Will Miller has a lot in common with new residents at Scotia Village. Like them, he and his wife, Kenzie, recently moved to Laurinburg to begin a new chapter in their lives. In Will’s case, however, it was to take on the role of Director of Sales for Scotia Village.
And like anyone new to the community, Will was immediately taken with the friendliness, energy and welcoming spirit of the residents and fellow staff.
One of the biggest surprises for Will so far has been how active and vital the residents are.
“It is so encouraging to see,” says Will, himself having turned 60 this year. “They’re smart. They have great stories. They are people of great character… They’re a real fascinating group of folks to work with.
“I go home each day and say, man, those people are just so cool,” he continues. “You just appreciate them.”
Will and Kenzie moved to Laurinburg back in July from their Winston-Salem home where Will worked for many years in sales, mainly related to healthcare software. But when the opportunity came up to join the staff at Scotia Village, the timing turned out to be just perfect.
Kenzie’s family has roots here, including a cabin her grandmother built in 1946 near the Lumber River in Wagram. So, they are both quite familiar with Laurinburg and Scotland County. “We’d always wanted to spend more time here… and our kids are both grown,” says Will.
The chance to spend time at the cabin certainly appealed to the couple. However, one of the biggest reasons for making the move was the opportunity for Will to apply his talents and experience in a way that matched up well with his outlook and personality.
“It was a huge jump,” says Will regarding the career change. “But it fits me much better than what I had been doing.”
Will has been in sales for 20 years but wanted to get into more relational, non-transactional sales. “I wanted my work to better dovetail with my faith,” says Will. “I can see that in this job more than any I’ve ever had.
“My gifts, my skills, my heart… are engaged here. I see this correlation between what I enjoy doing and where I make a difference,” he adds. “It’s still a transaction… but I really learn and get to know people and counsel them… versus looking at sales quotas.
“It’s fun to come to work… and fun to meet with Residents of the Future. My work, faith and mission are more hand-in-hand here. I just feel like I’m in the right spot for me.”
While his title may be Director of Sales, Will sees his role more as an ambassador. “That’s the other thing that hit me when I came here,” says Will, “is how important this role was to folks making this decision… You’re talking about people who are deciding to live here for the rest of their lives.”
According to Will, his role is about answering “Who is Scotia Village? Who is Laurinburg? Who is Scotland County? And if our community resonates with you, we are a fantastic place to live,” explains Will. “But if I ever just talk someone into moving here, then I would fail at my job.
“It’s a huge financial decision for people and we want them to feel happy and fulfilled and to feel at home.”
Even though Scotia Village features well-appointed homes and splendid facilities and amenities, Will emphasizes that it comes back to the people. “Our difference is our people — residents and staff. There’s a sense of real caring, love and concern that is not as easily seen elsewhere. We are friendly, refined, but unpretentious.”
Will and Kenzie have two grown sons. The older, Trey lives in Birmingham with his wife, Meg and their son, William. The younger, Duncan, is a Navy pilot stationed in San Diego. As empty nesters, the couple sees themselves in a place in life that is not that far removed from where the residents.
“We’re going through some of the same things residents go through, just one move ahead of us,” he says.
Will started his career after college in operations. Then returned to school to get his MBA from Wake Forest University before going into sales.
His advice for anyone considering a continuing care retirement community is to spend time in the community to experience what it is like on a day-to-day basis.