Posted on

Diane Richardson has ImPAct on Frankford

diane richardson colorDiane Richardson has been active in the Frankford business community since she established the Richardson Group Senior living facilities on Bridge Street in 2004. That facility serves as a home for about 19 men in an assisted living environment. It is a very comfortable place that I visited back in April of this year to interview Diane for this story.

She was in the midst of a successful career as a para legal when in 1999 her brother had to enter an assisted facility. The experience of visiting him in that facility made her think that there had to be a better way. Over time she developed her ideas and sat down and wrote a business plan. She eventually entered that plan into a competition and it was recognized with an award. Her legal background and organizational skills were helpful in getting funding and the first property at 1750 Bridge Street was acquired and became operational with the first four residents in 2004.   She expanded and added on with the acquisition of the adjacent property in 2007.

Your first impression when entering through the front door is warmth and hominess. It does not feel at all institutional. Richardson says that the each resident has different needs. Some are relatively independent while others need more help in managing medications and coordinating medical appointments, etc. All meals are served family style and the facility is staffed by a total of 7 to meet the needs of their clients 24 hours a day.

As many of half of the men are veterans which means their services may involve working with the VA. They are in the process of becoming an approved veteran’s home.

The Richardson Group was recognized by Governor Corbett this year as a finalist for the Governor’s ImPAct award in the area of Community Impact.

This award is given to a company that exemplifies the tenet of “doing well by doing good.” The winners in this category show a sustained commitment to the growth and development of its employees and the community(ies) in which it does business.

In addition to her duties running the Richardson Group, she also serves as President of the Frankford Business and Professional Association. The 60 plus membership association meets every other month for a lunch and a program on business issues. Membership in the association has been up and down over the years but now is on the upswing again under Richardson’s leadership.

The association also sponsors varies activities throughout the year in cooperation with the Frankford Community Development Corporation.

Diane Richardson is a petite dynamo who is both entrepreneur and someone who does good work.  We are fortunate to have her here in Frankford.

Posted on

UnLitter Us Please

So how did this all come about?  A while ago the Frankford CDC and the Frankford Business and Professional Association both decided to work on the litter issue in Frankford.  The time had come to take a shot at improving the situation here.  By a stroke of serendipity, the city of Philadelphia awoke from its slumber and decided it was time to do the same thing citywide.  So UnLitter Us Frankford is the first in a citywide effort to work on this problem.

It took a lot to drag me out of the house and down to Frankford and Pratt today for the UnLitter Us rally.  I support the idea but the rain was still dripping and the sun wasn’t out and I didn’t feel like taking the video equipment down there etc.  But I decided to go because I knew I would live to regret it if I didn’t.  I was pleasantly surprised by a congenial crowd milling about chowing down on Mark Gilbert’s Thriftway  hot dogs. It was  a stroke of genius to schedule this event on the first of the month thereby ensuring a large crowd of happy shoppers passing by.

The mural arts people had a decorated trash truck down there and I can relate to that.  Its beauty rivaled the trucks I saw traveling through the Khyber pass back in 1968 during the vacation that Lyndon Johnson sent me on.  No surface is left undecorated as if it would be an insult to the gods of art to see a patch of plain unadorned paint.  It was a site to behold.

SEPTA had a big green bus which was a big green diesel electric hybrid bus.  Neat idea combining the two technologies.

The speechifying commenced with introductions by Tracy O’Drain of the CDC.  Tony Payton spoke and Jason Dawkins spoke on behalf of Councilwoman Sanchez who was downtown on official business.  Denise McVeigh of the recycle bank, Diane Richardson and Mark Gilbert of the Frankford Business and Professional Association also addressed the crowd.

Now I admit that I am ignorant of this spoken word art idea.  My experience with it has been those idiots who are always riding around in their little cars playing their radios so loud that it shakes your bones a car length away.  I was expecting that experience today and much to my delight it turned out otherwise.

Greg Corbin performed “The City Has a Heartbeat“.  Carlo Campbell did his “Reconsider” and Whitney Peyton presented “Broken Bottles“.  I get it now.  Thanks.

The event is to be followed up by a Frankford wide cleanup on Saturday October 2nd.