June 14, 2021

Get to Know Mary-Anne Schelb, Director of Business Development at JGS Lifecare

Mary-Anne Schelb, Business Director of JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow, Massachusetts

For the better part of the past six years, Mary-Anne Schelb has been a vibrant force at JGS Lifecare. She lives her professional and personal life with humor, energy, grace, and compassion. Mary-Anne is a firm believer in enjoying every day to the fullest. As she herself puts it, ”If I’m not having fun – I change what I am doing!”

By way of background, Mary-Anne is happily married to John (Jay) Schelb and they reside in Belchertown, MA. Their blended family is a testament to a busy, full life. The family consists of Vinni (24) who lives in CA and Megan, also 24, who lives in NC. Mason (19) and Jared (22) are both in college and  currently living at home for the summer. Plus, there are two adorable furry family members: Bailey and Riley. It is a busy household indeed.

Take a look at our conversation with Mary-Anne about what her career means to her and her role at JGS.

Q. How did you come to have a career in healthcare marketing?

A. Although I hold an accounting certification from St. John’s School of Business, I found numbers to be too black and white for me and found myself drawn to holistic health. I studied for years to become a Holistic Health Practitioner. My marketing and networking background comes naturally to me and I find when you are genuine and genuinely want to help people, the marketing and selling part comes easily – which I found running my wellness center years ago. Clearly, marketing was in my blood.

Q. Why did you decide to work with seniors?

A. Seniors have a story to tell. They have all mastered something and I love finding out what. I began in eldercare once my kids got a little older. I had formed a networking group years back and one of my members worked in marketing at an assisted living. Her assistant was retiring and she needed a little help. I thought I would try it… and I LOVED it!  Being one that always likes to look at the bigger picture; coming to the JGS Lifecare campus made so much sense. We have everything an elder could possibly need or want.

Q. How long have you worked at JGS?

A. I began my JGS career in 2015.  I can honestly say there is never a dull moment. I spearheaded the Dementia Friendly Longmeadow Town initiative, helped get our sensory rooms up and running with holistic options for better health and wellness, and started the Caregiver Support Group back up. I am also very excited that our Memory Café will debut this summer!  I left JGS for a brief time, but returned in 2020, in the heat of the pandemic. People thought I was crazy coming back to a nursing home during COVID, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Q. What do you like best about working at JGS?

A. I love that JGS has always had a solid reputation in the community. The affiliation we now have with Chelsea Jewish and Legacy Lifecare bring even more resources to an already rich environment. My favorite thing by far is that they CARE!  The leadership is innovative, especially in terms of realizing holistic health is a benefit to both residents and employees. This allows me to integrate being a Holistic Health Practitioner into the mix. It’s a perfect balance for me.

Q. What is the most rewarding aspect about working as the Business Development Director?

A. When you have a great product to market it comes naturally to talk to people about something you love and honestly believe in. I don’t understand when someone claims they cannot “sell.” I tell them they sell every day without even realizing it. I think you can always “sell” something you love and believe in–like I do with JGS.

Q.  Is there one experience that stands out in your mind?

A. Yes, just recently I was passing out goody bags for a virtual networking event. It was Nurse’s Week, so we had a food truck outside for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to cover all shifts. I distributed goody bags as people drove up to the nursing home.  It was an already fun day with all the festivities we had for our nurses, which was appreciated by all our staff. In fact, I overheard a remark by an attendee which I think embodies the spirit of the organization. She remarked, “Look how they treat their employees. (Pointing at the food truck) This is amazing!”

Q. What do like to do in your spare time?

A. I have my wellness center — teaching classes and holding workshops. My goal is to inspire anyone seeking inspiration. Additionally, I enjoy hiking, mountain biking and kayaking.

Q. Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you? 

A.  I have an affinity for exotic sports cars! My husband and I absolutely love ripping around the racetrack in a variety of supercars.  I make sure to live every moment of my life with passion.