Ann Williams is the sales and outreach director at Cannon Rivers Senior Living in Cannon Falls. She is passionate about connecting with senior residents and with the community.
Through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams and the Cannon Rivers staff have found new ways to keep the residents safe and engaged. As COVID cases drop and restrictions are lifted, many events are able to go back to normal.
Q: As the sales and outreach director, what does your job at Cannon Rivers Senior Living entail?
A: Being the marketer in sales and outreach, I do all the outreach for the community. I participate in all events, I network with different groups like the Chamber, even other people in other communities who are senior living. I build relationships with the community. When people come to see me, they already know who I am and I’ve already started to build that relationship, and to keep in touch with the community. We reach out to families and seniors here in Cannon Falls and the surroundings. We want them to know who we are and we want to know who they are, and meet their families and needs.
Q: What is a day like for the residents there? What is an average work day for you?
A: I am the first contact for the families and residents. I tend to have a really close relationship with them. I have a group that stops by my office every single day for their treat. I have a huge candy bucket and selection for them. They like to stop in and share their concerns. I take that time to talk with them. We keep our residents really busy; they have wonderful activities, they exercise every morning, they have happy hours on Fridays, ice cream socials, and game days. We really encourage our residents to be busy and socialize.
Q: What activities are available for residents to participate in regularly? How has COVID-19 changed/prevented these from happening?
A: Coming out of COVID, it is really important to have our residents be engaged again. They have a great time, get three meals a day, and many different activities. In the summer, we have beautiful patios and gardens. We have some residents that are master gardeners so they do an amazing job on our flowers and landscaping. We are still getting back on our feet after COVID and keeping our residents very secure and safe for a year and a half. Here at Cannon Rivers, we didn’t really have an outbreak of COVID. We are very proud of that.
Q: Many church groups and organizations come to do activities with the seniors at Cannon Rivers. As the outreach director, do you plan those events? What do you like about finding ways for senior residents to connect with the community?
A: My job is a lot of relationship building. We have different groups that come in to entertain, but that is more of an activity thing. We try to stay local with our food at Cannon Rivers. We work with local farmers. Kenny, our chef, goes to meetings and goes out and buys products from farmers to keep it community orientated. We like to give back so we want to participate in all of those programs, we volunteer our time. I attend all of the events, but I don’t plan all of them. We are planning this huge old-fashioned picnic with root beer floats on July 15 that is open to everyone in Cannon Falls. I am planning and promoting that.
Q: What is something impactful that a person or the people there have taught you?
A: Patience. I’ve also learned a lot about farming. I’m not from here so I have learned about farming and things like that coming to Cannon Falls. One of our nurses owns a dairy farm with her husband so I’ve learned a lot about that. I like the small town piece of it too, I love the fact that I can walk down the street and say “hi” to everybody. I’ve learned that this is a very friendly town.