Deb Anderson is a community leader with a diverse background that spans health care, human resources, education, and the voluntary sector, specializing in community development, volunteer management, leadership, and change. She has worked with countless community organizations and partners in business and government. Currently at Niagara Health System, Ontario, Canada, Anderson leads a team of 1100 dedicated volunteers across six hospitals and serves on hospital leadership and human resources leadership teams. She was involved in planning and building of the new hospital and regional cancer center in St. Catharines from 2002 through 2012.

Previously, Anderson taught at Niagara College for the Center for Community Leadership and Continuing Education Department. She was awarded Instructor of the Year and received the Peter F. Drucker Canadian Non-Profit Consultant of the Year, 2006. She also worked for AIDS Niagara as Coordinator, Volunteer Services.

Anderson is known as an energetic and dynamic speaker and trainer. Whether delivering a keynote address, a conference workshop or a customized training program, she inspires, engages, and educates with humor and a facilitative approach that draws on the collective wisdom of her audience. As a consultant, she is committed to helping people grow and strengthening the capacity of organizations to create healthier, happier communities. She is the author of various published articles on Volunteer Management, Leadership, and Organizational Development. She is an enthusiastic learner and is currently studying Adult Education at Brock University.

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Changing our Message: Communicating the Value of Volunteering to Fix the Looming Volunteer Crisis

I recently listened to the audio messages from the “Who Cares” initiative led by Paul Reed and Linda Graff. It’s a sobering message. Volunteering is on the brink of major change that is going to impact our communities in ways that can not even be estimated to their fullest extent. We know that rates of…

Straight Talk: Volunteers and Confidentiality

I was recently part of one of those annoying conversations -- yet again -- about the merit of trusting volunteers with confidential information. The worst part of this particular exchange was that the contributors to the discussion all work closely with volunteers. I was flabbergasted to say the least. Initially, I counter-argued their discussion points. A…

Interviewing - Broaden the View!

I fondly recall the days where a volunteer interview was a relaxed, friendly affair over a cup of coffee. It usually occurred in the office library, in the upholstered rocking chairs. The focus: chatting. We chatted….about the organization, our accomplishments and needs. The candidate revealed their availability and when they could start. Often we talked…

Write the Path to Your Successful Future: Goal Setting 101

Goal setting is a powerful technique that generates strong results. It gives you lasting vision and short-term motivation; helps you organize resources and focus efforts on your priorities; it increases performance, output, pride and satisfaction, as well as providing direction for decision making along the way. Not setting goals carries a high cost as resources;…

Lessons Learned from Saying Goodbye

Over the years, I have had to say “goodbye” to so many volunteers. They said “goodbye” in different ways. Some didn’t say “goodbye,” by either circumstance or choice. I remember, as a newbie to the field, aspiring to keep a professional relationship with my volunteers. That I wouldn’t cross the imaginary ethical line that would…

Innovative Orientation

"At one time orientation was a nice thing to do.Today… it is critical to success." – C. Osborne Successful orientation is meeting the needs of today’s diverse volunteer force by providing information and tools that guide their contribution. Orientation is the best opportunity to facilitate a discussion about mission, vision and values and the role…