BC Council for Families
Through a very thorough process that involved staff and Board, Gayle and Bohdan developed a strategic business plan for the Council that addressed our most pressing needs and helped us strengthen our mission.
In working with the Siena team, it quickly became apparent that they have a thorough understanding of both strategic and tactical needs. The business plan they developed for the Council became the “go to” document that we used to renew the organization and put it on firmer financial footing. Through their support in implementing components of the plan, we were able to secure significant funding as well as position the organization to work more closely with funders, both government and non-government.
I would recommend Siena Consulting to organizations and colleagues who are interested in developing high-impact strategies and plans that work.
– CAROL MATUSICKY, PHD, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BC COUNCIL FOR FAMILIES
I found the team of Bohdan Zajcew and Gayle Farrell to be extremely thorough, knowledgeable, reliable, supportive and professional…their work more than exceeded both my expectations and those of our board of directors. The resulting strategic plan that Siena has prepared for our organization is user-friendly, professional, and straightforward and offers realistic goals and timelines…we received excellent value for our investment. In fact, Siena Consulting went above and beyond; we got far more than our money’s worth.
– LAURA EFRON, GENERAL MANAGER, RUMBLE PRODUCTIONS
Siena uses a consultative model in developing plans. Gayle interviewed internal and external stakeholders to provide us with anecdotal information and multi-faceted perspectives. The communications plan ensured [we] were able to articulate our own goals and objectives.
We would whole-heartedly recommend Siena Consulting to other organizations interested in developing communications strategies, plans and materials. If the organization is true to the plan as created by Siena, it will experience success in delivering its message in the community.
– COLLEEN KELLY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VANTAGE POINT (FORMERLY VOLUNTEER VANCOUVER)
Divisions of Family Practice
We initially brought Gayle from Siena Consulting in to help us prioritize the multiple projects we had underway during the initial stages of launching the new provincial Divisions of Family Practice Initiative. We valued Gayle’s insights; she was quick to understand the nature of the collaborative work we were engaged in and helped us organize the projects into a logical sequence and break the work into manageable chunks.
We involved Gayle and the Siena team in many projects over the next four years. One of the most important ones was the development of our first strategic plan. Her ability to understand the environment we operated in as well as the vision we had for improving primary health care resulted in a plan that enabled us to achieve the outcomes we were looking for.
As new divisions were added in geographic locations throughout the province Gayle worked closely with me and my team to identify how to best support their emerging needs and build out a workforce strategy that defined the work that needed to be done, the skills and people required and the best structure and business processes to support this evolving work.
In this type of foundational work it’s important to get it right the first time. That’s why we continued to work with Gayle and Siena Consulting – Gayle didn’t provide a cookie-cutter solution for any of the work she did with us. She took the time to understand who we were, to figure out what we needed and then to work with us build the right programs and services. I would highly recommend Gayle and her team for any work related to strategy and organizational development.
– BRIAN EVOY
Division of Family Practice, White Rock-South Surrey
As a rapidly growing non-profit organization attempting multiple and varied projects, we greatly benefited from the support provided by Siena (particularly that provided by Bohdan Zajcew). Bohdan and his team listened carefully, and as a result, rapidly learned the culture of our organization. Our goals and processes were quickly understood and we were able to move forward efficiently. Equally important, as soon as Siena assessed our strengths and opportunities for improvement, they made practical recommendations to meet identified shortfalls. They provided documentation templates and other supporting materials to assist us in our day to day planning; their assistance in leading in-person, face-face as well as teleconference meetings helped to focus our discussions; and their recommendations and follow-up were always provided in a timely fashion. Furthermore, the assistance and experience they provided throughout the process of advertising, shortlisting, interviewing, assessing, and negotiating a contract with our new Executive Director was invaluable.
It was instructive and delightful to work with Siena’s skilled and personable staff, and we would have no hesitation in calling upon their expertise in the future.
– CHARLES KING, PHYSICIAN LEAD DIVISION OF FAMILY PRACTICE, WHITE ROCK-SOUTH SURREY
Ministry of Children and Family Development
I was privileged to work inside the BC Government during the years when they had recognized the importance of early childhood education to the long-term health and well-being of those children and their families. Government had indicated a strong interest in working collaboratively with the non-profit and business sectors when Gayle Farrell from Siena Consulting approached us with an idea for creating a robust, cross sectoral partnership to support early childhood development.
Siena’s ability to identify and mobilize stakeholders across the sectors to participate in multiple conversations helped to create a unique partnership between government, business and the non-profit sector.
In particular, Gayle’s deep understanding of how each sector worked, her ability to identify potential partners whose values aligned and her skill in facilitating one-on-one conversations as well as large group meetings involving multiple sectors resulted in the Early Childhood Development Provincial Partnership.
Siena developed a framework that linked a corporate sector partner with strong community ties (credit unions with 338 branches throughout the province) to the not-for-profit community (18 BC United Ways, their member organizations and related groups) and the public sector (MCFD regional offices). Each of us already had a solid understanding of local community capacity, challenges and opportunities and all of us were able to support what was essentially a community based model of capacity development.
I highly recommend Siena Consulting for their proven skills at identifying and linking community capacity to a strong vision, whether that vision comes from provincial or local governments or from the private or non-profit sectors.
– CAROL CARMAN, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT (2002-2004)
Vancouver Art Gallery
We were very impressed with Gayle and Bohdan’s abilities to quickly immerse themselves in the issues, ideas and concepts related to a new Vancouver Art Gallery. They were very effective in building a strong dynamic among our senior managers and in helping to clarify the Gallery’s vision through a number of environmental scanning exercises. Their process was one of collaboration and consensus-building while working through the issues in a timely and highly productive manner. At the end of the sessions, our team left feeling very enthusiastic and excited about our future! The recommendations that Gayle and Bohdan provided following these workshops clearly articulated the issues and next steps.
We certainly would welcome the opportunity to work with Siena Consulting again.
– PAUL LAROCQUE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
District of West Vancouver
Siena Consulting showed great strategy, facilitation and adaptability skills in working within multiple disciplines at the District of West Vancouver. Their sensitivity in bringing disparate groups into a cohesive whole was a legacy feature of their work. I would not hesitate to recommend Bohdan and Gayle to any public sector task related to strategy or team development.
– BRENT LEIGH, DEPUTY CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, DISTRICT OF WEST VANCOUVER
Gayle and Bohdan from Siena Consulting assisted in designing and facilitating two breakout sessions at our Provincial Pain Summit. They brought tremendous creativity to designing the sessions and skillful facilitation to make both break out groups interactive and energizing. They understood what we were looking for in a facilitation approach – an approach that would enable relationship building AND generating concrete suggestions for change – and they delivered that. Bohdan’s report back was the best I’ve ever seen – using a wonderful narrative style that clearly communicated both the process and outcome of their breakout.
I highly recommend them as process designers and facilitators!
– MARIA HUDSPITH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PAIN BC