Cathy Thorpe joined Nurse Next Door as President in 2014 with the mission of growing the business on both sides of the border and achieving a new level of operational excellence. An accomplished leader, Cathy brings over two decades of leadership experience in the retail industry to Nurse Next Door. She previously served as President of Please Mum and Director of Canadian Operations for The Gap and The Gap Kids, where she was responsible for 150 stores and more than 1,000 employees. Additionally, Cathy founded and ran Surge Advisors, a consultancy that provided strategic leadership counsel to small and medium size enterprises with a focus on fast growth and measurable results. These diverse experiences facilitate Cathy’s ability to lead Nurse Next Door to new heights, coach people beyond what they imagined was possible, and ensure the company delivers on the promise of a WOW Customer Experience each and every time. An outdoors enthusiast and avid traveler, when not at HeartQuarters, Cathy can be found with her husband and two children enjoy Vancouver’s natural beauty or exploring the world to learn about foreign cultures and languages.
Kathy NguyenChief Financial Officer
Kathy Nguyen joined Nurse Next Door in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer, responsible for finance, compliance and legal. In this role, Kathy is focused on ensuring the company continues to grow quickly, leading her dynamic team, and celebrating the core values as an integral part of day-to-day operations. Possessing a wealth of financial knowledge and business expertise from previous executive management positions, Kathy brings valuable strategic and financial vision to the table. Prior to joining Nurse Next Door, Kathy played a key role at BC Hydro and their subsidiaries, such as leading key strategic projects for the President and CEO of BC Hydro. Her various roles included Director of Power Acquisitions, Chief Financial Officer, and Interim President and CEO for Powertech Labs. A Bachelor of Commerce graduate from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, Kathy also earned her CPA designation while working with Deloitte and Touche in Vancouver, Canada and Sydney, Australia. Outside of HeartQuarters, Kathy can be found teeing off at a golf course or enjoying time with her large and boisterous extended family in Vancouver.
Brenda RigneyVP, People Operations
Brenda Rigney joined Nurse Next Door in 2015 as VP, People Operations. She has an exciting mandate to create people, process and technology solutions to enable substantial growth of the company. Brenda has always positioned herself with people-first organizations with a compelling purpose to redefine their industry and the leadership within. Prior to joining Nurse Next Door, Brenda led the People Operations team at Earls Kitchen + Bar. Over a three year journey starting in 2012, her mission transformed the company’s approach to HR. Her team was not a typical HR team. Members had specialties in operations, digital media, business intelligence, technology, infrastructure, and software development. Brenda has extensive experience in operations and talent management within the retail, hospitality and video game development industries. A graduate of political science from the University of Western Ontario, Brenda has honed her expertise in HR, strategic leadership, and change management at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of California, Los Angeles, and USC Marshall School of Business. Outside the office, Brenda loves spending time with her husband, two daughters and the family dog, spinning, or wine tasting.
Arif AbdullaVP, Expansion
Arif Abdulla serves as VP, Expansion with a focus on growing Nurse Next Door’s footprint in the United States. Initially joining the company in 2006, Arif started with the company’s sales and marketing team, but quickly showed an uncommon level of tenacity and natural understanding of business development and operations. Prior to his current role, Arif has held various positions such as Marketing and PR Manager and VP of US Operations. He has played an integral role in the growth of the franchise system and expansion of the business across Canada and the United States. Throughout his near-decade experience with Nurse Next Door, Arif has become an expert on the home care industry and developed an intimate understanding of the business’s operations. Whether speaking with prospective or seasoned Franchise Partners, Arif can be counted on to bring his strategic mindset and knowledge to the table to find a win-win outcome. Arif holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Simon Fraser University. While not at HeartQuarters, Arif can be found enjoying time with his wife and young daughter, staying active, or reading about current affairs.
Veronica TisseraVP, Sales and Operations – North America
Veronica Tissera joined Nurse Next Door in 2014 and serves as VP Sales and Operations, North America. In this role, Veronica’s focus is expanding the business in Canada and the United States, developing and implementing strategic partnerships, and working closely with Franchise Partners to ensure they are set up to succeed. Prior to joining Nurse Next Door, Veronica gained over 20 years of experience with major international brands, including her 15 years at The Gap where she was responsible for over $150 million in operations. She also served as VP of Operations for Please Mum and Head of Product for North America at Aritzia. Drawing on these experiences, she brings a proven track record of leadership development, strong processes, and delivering results through building a culture of accountability. For Veronica, the focus is always on the client and she understands the power of truly listening to find opportunities for improving the experience. If she isn’t working, Veronica is riding her bike on the seawall, practicing yoga, or enjoying time with her family in Vancouver.
Phil PennewayDirector of Marketing
Phil Penneway joined Nurse Next Door in 2015 as Director of Marketing. In this position, he leads the marketing and public relations team with the mission of telling the brand’s story to the right people at the right time. Phil also brings to the table a rare depth of knowledge and expertise in SEO, SEM, and online marketing strategy with a proven track record in achieving significant results in the digital space. Whether developing high level strategy, executing on a detailed plan, or connecting with franchise partners to help them grow their business, Phil is always focused on ensuring Nurse Next Door is top of mind. Prior to joining Nurse Next Door, Phil spearheaded the online marketing activities at Flight Centre where he grew their e-commerce business to $35 million and was awarded Marketer of the Year in 2014. Phil holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. When he isn’t in HeartQuarters working on ambitious plans to promote Nurse Next Door, he can be found doing CrossFit, cooking delicious pasta, or skiing with his wife in Whistler.
John DeHartCo-founder and Board of Directors member
John DeHart co-founded Nurse Next Door in 2001 with Ken Sim with a simple but ambitious goal: to transform the home health care industry. After co-leading and leading the company from inception to 2014, John now sits on the Board of Directors and contributes to the development of special projects, such as Happier Aging™. An entrepreneur to the core, John previously started several successful technology businesses. Recognized for his exceptional business acumen, John was awarded the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006 and has been named to Business In Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40 list. Under his leadership, Nurse Next Door earned numerous prestigious awards, such as inclusion in Franchise Business Review’s annual list of North America’s 50 Best Franchise Systems with under 50 units; BC Business Magazine’s Top 10 employer list for four years; and being named “Canada’s most admired emerging corporate culture” by Waterstone Human Capital. A graduate of Cornell University and Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program, John now lectures at both institutions about building culture into the fabric of companies. John lives in Vancouver with his wife and two daughters where he can be found running up mountains for fun.
Ken SimCo-founder and Board of Directors member
Ken Sim co-founded Nurse Next Door with John DeHart in 2001 after realizing the industry was ripe for transformation. After building Nurse Next Door into one of the dominant home health care companies in North America, Ken transitioned to the Board of Directors in 2010. In this position, he helps inform strategic technology solutions and financial aspects of the company. Prior to founding Nurse Next Door, Ken worked in the financial sector as an analyst at KPMG, an investment banker at CIBC World Markets, and a merchant banker at CIBC Capital Partners. His leadership skills and business savvy landed Ken the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award; a spot in Business In Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40; and numerous profiles in media across Canada including The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and CBC. Ken is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business Bachelor of Commerce program, where he now occasionally lectures. Ken was born and raised in Vancouver, where he continues to live in the city with his wife and four boys.