Episode 4
Brand Story Podcast

Building Authentic Connections

featuring Judith Trumbo


Judith Trumbo, CEO of VMRC, talks with our president, Steve Gilman, about creating community, identifying and positioning your brand’s differentiators, and the importance of authenticity.

As a leader of an active living retirement community, Judith knows it all comes down to one thing: building a true sense of community. From the staff to the residents, instilling a sense of love and connection is key to meeting VMRC’s brand promise to live well, age well, and end well. For brands in competitive markets like theirs, Judith shares why creating a caring environment, a dedication to authenticity, and sharing stories can set you apart.

About the Guest

Judith Trumbo


A creator of community and connection, Judith is CEO of VMRC in Harrisonburg, VA.

Words of Wisdom

“Connections. That’s really what it’s about. And people will sniff out if it’s manipulative, so what you’re cultivating has to be in an authentic way. “

Episode Highlights

Building a community is about love.

For many industries, staff doesn’t do it for the paycheck, they do it out of a love for the audience they serve. In retirement communities, it’s the sense of community that makes for a dedicated employee and a happy audience — its residents.

Your personal brand should align with your organization’s brand.

As a leader, your personal philosophy and values should align with the organization you serve. Judith’s personal philosophy is to help people live well, age well, and end well, which she has tied into the brand of VMRC.

Know what makes you unique.

Judith says that every successful company must know what differentiates them, and ask themselves: How do we leverage this? Likewise, she says to identify your core competencies and ask: How are we going to magnify these?

Write it down.

Something that Judith did when she first started at VMRC was “JT Jottings,” where she would write down resident stories and experiences as she made her rounds through different departments. Doing this helped clarify to her what VMRC is really about, and what it should aim for every day: Helping people to age well and live fully.

About The Host

Steve Gilman

As the President of Gravity Group, Steve is passionate about helping brands reach their goals through honest, creative marketing and powerful brand stories.