Ashby Ponds Employee Reflects on Career Growth Opportunities

November 16, 2022

Since 1983, the Erickson Senior Living’s network of communities has been devoted to one mission—helping people live better lives. This dedication to people includes both community members and the staff who serve them. With the recent, explosive growth of the dining services industry, Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Senior Living community in Ashburn, Va., is recruiting staff eager to gain valuable life skills and career experiences, while receiving the support and education to reach, and often exceed, their professional goals.

“One of our highest priorities at Ashby Ponds is to foster a culture of personal growth and appreciation that provides our dedicated and diverse team of dining services professionals the experience needed to achieve ongoing career success,” says executive director Will Nance. “There is nothing more exciting than seeing team members make significant contributions while advancing their careers and building their portfolio of skills.”

Experiencing this dedication and support first-hand, Louis Violetta began his Ashby Ponds career ten years ago as a prep cook. He now serves as an executive chef managing over 40 employees across four campus restaurants - Windows, Acorn Deli, 1912, and the Dogwood Pub.

“The best part about working at Ashby Ponds is building relationships with residents while being part of a supportive team with a common goal,” he says. “Throughout my career here I’ve enjoyed working with managers who believe in me and push me to be the best in everything I do. I believe in my managers and know that they are here for me.”

Throughout the last ten years, Chef Violetta has enjoyed hands-on learning and continuous support.

“I’ve learned new cooking techniques and recipes from everyone in the kitchen from utility workers to sous chefs, everyone has something to teach,” he says. “In the culinary world, we are constantly learning, experiencing, and evolving. I was prepared for each promotion by earning more responsibility and working my way into each new position. Everything you need to succeed can be learned right here, at Ashby Ponds, from this amazing team.”

Chef Louis also appreciates Erickson Senior Living’s commitment to a healthy work-life balance, allowing him to prioritize the demands of his career with his personal life. Ashby Ponds dining service employees enjoy flexible work hours with shifts ending by 9:00 p.m. as well as numerous benefits including training and paid time off.

“I love getting off by 9:00 p.m., something almost unheard of in the restaurant world,” he says. “And the paid time off is great. I was able to save up and take three weeks off for my wedding this past February.”

Ashby Ponds dining services employees also enjoy unique opportunities to gain valuable life skills and career experiences through the Rouxbe Online Culinary School and Erickson University’s School of Culinary Arts.

With numerous opportunities to strengthen and grow a dining services career, Chef Louis believes it all comes down to being someone others can count on.

“We are a 365 day operation and the most important quality in building a career with dining is reliability,” he says. “Let your team, your manager, and most importantly – the residents know they can count on you, and you’ll find success with this great company.”

Interested in checking out exciting opportunities in Dining Services at Ashby Ponds or other career paths? Please visit the careers website!