Trying to imagine Blakeford without Ron Samuel is nearly impossible. His connection to us started even before the building was complete when he was working in construction clean up. “I came here about a year before Blakeford opened. They were still doing construction,” says Ron. Soon after Blakeford opened its doors, Ron was hired as a Floor Tech with housekeeping in February 1996.
“I did that for a year and then I ran the laundry room for a year. I then became Housekeeping Supervisor,” Ron says. “When I first came, I said ‘I’ll stay here a year.’” For the last 17 years, Ron has watched over Blakeford and its residents as a member of the Security team.
His friendly and encouraging personality are a mainstay at the Independent Living front desk each time he comes to work. Holli Passmore, who has been a colleague of Ron’s at Blakeford for several years, says “Ron is a true example of consistency and dedication. He knows this building inside and out. We always feel a sense of assurance when we leave the community at the end of the day that it is in good hands with Ron.”
In his twenty years at Blakeford, Ron has witnessed quite a few changes. “I’ve seen Blakeford grow by leaps and bounds,” he says. “The biggest change has been Woodcrest because we went from a 40-50 bed center at the beginning to what we have today with more rooms and the rehab center.”
Ron continues, “One of the best things that has happened in the last 20 years was Luke Gregory and Van Cluck coming on board. They took it to a whole different level in terms of growth. When I first started, the receptionist also did the payroll. Now we have different departments like accounting, marketing, wellness, and more.”
At the heart of why Ron continues to work at Blakeford? The residents. “I’m still here because of the residents. That’s where I get my blessings,” says Ron. “I tell Van that I don’t work for Blakeford. I work for the residents.”