“St. John’s has been a part of my life for a long time, ” says Lisa Griffin, who will reach her 10-year anniversary as a St. John’s employee this August (2022). Lisa’s association with St. John’s started long before she officially became an employee. According to Lisa, it was her cousin, Teresa Cannon, who worked for St. John’s over 30 years, who can be credited with her ultimately coming to St. John’s.
Lisa says that from the time she was little, she knew about St. John’s because she used to walk Teresa to work. “I have always known about St. John’s,” says Lisa. Perhaps that is why it was not a tough decision to make a career switch when a part-time concierge position opened up almost a decade ago. According to Lisa, her cousin suggested she apply to St. John’s when Lisa’s position as a local travel agent had been eliminated due to the increase in internet travel companies.
Ten years later, Lisa would say that it is more than just her work experience that she gained over the years, working first as part-time concierge, then for a short time as unit secretary at St. John’s Home, and ultimately, as lead concierge at St. John’s Meadows. “St. John’s has been a third family to me,” says Lisa, who ranks her “church family” as number two after her biological family. Lisa says among the perks of being a St. John’s employee are the friendships she has formed with her co-workers and the enjoyable working environment.
As lead concierge, Lisa supervises 17 other concierges, which is a role she cherishes for the closeness it brings. “You have a bond with each one of them differently,” says Lisa. “There are a variety of people you get to meet and work close with.” Lisa notes that the team also enjoys getting together outside of work for a movie or a glass of wine.
Lisa also believes that working at St. John’s has given her unique perspective about older adults and aging. “It is such an amazement to me of how they continue to live life at 90–going to the grocery store, going to Geva, taking walks, enjoying their pets,” says Lisa. This helped when Lisa’s mom became challenged with dementia. “I knew how to take care of her because of St. John’s,” says Lisa. “You learn things by working here.”
Being at St. John’s during the pandemic was also seen as a benefit to Lisa who brought everything she learned back home. According to Lisa, no one in her family got COVID because she would share best practices from work with her family members to keep them safe.
To offer a realistic perspective about her work at St. John’s, Lisa notes that some days are difficult. “We are in the business of taking care of others and that in of itself can be challenging,” says Lisa. However, Lisa has some wise words of wisdom that she shares with those she supervises: “If you hang in there, it is definitely worth it. The rewards will come in and you will see the impact of your work.”