Margaret Minichini was hired as the executive director of The Amsterdam at Harborside to oversee its opening. With the operations of The Amsterdam underway, Minichini now leaves to take on her next start-up opportunity in the growing sector of senior living. She is active in many local groups, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce. She took a moment with Port Washington Patch to look back at her time at The Amsterdam.
Patch: I understand that you have worn many hats while working for The Amsterdam at Harborside. Tell me about that.
Minichini: I started in 2006 before construction began as part of the marketing team. My role then as director of community relations was to educate seniors and their families about CCRCs [continuing care retirement communities] as a retirement option. My goal was always to be sure that The Amsterdam would be a good neighbor and be welcomed as a resource for area seniors. When construction started, my next title was director of personalization. People who had reserved apartments were able to customize those units. I also served as the marketing director. As construction completed, about six months before opening, I was hired as the executive director. I was responsible for overseeing a successful opening of The Amsterdam at Harborside.
Patch: The Amsterdam at Harborside opened for residents at the end of August 2010. What has been your greatest accomplishment since that time?
Minichini: Well, there are a couple of areas that I am most proud of. First is that The Amsterdam has been a positive force in the community creating almost 150 jobs at all levels of the organization. We have always emphasized using local merchants and suppliers. The residents of The Amsterdam have also been integrated into the community by taking advantage of the many activities available to them. You will find them at the Port Washington Public Library, Landmark on Main Street, and actively participating in Pride in Port, the Chamber’s Souper Bowl, etc. Secondly, I am very proud of the staff that I brought together at The Amsterdam. They are all experienced professionals dedicated to providing the highest levels of service to the residents - to the person they are hard-working and devoted to the needs of the residents.
Patch: Now that you’ve accomplished your goal with the opening of The Amsterdam, what’s next for you?
Minichini: My favorite challenge is always the next start-up. I thrive on the excitement and urgent management decisions that must be made in a new organization. I’m considering some options now that will take me into new territories. A number of communities are expanding to allow for the more active life styles of today’s seniors, and I am exploring how the physical structure can best complement the daily activities of the residents.
Patch: Any closing thoughts on your time at The Amsterdam?
Minichini: I’ll miss the staff and the residents. The drawback of what I do is that it’s like sending your children off to college. You work with them and give them the skills to be independent, and then off they go to make it on their own without you. I’m glad for the fun we had.