Jill Berry joins Country Meadows Retirement Communities, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In this role she leads a team of marketing professionals at 10 Country Meadows campuses as well as Ecumenical Retirement Community in Harrisburg, Pa.
“My main goals are to coach and partner with our teams on the differences each of us can make daily,” she says. “We all have the power to touch lives in how we handle a phone call, an interaction, in being a resource and in educating seniors on the many available options in senior living.”
Berry started her career in senior living at Sunrise Senior Living near Philadelphia while working towards her master’s degree in Health Services. “Several of my classmates were doing coursework at [senior living facilities],” says Berry. “I honestly had no interest in the field until I saw the passion my peers had for their roles and the differences they could make in others’ lives.”
She accepted a position as Move-In Coordinator and transitioned into various sales positions before being promoted to a regional leader. She changed organizations to learn a different culture and accept additional responsibilities in multiple states. Her last position was Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Sunrise.
Today, more than 20 years later, Berry says she is proud to have touched so many seniors’ lives, as well as their family members’ and plans to continue serving older adults. “I get to make a difference the lives of seniors and their families as they navigate the many options in senior living,” she says. “While it can be a difficult, confusing time, it can be a blessing if we educate these individuals and help find solutions to individual challenges.”
Berry’s vision for the future of senior living is to continue to innovate and create even better programming and environments for future generations of seniors. She says, “We need to listen to what our seniors want in senior living and ensure that our communities deliver on our promises to continue to celebrate life and living, in every level.”
Her years spent with older adults have taught her many lessons, especially one resident who told her, “Wear the good stuff. What are you saving it for, Honey?” Berry says that piece of advice taught her to be truly present in every moment and live her best self. “She told me to wear my pretty lipstick, wear my good jewelry and have fun in life—life is meant to be lived.”
She adds age is nothing but a number and marvels at seniors living their best lives during their golden years. “I’ve seen so many seniors start an amazing journey or a new hobby at age 90 or show an amazing album of what their life story has been at 100 years young. It really teaches the lesson to LIVE life, using your precious time to enjoy those around you.”
Berry holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from East Carolina University and a master’s degree from West Chester University.
She concludes, “I get to have thousands of grandparents each day. What can be more fun than that?”