First Impressions Lunch and Learn

Each month, Forefront Living teammates gather during their lunch break to participate in educational training sessions and informational presentations called “Lunch and Learns.”

This month, Scott Polzin, Chief Operating Officer, and Ke’o Velasquez, Corporate Director of Operations, jointly presented on the lasting influence of first impressions. They shared with their peers that the perception of teammates, as well as an organization’s overall impression, are equally crucial factors in any customer-service business. Utilizing their professional experiences in the senior living industry, Scott and Ke’o discussed how creating a positive organizational first impression targets the five senses, specifically relating to a facility’s exterior and interior appearance and ambience. Examples of positive community impressions stemmed from attractive and clear signage, well-maintained landscaping and calming water features, interior cleanliness and pleasant aromas. In relation to teammate first impressions, giving a welcoming smile, presenting a professional attire, having a firm handshake, a polite tone and the ability to maintain eye contact are assured approaches to make a lasting, positive impact on those we serve.

Ke’o Velasquez was recently interviewed by Experience Care, who wrote the following story about him joining Forefront Living and the experience he brings:

A Dining Experience Like No Other

Written by: Elijah Oling Wanga and Cameron Zargar

For over fifty years, Forefront Living has embraced innovation, evolution, and raising the bar in long-term care, serving seniors in the Dallas area through its senior living and hospice services. In keeping with that identity, Forefront Living took a major step toward transforming the diet of seniors by hiring a world-class chef, Keo Velasquez, to be its director of corporate operations. 

Leadership knew that Velasquez, who previously prepared gourmet dishes for hotels, restaurants, and a catering business, would be able to provide seniors a dining experience like no other. Velasquez famously appeared on Experience Care’s LTC Heroes to discuss his innovative approach to improving the dining experience in long-term care settings:

The Director of Corporate Operations at Forefront Living continues to push the boundaries of long-term care dining knowing that he has the support of leadership and a team that is similarly determined to change the culinary experience in the industry. “I push my managers to think more and to think outside the box,” he said. “This isn’t about me being the boss. It’s about what we’re going to get as a team. It’s about creating a list of to-do items and figuring out what needs to get done.”

When designing menus, Velasquez considers the experiences of both residents and their family members. That is because he knows very well that the best food is that which is shared with loved ones. By using fresher ingredients, subtle flavors, and recipes that intrigue and tantalize the palettes of its residents, Forefront Living provides a culinary experience like no other long-term care community. 

And Velasquez and his team have no plans of slowing down any time soon. “We’re going to keep trying things until we’re told that that doesn’t work,” he said. “We want to appeal to multiple generations to ensure that we create a great culture here at Forefront Living.”