Vi at The Glen’s Community Relations Manager Steve Samson has lived and worked in more than 30 countries, specializing in sales, marketing and exhibition management. He has a rich history of community involvement and possesses a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Fine Arts. We sat down to talk with Steve about his interesting career path, his hobbies, and what he enjoys most about working at Vi at The Glen.
Q: Your first Bachelor’s Degree was in Spanish. Tell us how you became interested in the Spanish language.
A: In high school, I went on a trip to Europe with my parents and my eyes were opened up to different cultures and languages. My father spoke Spanish and I was impressed by his ability to speak it, so I decided to buckle down and learn Spanish myself. I participated in two student exchange programs – I lived in Spain for a year and South America for a year. It was fun to immerse myself in another culture. Living overseas, I realized there are many different perspectives in life.
Q: One interesting hobby you have tried is beekeeping. How did you get involved in that and what did you enjoy about it?
A: I was volunteering at the Ragdale Foundation and they needed someone to take care of the bees, so I took a class at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I learned how to pour the bees into the colony, and how to put the queen in and let her get acclimated. I really enjoyed the discipline, getting lost in looking at bees, seeing how they work together. It was interesting to watch them dance around in circles, communicating to each other about where the pollen was located in the fields. When you are that close to nature, you realize how small we are in the scheme of things.
Q: Tell us about your interest in the arts.
A: I had always dabbled in art – painting, sculpting, and designing landscapes. In 1999 I left my corporate job as an international sales manager and pursued my second undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and then a Master’s in Fine Arts. It was a challenge to go back to school at mid-life and realize all the students were half your age. On the first day, they all thought I was the professor! But soon I fell right into being a student again. It was an exciting challenge.
Q: What brought you to Vi at The Glen?
A: I’ve always been interested in seniors - they have such fascinating stories. I love hearing about what they’ve done in their lives. And I was interested in this position because I could wear multiple hats: marketing, sales and PR. Sometimes I’m sending a human interest story to the local media, other times I’m planning on-site or offsite events. Last May I reached out to the Glenview Public Library and now we’re having a residents’ art exhibition there this summer. The residents are really excited about it!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: By far my favorite part is finding out our residents’ stories. I love meeting them when they move in and seeing how excited and happy they are to start a new chapter in their life, because I’ve had many chapters in my life.