There are some people you meet for the first time and it just clicks.
That’s how it went for Norm and I after we interviewed Oksana Tesla for a short-term internship back in 2020.
She had specifically sought us out because we had told her NBCC class we were seeking BCorp certification; we were excited to meet someone with European sustainability expertise who could help us build a sustainable technology start-up from the ground up.
Each of us thought we had lucked out – and all of us were right.
That’s the deeper story behind headlines that champion diversity and inclusion; recruiting and hiring new Canadians, international students and permanent residents brings a world of knowledge and experience into our business.
Recently Terris was honoured as a 2021 Champion for Cultural Diversity Award from the New Brunswick Multicultural Council and much of that is because of Oksana’s leadership.
As our special projects lead, Oksana designs, recruits and onboards our student placements, many of whom are international students. She is also our sustainability lead, maintaining our membership with 1% for the Planet, and achieving our BCorp certification last July.
Oksana has helped to shape Terris into the values-led high-growth start-up Norm and I envisioned when we first started talking four years ago, which is why we now stand solidly beside her as she steps into a very different and decidedly more personal and public form of leadership.
Since the moment the first Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Oksana has mobilized people, donations and activities to raise awareness and provide aid to her homeland.
She is a co-founder of the Ukrainian Community of Fredericton, helping to organize donations and fundraisers. She helped to organize public rallies, speaking passionately on behalf of her fellow Ukrainians, and recently she and others in the New Brunswick Ukrainian community have been working with provincial government officials to help plan for the arrival of Ukrainian families in our region.
We stand with Oksana. We stand with Ukraine.
Because Terris is a company that benefits from the global perspective that our diverse team brings to our business, and so we believe it’s our business to care about their world as much as they care about ours.
If you’re interested in donating your time, expertise or resources, please contact the Ukrainian Community of Fredericton Facebook page.