VON’s new Culture Project supports collaboration and continued success

Headshot of Sherry and Vanessa with a dark blue border

VON has embarked on a unique initiative to support the exchange of culture-enhancing information between middle management and senior leaders. The new “Culture Project” will help to build on strong cultural traits and address challenges, ultimately enhancing the experiences of all staff and supporting quality client care.

The project is led by one Ontario representative, Vanessa Terpstra, and one Nova Scotia representative, Sherry Jackson. “This initiative will support us in working collaboratively, seeking information and creating discussion opportunities that will amplify our strong organizational traits and shift challenges to ensure VON’s continued success,” says Vanessa.

Sherry adds that they are looking forward to next steps. “There will be opportunities in the coming months for middle managers to partake in information-gathering and discussion,” she notes. “We are looking for staff who are culture catalysts to participate and engage in dynamic conversations related to the organizational culture at VON.”

Look out for more details in the near future related to participation and discussion opportunities and any trends that are captured. 

Co-leads Sherry and Vanessa are each allocating 50 percent of their work time to the project. They will be supported by a culture coach and Roxanne Anderson, Senior Vice President of Business Optimization & Chief Financial Officer, as well as the VON Culture Project steering committee, led by President and CEO Jo-Anne Poirier.

About the Culture Project Co-Leads

Vanessa Terpstra
Vanessa has been with VON since 2020 and is currently a Community Support Services (CSS) Manager of Home and Community Care for Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin (WWD). She has 18 years of management experience within the developmental services, retirement and long-term care sectors.
“I am a small-town girl from Listowel, Ontario, where I live with my son and step-daughter,” says Vanessa. “I would love to tell you I have many hobbies, but really I just have one.  Preserving! Want to share recipes?”

We asked Vanessa what she brings to the Culture Project:
“I am an authentic leader who isn’t afraid to ask the questions and seek the answers. I am passionate about working for VON and seek to be a catalyst for improvements. I enjoy working with all kinds of people for the betterment of our clients, volunteers and employees and understand the true value in building relationships between the sectors within the organization.”

Sherry Jackson
Sherry lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia with her husband of 32 years. They are very proud of their two adult children, who happen to be twins (girl/boy). She has been with VON since 2010. This year marks her 37th year as a Registered Nurse and through that time she has gained insight into health care from many lenses as well from many sectors and even from outside of Canada.

“When I am not at work I find great enjoyment and mental rest in making and teaching art, as well as gardening,” Sherry says. “Excited to say I am in my second year as a Butterflyway Ranger under a David Suzuki Foundation Project and learning lots from that!”

We asked Sherry what she brings to the Culture Project:
“As a culture catalyst to this organizational cultural journey, I will be taking my passion for quality improvements to the table, along with an open mind to what you envision our VON to be as we move forward. Can’t wait to build this chapter in our VON story together.”