My name is Sheila Van Kuren, and I am a part of the amazing team at TimeXtender. In my role as Director of Partner Alliances North America, I have the unique opportunity to work with a variety of customers and contacts throughout the entire USA.
I have been in the software-related industry for many years, and prior to this focus, spent many years supporting other industries, including Hardware, Telecommunications, Human Resources/Staffing as well as other industry verticals.
I currently reside in a small town in North Central South Dakota and relocated here to support ageing family 7 years ago.
It has been a wonderful transition from the stressful pace of “big city East Coast living”, and I believe has positively influenced my overall quality of life.
I joined TimeXtender just over 2 months ago, and it has been the best decision professionally that I believe I have ever made. I am thankful and blessed to have found such a wonderful company to be a part of, and am surrounded by amazingly kind, intelligent and generous people.
The company culture here is like non that I have ever experienced in all of my professional careers, and I honestly “pinch myself” every day to make sure I am not dreaming.
I decided to join TimeXtender after spending time in discussions with the TimeXtender team. Not only was the team amazing, but the opportunity role I was interviewing for was very exciting, challenging and professionally attractive.
I was initially hesitant to take the offer, as I thought, “this is too good to be true”, but after much reflection and prayer, I knew that I must join this team. I have not regretted it for one moment.
I am involved in supporting a few causes and charitable organisations. Until the past few years, I was a competitive runner and typically selected those events that supported a cause to “help others” vs just a “fun family event” type of focus.
However, since I have had to move away from those running activities, I have spent more time in Cycling or walking activities and events. I have been participating in and supporting the World Vision Walk for Water 6K event for over 5 years now.
The past two years, I have been participating in the Great Cycle Challenge USA, which is focused on raising money to fight childhood cancer. This cause is very near to my heart as I am a cancer survivor myself, and although I did not have cancer as a child, thankfully, I can appreciate the emotional and physical challenges on an individual.
This cause enables me to focus on physical activities that I can perform (which others cannot) and use that to raise awareness and money for this cause. The commitment is that you pledge to ride a specific number of miles on your bike during, and only during, the month of September. You also pledge to raise money for the cause.
Last year I pledged to and exceeded in riding just over 100 miles in September and this year I have pledged to ride 124 miles in September. I have almost completed that goal and still have two weeks+ to go!
I am fortunate that TimeXtender provides us the opportunity to give back to a featured cause. In reviewing the options of causes that I could contribute my Carbon Footprint allocation to, I selected the one that was related to water. Although there were other causes that were interesting and attractive to me, the water was something that we are in direct alignment with other causes I have supported.
I am grateful that TimeXtender encourages us as team members to convert our business-related travel expenses into “dollars” that are then shared with the charities on the Gold Standard Program.
I would recommend that all organisations use this program to convert their business travel expenses into Carbon Footprint, then convert them to a revenue amount given back to another cause. Our team has made calculating these activities very easy, so it isn’t a detractor from wanting to be involved.
I recommend that every organisation provides their employees with a variety of ways that they can give back, enabling them to make a personal choice and contribute to a cause that is near to their heart!