The Good Samaritan Society, a Lutheran Social Service Organization, is a not-for-profit, registered charity with over 65 years of experience providing specialized health and community care services in innovative and caring environments.
The programs, practices and policies of The Good Samaritan Society and Good Samaritan Canada are managed by a team of top professionals who are not only extremely skilled but are passionate and dedicated to the vision, mission and values of the organization.
Julius van Wyk joined The Good Samaritan Society in the fall of 2013. In 2018, Julius was appointed by The Good Samaritan Society (GSS) and Good Samaritan Canada (GSC) Board of Directors as President and CEO.
Julius is an influential leader who creates and communicates organizational vision and strategy based on sound business principles. He is growth oriented and effectively engages people to meet operational and financial targets through living the organization's mission, vision, and values. Julius is committed to servant leadership, developing people, and ensuring the needs of the people we serve are met.
Before assuming the role of President and CEO, Julius’ professional background included serving as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Support Services and Business Development for GSS/GSC. His role in these positions underscored his ability to create healthy relationships and hospitable environments with employees, residents and their families, and volunteers through open communication, trustworthiness, and integrity.
Julius has been in the hospitality industry for 28 years. Over this period, Julius gained international experience in hospitality through working in South Africa, Ireland and England in positions of Regional Director - Restaurant Operations and Project Manager. After moving to Canada in 2005 Julius has been involved with Hospitality Companies and Contract Food Service Providers in the roles of Director of Operations and Regional Director. Being involved in these organizations has helped Julius gain more experience and prepare him for his current role ensuring we're providing Christian Hospitality to those in need or at risk.
He spent three years at Witwatersrand Technicon and holds a Mechanical Engineering Diploma. He is an outgoing and caring team player who brings a highly logical approach to projects and tasks. Because of this, he is able to solve difficult problems quickly and has played a major role in the financial success of the organization.
Julius brings a unique perspective to Hospitable Environments initiatives specifically and enjoys enhancing and enriching the lives of residents by providing them with living environments that feel like home.
Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Julius was in the South African military where he held a leadership position as a corporal in the parachute battalion. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Jennifer Burns joined The Good Samaritan Society as VP, HR and Legal Counsel in January of 2014. She has a BA and a LLB as well as project leadership and project management certificates and a certificate in long-term care senior management. Jennifer is extremely hard working and has a strong background in leadership. She was the Director of HR for Extendicare Canada Inc. in Western Canada for over 20 years. Jennifer is also a part time Alberta Labour Relations Board Tribunal Member and was previously an Alberta Human Rights Commission Tribunal Member. She excels at working in teams, is part of The Good Samaritan Society’s Strategic Leadership Team and is the leader of the Labour and Employment, Pension/Benefits and Recruitment, and Payroll/Scheduling Teams.
On a personal level, Jennifer connects with The Good Samaritan Society’s Mission, Vision, and Values, and she hopes to embed more accountability measures into current processes to further establish and extend the organization’s driving principles.
Jennifer was born in Ontario and was once a Nurse Aide herself. In her spare time, she can be found spending quality time with her daughter.
Sindy has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and obtained her Certified General Accountant designation in 2000. Sindy joined The Good Samaritan Society in June of 2004 as their Finance Manager and was promoted to the Director of Finance role in October 2011. Sindy's prior work experience includes 7 years auditing retail cooperatives and another 7 years working in various accounting roles in Alberta¹s oil drilling industry. Sindy also served on The Good Samaritan Society¹s Board of Directors from 2000 to 2003.
Karen holds a degree in Theology from Taylor University and was consecrated as a Lutheran Diaconal Minister in 2004. Engaged in team ministry at a parish for 15 years Karen joined The Good Samaritan Society (GSS) and Good Samaritan Canada (GSC) as a chaplain in 2012, serving in various care homes in Edmonton and area. She was promoted to Director of Mission Effectiveness in 2016.
Prior to joining GSS/GSC Karen represented Diaconal ministry for The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada for eight years on the Diaconal of the Americas and Caribbean (DOTAC), an international committee for Diaconal Ministers. She also served on many national and synodical leadership committees within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
Additionally, Karen sits as a member of the Western Canada Examining Committee, a body to examine candidates for ordained and diaconal ministry within the ELCIC.
Karen has a passion for the mission, vision and values of GSS/GSC based on the parable of The Good Samaritan. As a Christian, not for profit healthcare provider, we have a unique identity that is important as we strive to live out our core values by providing healthy relationships, a hospitable environment and by modeling servant leadership. Called to ministry within GSS/GSC, Karen hopes to inspire staff and volunteers working in our care homes to become extensions of God’s love to the residents and families who come to live at GSS/GSC.
As a charity, The Good Samaritan Society raises funds to provide loving care and quality service to honour the diverse population we serve. Donations to our charity allow us to enhance the programs and services we offer to more than 6000 people.Donate Today