Deb Albers has been a prairie dweller since her childhood in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, to her days hopscotching around smalltown Alberta with her Mountie husband. But she’d give almost anything to get back to the canals of Europe, so long as her husband is with her.
“We were high school sweethearts. We’ve been married 41 years. What we love most is travelling and celebrating with our close friends from when we were young. We’ve always stayed connected to our community and each other,” she says while lamenting the pandemic for forcing the postponement of last year’s “bike and barge” trip.
Albers, her husband and their friends, have twice toured Europe by bicycle while sleeping on privately chartered canal boats that follow travellers between cities like Brugges, Amsterdam and Paris.
She says staying connected to those friends and sharing small-town values of community and compassion, made DynaLIFE an attractive option when she came aboard more than 28 years ago, working in patient care centres. During her time with the company, she moved through lab positions and into an operations leadership role.
“I found a home here. That’s something I think many people don’t realize about DynaLIFE. It’s a real community, with an extended family type of atmosphere. That’s always been very important to me,” she says. “DynaLIFE is more than just about taking blood. We do a lot of work with charities and community groups. It’s important to me that we have that connection to our community.”
Albers currently works as a privacy and client relations specialist.
“I was looking for something different when the opportunity came up to work in privacy. I thought, ‘what do I know about privacy?’ Well, they taught me. Now I know more than I did,” she quips playfully.
“It’s hard for younger people to imagine a time when people were less aware of what privacy was and how it affected them. I’ve seen that privacy culture grow, and DynaLIFE grows with it to make sure we’re keeping everyone’s information secure.”
Her privacy and client roles share challenges. When an error occurs, it’s usually an unintentional oversight, but it has to be fixed.
“We’re all human and we all make mistakes,” Albers says. “The customer recovery part of my job is very enjoyable. If someone is upset, you can be accountable for your mistakes and work to gain their trust back. And we do. Most often people just need someone to listen to them or understand why a certain decision was made. Their feedback is important to me. That’s how I keep learning.”
With two boys, ages 36 and 37, and four grandchildren, and more time spent apart than with them, Albers still finds opportunities to learn with her family and husband.
“We see the kids outdoors and learn about their day, it’s hard and we miss them very much,” she says. “My husband and I enjoy the time we spend together. We love to cook and open a bottle of wine. And we walk a lot.”
In his spare time, her husband has assembled a wooden map of the world, with pins in each destination they’ve visited.
“Retirement is our next goal,” Albers says. “The next trip is already being planned.”