She spent four years in food service. She then moved to Life Enrichment as its coordinator for one year and as manager for a year and a half more. A year after graduation, she was named RSM’s senior living advisor. In July 2019 she became RSM’s assistant administrator and the program director for Kehillah, CSP’s independent, affordable housing initiative for adults with developmental disabilities.
Back when college-age Polina was making friends with everybody on campus via her kitchen work, Portland native Nathan Gregg accepted a scholarship to the University of Great Falls in Montana to study law enforcement and to play college soccer. Great Falls, though, turned out to be quite a culture shock. The school was half the size of his high school, for one thing. The views seemed foreign because everything was so flat. And lastly, this Portland boy just couldn’t adjust to the weather. “There were two seasons: blizzards and muggy mosquito weather. And wind. While I was there, they tried to petition a win over Chicago for the title of Windy City.” (They should have won: Chicago’s annual average wind speed is 9.9 mph while Great Falls boasts 11.5 mph.)
After one endless year in Montana, Nathan returned to Portland. First thing up: a job. He started in an entry-level position at Sonic Drive-In and moved quickly to assistant manager. After a year and a half, though, he knew fast food was not his future. When his best friend from grade school, Eddie Younger, encouraged him to work with him in the dining room at Cedar Sinai Park, Nathan was excited for the opportunity, but played it cool. “Why not?” he said.
They didn’t yet know it, but fate was bringing them together.
Nathan joined the CSP team in September 2012, and Polina was the server who trained him. “We laugh when we look back on how we met.” Nathan said. “I’d been on the job two days already and had spent time in fast food, but she came in and told me I had to do something THIS way, not that way!”
Polina laughs and chimes in, “We definitely had different ways of doing things…but he eventually started to listen to me and got on board. He always does!”
“But I knew I was doing something right,” he points out, “because she would always come to me when she needed something done. She knew she could count on me. And,” he adds, “I thought she was the best server we had. I didn’t want to let her down.”
After about a year in the dining room, they had become closer friends, and Nathan decided to ask her out. She turned him down the first time, but he was persistent. She finally agreed, and as the air turned crisp and the leaves began to change colors, they met for their first date at Flying Pie Pizza.