Dick Hiss sees his career before retirement as good preparation for his current position as President of the Residents’ Association at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge.
He says his career in senior management (some of which you’ve read about here) as “41 years of really good training and experience.”
Now, he’s been President since last July, and he’s “very pleased with the job,” he says. “I like the work. It’s very meaningful,” serving his fellow residents.
So far things have gone smoother than they did for his predecessor, Charlie Stamm. As you may have read here, fate dictated that Charlie presided over the two years in which the pandemic reigned. “The COVID issue is what Charlie had to work through,” says Dick, and he and WCBR management did a good job. “We’re not totally out of the woods,” he says, “but it’s manageable.”
Now with WCBR’s multitude of resident activities back up and running, there’s a lot of work to do – because so many of those activities operate under the aegis and management of the Residents’ Association.
“WCBR has so many positive things going on,” says Dick. “It’s good to see the community grow and develop.” And to keep them doing so, he sees his job as helping to “strengthen the management of the Association.” He sees his mission as “making improvement to an already very good Residents’ Association.”
In his first months, the President’s most challenging responsibility has been appointing the chairs of the 15 committees and two subcommittees that plan and organize those activities and keep them running.
“That went very well, and I was pleased with that,” he says. “We got off to a good start, and it’s good to see people step up and do the job.”
Dick came in with a lot of ideas on how to do that. He had been living here for seven years, and had been very involved in resident activities – things such as delivering WILL lectures. “As I watched prior administrations do their work, I saw things I might want to do in the leadership position,” and now is his chance.
Of course, he’s been working his way up to it. Before stepping up to the presidency, he was chairman of the Marketing Committee. That meant working with WCBR’s Vice President of Marketing, and during his term he saw a change in that position, one that he says has worked out well. “Deidra Massie has been very, very strong,” he says, and “the committee helps her any way that we can.” That relationship continues, he reports, as the committee also is “in good hands now.”
As President, Dick encourages the committees work together smoothly, and a good example of that happening is the way the technology and health committees worked together in recent months to implement an upgrade of Wi-Fi on the WCBR campus. When the project is completed, the changes will not only make life more convenient for residents, but make them safer as well. You’ll read more about that soon on this blog.
“The role of the Technology Committee in the Wi-Fi program installation at the moment is to be an ‘enabler’ in the healthcare areas, to help accomplish a successful implementation of the total system improvement,” says Dick. “Once the installation is completed, then Health and Technology committees can combine their efforts to bring improvements to the care area for the benefit of both staff and residents there.”
The officers and committee chairs of the association report every three months to the overall membership.
“WCBR has a most interesting body of residents – so much energy, so many abilities,” he says. “The people that move in here are looking for stimulation and friendship, and those things are abundant here. It’s the most vibrant, stimulating group of adults I’ve ever been around.”
Dick Hiss looks forward to what he will be able to tell them at the next meeting. “I’m pleased with the growth I’ve seen.”