Bernard Betel Centre 2021 Staff Milestones

In 2017, we began to honour our staff and their years of employment at the Bernard Betel Centre at our Annual General Meeting. 

This year we recognize and honour six of our staff celebrating milestones at the Centre. Jenny Huynh who is celebrating 5 years at Betel, Ziva Farbman, Ilona Rodos and Katie Giles who are celebrating their 10 year milestones, and Yelena Sutyagina and Sheda Burkhanova who are celebrating 15 years at the Bernard Betel Centre.

As I think about the Bernard Betel Centre staff, I feel a deep sense of pride, emotion and gratitude. I am so incredibly fortunate to look forward to coming to work every day, and how appreciative I am of all our staff for their commitment to seniors and this truly great organization. I marvel at their passion and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Their response is always “no problem, we can do it!”

Jenny Huynh joined the Bernard Betel Centre in August 2016 as one of the Centres two professional Chiropodists. Jenny is a well-respected practitioner and health care professional. She is known by her patients as calm, efficient, caring and extremely knowledgeable. Jenny has a quiet strength and strong leadership capabilities. She is known by her patients as calm, efficient, caring extremely knowledgeable and exceptionally competent. Jenny is a strong advocate for her department and patients. Prior to re-opening the Centre’s Chiropody Department in August 2020, Jenny actively participated in the Centre’s Return to Work Plan and Program Committee and assisted greatly in the daily packaging, preparing and delivering our meals on wheels to those seniors requiring food supports. Jenny is an incredible asset to the Betel Centre. She researched and assisted in  the writing and development of the Chiropody section of the Return to Work Plan and Program Procedures Manual. We are privileged to have someone of Jenny’s professional stature on our staff.

Katie Giles joined the Bernard Betel staff in August 2011 as Manager of Chiropody and Health and Wellness departments. Soon after coming to Betel Katie noticed that the organization did not have much of a communications or social media presence. Through her own initiative Katie took on this critical function for the agency increasing our visibility and credibility in the community. Katie is self-directed, exceptionally organized, conscientious and motivated. She brought new perspective to the Joint Health and Safety Committee developing much needed policies and procedures. Katie is always looking for new professional experiences and challenges. In 2017, due to her excellent and creative skills, Katie was promoted to Program and Communications Director. When the organization began to discuss the need to begin the accreditation process, Katie indicated an interest in undertaking this professional challenge and her job changed to reflect the needs of the organization. Since that time, Katie has continued to grow as a professional upgrading her marketing skills on her own initiative. Katie led the accreditation process until it was put on pause in July 2020 due to the need to redeploy staff to other critical functions within the organization. At that time Katie expressed interest in taking on a new challenge of fundraising. She is currently Director of Communications, VP of Development. Katie, consistently exhibits personal pride in ensuring high quality work and her professionalism is an integral part of our success.

Ziva Farbman joined the Bernard Betel staff in August 2011 as a Kitchen Aid and the organization’s Kashrut Facilitator. This critical role was approved by the Kashrut Council to oversee and ensure that Kashrut (Kosher) was being observed and maintained at the Centre. Ziva is exceptional at whatever she does. She is extremely conscientious, self-directed and always the first one in the kitchen each morning ensuring everything is ready and organized for her colleagues when they arrive. Ziva is like the Duracell battery, her colleagues refer to her as a powerhouse of energy and speed. She is driven, self-motivated, warm and engaging. Ziva is proud of her work and always completely focused on the task at hand. Ziva is greatly admired and respected by her colleagues and plays an important part and role of the Food Services Department. Given the number of Meals on Wheels the Centre produced this past year, it is no surprise given Ziva’s energy and strong, professional work ethic.

Ilona Rodos joined the Bernard Betel Centre in November 2011 initially working between Reception and Chiropody. Ilona became the full time administrative assistant in the Chiropody Department as the department grew providing service between 5- 6 days a week. Ilona embodies professionalism and competency. She has excellent customer service skills, provides outstanding translation services in Russian as required and is always willing to lend a hand. Ilona is a strong ambassador of the Centre. She welcomes new or returning members to the Centre through the Chiropody department. She advises members on other programs available through the Centre while keeping excellent chiropody records and statistics. Ilona has been responsible for documenting the agency’s diversity information from our membership database and routinely updates the Chiropody statistics for our funders. In more recent years, Ilona became the Administrator of the Chiropody Department and Reception. Ilona prior to the re-opening of the Chiropody department was redeployed to assist with our Meals on Wheels program. At the same time, she was actively involved in the Return to Work Plan and Program Committee and assisted in developing the policies and procedures for the re-opening of the Chiropody department. Ilona is an articulate, loyal and reliable professional with excellent oral and verbal communication skills. 

Yelena Sutyagina joined Betel’s Food Service Department in June 2006 as a cook for our cafeteria, catering and meals on wheels programs. Yelena’s cooking is admired and savoured by everyone who tastes her food. She has an innate ability to cook both comfort and traditional European foods. She is culinary perfectionist and is very particular and takes great pride in the outcome of her meals. She will stand over an unbearably hot stove to ensure that the food is prepared just right for all our Meals on Wheels clients. She feeds people and our clients as if she is feeding her own family. Yelena is exceptionally obliging, a loyal team player and always willing to assist her colleagues and help out with catering opportunities when the Centre is open. 

Sheda Burkhanova joined the Centre in April 2006 initially as a volunteer, then as a part-time cleaner and officially assumed the role of Maintenance Coordinator in 2014. Everyone knows Sheda. You want something in the Centre… call Sheda. Whether its members, vendors, staff and or volunteers… Sheda is there to help. Her warm, and competent presence makes everyone feel relaxed and at home at the Betel Centre. Sheda is a Renaissance woman. She can and does do everything. Whether it is room set up, or cleaning or mechanical or scheduling of her other staff, Sheda is always willing to help and accommodate her colleagues.


Gail Gould
Executive Director

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