Scan the roster of employees at Brooksby Village, an Erickson Senior Living managed retirement community in Peabody, MA, and you’ll find more than one staff member with the same last name. “We have several employees with a family member who works at Brooksby Village,” says Director of Human Resources Mary Naughton. “At last count, there were 20 employees with relatives working at the community.
They’re represented in several departments across Brooksby, including dining services, general services, and resident life.” Community Resources Coordinator Katie Florance and her brother, Security Officer Joe Florance, are among the families represented on the Brooksby workforce.
Internship leads to full-time job
Katie was a student majoring in psychology at Endicott College when she first learned of an internship at Brooksby Village in the Intermissions program. “I loved it,” says Katie. “I loved getting to know the residents and the atmosphere at Brooksby. The fall after I graduated, I applied to work full-time at the community.”
Katie joined the staff in 2011 as a communications specialist, working at the front desk for three years. “That was a great role to learn all the different departments on campus,” says Katie. “There was also a lot of resident interaction, which I loved.”
Katie’s next career move took her to Brooksby’s continuing care neighborhood, where she worked for two years before returning to independent living to take on the role of community resources coordinator in the Towne Centre clubhouse, a position she’s filled for four-and-a-half years.
“My favorite part of my job now is helping residents bring their vision to life,” says Katie. “They’ll come with an idea for a club or activity they want to start, and I help them with the logistics, finding a time, booking a room, getting the resources they need. It’s rewarding.”
“One of my favorite memories was helping the Men’s Group get started,” says Katie. “We had a resident who was looking for an opportunity for men to get together informally. I helped him pick a time and place, and we advertised the first meeting of the Men’s Group. The response was incredible, and it became one of the most-popular groups on campus.”
Joe’s initial visit to Brooksby came about because Katie was between cars. “I was in high school, and I had to drive to Brooksby to pick Katie up after work,” says Joe, who is eight years younger than Katie and the youngest of her three younger brothers.
After Joe graduated from high school, Katie mentioned Brooksby Village was hiring.
“Brooksby has the feeling of family, so I didn’t have any reservations about recommending it to Joe,” says Katie. Joe joined Brooksby’s staff in October 2016, working as a server and bartender in the Overlook Restaurant in the McIntosh Clubhouse.
In March 2020, Joe was tapped to work as a screener at the front gate during the pandemic, working alongside the security team. “That experience introduced me to a whole new department on campus,” says Joe. All of Brooksby’s security officers are also emergency responders, individuals who have been trained and certified to respond to medical emergencies and provide initial emergency care until an ambulance or paramedics arrive.
When Joe learned that Brooksby was planning to introduce an Emergency Responder Certification Program on site, he was one of the first to sign up. The program provides employees with the necessary training and certification needed for the role of security and emergency services officer.
“The Emergency Responder Certification Program at Brooksby Village was introduced to give current employees an opportunity to further their careers,” says Director of General Services Charleen Archambault. “Regardless of the employee’s current position, this is a unique opportunity for advancement and a wonderful new program at Brooksby Village.”
Joe completed the 54- hour course in April and began his new role as a security officer. Both siblings say they’re grateful for their first jobs and subsequent growth at Brooksby Village.
“This is where we began our careers,” says Katie. “In many ways, I’ve grown up here. I’m so thankful for the family atmosphere.”
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