Erickson Retirement Communities has announced that Columbus resident Rebecca Converse has been named the executive director of Hickory Chase, the company's new Hilliard retirement community.

Erickson Retirement Communities has announced that Columbus resident Rebecca Converse has been named the executive director of Hickory Chase, the company's new Hilliard retirement community.

Converse joined Erickson's executive development program in September 2007, after spending the past 12 years as the executive director of the Forum, a Columbus retirement community.

Converse has more than 25 years of experience in the retirement industry, during which time she has worked for Marriott Senior Living Services, Sunrise, The Forum Group, Five Star Quality Care, and Lutheran Village of Columbus.

"The Hilliard market has lots of opportunity for Erickson to make a significant impact in senior housing," Converse said. "The demographics here are strong. We look forward to bringing the Erickson lifestyle to Hilliard as we share our gifts to create a community that celebrates life."

Converse said she will focus on building a team that shares the company's values.

"Our values will ensure we cultivate a caring and passionate team where we will deliver exceptional customer service and promote optimal quality of life," she said. " As a leader in the industry and one of Fortune magazine's 100 best places to work, we will provide many exciting employment opportunities as well."

Converse attended Capital University in Columbus, and received bachelor's degrees in both art therapy and psychology. She lives in Columbus with her husband, Tom, owner of Renouveau Design, Inc.; her 16-year-old daughter, Hannah; and Beau, a 125-pound golden retriever. Converse serves as church council secretary for Christ Lutheran Church in Bexley, and is involved with the food pantry ministry in addition to faith mission through Lutheran Social Services.

Construction began at Hickory Chase earlier this month. The region's newest retirement community will be located at the intersection of Davidson Road and Britton Parkway in Hilliard. The first residents are scheduled to move into Hickory Chase in the spring 2009 when the community opens a 145-unit residential building and clubhouse. Construction will continue in phases based on market demand.

According to U.S. Census estimates, there are nearly 100,000 people age 65 and older currently living within 25 miles of the Hickory Chase campus. Erickson representatives say more than 230 people have already put down a deposit toward an apartment at Hickory Chase.