Meet Kari Schrader, Ardenwoods Community Life Services Director. That’s a particularly fancy way of saying Fairy Godmother. Look closely and you may get to see her magic.
She’s modest, calls herself a farm girl at heart from a long tradition of midwestern caretakers. Where in the world is Abingdon, IL? It’s a long way from Asheville, but Kari fell in love with the south while backpacking as a teenager. She chose Toccoa Falls College, a small college in northeast Georgia where she received her BA in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications. Has there EVER been a major so suited to an individual?!
She’s Part of a Team
This lean mean community machine played college basketball and continues to work out every day. She’s on the elliptical machine 6 days a week and she runs 1 day a week. Put the team player with the organizer and communicator and you get Ardenwoods Community Life Services Director – Kari!
The woman who plans outings, socials, speakers, hikes, and more usually starts her workday at 5:00 in the morning. That gives her time to mill her own wheat and bake bread and cookies before she comes in to work. Let’s just be clear: Kari loves to bake.
She’s also a gardener; she even worked at BB Barns Landscaping for 2 years. She still “has lots to learn,” and relies on residents to help her. Dona Marie has been particularly helpful!
Kari’s loves spending time with her crew: Derrick, and her three children, Lincoln, Meredith, and Meredith’s husband of two years Kyler. She homeschooled her kids for 12 years – working Mama! She was even on the team that formed Trailblazers Western Carolina Athletic Association for Homeschoolers, a 501(c)3 with over 250 kids.
Kari loves her job and finds it very “fulfilling.” Because the residents at Ardenwoods have made the choice to live in a community, they help shape it. It’s dynamic. Everybody has value as individuals and as a group. It’s this community (and the individuals who make it) that gives Kari the impetus to CELEBRATE – she celebrates the small things as well as the big things.
She’s really looking forward to Active Aging Week and she’s planning a pet parade, a cookie baking contest for residents, and an aqua dance. Stay tuned for that fun week.
Here are a few fun facts about this great lady:
- She loves Diet Coke.
- If she had a lot of money, she’d get more manicures.
- She loves going to thrift shops.
- Kari spends as much time as possible in the sun and outdoors, favoring yard work and swimming over hiking.
- She loves sidewalk chalk.
- She has amazing friends who enjoy ornery time and drinking wine.
- Did we mention she likes to bake?