August 6, 2021 – (St. Catharines, ON)
Two years ago, the GSA began the process of redesigning its organizational structure, recognizing an ever-increasing demand for services and workload on both staff and executive members.
Earlier this year, we launched a restructured executive team, whose roles were better aligned with the organization’s Strategic Plan and future vision. To compliment this restructuring was a staged approach to staff turnover and succession planning, recognizing the high demands on the former position of Office Coordinator. With a continually growing graduate student population, the demands on this position, and consequently the holder of the position, were subsequently unbalanced. Thus the Office Coordinator position was divided into two new, full-time staff roles: Executive Director (ED) and an Office and Health Plan Administrator.
“Since our formal beginnings in 2001, the GSA membership has continued to grow and has roughly doubled in the last ten years”, says GSA President, Chris Yendt. “This growth has necessitated new service, advocacy and supports for our members to make the most of their time at Brock. For years, we have made the most of these limited resources and leveraged partnerships where we could, but as we looked ahead to future retirements, it became clear that the former structure of a single office staff person was no longer enough to support the future direction of the GSA”.
Reflecting on the work of former Office Coordinator and Executive Director, Barb Daly, and on the position itself, Yendt says that “Executive Directors are the staffing backbones of non-profit organizations. In many ways, Executive Director was the role that Barb had been performing but without the title. In this way, it was logical for the first phase of this restructure to transition the former Officer Coordinator role into two positions, allowing for a year-long onboarding and training process of the new Office and Health Plan Administrator position.”
Mary Tibollo officially succeeded Barb Daly as Executive Director on July 26th, 2021. Mary’s former role of Office and Health Plan Administrator will be filled by Jennifer Meuser, who begins next week. By using a phased approach to organizational succession, the GSA has ensured continuity and retained corporate memory; we are adjusting our course and preparing for the next decade of growth in our organization.
As shared in the 2020-2021 Annual Report, growing our staff compliment to two full-time employees (FTE) positions the GSA for expansion and allow for better communication year over year. This enables us to build upon on our successes more effectively, allows for easier and cleaner organizational growth, and aligns us with our strategic priority of commitment to service, as well as reflects our leadership and overall commitment to our graduate community.
Today, we acknowledge both long-standing service and new team members. We welcome Mary Tibollo, outgoing Office and Health Plan Administrator, into the role of Executive Director and Jennifer Meuser as our new Office and Health Plan Administrator.
“The completion of these hires rounds out an immense period of transition and change for the GSA,” shares Yendt. “As we prepare to action our first strategic plan, the growth has been remarkable but intentional, planned and measured and the GSA is ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow. As the GSA and our members welcome this new compliment of full-time staff, I think it is critical to reflect and recognize the work that Barb Daly has done for the GSA. I’ve been fortunate enough to know Barb since 2013 and have we have worked closely together since I joined the GSA in 2015. Her dedication to graduate students has been immeasurable and has underpinned each success the GSA has had over more than a decade. Each executive team owes much of their accomplishments to Barb’s support, knowledge, and university relationships. Our restructuring is no exception. While Barb’s trusted face and voice will not be forgotten at Brock, we wish her all the best in a well-deserved retirement. Last year, the GSA formally inducted Barb as our first honorary member and given both her passion for volunteering and dedication to graduate students, I look forward to the inevitable day that our paths cross again.”
With the fall semester now under a month away, Mary and Jennifer are back in the GSA Offices, in full-time capacities. Both Mary and Jennifer are available to support graduate students by appointment only at this time; no walk-ins can be taken. To book an appointment, email email@example.com or visit our website to book through our online form.
For questions about health and dental plan coverage, volunteer opportunities with GSA or general inquires about the GSA contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions regarding finances, operations, strategic directions, or governance related inquires, contact Mary at email@example.com.