What began in food and beverage service at Sky’s Fine Dining in Grand Forks (now known as Skies 322) has taken Morgan (Hodgson) Brama to some unexpected and rewarding places! Her story is one of diligence, hard work, and the product of building sustainable relationships. While higher education is a critical part of success, so is the gift of gab.
Connecting with those around you can have an impact for years to come. Care, compassion, and creativity are all vital skills necessary to work in senior living. Morgan emphasizes each of these characteristics, which is what makes her such an integral part of Edgewood Healthcare’s executive team.
How it Started
Morgan studied at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks. She worked several customer service jobs during her time at UND that helped shape her into a career path that she didn’t immediately anticipate.
Through college, she worked as a barista at Urban Stampede, a server at Sky’s Fine Dining, and at the Delta Airlines Counter inside the Grand Forks International Airport. When she wasn’t working in these capacities, she also helped with catering weddings and other events. Each of her jobs helped her develop a comfort level in speaking to clients and learning from everyone she met, including some Edgewood Healthcare executives whom she’d later be working with on a daily basis.
It was one recurring customer that Morgan kept bumping into at each of her jobs who happened to make a significant impact in shaping her professional future. Former Edgewood Healthcare President Russ Kubik frequently visited each of these businesses during his workday. Whether entertaining colleagues, grabbing coffee, or flying to other Edgewood Healthcare locations across the upper Midwest, Morgan said she’d run into Mr. Kubik, who often joked that she was following him all over town.
Charting a Course
At the time of her graduation from UND, Morgan explained that she didn’t have a strong passion for a specific career. She graduated with a degree in communications but didn’t have her heart set on anything solid until she had a very constructive conversation.
After years of developing a business relationship with Mr. Kubik and learning that he was also a UND Graduate, he encouraged Morgan to consider a career in senior living. More specifically, that relationship helped motivate her toward a leadership role within senior living.
She interviewed with Edgewood and was offered a paid internship at Edgewood’s former Parkwood Assisted Living Community in Grand Forks through the EDIT (Executive Director in Training) program, which would allow her to continue learning the skills she needed to be an efficient leader.
The EDIT program was introduced to Edgewood by Mr. Kubik, who completed the program himself almost 40 years ago. He still fondly recalls his former mentor in the program, who significantly shaped his skills to become a successful leader in senior living. His mentor was an excellent role model who was never shy about sharing his time with others, picking up the vacuum cleaner, or doing whichever job needed to be done.
Mr. Kubik’s experience with his mentor helped him realize that successful senior living buildings are not managed in a back office. “Senior living is managed from the hallways,” Mr. Kubik explained. He added that successful executive directors know their teams well and are willing to share their time with everyone to achieve success.
The EDIT program was constructed specifically to place interns in communities with management needs and then circulate them around the building so they can get a sense of every aspect of the daily operations. This program refines the clinical, managerial, and practical skills necessary to carry out the duties of an executive successfully.
Mr. Kubik explained, “I always went out of my way for those in the EDIT program, and Morgan is just delightful! I got to know her as a barista and server and recognized a personality trait in her that makes people successful in this business.”
Morgan worked her way through the EDIT program at Parkwood for a year. During this time, she made many contacts and learned valuable leadership skills. She transitioned from her role at Parkwood to Edgewood in Bismarck, ND, where she worked for about nine months as an assistant executive director, or “AED.” During this time, she was offered an opportunity to change gears into a different community in Minnesota. She accepted an AED position at Sartell, where she worked for several years until she was offered an executive job at Edgewood in Blaine, where she is currently the executive director.
Morgan explained that her internship with Edgewood’s EDIT program was one of her most valuable experiences in gaining the insight and skills she needed to manage a senior living community successfully. Each of the personal connections she’s made through the years with her colleagues has also been an unanticipated benefit.
How it’s Going
It’s been seven years since Morgan joined Edgewood Healthcare. She chalks up much of her success at Edgewood to Mr. Kubik’s encouragement. After leaving college uncertain about where her future would take her, Morgan confidently reports today, “This is exactly what I’m meant to do.”
“This work is very rewarding! My favorite part about it is being able to help seniors during a new chapter of their lives. Each day when I go home, I know I have done my good deeds for the day.”
Morgan’s success continues to grow. She was recently married and has one stepson, Tommy, and an 11.5-year-old golden retriever, Cora. When she’s not helping others at Edgewood, Morgan and her family enjoy hiking and camping outdoors.
Making a Difference
There are many career paths out there, but there’s something special about serving others that helps to fill your cup. If you’re searching for a meaningful career path with opportunities for growth and networking with some of the most outstanding professionals out there, please consider Edgewood Healthcare.
We have many options available, from dining, life enrichment, maintenance, personal care positions, and clinical/nursing to reception and business office positions across our communities, which span seven states in the upper Midwest. Edgewood offers enormous opportunities for growing your career and skills. The best part that often goes unsaid is developing lasting connections with coworkers and residents.
If you’re interested in applying for a position with Edgewood Healthcare, please click here to review our openings. You’ll be doing something amazing for others, and there’s no telling how Edgewood may help to shape your professional future; the sky is the limit!