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Congratulations on the extraordinarily well-organized and enjoyable 2019 release party. Amy Schmidt is due even greater appreciation for her tireless efforts to connect those in the aging services realm in Southern Oregon via S.O.N.A.R and for publishing such a helpful directory for older adults and their family members who are trying to navigate the complex world of supports for elders. Her values around community connections and improving the lives of seniors are admirable. It is refreshing to encounter a business founded on “doing good” and operating its multi-faceted services so well that it not only generates revenue for the business but also income for a growing number of staff who get to work in a mission-drive enterprise. You have used the Retirement Connection print guide or website to help refer people to services or communities listed in the guide
Anne Bellegia, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute,
I find the Retirement Connection Guide to be very organized without a lot of fluff in between and easy to follow. I have heard nothing but great things from some of the consumers who came in and asked for them. It’s a great reference tool of things in our community that otherwise may not have been known about . Thanks for working so hard on putting together such a great resource guide.
Georgia Millington, DHS Grants Pass,
Even before I started working for a senior care agency I knew Retirement Connection was something special, because my mother passed last year and we found Retirement Connection to be an invaluable “go to” resource for locating critical information/contacts/services/programs. But now I realize that Retirement Connection is as valuable to its sponsors as it is to its readers. For example: Retirement Connection is one of our biggest and most successful referral sources, in terms of prospect numbers, prospect to conversion rates, and average revenue per client. Retirement Connection’s service “spreadsheets” are particularly helpful, as they allow prospects to self-screen, meaning that the calls we receive from RC readers are likely a good fit. Retirement Connection is a wonderful “icebreaker.” Instead of approaching prospects with tons of sales literature and paperwork, I offer them a free (but invaluable!) tool that helps educate them about the continuum of care and provides tools for handling their life transition. RC makes cool calls feel a whole lot warmer! Retirement Connection helps us turn online leads into confirmed clients. How? When we get a lead from a search engine, we know that many other firms get the same contact information at the same time. By reaching out by phone (AND sending an Email about free local resources like Retirement Connection, Northwest Senior and Disability Services, etc.) I demonstrate that customer service is important to us. So guess who impresses the prospect? When we started using Retirement Connection to support our online leads our conversion rate QUADRUPLED. Wow. Finally, Retirement Connection is also an excellent educational tool for me, a new employee, to learn about the other services/programs on the Willamette Valley continuum of care. We are lucky to have a resource like Retirement Connection that we can share (free!!!) with our prospects and clients. It makes our job, and their transition, easier. The ultimate win/win!
Lynn Tylczak, Home Instead,
It wasn’t all that long ago (February 2018) that my 92 year old mother – a 7 time cancer survivor, indelibly independent, feisty female – passed. It was a difficult time for our family. Although my husband Joe and I lived only a few miles away we couldn’t provide Mom with all the assistance she needed and she “absotively, posolutely” would not consider leaving her home of 35 years. We were so stressed, panicked, and desperate that my daughter had to temporarily leave her grad school program in Minnesota and live with Gamma for almost a year. We didn’t know what else to do. Then one of Mom’s doctors gave us a copy of Retirement Connection and everything changed. For example, Mom insisted on an attorney who truly understood seniors and thanks to Retirement Connection we were able to find an elder law specialist who specifically reached out to, and focused on, her age group. Thanks to Retirement Connection we found a hospice that had a pet care coordinator – who even knew that was a thing? – to place her incontinent cats, Asia and Australia. Retirement Connection even helped us find non-medical senior care providers who patiently and graciously provided Mom with cognitive, behavioral, functional and social support (Mom described her primary caregiver as “the second daughter I never had”). Without Retirement Connections’ clear, concise (but complete), easy-to-access info we could not have found the exceptional people and programs that made Mom’s last few months a positive-as-possible experience. Thank you from the bottom of our less-stressed heart muscles.
Lynn Tylczak, Home Instead,
When I moved here 8 years ago, I didn’t know Salem from Keizer. I was told to call Amy Schmidt and she would give me a place to start. WOW! Amy not only took the time to introduce me to key people in this area but also shared her guide with me. I use the Retirement Connection Guide faithfully- it is my resource Bible. It is such a wonderful tool to grab and help loved ones or a prospective mover that is working to figure things out. And what a great place to advertise…. I get leads from the guide throughout the year. Amy has set up education pieces for us to learn from and she herself is a wealth of knowledge … this is very motivational for me. I can call her or one of her team members and I am treated with respect and they always take the time to assist. The customer service is impeccable and very much appreciated. THANK YOU AMY AND YOUR TEAM AT RETIREMENT CONNECTION!
Sue Horn, Avamere Court at Keizer,
The Retirement Connection Guide is such a wonderful resource. I pick it up almost daily to reference information. Thank you for the information compiled . Also, thank you for getting the guide in the hands of so many people throughout our area.
Julie Ouellette, NW Senior Resources,
It was open enrollment and my mom’s plan was dropped from the Oregon list of Medicare carriers. She wanted to stay with Healthnet however we (her girls) did not know which plan would allow her to remain with her current provider as well as cost. My company Homewatch Caregivers, attended the Marketing party a month before and we picked up box of referral books. We were able to, with the help of SHIBA, who referred us to another source, find the perfect plan for her. What could have taken forever only took a couple of hours and we had lots of help from people who are truly committed to seniors. This is an awesome resource!!
Traciee Thomas, Homewatch Caregivers,
Sooner, or later, we or a loved one will experience a loss of independent functioning that requires care, either in the home or in a residential setting. Retirement Connection is an invaluable source of Information about and resources for providing this care. Few plan ahead for the need for assistance and decisions often must be made quickly. Older adults and their loved ones would be wise to keep a current copy handy for this situation. Better still, they should consider using this guide right now to establish a plan. Choices and decisions made in haste are often not the best. Retirement Connection also contains information about products and services that address the needs of aging adults and help preserve their independence.
Lyman brought me 400 copies here at SHAG’s Tri-Court, Senior Housing in Kent, WA last week. They have all been hand delivered to senior residents in Green River Court, Park Court, Meeker Court and Titus Court. They are a wonderful source of invaluable information for Seniors, Care Givers, SHAG managers, Volunteers, etc… I now believe whole-heartedly, that nobody should go without a copy. I am a former Executive Director of both Public and Indian HUD Housing, I am Human Resources Specialist – and senior resident volunteer here at SHAG, which I call home. More than a fan, I am a very grateful recipient of prompt, courteous service, and the most helpful guide to help me both plan and enjoy retirement. I do not praise lightly, and to the staff at “Retirement Connection,” I cannot praise you enough.
Dan Milburn, HUD, Retired/ Housing Director
I’ve recently made a move to Southern California, and can’t tell you how many times I go to reach for your resource guide and realize I’m not in Portland anymore. When I was working as a Director of Marketing in the NW, I was able to help relieve multiple families of the feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious by introducing them to Retirement Connection. It is so user friendly, organized, and thinks of everything one might need when making a transition as an aging adult. Lastly, I am going to miss the fabulous events that your team puts on, and what great networking opportunities it provided. Thank you for all that you do and please come to California 🙂
Jessica McCluskey, Plymouth Village, Redlands
Hello Friends! Just letting you know that your on-line access has been wonderful. Easy to access – a great help when we’re working with families out of the area! Appreciate the hard work getting elder law attorneys and other folks added to your list of sponsors. Very much appreciated.
Kerri Trapp, Salem Health
Thank you so very much for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your Resource Fair. Your company did a very professional job of putting it together and getting people to come visit us vendors. Your firm is a welcome addition to the Seattle market place, I appreciate the Value added you give your customers.
Karen Satterberg, Wesley Homes
I wanted to give you some feedback on my meeting with Heidi today. She is fabulous! She knows the product, was able to determine how being a sponsor could benefit my business (and how I can use the guide to boost my business on my own), and was an all-around great and interesting person. I have a background in sales, and not once did I feel I was being ‘sold’. In a world where negative reviews and input outweigh the positive, I am a firm believer in speaking up with any positive experience I can. You have a gem in Heidi.
Stephanie Cameron, Transitions Care Management
The Retirement Connection Event yesterday was a great gathering. I am thankful that it gave me the opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with many other ones. I enjoyed learning about different businesses and where we are in life right now, because I know we are all very caring people.
I want to share that my first employer from 15 years ago was there yesterday. He was representing another company, but at the time he was the CEO of the first assisted living where I worked, and my first job here in WA. Isn’t that amazing? Don’t you love running into people that for one reason or another you’re always happy to see again? And seeing them and knowing they are doing well just makes you smile?
Networking for me isn’t just about getting referrals, it is about the person I talk to, and learning why they do what they do. And maybe we don’t have anything in common right now, but we connected because we love the same sport, or food, and we are both passionate about our jobs, and we had that sincere conversation, that make us be grateful for that moment.
The Retirement Connection did an amazing job putting such a thoughtful event together. I think they had something to do with the weather too… couldn’t have been any more perfect, right?
Veronica Griffiths, ACTi- KARE Area Director
We were so impressed with what you’re doing in this community with Retirement Connection that we’re kicking ourselves for not reaching out to you sooner. We look forward to this new sponsorship opportunity!
Justin Settlemier, Woodland Care Center
I just wanted to say thank you Amy for the outstanding work you do for the community you service so well. I am amazed at the effort you put into your service, for the sole purpose of helping others. Your fantastic team culture and generosity demonstrates that when great values are practiced the results benefits us all. I am happy to say that you inspired me and my company and your thoughts, writings and presentation set us forward on a path to reexamine our own corporate culture and values. We have define our culture based around one overriding value… caring. Thank you again for helping us to reach this new watermark. Please keep up the great work.
David Cole, HHAeXchange
Thank you for the really fun and productive release parties. I am so glad you are involved in our community. I feel you are going to be the best thing that ever happened to us and very instrumental in bringing us all together to better serve our senior and healthcare providers.
Linda Kirch, University Place
Your team was super helpful in getting my invite – flyer posted so that more people could attend. Also, Krista, immediately drove out to my community, so far out of her way to drop a case of guides off to me so that I could give them to all of my doctor’s offices with my contact information pasted on the front cover!!! Fast, friendly and always knowledgeable. Those are all the things that you look for in a business partner!
Ginger Wolf, Brookdale Beaverton
These people are wonderful and caring. Their book and website is created to perfection to help give those the resources they need to find good people like them that just want to help. This book and website and the people who create it go out of their way to make sure there is resources for pretty much anything needed. If you want referrals, want information, or want to donate to this amazing group, feel free. You are not going to find a better company for that.
Cati Sanford, Ted’s Mobility
I believe whole heartily in this company. Not only is it the go to resource for discharge planners at our ONLY hospital here in Grants Pass, it is distributed at both Hospitals in Medford as well and their go to as well. They sponsor many senior fairs, have a very useful webpage and will promote any event we have in our community on their webpage. It is a great resource for potential residents, easy to use, and it is visually appealing to the eye. On top of all that, Amy and Krista come to town once a month and run SONAR which in my opinion is the best medical marketing organization out here in Southern Oregon. A ton of networking goes on as well as educational topics at SONAR. They run a tight ship from 9-10:30am getting us in and out so we do not have to plan a whole day event, and they always leave time for after mtg networking. Last, but not least, I have seen these two ladies work for those that advertise with them. They “hook” people up in the best form of the term. They know anything and everything that is going on in the communities they serve.
Kris L Vandehey, Rogue Valley Retirement
I just wanted to thank you for all that you and your team do to connect people in our community. I was sharing your guide with someone recently and was explaining to them how to access the resources in our community and the many ways you have brought these businesses together. It makes it a safer and friendlier terrain for the consumer and sets a structure where the good businesses can rise to the top by building on their reputation and network. Thank you.
Joan Corella, Age Friendly Program Manager
“Meghan and I work very closely on each issue of the Retirement Connection Guides. She works for hours and hours and even through the whole night many times. The next day she arrives at my door completely bright eyed and cheerful. Her attention to detail is absolutely amazing and her brain holds facts and information like a virtual database. I just thought you should know these things, but I bet you already do know.”
Michelle Zobeck, Graphic Designer
“I wanted to tell you about a helpline call I took a week or so ago… Lady calls and tells me she was reading her retirement guide and noticed the 10 warning signs of Parkinson’s – she read them and decided she had 9 of the 10! She had already called her doctor and made an appointment, but called PRO looking for more immediate information and support. The caller is 93 and clearly still active and learning. Thank you to Retirement Connection for the outreach and support that enabled me to offer her the help she needed in the moment.”
Holly Chaimov, Executive Director at Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon
“I have several clients who use the Retirement Connection books to locate “just the right” home for their parents. These individuals tell me that the Retirement Connection books are an incredibly useful resource to make the search for the perfect “parents’ home” easy and successful.”
Belinda Balogh, Baby Boomer Fitness Solutions
“The fact that we regularly see our potential residents’ walk in with a copy of Retirement Connections tucked under their arm is a fairly obvious clue that advertising in their publication is just good business. We make it a point to always ask how our visitors heard about us. Our stats indicate, that next to the internet, Retirement Connections exceeds every other print advertising, by a landslide. Often I will ask our visitors if they would like a copy of Retirement Connections, however, most of the time they say they already have one!”
Rosalind Elgin, Redwood Heights Assisted Living
“Thank you for your help – you provided me with information that will make a difference. We are making a difference one Senior at a time.”
Robin Franey, Capability Homecare
“Retirement Connection is the best comprehensive service guide of its kind in Metropolitan Portland – listing a wide variety of services for older adults. Where other such listings include paid advertisers only, this guide includes all. Amy is energetic, outgoing, and enthusiastic about producing a high quality guide. Her winning personality has resulted in a valuable new resource I love to share with my clients.”
Becky Wehrli, CLTC, Long-term care specialist
“Amy has revolutionized the referral resource industry with her Retirement Connection Guide. This quarterly publication places vital service contact information at your fingertips in the form of a well organized and easy to read booklet that lists every conceivable type of resource you may need as a senior citizen or as a family member or friend of a senior. To top it all off, she is an expert in her field, a professional of impeccable standards, is full of energy and has a great sense of humor. I applaud Amy and Retirement Connection and would wholeheartedly recommend them for your advertising and resource needs.”
Kathleen Adamson, Independent Senior Advocate
“The Retirement Connection Guide is an awesome marketing tool. Concise; user-friendly.”
Joana Olaru, Alpine House, Inc
“You’ve done an excellent job with the Portland/Vancouver edition this year, you’ve bridged the gap that the council of the homeless left when they lost their funding, so thank you for that”
Bob, Vintage of Vancouver
“My team has received a 3000% ROI from our investment, and I could not be more pleased. I would recommend Retirement Connection to anyone in the health care industry.”
Collin Sebastian, Marketing, Communications & Management