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How Peconic Landing Members Championed an Iconic Journey of Tech Innovation

It’s one thing to choose a technology platform. But implementation is another hurdle altogether.

That’s what Peconic Landing’s leadership recognized early on. Bob Syron (President and CEO) and Greg Garrett (COO) had set a 2024 goal to upgrade the community’s entire tech stack. Icon’s platform was a key component. To maximize ROI, leaders needed a strategy to spur community-wide adoption.

One aspect of that adoption came down to community members’ buy-in. To hear what that process looked like, and what these members needed from leadership, we also spoke with two people who’ve lived at Peconic Landing for several years: Jan Harting-McChesney and Don Price.

Keep reading to see how Peconic Landing worked with members and team members to successfully implement Icon.

The Problem: Getting Community Buy-In for Technology

Before choosing Icon, Peconic Landing used a number of disconnected platforms to engage with members, families, and its team. To realize their 2024 vision, leaders spearheaded a search for a fully integrated platform that made it easy to manage the community’s core activities in one place.

Icon checked all the boxes. Peconic Landing’s leaders were impressed by the full package, from the Community App and Portal and Calendar Central to the digital signage tool. They also loved Icon’s integrations with third-party products like ADP and MealSuite. If members wanted to see what was on the menu for dinner, they could do so from Icon’s app without feeling like they’d left the ecosystem. 

Overall, leaders were confident in Icon’s end value: a huge time saver for its team members and an all-in-one engagement platform for members.

But when leaders shared their tech-forward vision in a town hall, many members were skeptical of the need for such a big change. As Bob noted, “The questions we’d get had a negative tone to them. We heard things like ‘We’re being left behind.’”

There were also concerns on the team member side of things. Icon represented a huge shift away from familiar tools and processes. Even if it had significant benefits, learning a new platform would only add to an already busy workload. And without the right internal support, team onboarding could easily fall through the cracks. That could have a serious downstream effect: if there wasn’t a solid foundation of team expertise, members would feel unsupported as well.

A successful Icon rollout hinged on earning member and team buy-in. What’s more, leadership needed to prove that adoption was in the whole community’s best interest.

The Solution: Member and Team Champions to Drum Up Excitement

To help others see Icon’s value, Peconic Landing leaned on a group of members and team member champions. The logic: if folks saw their peers advocate for new technology, they would approach it with more curiosity – and, ultimately, excitement.

At the team member level, that meant training primary and secondary champions in every department. These people were responsible for making sure their colleagues knew how to use Icon. And if one champion wasn’t available, the other could pick up the slack without any hiccups. This preserved institutional knowledge and ensured a peer expert was always on hand.

But member champions were Peconic Landing’s real bread and butter. The community held a four-week focus group where highly engaged members could experiment with Icon’s platform and share initial feedback with the Icon team. This space gave members firsthand experience with technology. It also let them see how the platform could adapt to meet their needs. 

That adaptability component was huge, according to Greg. “I’ve worked with other technology companies before that say, ‘We really listen to our customers. We’ll take your suggestions and work on them.’ Icon took suggestions from our member focus groups and implemented them the next week.”

That adaptability component was huge, according to Greg. “I’ve worked with other technology companies before that say, ‘We really listen to our customers. We’ll take your suggestions and work on them.’ Icon took suggestions from our member focus groups and implemented them the next week.”

Members like Jan took note. “Feeling listened to is a big deal. Because when you’re putting your time and energy into something, you hope the person on the other end is hearing the input you’ve provided – and that something is going to come of that. We certainly feel like that happened with [Icon’s implementation team].”

Thanks to their early experience with Icon, member and team member champions could confidently spark excitement about the platform throughout Peconic Landing. And there were plenty of structured opportunities to do just that. The champions worked alongside leadership to facilitate…

  • Regular chats and town halls. Every month, Peconic Landing held two chats and a town hall – all spaces for members to ask questions about the Icon rollout. The open forum helped members feel listened to throughout the implementation process.
  • Walk-up support booths. Team member and member champions offered three days of walk-up support. They showed folks how to navigate smartphones and tablets, download the Icon app, and log into the platform.
  • Hands-on training sessions. Champions facilitated three two-hour trainings every day in the two-week run-up to launch. Member trainers stood by to answer questions and offer one-on-one support throughout each session.

Each part of this strategy worked seamlessly to minimize onboarding friction. After helping out at a support booth, for instance, one champion was able to sign up five people over dinner alone. Jan, another champion, showed her peers how to use Icon’s directory to contact her between trainings. Many folks came back for three or four sessions – and reached out afterward to stay in touch.

“People are really working at this [onboarding process],” Jan said, “because they see the value in having this type of platform available.”

“People are really working at this [onboarding process],” Jan said, “because they see the value in having this type of platform available.”

The Result: A Community That’s Embraced Technology

Peconic Landing launched Icon in April 2024 after a four-month implementation process. It had a huge payoff: at the first town hall after launch, leaders got a heavy round of applause.

With the help of dedicated champions, leaders were able to shift community attitudes from skepticism to excitement. The proof is in the numbers. After the first day of hands-on trainings, attendance fell dramatically – not because people were giving up, but because the trainers were so effective. Today, between 75 and 85 percent of registered members use Icon every week to view everything from menus to upcoming activities.

One of the most popular tools is the member directory. Peconic Landing has had a lot of new faces in recent years. For Jan, “[Icon’s member directory] has just been remarkably wonderful in terms of being able to put names and faces together.”

Plus, the unified platform makes things easy to find. “It’s really nice to be able to have one point of contact where you can get a variety of information about things at Peconic Landing: the member directory, all of the office numbers, team member numbers, and other details.”

Don agrees. In his words: “This is a very good interface. It’s intuitive. It’s easy to use.”

On the team member side, the benefits are still taking shape. But specific departments – like the health center – have quickly embraced tools like the attendance and calendar features. The impact: noticeable efficiency gains.

What’s Next for Peconic Landing: More Icon Tools, Amazon Echos, and Digital Curiosity

According to Bob, Peconic Landing has a simple innovation philosophy: “The train will never get to the station.” In other words, digital transformation never truly ends. There’s always room to grow.

And Peconic Landing has ambitious plans.

In the near term, it plans to roll out dedicated team member and family engagement portals. It also plans to optimize over 200 Amazon Echo devices to create a more accessible member experience

In the long term, leaders want to stay curious about emerging technologies, from dining robots to AI. And members like Jan and Don want to stay engaged – whether through focus groups or tech committees – to ensure each new tool meets their needs. Interested in seeing what Icon can do for your senior living community? Drop us a line or book a demo – we’d love to start a conversation.


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