The ‘Orchid Doctor’ Celebrates 20 Years of Service
Greenwich Farms at Warwick hosted a surprise party this month to celebrate the 20th work anniversary of beloved Front Desk Receptionist Ann Marie Abatiello. Joined by her family and fellow associates, Ann Marie watched this 15-minute video featuring praise from current and former colleagues, including home office and community associates, and a video greeting from Chairman and CEO Tom Grape.
“Receptionists like Ann Marie touch every department — they’re the heart of a community,” says Director of Business Administration Cindy Santos-Reyes. “They field a constant stream of questions and requests coming by phone, email and people at the desk. All while taking directions from multiple people.”
On the most hectic days, Ann Marie wears a constant smile while relentlessly solving every problem she confronts. And she’s never too busy to help with special projects.
Called to Care
During times of stress, residents and family members often seek comfort from the receptionist. “Many residents have their favorite receptionist who they know will listen with an open mind and heart and do anything they can to help,” says Cindy. “And Ann Marie is certainly a resident favorite.”
“Over time I’ve learned to overcome challenges, stay positive and help people get through the storm,” says Ann Marie.
The Orchid Doctor
Residents often receive orchid plants as gifts. When these difficult plants begin to wilt, residents bring them to Ann Maire, who is known as the “orchid doctor.” Under her expert care, the bare sticks soon become gorgeous blooms that amaze residents.
About five years ago, a resident donated her Christmas cactus to the front desk. Because the plant fared poorly in the cool draft from the front door, Ann Marie asked the resident’s daughter to care for it. But first, she asked for one of the cactus’ “pups.”
After the resident moved out and Ann Marie learned she’d passed on, she called the resident’s son to share the news that his mother’s Christmas cactus pup is grown and thriving in her home. At the former resident’s wake, Cindy discovered that the original cactus is more than 30 years old and graces the family home.
Whether it’s caring for a plant or taking a call from a resident at the front desk, Ann Marie is “connecting to what matters.” What’s kept Ann Marie in the same position for 20 years?
“I love it here,” she says., “I love interacting with associates, residents and families. And I love being part of our residents’ daily lives and feeling the love they return to me.”