East Ridge sales counselor Iris Baker has been working at East Ridge for over nine years and says with great sincerity that no day is typical at the life plan community.
She loves her role helping families with one of the most important decisions they make at this stage of their lives. As a sales counselor, she is one of the first people a family meets when considering a move to East Ridge and it’s not unusual for her relationships with families to be lasting ones.
“There’s a mutual respect and trust that is built in a successful sales relationship,” she explains. “This doesn’t’ end when the moving van is empty and leaving East Ridge. It continues long after someone is living in the Village. Everyday residents come up to me and thank me. It’s very gratifying knowing I’ve helped them in making a positive change in their lives. I’m able to learn their personal histories and they have such amazing backgrounds.”
For example, from resident Mac Smith, Iris learned about butterflies. Smith, who has recreated butterfly habitats in his backyard and patio, showed Iris his butterfly garden. An avid gardener, Iris took Smith’s advice and planted butterfly attracting plants in her own home garden. Smith volunteered to babysit Iris’s 14 caterpillars when she was on vacation and continues to supply Iris with special leaves from his Dutchman’s pipe vine for her caterpillars.
In the years she has worked at East Ridge, she has watched the life plan community undergo many positive changes. Witnessing the grand opening of the new Three Palms Health Center has been most fulfilling.
Iris was instrumental in the relocation of residents who were living in the 200 block when plans for Three Palms were initially announced. She worked with East Ridge management in transitioning 22 residents to new independent living residences. Every detail was managed to help in their move.
“From replicating furniture layouts and picture arrangements to filling kitchen cabinets – every detail was carefully coordinated. We gave them the red carpet treatment. It’s wonderful to look back now and know I’ve played a part.”
Iris starts each day at 5:45 a.m. with exercises—either working out on an elliptical machine or walking on the weekends. She believes staying healthy is simply good advice for everyone. Starting the day with exercise and a protein shake helps her to face any challenges that may come her way.
Iris is originally from Zimbabwe. She left in 1978 and was followed by her parents as well as her 7 siblings who are in England, United States and Canada. She has three children and two grandchildren.
Here is Iris’ protein shake recipe:
Mango Smoothie Recipe
- 8 oz of 2% Milk
- 1 scoop of Whey Protein Powder
- A few blueberries (for antioxidents)
- 1 Mango (fresh from my own tree)
- 1 tsp Flax Seed
Mix all in Blender (A Nutra Bullet is good too)