Growth Story – Executive Director
Northbridge has made me feel like I can do anything, I can grow into any position and know that I can.
A Northbridge Career Growth Story
Meet Vanessa Peters
At Northbridge we are proud to foster a culture of opportunity and growth for our associates as they learn about life in the community, working with our residents and about the senior living industry. Many of our associates have been able to thrive and grow with us and we are excited to share their stories with you!
Years at Northbridge: 4 years
First job at Northbridge: Weekend Nurse
Current job: Executive Director
Community: Laurentide at Mashpee Commons
I first heard about Laurentide from a client at the cosmetic and vascular surgeons office where I was working at the time. I had experience in Senior Living and hadn’t planned on going back to the industry but the client had continued to tell me that I should check out the community. I was looking for some extra work so I decided to check it out. The first thing I noticed was the Live Well, Love Life logo, that really resonated with me and what I was promoting for myself and still am today. My passion has always been elder care, I grew up taking care of my grandparents so I decided to fill out an application for Laurentide at Mashpee Commons. When I showed up to the welcome center for my interview I immediately felt a connection. That connection continued when I started working at the community. I was originally hired as a weekend nurse working 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM and filled in a couple days during the week but was a per diem associate. Since I was part of opening the community I was able to meet all of the associates and new residents and we built some amazing connections. From the start I knew Laurentide was different than anywhere I had worked before. At our Grand Opening celebration the owners of Northbridge, Jim and Wendy, and the whole Home Office team came to help celebrate, no where else that I’ve worked have I been able to meet the owners of the company. It made me feel secure in my decision to work at Laurentide. During all of this I was still working my full time job and coming to Laurentide on the weekends but I was falling in love with the community, the residents and everyone I worked with. When the Resident Care Director was leaving, she suggested I apply for the job. I was hesitant at first but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was the right choice for me. I did apply and became the Resident Care Director in 2019. I was able to build a Wellness team and be part of the director team which was and still is a great experience. A few years later when the Executive Director was getting ready to retire, she suggested that I throw my hat in the ring for her position. That was always a goal I had but I wasn’t sure if the timing was right. The more I thought about it I realized my heart is vested in Northbridge and Laurentide and the residents so it made sense for me to take that leap. Being in the Executive Director position has shown me a different side of the industry than nursing and I’m enjoying learning about all aspects of it.
Her story of growth:
- What have you learned as you’ve grown your career at Northbridge?
With each step in my journey I’ve learned different things. Opening a community I learned how to communicate with different personalities coming in while promoting a team environment. Creating the feeling and culture of a work family so no one feels that they are alone. We have to care about each other and talk to each other. I’ve learned through COVID that people will go through periods where they may not feel as positive as usual or maybe feel a little down so learning to come together as a work family is so important. Working at Laurentide throughout COVID has also brought to light how much our families are entrusting us with the care of their loved ones. As an Executive Director I’m learning how to not do everything and jump right in all the time. There will be times when I need to jump in but I also need to be a guiding force for my department directors to do what they need to. For me it’s learning how to delegate and I’m not used to saying no so it’s a learning experience.
- What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The residents’ happiness and really calling this home. You have some residents who aren’t happy leaving their homes and families. I usually tell families to wait about 30 days and they’ll come back saying, ‘wow you made a big difference, they love it here.’ That part is always very rewarding for me. I also love when a resident comes up to me and asks for a hug or to talk or thank me, all of our residents genuinely care about the associates here. The resident’s happiness is my biggest reward.
- What would you say to someone who is thinking of starting a job at Northbridge?
Do it! You won’t regret it. It’s all about communicating, find someone in the community that you can talk with. There are great opportunities here and it’s a wonderful place to work. Your growth with Northbridge – it’s unspeakable the things that you can do with Northbridge so just do it!
- What differentiates Northbridge from other companies?
They mean what they say. We don’t oversell, everything that we say we’re going to do, we do. For me that meant a lot and it still does.
- What have you learned in your new job since being promoted?
A lot about the finances. The Executive Director and the Resident Care Director work closely together but being an Executive Director is very different than being on the wellness side. I’ve had to learn a lot about finances, budgeting and making sure that my directors feel supported by me and doing whatever I can to help them.
I am grateful for all of the support from everyone at Northbridge. Northbridge has made me feel like I can do anything, I can grow into any position and know that I can. I tell everyone if you put your best work in and you try to understand and work hard you can do whatever you want. This has led me to believe that this position isn’t a stopping point for me, I have more learning and growing to do. Northbridge for me, just the fact that they’re so welcoming and you have a lot of support it means a lot. I stand by the growth culture that Northbridge talks about and the vision that they have instore for everybody and it’s something I express to my associates because I love it here.
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Working at a Northbridge senior living community
If you are considering a career in senior living, we hope you’ll consider one of our communities. Our team of associates makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our residents, every day. Because of that, we treat our team like family and we’re happy to offer:
- Competitive Pay
- Flexible Schedules
- Direct Deposit
- Vacation & Personal Days
- Paid Holidays & Sick Time
- Your Birthday Off
- Health Insurance to Qualified Associates
- 401k Company Match
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Ongoing Education
- Associate Appreciation
View our careers website today to view open positions, what a day working at Northbridge is like, and why our associates love to work here.
As a New England senior living company, we pride ourselves in being the local choice for families in need of assisted living or memory care. We look to our teams of associates to truly make our communities home for our residents. Whether that’s a helping hand or a moment to listen to a story, our associates are dedicated and compassionate. With 19 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we hope you’ll find your home here too. If you already love what you do, and want to love where you work, apply now! We look forward to meeting you.