One on One: Bobbi Miller, Regional Director of Operations at Benchmark Senior Living
The original article, One on One: Bobbi Miller, Regional Director of Operations at Benchmark Senior Living compiled by correspondent Amanda Robergeby, appears on The Telegram & Gazette.
With a long career rolled out behind her in the world of senior care, New York native Bobbi Miller has come to the Worcester area to serve as the regional director of operations at Benchmark Senior Living, tasked with overseeing seven different residences, including Tatnuck Park in Worcester and Benchmark Senior Living at Shrewsbury Crossings in Shrewsbury, of the senior living services company.
While her position extends far beyond the direct care role that is at the heart of her passion in working with seniors, she has so far dedicated herself to maintaining that commitment to one on one interaction and human connection that lies at the core of her values system with her work. She has even earned herself a nickname — “Benchmark Bobbi” — in some of the company’s inner circles owing to her rampant and contagious enthusiasm for her new place of employment. Benchmark has been an integral part of numerous Massachusetts communities since its founding in 1997, and now operates 56 senior living communities in the Northeast.
Moving from New York to Massachusetts must be a bit of a transition. Tell me how that has been for you.
I am a Yankees fan living in a Red Sox world, and yes, it was a really big move for me. But I was looking for a fresh start, and I saw this position open up on some of my job searches and something lit up. I had a former colleague who had come to work for Benchmark and been very happy, so I started researching the company, and found out it has received numerous honors as a great place to work. In many ways, I was interviewing them as much as they were interviewing me. I have been very happy here so far, and am slowly getting to know the lay of the land.
Was your path to this position a rather straight one, or has your career followed more of a winding road?
My path has most certainly been a winding one. I was one of those people who really needed to take some time to find herself — and college was that time for me. I went to three different schools, and started in education and then accounting and then marketing and management. One of my first jobs was in accounting, which was really boring but I loved my coworkers. After I was laid off from that job, I got a job at the county office for aging, and that’s when it really started — I felt like I had come home. I have never looked back.
What is it about Benchmark that you have connected with so deeply?
I was looking for a position with a company that was committed to a people-centered culture, and I have found it here. For those of us who really feel called into this profession, the human connection is something that needs to be at the center of everything you do, and in so many companies that connection is exactly what is missing.
Is it difficult, then, for you to put on an administrative hat?
Not at all — it comes very naturally to me. Benchmark makes it easy for me to do my job, mainly because it has so many systems in place to recognize and reward people for the good they do every single day. It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed my job this much.
What is it about your personality that suits you to this work?
First and foremost, I have a love for people and serving them. I have always thrived on that connection to people, and ever since a fifth-grade field trip to a nursing home, I have felt a particular connection with older people. But what suits me to this specific position are some of the softer skills — the interpersonal and relationship-building skills — I have been developing all my life.