Photos Andy Calvert

AT RENAISSANCE MARQUIS, CARING FOR THE RESIDENTS from independent living all the way to memory care is the top priority of the staff on hand. While there are stark differences in why people choose an assisted living facility, there is one thing everyone must or at least should do three times a day…eat.   

For the last 12 years, Dietary Director, Mary Wilbanks has served those meals to the residents at Renaissance, and the joy it has brought to her life shines through in the dishes she serves.   

“These last 12 years have been amazing,” says Wilbanks. “When my children were little, the times we spent at the table were some of our very best and during my time here this has become an extended family, so I see it very much the same way. I get great satisfaction out of seeing smiling faces around these tables and my interactions with everyone are very dear to me.”  

Mary strives to make everyone happy and with such a diverse and large group of residents, there are a lot of palates and dietary needs to meet. She does this by keeping things simple but is always open to suggestions as many of the residents were homemakers that know their way around a kitchen.   

“I encourage their input every day,” says Wilbanks. “I want their suggestions. When you feed the same people 7 days a week, 3 times a day, you are always looking for new ideas so if someone comes to me with a new dish, we are always willing to try it. If it goes over well and people enjoy it, it stays on the menu rotation.”  

Mary certainly can’t do it all by herself naturally and her staff take just as much pride in serving the residents as she does. On any given day if you walk into the facility during a meal, you will hear the hustle and bustle coming from the dining room. One of the things you will notice without fail is Mary and the staff members not only tending to the needs of their diners, but laughing, smiling and interacting with them.   

Assistant Director, Tammy Campbell is a key member of the team, while cooks Josh Bracken, Teresa Haynes, Kelsey Mays make the magic happen in the kitchen.   

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Mary Wilbanks

“I am so proud of the staff we have right now,” says Wilbanks. “We all work together to try and serve healthy meals that meet the needs and tastes of everyone that dines with us. I wouldn’t want my own mother or anyone else to leave the table hungry, so we always make sure that doesn’t happen here and I couldn’t do that without them.”  

With the dedication of Mary and her staff, it’s no surprise to see the smiling faces of all the residents when they sit down for a meal at the Renaissance Marquis. From special events with lavish spreads and table settings, to the ordinary everyday meal, the attention to detail is never lacking, and that makes for happy customers.   

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“We know our residents and what dishes their favorites are,” says Wilbanks. “90 percent of those dishes are desserts so if we get those right, the other 10 percent is easy.”  

The smile on the residents faces say a thousand words and those smiles are abundant in Mary’s dining room.  

 

To experience a meal at Renaissance Marquis for yourself, call 706-295-0014 and speak with Allen Chambers, Cyndi Brannon, or Austin Post to visit for lunch and a tour.