Showcasing our new hires at VCU

The employees at VCU are the main drivers of the university's success. They advance the university mission and vision while supporting student education. Take a look at the achievements and learn about each employee's experience working at VCU in recent years. 

Kendra GerlachGerlach

Associate Vice President, VCU Health Strategy and Marketing

What exciting projects or initiatives are you currently supporting?
"We are nearing completion of developing a new brand expression for the VCU Health System that shares the same Uncommon brand platform as the university but brings it to life in a different way for the health system.

This brand expression will reflect VCU Health’s commitment to preserve and restore health for all people, the unending compassion of our team members and the world-class expertise of our providers. These elements truly set VCU Health apart from its competition and it is a privilege to carry this message to our region and beyond.

We are working in close collaboration with the university and health system IT teams to migrate the health system websites onto the same platform as the university - a One VCU enterprise-wide approach in which all our websites are using the same content management system and hosted internally. Through this approach, we will gain efficiencies in the management of our websites while also achieving considerable cost savings for the health system.

We are also refining how we market services to potential patients. VCU Medical Center has the distinction of being the No. 1 ranked hospital in Richmond for many years running and the No. 2 ranked hospital in the commonwealth. These rankings reflect the expertise and commitment of our team members and providers in every area and make VCU Health a highly desirable place to receive care. Developing strategies that help reach people in need of these services is exciting for me because it is my small piece of contributing to our mission. Everyone wants to know their work is meaningful and has purpose. This is how I connect to our purpose and that excites me."

Kai DonsbachHeadshot of the Chief operations officer, Medicines for All Institute

Chief operations officer, Medicines for All Institute

Describe your experience working at VCU for the past few years:
"VCU is a highly dynamic workplace where people come together from all over the world to create cutting edge technology that addresses current problems."

Tell us about your successes at VCU thus far:
"I am proud to be part of a team that solves supply problems for essential medicines. Since I joined, we came up with new, innovative and very cost-effective ways to make the active pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of COVID-19, Tuberculosis, Malaria and several medicines used in medical emergency cases."

William NelsonHeadshot of the  Executive Director of Academic Finance and Administration

Executive director of academic finance and administration, Office of the Provost

Describe your experience working at VCU over the past few years:
VCU is a terrific community of professionals who are passionate about the university and our shared mission. I learned that first hand when I joined the Office of the Provost just one month before the university transitioned to remote working, teaching and learning as a result of the pandemic. While no two days are the same, I feel fortunate to be part of a team that brings their best to work every day for the benefit of faculty, staff and students, and to be supported by leaders who proudly encourage innovation in all that we do. 

Tell us about your successes at VCU thus far:
One success I am proud of is the transformation of the Fiscal Administrators (FAs) group. When I arrived at VCU, I took over the monthly FA group meetings; the group includes FAs from both academic and support units. These are talented, hard-working and committed people.  But, they didn’t identify themselves as a team. While there were common procedures and policies, they weren’t engaging in the meetings because they had to listen to a lot of presentations from people like me. So I decided to turn the tables - now, presentations are made by the fiscal administrators. And we each wear our VCU black and gold to every meeting!  Our meeting participation has doubled, we have people around the university asking to join us, and, most importantly, the FAs are building bonds, sharing ideas and best practices, and problem-solving together.  That is definitely a success!

I have had the opportunity to work for two provosts at VCU - Dr. Gail Hackett, who retired in summer 2021, and our current provost, Dr. Fotis Sotiropoulos. Provost Sotiropoulos has a bold vision for the future of academic affairs. To achieve that vision, he has encouraged everyone to work with more focus, more collaboration and more efficiency.  In that spirit, I was honored to be promoted to Senior Vice Provost for Academic Administration and Operations. In addition to academic finance and space management, I now also oversee communications, faculty recruitment and retention, and IT operations.

See William Nelson's employee spotlight video on the VCU HR instagram page @vcuhumanresources.

Marianne VermeerHeadshot of the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Medicines for All Institute

Chief financial and administrative officer, Medicines for All Institute 

Describe your experience working at VCU in the past few years:
In general, I’ve found my colleagues at VCU to be supportive and helpful, willing to direct me to information or policies I might have overlooked and looking out for things I might have missed. I appreciate the willingness to help me and my team “learn the ropes” at VCU. The helpful attitudes of many of the staff and faculty have made the task of supporting a fast-growing and rapidly changing organization within VCU a bit less challenging. I’m glad for the support and assistance!

Tell us about your successes at VCU thus far:
Building relationships within the VCU community has made all the difference to my work with Medicines for All. It has enabled the organization to accommodate the demands of rapidly changing research requirements and allowed our administrative team to find ways to work within VCU systems to keep our research advancing. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped us in the past few years- the success of Medicines for All is a reflection of this support and I am glad to share in that success.