Patrick Foy takes the helm of the VAST residence

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The extended Groupe Maurice family extends a warm welcome to a new team member: Patrick Foy, general manager of VAST, the brand-new seniors residence in Sainte-Julie, which will be opening its doors in late 2020. During our meeting with Mr. Foy, we discussed his preparations for this new professional and personal challenge under less-than-ordinary circumstances. Here is a transcript of our interview.


Patrick Foy, what prompted you to seek work in a seniors residence?

A series of favourable circumstances, I’d say. My wife used to own two residences. I’d help her team during birthday parties and recreational activities. I got to know one very endearing resident who was 104 years old. He was fascinated by technological advances around the world. He used to say to me, "Patrick, life is like a 33 RPM LP! When you’re young, you’re on the outer edge of the disc, when a year is still a long time. But as you get closer to the end of your life, things keep speeding up!" To tell you the truth, I’ve always liked spending time with the elderly. I think we have lots to learn from them.


Why did you choose Groupe Maurice?

The first thing I did when I considered applying for the general manager position was to consult the company’s website. I read up on Luc Maurice and found out that he is not only a great leader, but also a visionary entrepreneur. Then I discovered the video describing the Groupe’s values, in which people were talking about the residents and their living space... I listened to the testimonials of these worthy and deeply humane individuals, who all share a passion for working with seniors. It really grabbed my attention because I could see myself reflected in them. So I’m very much looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to know these people in my day-to-day work.


You seem quite familiar with seniors housing, but have you ever worked in the sector?

No. Most of my career has been in the restaurant business. Before joining Groupe Maurice, I was director of development at Boston Pizza. As part of my duties, I had to find sites where we could build new restaurants, in addition to recruiting franchisees and preparing contracts, etc. I was also area manager and director of operations at Kelseys. I even owned a restaurant for two years. So I’ve pretty well seen and done it all when it comes to restaurants. The seniors housing sector is brand-new for me, so this new challenge is enormously exciting.


Soon you’ll have the opportunity to oversee the opening of a brand-new residence and to help the residents move in. Do you feel ready?

Absolutely! I’m very much looking forward to finally meeting the future residents of VAST. I’ve worked on many restaurant openings in the past, but a seniors residence of this size represents a much bigger challenge, seeing as you have to oversee operations in various sectors, including building mechanics! But I thrive on stress. Pressure is something I find exhilarating. When the pressure’s on, I make better decisions. Plus I’m a team player. I like working alongside people who are better than me in their fields, people I can count on and learn from. In addition, as general manager, my experience could help the whole team, which is very gratifying. I feel good in my position, I feel like I’m in the right place and I’m certainly looking forward to the opening!


How do you see the opening in the current context marked by COVID-19 ?

I’m trying not to worry about things. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months. Will the situation be the same in December? Will we have made progress in our battle against COVID-19 or will we have fallen back? No one knows. I’m going to prepare my department heads for all eventualities. The most important thing will be to count on the help of a close-knit team when the first residents are moving in. Their support will be essential, especially if we face a second wave.


What will be your top priority once the residents have settled in?

There’s a turn of phrase I often hear at Groupe Maurice: the residents are the ones who welcome us into their living space, not the other way around. In the first few weeks following the opening, I plan to welcome each resident personally. I want to get to know each of these people who will be welcoming us into their daily lives. I want them to know they can always count on me and the members of my team. We’ll always be there for them!


Patrick Foy, we hope you have a wonderful experience at VAST and at Le Groupe Maurice!


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