Keith Moreland is only the second associate in our history to reach 30 years of service. When he started at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in 1992, he had no idea that he’d be able to say that today.
At the time, he had been working for a telephone company, but he was looking for a part-time job on top of that. He knew something new had been built on Pantops Mountain. “What is this place up on the hill?” he wondered.
There was less to see back then. “When I came, it just was the main building,” he remembers – plus Jefferson Cottages, and the first pool, which was still being installed.
He decided to give it a try, and started working in security on the night shift, just Saturdays and Sundays to start. After two years, he was doing it full-time.
Now, three decades later, he’s still working nights – from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. – and he loves it. He doesn’t mind the night shift at all. Initially it interfered with watching some of his favorite TV shows, but he saw he could work around that. It hasn’t kept him from playing in his bowling league the last 15 years – twice a week. It’s also easier to make appointments and handle other personal business during the day, when others are working.
The nights are mostly quiet, and if he misses anything during those hours, it’s that he doesn’t get the chance to interact with residents nearly as much as he’d like. “I like talking with the residents,” who he says are his favorite thing about the job.
But he likes the team he works with – about a dozen on duty during the night, from the desk clerk to the certified nursing assistants. “They’re great to work with as a team,” he says.
Others like working with Keith as well. His supervisor, Guest Services Manager John Baker, can testify to that.
“He’s that quiet guy who goes about doing his job, and he knows his job,” says John. “He just sees what is needed and takes care of it. Soon as I met him, that spirit of his just did something for me. He’s just a nice guy.”
Also, Keith’s a great source of institutional memory. “He knows the history,” John says. He can explain that “it used to be like this, and we changed it because of that.”
Keith’s main job is to be there in case of emergency. “The main thing is life and safety,” says John. That means making the rounds, “making sure nobody can get in.”
“His presence just has a calming effect on people,” says John. And “I can always count on him to be here. In fact, I have to tell him to plan a vacation. He’s from that generation” that’s all about the job.
There’s one more thing Keith loves about working the night shift at WCBR: He gets to look out and see the sun rise every morning.