By Traci Chapman
If there ever was a ‘who’s who’ in advocates for seniors, Jill Huff would definitely make that list.
The longtime marketing director for Spanish Cove, Huff is a force of nature – a person who so obviously loves her job and the people she works with and helps that it’s difficult to not get caught up in the whirlwind of excitement that is part of her essence.
While Huff talks regularly about the inspiration Spanish Cove’s residents and staff are for her, they express the same admiration for a woman who goes far beyond marketing. She’s someone who goes on many of the Cove’s trips, is always interacting with residents and who in many ways is one of the most recognizable faces of the Spanish Cove community.
Spanish Cove has come a long way since its founding by retired educators. A not-for-profit trust oversees the Yukon community, which has grown exponentially over the years.
For many, much of that growth is due in great part to Huff, who first came to Spanish Cove in 1995. Armed with her degree, determination and ambition, she offered to volunteer to get her foot in the door. It was the first step in a career that would bring her to Spanish Cove not once but twice.
“I basically sold myself on the phone at the start, eventually becoming assistant to the marketing director,” Huff said in 2014, when preparing for the Cove’s 40th anniversary. “Three years later I became director of marketing at another community, then I stayed home with my kids.”
It was when Diana Garcia, the Cove’s marketing director, decided to retire that Huff came back. She worked with Garcia for a couple of years and was named director in March 2013.
A lot has changed since Huff first came to the Cove. The Pavilion, which was just opening then, has become known across the state, and beyond, as a premier care facility, and residents are staying in their apartments longer and staying healthier than ever before.
“If you ask 100 residents why they moved to Spanish Cove, they will say to have access to the Pavilion and for life care,” Huff said. “My mission is educating people about the choices available to retirees.
“Once a resident has moved to Spanish Cove, they are assured of a home for life,” she said. “I’m so blessed to be a part of Spanish Cove. It’s my family.”