In serving others, Sales Counselor Ryan Doherty finds support he never envisioned
Coming from a large family, Ryan Doherty knew he would have to pay for his college education—and that he'd only graduate if he was lucky. But as luck would have it, Doherty graduated from Temple University's Fox School of Business with a marketing degree and very little college debt.
Doherty had more than luck on his side, however; he received financial support, guidance, and a clear career path from his employer—Ann's Choice, an Erickson Living developed and managed community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
In 2007, while attending Bucks County Community College for hospitality and restaurant management, Doherty obtained a job at Ann's Choice, working as a restaurant associate. His older brother worked in security and had suggested his little brother apply to find a better work-life balance. Doherty got that and much more.
"The culture here is really something that can't be matched. Everyone here is dedicated to the mission of helping people live better lives, whether that's employees or residents," Doherty says. "The company cares just as much for its employees as it does for the residents here."
After a few previous work experiences turned him off from the restaurant industry, Doherty quickly rekindled his love for hospitality at Ann's Choice. "When I got the job here at Ann's Choice, it opened my eyes to a whole industry I didn't know about and what restaurant management really could be."
He began to love his job and was quickly promoted to service coach, administrative assistant, and eventually assistant manager. In those roles, he had exposure to other departments within the community, such as resident life and sales. He began to hone his education and career pathway.
Those experiences, along with the support and guidance of peers, supervisors, directors, and residents, formed the foundation for where he is today—a sales counselor helping people explore and learn about life at Ann's Choice as their potential next home.
"At Ann's Choice, we place a heavy emphasis on helping our employees grow professionally and personally," says Chris Donati, executive director at Ann's Choice. "Our tuition reimbursement program, scholarship fund, and various other employee discounts help us attract and retain everyday heroes like Ryan Doherty, who has grown along his career path with Ann's Choice."
With Ann's Choice's tuition reimbursement program, Doherty was able to transfer to Temple University's Fox School of Business and graduate with very little college debt. In a day and age when 44.2 million Americans hold $1.48 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt, Doherty is an exception to the rule, thanks to Ann's Choice. But he's not alone.
Doherty's younger brother, sister, and cousin benefited from the student scholarship fund. His older brother and Doherty's wife, who worked at Ann's Choice for 12 years, used tuition reimbursement to fund their college education.
In 2017, Ann's Choice paid $39,814 in tuition reimbursement. Since 2004, Ann's Choice has provided approximately $3 million in scholarships through its Scholars Program. The Scholar's Program is funded by the residents, staff and community partners to support high school students employed on campus who have shown commitment to serving Ann's Choice community.
"I did a lot of growing up during my career here at Ann's Choice. My managers helped me develop my career path, groom my work ethic, improve my communication skills, and learn to utilize my strengths," Doherty says. "I've had people who have bent over backward to help me succeed and to get me to where I am today."
"This community is filled with people who are kind and caring, and I think that makes all the difference in the world," he says. "This culture has made Ann's Choice more than a place to work. It's made it a second home."
There are close to 1000 full and part-time employees at Ann's Choice. Employee benefits include tuition reimbursement, 401K, paid time off, comprehensive medical benefits, on-site employee health and wellness centers, employee discount programs and much more. In 2017, Ann's Choice promoted 24 employees.
Doherty is the type of everyday hero Ann's Choice is recruiting. When people join Ann's Choice's team of everyday heroes, they gain more than a great job in a booming industry – they gain unparalleled access to an array of rich experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that will prove invaluable to their personal and professional growth. What's also rewarding for them is that they get to change lives for the better. For more information about Ann's Choice careers, visit www.elmjobs.com.
About Ann's Choice: Ann's Choice, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 103-acre campus in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The community is located in Bucks County and is home to nearly 2,000 residents. Additional information about Ann's Choice can be found at AnnsChoice.com.
Story written by Julia Collins