Management & Staff

Ray Christopherson, Co-owner and Chief Financial Officer

What do you do at TMVC?

Oversee all financial and non-medical aspects of the business.

How do you help your customers?

I make them feel comfortable in choosing to use TMVC’s services or work for TMVC. I respond to their needs and provide them with sufficient information to ensure that they have a positive experience dealing with TMVC.

What is the problem you are best at solving for your customers?

Any hesitancy they may have in dealing with us.

What excites you about your work and what you contribute?

I still feel like we are pioneers in this business and every day there are new challenges to overcome to ensure that our customers and staff have the best experience possible when dealing with TMVC.

How long have you been at TMVC?

Since its inception in 1991.

What did you do before you joined TMVC?

I was a Certified Management Accountant working initially in public practice and later for a real estate development company. My educational background is a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC (1983).

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Family – Yes, spending time with my wife and our dog Libby.
Travels – I love to travel and have travelled extensively all over the world.
Hobbies – reading, watching live music including Jazz.
Sports – Skiing, golf, basketball, water sports including most recently standup paddle boarding.
Pets – Yes Lab-Shepherd cross named Libby.

Gio Miletto, MD CCFP CTH – Medical Director

I provide a clinical reference for TMVC when clients have more complex medical problems and help figure out how to use the latest medical information for our clients. I’m responsible for keeping client data safe. I also try to look busier than I actually am.

I’ve talked about travel health on CBC’s ‘The National’ and CTV news. You can see me on CTV’s ‘The Social’ talking travel medicine at http://www.thesocial.ca/video?vid=543183 and can follow me on Twitter@GioMiletto.

Colleen Jeffery, RN, BSN, MSc; Certificate in Travel Health (ISTM); Nurse Director

What do you do at TMVC?

I have been the Nurse Director at TMVC since 2011. I enjoy the learning every day, sharing my knowledge, developing policies, and working with a great team.

What did you do before you joined TMVC?

I have over 25 years of public health nursing and CDC experience working for a variety of health authorities in BC and Alberta. I also worked with refugees along the Thai-Burma border as well as with International SOS in Vietnam. I completed a Degree in Nursing and Masters in Community Health.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I love spending time with my husband and 2 teenage girls and enjoying a glass of wine on our deck in beautiful Horseshoe Bay. My hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing, gardening, cooking and a good movie!

Travels

During a break in university, I backpacked throughout Europe, India, Nepal, and South East Asia. I met my husband waiting for a bus in Egypt. We later lived and worked in Thailand and Vietnam for many years (yes, I brought my 3 week old daughter back to Saigon after her birth in Vancouver) and since returning to North America, have traveled to Turkey, Costa Rica, and Europe with our children. Kayaking and hiking through tea plantations in southern India is next on our list!

Marisa Sylvestre, Operations Manager

What do you do at TMVC?

I’ve been TMVC’s operations manager since 2001. My main focus is to ensure everything runs smoothly at all of our locations across the province so that our customers receive the highest level of service possible. I also provide insight and leadership to help grow the company and to ensure that we are continuously improving.

What did you do before you joined TMVC?

I worked for a chemical engineering firm for almost ten years.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

Sometimes it seems like I’m always working. But I like to spend time with my husband, Shawn, my daughter, Maddy, and our dog, Ellie. I like to cook, go hiking with our dog, and shopping, of course. I’ve travelled a quite a bit, to the UK, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and Mexico. I lived in Bermuda for several months. These days I like taking family trips to Hawaii.

Susan Petford Office Manager, Victoria

What do you do at TMVC?

As the office manager in our Victoria branch, my biggest challenge is coordinating schedules, whether it’s for our occupational health clients, or group travel consults for schools, church groups, or sports groups. Our objective at TMVC is to accommodate client requests, so I find ways we can be flexible with our schedule so we can make it as convenient as possible for our clients.
I love getting to know our clients, finding out where they are going, what they will be doing on their travels. We have a lot of repeat clients, and it’s great to keep in touch with them. We have a great rapport with our clients and as most of us in the office have lots of travel experience, we often offer them personal travel tips.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something. It keeps the job interesting and fun. I’ve been with TMVC for over 7 years, and I still love coming to work every day!

What did you do before you joined TMVC?

I spent 16 years as a travel agent and agency manager. It was a career that was constantly changing, and it was very challenging and very rewarding. Before that, I was in retail management at a major drug store chain.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

My previous career gave me the wonderful opportunity to travel to many great places around the globe. I continue to travel as much as possible. Sometimes, it’s just a day trip on Vancouver Island, but there’s always something new to see and do.

I spend a lot of time with my family, including my five awesome grandkids. I love cooking, gardening, and shopping–it’s a tossup between fresh, local produce and new shoes!

Sibylle Tinsel, Lead Medical Team Administrator and Social Media Coordinator

What do you do at TMVC?

I am often the first point of contact for staff. I liaise between our nurses, doctors, and other staff to help them get answers to medical questions as well as those they might have about clients, booking, staffing issues, or information that’s on our intranet.

I communicate updates in our policies and guidelines and keep everyone up to date about global health issues such as disease outbreaks or other travel alerts. I also monitor our website information email account, which many people use to get in touch for the first time with questions about their upcoming trip, post blogs on our website and keep our social media up to date.

What did you do before you joined TMVC?

I grew up in Germany and went to nursing school there. I worked as an RN in Germany and Canada, and then took a break to be a stay-at-home mom while my children were younger. My first job when I returned to work was with a company in North Vancouver that distributes walking poles. I’ve been at TMVC since 2010, and I really enjoy it. My love of travel and the health care field make it a perfect mix for me.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I enjoy a lot of outdoor pursuits with my husband and two teenagers. We particularly like wilderness hiking, kayaking, and biking. I also ski and swim and run the occasional marathon. I enjoy cooking and baking for the family and looking after our pets. I’m a cat person, so I’m not sure how we ended up with a turtle and a budgie.
In my free time I’m the online community manager and event organizer for an organization promoting grassroots trail running.
I’ve travelled extensively in Asia and Europe and Latin America. I once rode my bicycle through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala and through the Andes to the end of the road in Ushuaia, Argentina.

Kirsten Lawson, Medical Office Assistant

What do you do at TMVC?

I’m a medical office assistant and often the first person our clients see before they meet a doctor or nurse. I help our clients by creating a pleasant environment and making sure they feel at ease.
I also keep the clinic running smoothly so our doctors and nurses can focus on patient care. Sometimes I also work in our customer service department call center, making appointments and providing general information for people when they phone in.
I still get excited when I see people taking trips of a lifetime. In a sense, their trip begins with preparation, and we are part of the overall experience for them. I especially enjoy being able to work at all five of our lower mainland offices and meeting all our clients.

When did you join TMVC?

I’ve been at TMVC since the beginning of 2013. Previously I worked as a medical office assistant for ophthalmologists in Vancouver, and did administrative work for a retirement centre in Burnaby.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I’m fortunate to have many close friends, and I love to spend time with them. I love to bake, and my coworkers tell me they are really happy when I bring in brownies or macarons. I also like to take road trips, attend concerts, try new restaurants, and experience every neighborhood in Vancouver.

Donna Gangnes, TMVC Call Centre Supervisor

What do you do at TMVC

I make sure our booking centre is running smoothly, I extinguish fires and keep everybody happy.

How do you help your customers?

We liase with the staff of 18 clinics to make sure client needs are met and ensure that the medical staff has the appropriate time and information when the clients come in for their appointments. I love going the extra mile for our clients. If a client has an unexpected trip to go on and they need vaccines right away I will do everything possible to get them an appointment. Or, if a client in Africa has lost their yellow fever certificate and needs a copy to continue their trip, I will make sure that certificate is redone, scanned and e-mailed around the globe in the blink of an eye.

What is the problem you are best at solving for your customers?

Finding an emergency appointment for a client when one does not exist. I either beg the medical staff to come early or stay late.

What excites you about your work and what you contribute?

I thrive on the gratitude and appreciation I get from our clients and am proud of the team environment we created in my department and with the 18 offices throughout the province.

How long have you been at TMVC? 10 years

What did you do before you joined TMVC? Describe your business and educational background.

I worked for 37 years with a major telecommunications company first a Call Centre Representative and then as the Department Manager. Among other responsibilities I was in charge of training new Call Centre Representatives

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I spend my time with my two grown children and love babysitting and exploring the world with my 2 young grandchildren.

Travels: I have travelled to Europe and SE Asia, most recently to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Hobbies: I love dancing, gardening and “playing” the Stock Market

Sports: I am an avid hiker. Running after my grandchildren keeps me in shape.


Find out more information on our Vancouver Travel Clinic or any of our other 18 Travel Clinic locations.