Jori: Making a big impact in a small town.

Jori never considered working at a senior living community. She had a degree in health care administration and a solid career as a registered cardiac stenographer at a hospital. Performing ultrasounds, echocardiograms and stress tests, she had brief contact with people; she knew their hearts better than she knew them. So, when American House regional sales director, Amy, offered her the job of Executive Director at American House Petoskey, Jori was intrigued. She was ready to find out what it would be like to serve others on a long-term basis, to get to know them for more than a few minutes at a time. In other words, to do a complete one-eighty. And now, five years into it, she says simply, “It’s better than I imagined it could be!”

Nestled in a small tourist town in charming Northern Michigan, American House Petoskey at 44 units, is a tight-knit community. “It’s almost like a family, living in a house together,” says Jori, who now spends her days in a place where relationships are built over time, and everyone knows everyone. “I love it!” she says. 

As both ED and CRD, Jori has plenty on her plate, but she is never too busy to jump in where needed. “In a small community like ours, everyone pitches in,” she says. “It truly is all hands on deck.” She works side by side with all the staff. “Sometimes I serve in the dining room, helping here or there…I’m all over the place!” She’ll do anything. Almost. “I won’t cook,” she laughs. “If it’s ready to go, I can pop it in the oven, that’s about it!”

When Jori does something, she’s all in, that’s just her nature. But support is important. She feels American House does a great job, is always there for her, and she can’t say enough about her regional leader, Amy. “We have some really great leaders in this company, and I appreciate the direction they’re taking us in senior living.”

That support was critical during the pandemic. “When things were crazy in the beginning, our leadership took action and reached out to the experts to find out what we could do to stay safe and help protect our residents,” she says. “Guidance from the top flowed down to the communities, and it was wonderful.” Jori’s team followed the guidelines set by American House, “We didn’t have any COVID cases. We did an amazing job and it’s because of the leadership. That was huge.”

A Petoskey resident for over two decades, Jori is an active member of her small community. She is involved in a lot of Chamber of Commerce events and social groups, such as Connecting Women in Business, and is the chairperson for the Petoskey area’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Motivated to give back, she also likes to stay connected with the health care community, “We all help each other.”

While she lives in a small town, Jori’s is no short story. In fact, it’s more like a novel. Her life’s many chapters are devoted to serving others with compassion. She loves helping people out…just don’t ask her to cook!

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

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