Throughout August, Ecumen is celebrating its 10th Best Place to Work honor from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal by recognizing employees who live our values every day.

Rita Dodge is wonderful at innovation. She looks at something, and her brain instantly goes to work on ways to improve the process or new ways of completing a task.

Her impressive work with the Ecumen Store at Ecumen Parmly LifePointes is just one great example of her resourcefulness. Since she took over as our Ecumen Store champion at Parmly, sales have dramatically increased – primarily because she was able to clearly show families and residents the benefits.

First, she steeped herself in knowledge about the store, its prices and its products. Then, she started working closely with families and residents, assessing individual needs and doing price comparisons of what families are currently paying to Ecumen Store prices. If the store doesn’t save them money, she then talks with them about convenience.  She also works closely with staff and residents to makes sure the right products and the right sizes are ordered.  She personally reorders products and makes sure residents always are properly supplied – thus relieving the families of this burden.

Before Rita’s involvement, we were giving out Ecumen Store brochures on admission and throughout the building, but that approach was generating very little interest. She took a process that wasn’t working and shaped a new one that has moved sales from just over $125 to more than $2,000.  We still have room to grow, but I have no doubt with Rita as our champion, we will be successful.

The way Rita approached the store project exemplifies how she always goes about her job as our Resident Services Coordinator. She consistently goes above and beyond to serve residents as well as staff, putting her heart and soul into her job. When there is an issue to deal with, she persistently works to solve it. When scheduling staff for Housing, she tirelessly works to fill the needs of both residents and staff. She is fair and compassionate.

Rita is our go-to person for assistance with anything. If she doesn’t know the answer, she works to figure it out. She is also very empowering to our staff, always pointing out when they do good, and she makes new employees feel welcome and is outstanding at setting them up to succeed in their roles. She is a wonderful coworker, and personally I admire her dedication and selfless service.

Thank you for living our values, Rita.  Ecumen honors you!

–Brooke Anderson, RN, Clinical Housing Director, Ecumen Parmly LifePointes

Ecumen’s core values guide our company and our employees:

SERVE: We put people at the heart of what we do.

INNOVATE: We find new ways to exceed people’s expectations.

EMPOWER: We encourage people to dream and take action.

HONOR: We treat people with dignity and respect.