Our Operations Department

Our Operations Department

Through rain, sleet or snow, our Operations Department delivers the meals to the schools we serve, to our delivery depots for volunteers and directly to clients. On top of delivering meals, the team ensures that our Production Facility and fleet of vans are running in tip-top shape!

Our team has grown over the last year, with the increasing demand for our services, we have a hard working team making all the deliveries happen!

Learn more below!

 

For the past five years Richard Kiehl has been the Operations Manager at Calgary Meals on Wheels. He is responsible for the maintenance of our facility, the operation of our vehicle fleet and the amazing drivers who operate them. While he has been officially on the leadership team for 5 years, his journey with Calgary Meals on Wheels began as a volunteer in 2009. When he first arrived Rich (as he likes to be called) recalls having no knowledge of the organization. He says, “I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I just had free time and thought volunteering would be a meaningful way to spend it. But the person who oriented me had so much energy and enthusiasm for the organization it inspired me.” With so much experience in the hospitality industry, it is no surprise that Rich’s favourite part about his job is getting to interact with the clients. He says, “Going out on delivery and seeing the reactions of our clients when you knock on their door is great. They’re all so appreciative and genuinely happy to see you that it makes you feel like you are actually making a difference.”

Beyond his dedication to Calgary Meals on Wheels Rich enjoys going to the mountains to ski and golf. Additionally, he likes spending time with his wife of 30 years and their daughter, who has also worked at Calgary Meals on Wheels for three summers while she studied at Mount Royal University. Rich is modest when speaking of his work with us but he is an integral and respected member of our team.

For the past five years Bob “Crash” (as he likes to call himself) Freeman has been one of our Staff Drivers. Applying to Calgary Meals on Wheels by a recommendation from his wife of 48 years, Bob has become an integral part of our organization. Often you can find him cracking jokes with our staff, volunteers, and clients ensuring that no matter the task everyone is having a good time. It comes as no surprise that Bob’s favourite part of his job is meeting the amazing people. He says, “It’s truly a terrific organization and everyone who is involved really cares.” As a father to three and a grandfather to three Bob boasts his best feature is his sense of humour. He says, “I’m really funny, or at least I like to think so.” Along with his modesty, Bob is a dedicated individual who’s years of commitment and hard work for Calgary Meals on Wheels has helped shape who we are today.

After retiring as a Geophysicist in the oil and gas industry Brook McKay started to look for a part-time job. Ten months ago, he was hired at Calgary Meals on Wheels as one of our Staff Drivers. When he first started he remembers thinking what an efficient yet fun organization we are.

Today the best part of Brook’s job is experiencing the staff comradery. He says, “We do lots of great staff functions that show how much our hard work is appreciated. It really makes you feel like your part of a family.” Aside from his “work family”, Brook and his wife of 31 years have two children and enjoy spending their time golfing, travelling, and reading. Another passion for Brook is scuba diving! He is actually a certified PADI scuba diver.

After 38 years in the work force Frank Duff couldn’t stop working, so, he began volunteering at Calgary Meals on Wheels as a driver. During this time, he learned of the need for a paid Staff Driver position and eagerly applied. Ten years later Frank has enjoyed his time interacting with our volunteers and clients. He says, “It’s such a great service that is so needed. It’s truly more than just a meal, there’s a social aspect to the service which makes a huge difference in our clients’ lives.” Frank has clearly loved his time with us, six years ago he even encouraged his wife, who is now part of our Finance Department, to start volunteering.

Moving to Calgary in 1986 for his job Frank has become a valuable member of our community, he has twice been nominated for the White Hat Award. Along with this, he is also a talented musician who played the bass in the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Dance and the Lethbridge Youth Symphony. During his free time Frank likes to spend time with two sons and five grandchildren, golf, and make his own wine.

Prior to joining the Calgary Meals on Wheels team Jack Falk worked in sales and law enforcement. Friends with many of our Staff Drivers, when Jack learned about an opening he quickly applied. When he first came to Calgary Meals on Wheels seven years ago, Jack remembers thinking that we are a very dedicated group of people stuck working with an old decrepit building and equipment. So, it is no surprise that Jack was overjoyed when we moved into our new facility.

Over the years Jack’s favourite part of his job is our people. He says, “Being able to experience the genuine, heartfelt appreciation by our clients is really nice.” When he isn’t working at Calgary Meals on Wheels Jack likes to spend time with his wife of 55 years and their two daughters, build model railroad layouts, and play the electronic organ.

Recently, when one of our drivers was injured and unable to work, Jeff Sawchuk stepped up to fill the vacancy. He is our newest Staff Driver dedicated to delivering our nutritious meals to the Calgary community. When Jeff first started at Calgary Meals on Wheels he was amazed by the structure of our organization. He recalls, “The organization is huge, but everyone here is so dedicated and there’s such strong leadership that it all runs very smoothly.”

His favourite part of the job though is being able to see the appreciation from our clients. He says, “We provide a tremendous service to the community and you can tell that everyone who touches it has their life changed for the better.” Jeff is excited to continue his career here and make an even bigger impact.

Joe Minten is one of the newer Staff Drivers on the Operations Team. Prior to this he had a career as a Seismic Data Processor, but when he heard about an opening at Calgary Meals on Wheels he was quick to apply. He recalls, “I heard a lot of great things about Calgary Meals on Wheels. Not only about the work they do but also about the staff.” When Joe was hired he was happy to learn the rumors were true. He says, “I really enjoy helping those who cannot leave their house. It helps to provide purpose when going to work everyday. Plus, the staff here are all so friendly and helpful they make the job a lot of fun.” In Joe’s opinion, Calgary Meals on Wheels is an excellent organization that is vital to the Calgary community.

Moving from Toronto to Calgary in 1979 Joe has created quite a life for himself here. He and his wife of 29 years have two children and two dogs together. In his free time he likes to golf, explore his genealogy, and walk the family pets.

For six years Koichi has been a Staff Driver at Calgary Meals on Wheels. Prior to joining the team Koichi was a sales rep for 30 years, but after retiring he wanted to do community work. When he first came to Calgary Meals on Wheels he was happy to find such a nice friendly atmosphere. As time went on he found our staff to be mature and well-trained individuals who made the work extremely enjoyable.

Two years ago, Mike Smith joined Calgary Meals on Wheels as a Staff Depot Driver. Coming from a sales background Mike was semi-retired when he joined our team. He says, “I was looking for something to do that would fill my time but still had meaning.” With this goal, Mike started at Calgary Meals on Wheels and was glad to see how organized our organization is. He says, “Everything operates really smoothly. Makes it really easy to meet and help people.”

During his free time Mike likes to spend time with his wife of 28 years and their two kids, paint, and golf. Beyond being a loving father and artist, in 1974 Mike was even seated to play for team Canada’s rugby team.