One of the friendly faces you often see at Maplewood Park Place belongs to Director of Sales Sion Zewdie. She offers personalized tours, organizes special events, oversees apartment renovations, and makes friends with everyone she meets. For the past eight years, Sion has been an important member of the Maplewood team. Her job title may have changed over time, but the sense of family and warmth that brought her to Bethesda’s “best senior living community” has remained the same.
Come for the Experience, Stay for the People
As a college junior, Sion came to Maplewood Park Place on weekends to assist with administrative work. She was majoring in public health science at the University of Maryland with no real plans to work in senior living. However, she worked hard and earned an immediate job offer from our marketing department after graduation. She looks back with a laugh at what she now calls her “first big girl job” that opened her eyes to the possibilities of working in a community that redefines retirement living.
After about a year and a half as the marketing coordinator, Sion transferred to sales, where she would truly find her place. “Sales should be 90 percent listening and 10 percent selling,” she often says to her colleagues today. “Not everyone has the same experience or concerns. So, if we start by listening, we can really focus on who we’re working with and how we can form individual connections.”
Coming from a different country and culture has given Sion a unique perspective on this concept. She moved to the United States from Ethiopia at the age of 14 to continue her education. In many ways, this experience helps her connect with community members on a deeper level. “Different views tend to attract one another and spark conversation. My past helps me tap into these differences and similarities between residents, so I can act as a sort of matchmaker, too.”
Your Renovation Partner
Most days, you can find Sion moving through Maplewood Park Place, going from one meeting to the next. As the partner-in-renovation for residents, her schedule is filled with listing appointments, check-ins with contractors, real estate research, and much more. Maplewood owner residents can, and often do, customize their apartments before moving in. Sion sees this as an essential part of the process for everyone who calls the community home.
Together, Sion and new owner residents kickstart the renovations with a brainstorming session. “We get ideas about what they love about their houses, what kind of space they have, and we make that idea new,” she explains. “Sometimes they just need that inspiration. It builds this excitement to the point where they can’t wait to see the finished product.” For some owner residents, that involves new paint colors and flooring. Others want completely renovated bathrooms and kitchens. Either way, Sion will oversee the entire project, coordinating with interior designers, subcontractors, cleaners, etc.
“I know how hard moving can be, so I’m always trying to help,” she shares. Her dedication and partnership have made a difference for many of our owner residents. Other retirement communities may offer relocation assistance, but nothing quite like Sion’s services. What motivates her to constantly go above and beyond? “It feels like a family here. We’re all in this together.”
A Congenial, Caring Community
With a team of incredible people by her side and a collaborative spirit, it’s hard for Sion to see herself anywhere other than Maplewood Park Place. “If I have a new idea about resolving an issue we’re experiencing, everyone listens. We tackle challenges together because we’re all working toward making our community the best environment for everyone,” she says. This holds true for employees and owner residents alike, but it’s not the only reason Sion feels so comfortable here.
“I think it’s the people—and being helpful and kind to one another. You feel the warmth throughout the community. New residents will smile, stop and say hello. They make it worth it, they really do,” she shares. In fact, one of her favorite memories involves the owner residents’ thoughtfulness during office renovations a few years ago. At one point, the entire sales team was sharing a single boardroom, but their neighbors didn’t want them to be inconvenienced. “They would check on us, and even offer the use of their apartments during the workday,” she remembers. These small acts of kindness speak volumes about the character of Maplewood community members.
Experience the congeniality of Maplewood Park Place for yourself. We’re offering virtual tours, as well as in-person options. Contact us to schedule your personal tour today where you can meet Sion and the amazing people that call this community home.