Good Reflections of a Good Leader: Brenda Yost Retires from Grace Ridge

Good Reflections of a Good Leader: Brenda Yost Retires from Grace Ridge

Just a few weeks shy of her 9-year anniversary as Executive Director of Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton, NC, Brenda Yost is embarking on her own retirement adventure: A move to Auburn, Ala., back into the same home she and her husband, Danny, originally moved into 31 years ago. We sat down with Brenda to reflect on her time at Grace Ridge and find out what her plans are for life’s fourth quarter. A Match Made in Heaven Brenda Yost didn’t initially pursue the role of Executive Director at Grace Ridge. Rather, the opportunity serendipitously found her. Needing to move back to North Carolina from Alabama to be closer to her mom, Brenda applied for a few jobs near the I-85 corridor, including Patient Safety Officer at Charlotte Memorial Hospital (now Carolinas HealthCare System). However, the human resources department thought Brenda’s geriatric nursing skills were a better fit for a different position: Executive director at a hospital-affiliated retirement community. “Long story short, I came to Morganton for an interview and fell in love with the people and fell in love with the place,” she said. “I knew I wanted the job and that it was something I wanted to do. It was like a match made in heaven.” First Impressions, Tearing Down Barriers During her first 30 days, Brenda jotted down her observations and questions in a notebook that she recently came across while cleaning out her office. Sparse landscaping, decades old carpet with duct tape on the seams and a bird aviary in need of some TLC were noted in the book. And so, Brenda began implementing...

Good People: Meet Evelyn Beaver, Life Enrichment Director

As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Evelyn Beaver, our Life Enrichment Director who has worked at Grace Ridge for nearly 18 years. Evelyn plans activities for residents, including medical and leisure transportation, wellness massage therapy, trips and events. She also works with the media to share the good work that Grace Ridge is doing with the community. Evelyn attributes her tenure to loving her work and says she has the best job ever. Evelyn appreciates the opportunity to grow and learn from such great co-workers and residents. Evelyn literally gets to help make dreams come true. One of the best parts of her job is when she gets to help residents fulfill their “bucket list” activities, such as zip-lining, visiting New York City at Christmas and going on a cruise on the St. Lawrence River. However, she said, the most important part is building relationships with residents and their families. Evelyn enjoys meeting residents and their families and feels that she would be lost without them. If she didn’t work at Grace Ridge, she would like to write a book about her time working at Grace Ridge. She has been recognized multiple times for her outstanding work with Grace Ridge and has received the Carolinas Healthcare System Pinnacle Award and a merit award of excellence. When Evelyn isn’t working, she enjoys life by traveling, painting, making pottery, knitting, being active in her church and spending time with...

Good People: Meet Alice Clay, Massage Therapist and Activity Assistant

As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Alice Clay, who is a massage therapist and activity assistant. Alice has worked at Grace Ridge for 17 years, starting as an activity assistant and then working her way through massage therapy school. Alice is very proud to know that she makes a positive difference in the residents’ lives through massage therapy and assisting with activities that Grace Ridge offers. She said she enjoys working with the residents at Grace Ridge because each day is different. Alice approaches each resident as a unique individual with individual needs and likes. These differences allow her the opportunity to personalize her services to meet the residents’ specific needs. If Alice didn’t work at Grace Ridge, she feels like she would have missed out on what she describes as “the best job ever,” – working with wonderful people. One of Alice’s favorite memories during her tenure at Grace Ridge occurred when her teammates and residents surprised her with a 50th birthday party. She was so overwhelmed that she started to cry. One of the residents said, “Hon, don’t cry! You need a tissue.” Then, the resident jokingly pulled out a maxi-pad from her sweater sleeve, which made everyone laugh. Alice has been recognized multiple times for her outstanding work with Grace Ridge, including an award of merit and recognition for 15 years of employment. When Alice isn’t working, she enjoys gardening, growing flowers and playing...

Good People: Meet Dennis Gardin, Director of Plant Operations, Safety and Security

As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Dennis Gardin, our Director of Plant Operations, Safety and Security. Dennis is another long-term employee who has worked at Grace Ridge for nearly 22 years. He attributes his tenure to treating everyone with respect, doing a good job, meeting deadlines and being a good leader. Dennis feels great pride when residents and their families comment on the community’s excellent maintenance as one of the reasons they chose Grace Ridge. Dennis especially enjoys meeting residents and their families and learning about their careers, hobbies and families. If he didn’t work at Grace Ridge, he said he would be working in a similar business where he can interact with people. Dennis has been recognized multiple times for his outstanding work with Grace Ridge. He has received awards for being the Employee of the Quarter, a Tier One Leader (twice) and the #1 Team Leader in the resident satisfaction survey. When Dennis is off-duty, he enjoys riding his motorcycle to unwind and building projects at his house. Thank you, Dennis, and all of Grace Ridge’s outstanding...

Good People: Meet Kay Clark, Independent Living Nurse/Nurse Manager

As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today we highlight Kay Clark, an Independent Living Nurse and Nurse Manager who has worked at Grace Ridge for nearly 27 years. In fact, she worked at our community before it was known as Grace Ridge. It was Mountain House when she started as a certified nursing assistant back in 1990. Kay took a break for a year in 1994 to finish her nursing degree. Then, she came back as a registered nurse working with independent living residents. Kay has worked as a floor nurse, nursing manager and interim director of nursing. Kay feels that there is not one best part of her job; there are many best parts. She says that the residents, and their families and her teammates, are the reasons why she loves working at Grace Ridge. She especially enjoys getting to spend one-on-one time with the residents and getting to know them. In her free time, Kay enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband and family. Thank you, Kay, and all of Grace Ridge’s outstanding...

Good People: Meet Charity Elliott, Life Enrichment Social Worker

As Grace Ridge celebrates 30 years of good moods, good times and good life, we are shining the spotlight on the people who make up the heart of the community: our dedicated and compassionate employees. Today, we highlight Charity Elliott, our Life Enrichment Social Worker. Charity has worked at Grace Ridge for 10 years and said the best part about her job is loving and caring for families and residents through the journey of life. She feels a genuine appreciation from the families and residents with whom she has the pleasure of working. Charity believes that Grace Ridge is an excellent place to work because every day brings a new challenge. She treasures the many great stories that she has in her heart and says her days at Grace Ridge are blessed. Charity has been recognized for her outstanding work at Grace Ridge and in the field of social work. In 2015, she received the LeadingAge North Carolina Service Excellence Award and the Carolinas Healthcare System’s Pinnacle Award, which is given to Carolinas Healthcare teammates who best exemplify the core values of caring, commitment, integrity and teamwork. When Charity isn’t helping enrich the lives of Grace Ridge residents, she loves spending time at home with her husband and three children, singing in the church choir, serving as a hospice volunteer ambassador and sipping a hot cup of coffee or an occasional glass of wine. If she didn’t work at Grace Ridge, Charity says she would get her cosmetology license and open a backyard beauty shop. Thank you, Charity, and all of Grace Ridge’s outstanding...