Star City Six: Christy Merritt
The Waterford Communities are locally owned and have three Assisted Living and Memory Care locations in Lincoln. The first facility opened on July 1, 2000. The newest Waterford Community at Wilderness Hills, located at 27th and Yankee Hill, provides Memory Care in a home-like setting. The Waterford at College View on 4848 South 48th Street offers higher levels of Assisted Living care and The Waterford at Williamsburg, located on the corner of 40th and Pine Lake, provides Assisted Living care. Christy Merritt is the Executive Director of The Waterford at Williamsburg (www.thewaterford.net).
How did you get started in the business? – I was blessed with the ability to care for my parents and grandmother. Through a combined family effort they were able to spend their final days at home. Taking care of them was privilege. After that I felt a desire to do more, to be a part of something that made a difference. I had a relative already in the industry who gave me great guidance and inspiration. Through her connections and some divine intervention doors were opened that brought me to The Waterford at Williamsburg.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – My greatest accomplishment was finding the courage to make a career change after 18 years in the same industry. I had felt for some time that I wanted more from my career, but I just didn’t know which direction to go. I am so happy in this role. I love the people and absolutely love my job. Everyday has purpose and meaning and gives me great satisfaction. It is an amazing feeling when you know things just fit.
Tell us a little about your family. – I’ll start with my husband Jason, who is pretty amazing. He is a native of Lincoln and a graduate of UNL. Then there are our six children: Payton, Molly, Brooke, Maddux (the only boy), Lily and Lulu, ranging in age from 19 to 3. Payton is a sophomore at Creighton and Molly is a freshman at Kearney. They are the light of our lives; having a big family is the best!
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Watching football. While I enjoy the Huskers, I am an Okie at heart. I spent most of my childhood in Oklahoma and then spent a few years attending Oklahoma State. While I was there I worked in their athletic office, so I am a die-hard Cowboys fan. Go Pokes!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – Words are power, choose them wisely. My father said this to me when I was about five years old. I have held onto it ever since.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – Politics. I have a degree in political science and have always been fascinated with our political system.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – CEDARS. I have been involved with their annual Power of the Purse event for several years now. Like the elderly, children are a group who often cannot advocate for themselves. I believe that everyone deserves to be loved and to feel safe. CEDARS is a multifaceted organization that works in Lincoln and beyond to aide children of all ages.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Lazzari’s Pizza. I love their spicy chicken pizza and they have the best ranch dressing ever!