This week, Bloom had the opportunity to interview Marc Vorkapich, the Chief Executive Officer of Watercrest Senior Living Group, LLC, to learn more about how Watercrest Senior Living and Market Street are changing the lives of their residents.
What sparked your interest to enter the senior living industry?
My calling to serve seniors began 26 years ago while volunteering in residential care when an elderly woman who since became very close to me said, “All of my life I have been the life of the party, and in this place, I am invisible.” During the following weeks, declining health quieted her voice and for, a moment, my own. Growing from this experience instilled a heartfelt passion for making a real life difference in the lives of seniors.
What makes Watercrest Senior Living special?
People. At Watercrest Senior Living there is a heartfelt focus on welcoming, caring for, and serving seniors. We believe our associates are our best investment and that our collective values will determine the extent to which our company’s vision will be realized. We follow through with this sentiment by celebrating our associate’s core values on their nametags (replacing titles), offering paid time off for volunteerism, collaborating in the development of personalized career maps, and providing unparalleled servant leadership training and appreciation programs.
What do you do that no other organization does?
Watercrest feels blessed to be in an industry that attracts gifted hearts to serve a purpose greater than ourselves. Our strategic business plan and vertically integrated company uniquely positions Watercrest as an innovative and responsive provider designing, developing, marketing, and operating best in class in assisted living and memory care communities. This deliberate structure and meaningful growth platform provides opportunities for senior living’s rising stars to gain valuable experience in all business segments while working together to redefine the senior living experience.
Are there any upcoming projects you are most excited about?
Yes! We have multiple exciting projects underway in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. We are looking forward to 4-6 new properties coming online each year under the Watercrest and Market Street brands.
How do the Watercrest Platinum Standards differentiate you from other communities?
Watercrest’s Platinum Standards derive from years of collaboration with residents, families, and associates to identify what truly makes a difference in the lives of seniors. Our team’s commitment to raising the bar in each market we serve through increased training and staffing requirements uniquely equips our values-centered associates to deliver a higher level of service than is traditionally provided.
We are often reminded of the importance of language in our literature and conversation. How has Watercrest Senior Living approached culture change in senior living?
Our approach to culture change in senior living is focused on practical applications of servant leadership organized within a comprehensive leadership program we refer to as the RISE model.
The RISE model, itself, acts as a guideline addressing how to create a climate for purposeful change, build widespread capabilities and long term commitment, identify a sustainable competitive advantage, and build a “common unity” of shared purpose and associate engagement.
We noticed you offer wine tasting. Can you tell us more about this? What other unique programming opportunities do you offer residents to add value and improve quality of life?
Elegance and luxury should not be sacrificed once you move into assisted living. In keeping with our Platinum Standard of resort style dining, Watercrest is about providing choices while indulging all of your senses.
A variety of wines are part of the Watercrest experience to be enjoyed in our intimate bistro or while relaxing poolside before dinner. Whether sipping on our Watercrest private label crisp Chardonnay or rich Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Central Coast, or tasting wines paired with flatbreads, charcuterie or scrumptious desserts, your senses will be enlivened.
Watercrest residents enjoy memorable events such as the Arnold Palmer Classic, Continuing Education courses and lecture series through our partnerships with local Universities, and chauffeured evenings on the town as a group or a more private evening out in our Mercedes Benz.
Our Market Street Memory Care Residences also offer world-class care, multi-sensory programming, extraordinary culinary experiences, and unparalleled associate training honoring seniors and their families. Through our unique approach to Memory Care, residents continue to enjoy diverse lifestyle choices including cultural arts, musical performances and maintaining faith and spiritual connections locally.
What advice do you have for communities looking to implement culture change?
Be transparent and humble in the quest to discover reality and the consequence of staying put.
Involve as many people as possible in the conversation.
Dream to share a purpose with one another.
Emphasize the development of Servant leaders.
Since we like to end on a sweet note: what is your favorite ice cream flavor, and why?
Definitely mint chocolate chip on a sugar cone because my grandma used to get that for me when we went to the beach together.
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