VON Canada Award Recipients 2022

VON Canada Awards pay tribute to employees and volunteers who have made significant contributions to VON and to their communities. Peter Currie, then-Chair of the Board of Directors and Jo-Anne Poirier, President and CEO, presented the all but one of the awards recently at VON’s Annual General Meeting. The other award was presented virtually by Jo-Anne Poirier on October 22. This year, we were thrilled to honour the following staff and volunteers:

Adrienne Klenck, Quality, Risk and Accreditation Manager, Practice Quality & Risk, received VON’s highest honour—the Lady Ishbel Aberdeen Award. Among her many achievements over 20 years with VON, Adrienne has led several major organizational change initiatives, including three cycles of accreditation, achieving exemplary status in the two most recent surveys. She has contributed to the homecare redesign initiative in Ontario, facilitates the national policy review committee and facilitated the national pandemic response teams. “Adrienne is highly responsive to the needs of VON for continuous improvement work and keenly aware of the challenges in day-to-day operations,” Peter said. Adrienne’s nomination noted that she helps teams achieve their goals in actionable and fun ways, with a down-to-earth approach and a can-do attitude.
Dr. Fran Gregor received the Volunteer Award of Distinction for Nova Scotia. Fran serves on VON’s National Board of Directors and its Joint Planning Committee. She also serves on the VON Connect Executive Campaign Committee, leading fundraising efforts in Nova Scotia, and working closely with the Nova Scotia Fund Development Team. She served on the Greater Halifax Community Corporation Board from 2018 to 2021. Fran’s nomination noted that she “has proven to be a strong and worthy leader” and is putting “her whole heart and soul” into raising funds for VON Connect. 
Fran is a retired professor in the School 
of Nursing at Dalhousie University 
and a VON donor.

Joy Bevan was presented with the VON Canada Volunteer Award of Distinction for Ontario. Joy has served on the Board of the Middlesex-Elgin Community Corporation since 2015, including as Chair from 2020 to 2022. She is a strong advocate for VON locally and nationally. Joy quickly recognized the importance of VON Connect and the necessity for Middlesex-Elgin to support the project. She has demonstrated a passion for strategic planning and advocacy and has continually informed and advocated for VON with elected officials. “Joy, you have done and continue to do valuable work to promote and advocate for VON,” said Peter. “We are so happy that you share your talents and commitment with us.”

Mike Mueller received the Client Service Volunteer Award of Distinction for his incredible care and support of VON clients. “We were struck by the sheer number of hours he has provided in service to those who need it most,” said Jo-Anne. “His dedication to volunteerism is at the heart of what we do.” Mike was nominated by the VON Hamilton CSS team. They noted that Mike has been actively involved in the Transportation program, giving over 368 hours to drive clients to medical appointments. He has also volunteered over 671 hours for Meals on Wheels. The nominators noted he is always pleasant and kind with volunteers, staff and clients. “Your commitment to the health and wellness of people in your community is nothing short of inspirational,” added Jo-Anne.

Marilyn Power is the recipient of the Staff Award of Distinction for Nova Scotia. She joined the VON team in 2013 after finishing up 30 years as a nurse with the Halifax Infirmary. While her original goal was two shifts a week, Marilyn has since been all in. Even with the challenges of the pandemic, Marilyn gave it her all every day. Marilyn’s colleagues have said she is a team player and a great mentor to students and new staff. She is a strong client advocate who leaves no stone unturned to get to the root cause of a problem. Marilyn has recently retired. After 40 years as an RN, we wish her all the best!

Mary Gosselin, Administrative Assistant, received the Staff Award of Distinction for Ontario. She has been an exceptional resource to VON, and her efforts have contributed significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Home Support program. Mary supports team leads and management with maintaining the site’s PPE supplies and new staff orientation, including eLearning and technology support. She capably maintains office documents, organizes team-building activities and supports other programs that reach out to her. She is also involved with Christmas for Seniors, an annual gift-giving event for our clients. Her nominators noted that in all the things she does in support of VON’s mission, Mary treats others with respect, dignity and honesty.

Penny Lycett, Fundraising Assistant, received the Award of Distinction on October 22 for her more than 25 years of dedicated service. She first connected with VON 1992 as a clerical volunteer before moving into staff positions from 1994 to 1996. In 1997, she accepted a full-time fundraising assistant and has never looked back! With her can-do attitude, Penny has always been happy to support those we serve in any capacity. She has often stepped in to fill gaps in the fund development team, training many new members along the way. As a VON ambassador, coupled with her background in customer-service, she believes in donor-centered giving and always honouring donor’s wishes. Although she has faced many personal challenges throughout her time with VON, she has endured and continues on with a smile and kindness. She absolutely embodies VON’s vision of “Every life lived to the fullest” in all that she does.