Eight years ago, SVP Partner and Board member, Alanna Donahue, recommended to her friend, Janet Wood, that she consider joining SVP Vancouver – then known as BCTSVP (BC Technology SVP). Janet, who worked in the tech sector, was looking for a way to give back and thought this would be a great fit and along with her partner, David, they decided to join the SVP team. Since they joined, Janet and David have run the gamut of SVP engagement, from working directly with Investees to sitting on the Board of Directors to taking a sabbatical for two and a half years for a job opportunity in Germany.
The couple, who enjoy cycling and travelling, balance their time between work, family, and volunteering. Janet is Global Head of Talent and Leadership at SAP, and David is a retired employment lawyer who’s especially keen to help our Investees with employment challenges and other capacity-building opportunities. They both enjoy spending time with family, particularly David’s two young grandchildren.
Keep reading to learn more about Janet and David’s story…
How are you currently involved with SVP? How have you been involved in the past?
(David) When Janet joined SVP she was travelling more than 60% of the time in her global role with SAP. As a result it was difficult to get actively engaged with the Investees, so she joined the SVP Board for a few years. After she stepped down, I joined the Board but – regretfully had to step off after we moved to Germany for two and a half years.
Now that we’re back in Vancouver we want to get more engaged with Investees. I’m currently one of three partners working with an aspiring Investee, Night Hoops, and I also consult with Investees on governance and legal issues. Janet’s travel has reduced to about 25% so now she’s looking for opportunities to become more engaged.
What inspires you to make a difference?
The opportunity to work in-person, side by side, with Investees and their clients; and being able to experience firsthand the assistance and impact our involvement brings.
Why should Partners get involved with Investees directly?
Everyone is different, but we find this the most rewarding aspect of SVP. Working directly with Investees also allows us to become more engaged through working closely with other Partners, and having a ‘stake’ in the future and growth of the Investee.
What is the biggest barrier to creating social change?
Thinking that one person’s efforts won’t make a difference.
Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
Golfing, cycling, watching golf on TV (David!) and hanging out at Trout Lake with our grandchildren.