Making connections

The Willows’ parent company, Trilogy, is based in Louisville, Kentucky, but many employees of The Willows at Tiffin have roots in our neighboring communities.

A good example is Executive Director Alicia Wolf, who is from Carey. A graduate of Ohio State University, she has worked for Trilogy for 10 years, most recently as executive director at Briar Hill Health Campus in North Baltimore.

“When I heard (Trilogy) would be opening a campus in Tiffin, I put my name in and said I’d like to transfer,” Wolf said.

Her interest in senior health care began in her youth during frequent visits with her great-grandmother and an elderly neighbor. Although she initially enrolled in the dental hygiene program at OSU, she soon realized it wasn’t her “passion.”

“I had to stop and think, ‘What do I want to do the rest of my life?'” Wolf recalled. “My mom said, ‘You love the elderly’ … so I started looking into that field.”

She interned at Fairhaven Home in Upper Sandusky as an STNA (state tested nursing assistant). Later, she became an activities associate in Findlay at Trilogy’s The Heritage. She said the company promoted her to director of Legacy Neighborhood, then to assistant administrator, before moving her to North Baltimore. She is excited about her new assignment with Trilogy.

“I love their standards and how they treat their employees. They have a motto that if you take care of your employees, they’re going to take good care of your residents,” Wolf said. “I’ve always told everybody, it’s the people in our buildings that make it a great place to live and work.”

Janelle Ray, community services representative, grew up in Green Springs. She learned about Trilogy through her grandmother, who resided at the Bellevue Willows. Ray said she and her children have good memories of visiting the facility and engaging in activities and special events with their loved one.

Another connection comes from Gregory Rippon, originally from Bellevue. His mother was a nurse who cared for Ray’s grandmother. Rippon is now director of food service for The Willows at Tiffin, after his mom told him about plans for the new facility.

An Army veteran, Rippon attended culinary school in Kentucky to earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. After working in Louisville a number of years, he said was pleased to find a position closer to home.

All three employees said they have been welcomed into the Tiffin community.

“I do love Tiffin … everyone we’ve met has been just wonderful,” Wolf concluded.