After a career as a flight attendant for eight years, Reid decided to transition to a role that would have a focus on customer care that would also allow him to spend more time at home with his family. After many years filled with travel, he was ready to put down some roots.
Reid was attracted to Better Place Forests when he heard co-founder Sandy Gibson share his story of losing both his parents at a young age and visiting them at an urban cemetery. Reid also lost his father at a young age, and he recalled similar visits to his father’s gravesite in a suburban cemetery. It wasn’t a place where he felt a connection to his father.
The idea of offering people a beautiful, living alternative to cemeteries resonated with him. Better Place Forests are places where people can visit and feel connected to their loved ones, and that was something Reid wanted to be a part of.
Helping families through their journey
As a customer care specialist, Reid is focused on answering customer inquiries, from questions about forest visits to connecting them with memorial specialists when they are looking to plan a memorial. Many of the people who choose Better Place Forests find community and connection with one another through private Facebook groups, which Reid helps to manage.
“Realizing that everybody is on their own journey through life is the key. When you have an interaction with someone, there can be a lot of other things going on for them. The best thing you can do is to be aware of that and provide some kindness,” says Reid.
A highlight of Reid’s role is seeing which tree each person selected. “You can tell a lot about someone’s personality by the tree that they choose. Their personality is represented in it.”
For Reid, the diversity of each forest, tree, and customer keeps his job interesting. “We’re not selling exactly the same thing repeated across the country but rather each forest and tree has its own unique feeling.”
The benefits of visiting the forest
When asked what is the one thing he would recommend to anyone who is considering a memorial tree with Better Place Forest, Reid immediately replied – “come to the forest!” He has seen how experiencing the forest can help answer a lot of questions people have.
His recommendation to customers is to keep visiting the forest, “come and create those positive memories and meaningful experiences now, so that when you come to visit in the future you can look back on those memories and cherish them.”
But ultimately Reid says that the most satisfaction he gets from his role is hearing the peace that people get from planning ahead. “End-of-life planning was such a dreary and depressing topic but I believe that Better Place Forests has made it peaceful and sometimes even fun.”
Reid is currently living in Austin, TX but is about to move to the Northeast, close to our Berkshires forest.