TAVA Member Spotlight
Name: Larisa NagelbergOrganization: Toronto Humane Society
Role: Division Manager, Community Sheltering and Animal TransportsWorking in the Volunteer Engagement Sector for: Quite a few years
Been a part of TAVA for: A couple of years
"TAVA is one of my key resources for staying up-to-date on industry trends and topics. As I work in an organization with a relatively small volunteer management team, TAVA has helped me tap into a community of other volunteer managers.”
AS SOMEONE WORKING IN VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT, HOW DOES TAVA HELP YOU?
TAVA is one of my key resources for staying up-to-date on industry trends and topics. As I work in an organization with a relatively small volunteer management team, TAVA has helped me tap into a community of other volunteer managers.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO EXPLORE/ ENTER VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT AS A PROFESSION?
Admittedly, this was fairly accidental! I have worked at Toronto Humane for about 8 years and as I moved into my role in the Foster Department, I quickly learned the importance of volunteer engagement in a foster program.
WORKING IN VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT, IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES?
Understanding and responding to the varied needs and interests of volunteers and balancing that against organizational objectives.
IN THE PAST YEAR, WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE PROFESSIONAL PROJECT AND WHY?
Hands down, this would the expansion of our Urgent Foster care program. In 2021, we brought in nearly double the number of anticipated animals into emergency foster care. The pandemic has been hard on all of this, and many pet parents have found themselves in critical situations that affected their ability to care for their pet. This program could not have been scaled without the support of the foster parents who took in 145 animals in need in 2021! (Editor’s Note: we were so pleased to award Larisa with TAVA’s 2021 Innovation Award, in acknowledgement of this important work!)
IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO ONE YEAR AGO, WHAT VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF?
Hah! I can hardly remember the last year. Perhaps ‘don’t under-estimate the power of partnering with the community to overcome challenges’
WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING, HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME?
Exploring the outdoors, walking around the city and finding
opportunities to move my body!