents, meaning that we were among the first to move to Windsor Run, we were not able to talk with people already living here, tour apartment homes, or see the community as it is now,” she says. “We moved here on faith and on the wealth of information we received from the sales team. We are now so happy here, and I am happy to help others, no matter where they are in their decision-making process, learn more about our wonderful community.”

Starting off right

Each Windsor Run luncheon begins with a comprehensive tour of the Woodland Commons Clubhouse. Each tour group is kept intentionally small to encourage questions and enable participants to get to know their fellow attendees. Barkley and his team, including Personal Moving Consultant Amanda Bates, and several resident ambassadors, lead the tours.

“In addition to being informative, the tours are a lot of fun and always pressure-free,” says Barkley. “We start by exploring many of the popular community areas including the restaurants and fitness center. We finish the tours by stepping inside a few apartment homes. The residents who live in the apartments are on hand to answer questions and share their own unique experiences.” 

Windsor Run community member Gretchen Hazen appreciates the impact attending a luncheon and meeting current residents can have on the decision-making process. 

“In my opinion, attending a luncheon, talking with current residents, and seeing the campus are good ways for a prospective resident to get subjective impressions, which in my mind are just as important as facts,” she says.

A taste of the good life

Following the tours, guests are seated for a delicious luncheon prepared by the Windsor Run culinary team. This month, luncheon guests will be treated to a hearty fall menu—a mixed greens salad with dried cranberries, almonds, and blue cheese and an entrée choice of bourbon-glazed salmon or chicken marsala served over mashed sweet potatoes with sautéed zucchini. For dessert, guests will enjoy an American favorite, apple pie drizzled with custard sauce. 

“The food offered at the luncheon is truly representative of what is available on the daily menus,” says Kathryne. “Often, the meal is something taken directly from one of our current menus.”

Next month, lunch and learn guests will feast on a satisfying winter menu beginning with a spinach salad with feta cheese, almonds, and warm bacon dressing and followed with chicken Françoise, a chicken breast fried to a golden brown, topped with a cheese citrus sauce and served with mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans. For dessert, guests will enjoy a New York cheesecake drizzled with raspberry, caramel, or chocolate sauce.

Resident ambassadors join the attendees for lunch, providing an additional opportunity for guests to ask questions. Once everyone has completed their entrée, representatives of the marketing team and resident ambassadors address a variety of different topics, such as finances, affordability, availability, activities and clubs, and future building plans.

“Because we, as resident ambassadors, sit at the luncheon tables with the guests, many feel comfortable asking us questions about real life at Windsor Run,” says Kathryne. “Ryan does a great job providing an overview of life at our community, and often, in response to a guest’s question, he’ll ask current residents to respond with their personal experiences or opinions.”

Recently, Kathryne learned that one of the couples she spoke with at a lunch and learn moved into one of the new apartment homes in the Beech Hollow residence building. 

“I’ve also seen people I first met at a luncheon attending other special sales events on campus,” she says. “The best advice I can give someone is to come to a luncheon and reap the many benefits of seeing Windsor Run in person. You can’t really know what Windsor Run is like until you come here. Many people have told me that one of the best things they learned while at a luncheon is what they see when they walk through our halls—lots of happy people enjoying a wonderful life.”