Here We Grow Again – Meet Merial!

November 14, 2023

We are so excited to welcome Merial Thedford to our Sunways Team!

We first learned about Merial through our St. Pete Concierge (and so much more) Lisa Keith. Merial and Lisa connected at a networking event and instantly clicked. Merial was looking to be able to give back to the senior community, and well the stars aligned and we are so excited to welcome Merial to our team! Let’s hear a little more about her…

What’s your previous work experience?

For the past four years, I have been in the real estate industry. My focus was helping sellers navigate through tough situations. It wasn’t until about January of 2023 that I began working with seniors and their families. I found that a lot of the sellers I had helped in the past were seniors, and I wanted to get creative and figure out a way to help them even more than just assisting in selling their homes. So I began networking in the industry to meet like-minded individuals so we could all work in alignment to ease the stress of seniors and their families. This is where I found my passion flourished, guiding seniors and their families through these difficult decisions is where I’ve found I excel.

Where did you grow up? How did you end up where you are?

I am a Florida Native. Born and raised. Little fun fact, I have NEVER seen snow. It is definitely on my list of things to do this winter! 

I was born in Jacksonville and we moved to Tampa when I was 5. My mother and father were born and raised in Tampa and wanted to move back to be closer to family. Ever since I can remember, I have been surrounded by my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I am very grateful for that.

What do you do for fun?

I love being outdoors! That’s where you will find me, especially on the weekends. Living in Florida is something I will never take for granted. Gotta love being so close to the beaches. You will also find me spending a lot of time with my fiance’ and bonus girls. They are my world. We love exploring and trying new things, especially yummy restaurants. My fiance’ and I will make silly videos rating our food at different places.

What are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about living a healthy life for my body and mind. I got into exercising at a very young age, I believe around the 6th grade, and since then it has been an integral part of my life. I find setting my day up in the morning with movement first thing, whether that be a walk outdoors or a boot camp on my peloton tread, my day is off to a great start. Over the last several months I have become passionate about journaling, practicing gratitude, reflecting, etc. We all are constantly learning and growing. I want to be the best version of myself not only for me, but for my family, friends, and career.

Any weird personality traits/ quirks?

That’s a hard one! I’d have to say I am silly. And a little weird, in a good way! I think we are all a little weird, and we should all celebrate our individuality and not be ashamed of it. 

Also, I tend to hyper-fixate on a specific food for a period. Right now, it is SamYang noodles. Before, it was sushi. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE sushi. 

And maybe one more thing, my dog, Winston is like my third child. My fiance’ sometimes feels like the third wheel because I would rather cuddle with Winston than him. But I mean, cmon, can ya blame me? Winston is the best and I am not making Winston move when he is snuggled up next to me. No way!

What’s your WHY? Why Sunways? Why Senior Care?

I could go on and on about this one. I thrive when I am inspired and working alongside individuals who share the same vision, who want to help others in our community, and who are positive and uplifting. Sunways is just that! Working with seniors is something I love and is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother had Dementia and transitioning her to a community where she would be safe, cared for, and surrounded by love was not something we as a family took lightly. The senior industry is filled with so many wonderful humans and it feels SO GOOD to be a part of it and make a difference in someone else’s life.

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