“I see The MAC as a conduit to open dialog and a forum for cultivating new ideas and inspiring change if change is needed,” says Marilyn Helberg, the current Chairwoman of The Garlands member-run advisory committee.
As the Chairwoman, Marilyn meets with management once a month to talk through different programs and items that have been brought to the MAC members’ attention.
A diplomatic, retired grade schoolteacher and principal, Marilyn points out, “We are not a complaint department. If a member has an issue that does not have a community-wide impact, we try to guide them to someone who can help resolve their situation.”
But, if a member comes to The MAC with a legitimate concern or idea that includes the membership or community as a whole, “That’s where I see our role,” says Marilyn. “We communicate with management and then we go from there until it is discussed, acted upon, or dropped.”
Working in tandem with Nancy McCaffrey, Director of Hospitality, and Dawn Kempf, Vice President and Chief Operating and Compliance Officer, Marilyn reports, “It has been a wonderful working relationship. I have found The Garlands management to be very open. They listen to ideas—both accolades and concerns. We have a very good rapport.”
The feeling is mutual. “The MAC is a vital part of our community,” says Nancy, who was particularly grateful for the committee’s input during the pandemic. “The MAC committee surveyed the membership with regard to mitigation efforts in the face of Covid,” says Nancy. “They creatively sought input from their peers on a controversial subject, and management acted according to their collective wishes.”