Meridian Acres provides a safe home for seniors and a smiling staff to serve them

Lori Draves-Reynaert, 53, and Shelly Maynard, 49, own Meridian Acres, a 40-bed residential facility located on Meridian Road (M-30), half a mile north of US 10 Freeway in Sanford.

Meridian Acres helps seniors with daily activities and offers memory care, which is more than a specialty. Each resident has his own private apartment. It’s all private pay. They have 35 employees.

Both Lori and Shelly graduated from Sanford-Meridian High School and are both registered nurses who trained at Ferris State. Lori also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from CMU.

Lori is married to Marty. He is an electrician. They have one son, Parker.

Shelly is married to Bill. He is a sales engineer. They have a son, Zachary, and a daughter, Haley.

How long have you owned your business?

Shelly: We opened in November 2018.

What inspired you to become a business owner?

Shelly: We were both home care nurses. Lori still is. We would go into all these types of facilities and treat patients. Then we had an opportunity, so we bought Olson Manor, on Olson Road, south of Sanford (sold it in July). We created a waiting list, so that’s when we decided to build here. We are both registered nurses and have caring personalities to begin with. We just got the right opportunity at the right time.

Lori: Rich Campau was the owner of Olson Manor (it was called Hillcrest). He had been encouraging us to buy it for several years and was willing to sell it to us with a land contract.

What makes Sanford a great place to own a business?

Lori: There was a need, especially for memory care.

Shelly: We were both born and raised here, as were our husbands, so it felt natural to do this here.

In what ways is your company active in the local community?

Shelly: We were part of the Sanford Shines Parade, putting up the tree every year. Contributed to the Meridian Schools athletic facility. We are part of the Sanford community and participate in any way we can. Donated by Sanford Youth Baseball diamonds. We are members of the Sanford Chamber of Commerce and have donated to the Sanford Historical Society.

What are your interests and hobbies?

Lori: We boat and ski.

Shelly: My husband and I love to do anything outdoors. In the summer we ride our Harleys, boat, and ride in our side by side.

What local businesses do you work with that help your business succeed?

Lori: We work with Arnold Sales, cleaning supplies. Try to keep things local. Shop for food at the Sanford Food Center and from local farmers.

Final thoughts to share?

Lori: We thank our staff every day. Without them it would not be possible.

Shelly: I would like to thank the families for trusting us with their loved ones. If you are looking for a facility, be sure to tour it and make sure you are comfortable.

Lori: Stop by the tour, don’t make appointments. The staff should be ready to welcome you, no matter when you show up. If you see smiling staff and lots of smiling residents, you’re probably in the right place. Check out social media to see the different activities being held for residents. Ask family for referrals. Happy families will talk to other families.

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