John Falldine is the managing director of Edgemere, the only life care senior living community in Dallas and a Senior Quality Lifestyles Corp. sponsored community. John has more than 20 years of experience in many areas of retirement living, including assisted living administration, building operations and consulting services. He earned his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University in 1987 and completed his Master’s in Business Administration at St. Leo University in 1999.
Edgemere is an established community that has built a stellar reputation over the past 13 years. Managing a fully-operational community has been a wonderful experience, but one thing that is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge is offering events that make Edgemere stand out from the crowd and drive traffic to our community. In a market the size of Dallas, a city where new senior living options seem to appear on every corner, this can be hard to do.
Our agency understood our needs and introduced the Red Carpet Speaker Series™, an initiative that brings in famous authors, actors, veterans and other media personalities to speak at communities. It had been successful at one of our sister communities, so I thought, “Why not at Edgemere?”
Our first speaker was Tony Mendez and his wife Jonna. For those wondering why his name sounds familiar, Tony wrote the novel that was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning movie, Argo. Having served our country as a covert operative for the CIA, he was a great fit for our audience, as a large number of our attendees are veterans. His connection to history and his ability to tell us first-hand the amazing things he helped orchestrate was so intriguing. It was basically standing room only for the event, so it would be an understatement to say it was successful.
Just two weeks ago, travel expert Rick Steves made a stop at Edgemere and gave two presentations about his adventures traversing the globe. Hearing him explain how America is viewed in different parts of the world and the misconceptions Americans may have of certain cultures was so interesting. If you think about it, we know one thing our residents and future residents love to do and that is travel. Because of this, Rick Steves proved to be a perfect match for our target audience. I’ve never seen a more engaged group for any event as I did for this one.
This series does more than just bring in big names. It validates Edgemere as a neighborhood resource for continuing one’s intellectual growth. We’re not just your aging experts – we also bring you educational opportunities. As a Masterpiece Living community, one of our goals is to continually provide ways to encourage intellectual stimulation. Travel, movies, books or the government – this series will touch on a topic that interests you. All of the speakers speak so easily to seniors, which is important.
This speaker series program was developed as a marketing initiative, yet it has a different feel that sets it apart from other programs. Guests are never being “sold” about the community. A community that cares enough to bring in such high-caliber speakers like Tony Mendez and Rick Steves speaks for itself.