In honor of Trans Ova’s 40th Anniversary, we have asked team members to reminisce about their time with Trans Ova and what excites them about the future.
Our next team member spotlight to celebrate Trans Ova Genetics’ 40th Anniversary is Dorene Vander Zwaag! In 31 years, from the start of our IVF program to expanding across the United States, Dorene has seen it all! Dorene was one of the original embryologists hired and now serves as a Client Service Representative at our Sioux Center, Iowa location. No matter the position, Dorene has worked hard to multiply success for our internal and external clients.
1. What is your favorite Trans Ova memory?
It’s hard to narrow this down to just one, or even a few, as many memories are made over 30 years! The travel I did during my embryologist days is a highlight, weekly plane trips down to Missouri, and then traveling around the state from there; driving through the mountain ranges as we were driving all over Montana, setting up the Montana site; falling asleep while driving one early morning by Brookings, and putting Dr. Daryl Funk in the ditch; having my birthday balloon pop in the airplane right behind Dr. Dave Faber, and him thinking we were going down!! There were several times we were stopped by police for suspicious activity; several times while plunging embryos, and one time for erratic driving (in my defense it was my first time driving a dually, and it was Dewayne’s shiny new red one). My most recent favorite memory is reading all the cards and notes sent to me for my 30th anniversary!
2. What do you like best about your time at Trans Ova?
I love that Trans Ova has provided me with a job/career that I continue to enjoy, with room for personal growth, in a family environment, and has been a stable source of income for me to provide for my family.
3. What excites you about the future of Trans Ova?
Everything!!! The past speaks to the future I believe, and the vision of our leadership will take us through the years to come. We are never satisfied with doing things well, we are always looking for the next great thing, and how to do what we do better!
4. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about Trans Ova’s 40th anniversary?
I am getting old!! I consider it a privilege that I experienced Trans Ova in the early days and have been a part of it for 30 years. I learned how to help flush and search embryos alongside of Diane, Dave, and Daryl. I learned how to educate chute side, and how to treat people when you are a guest in their homes, and make do with what you have (or don’t have) when a critical piece of equipment was forgotten on a road!
5. In what different ways has Trans Ova excelled or grown in the last 40 years?
I am very happy that Harry G. came along when he did, and provided us with a computer program to use, as keeping track of our embryo inventories on recipe cards and files was getting pretty old!! The growth that we see today in Trans Ova is because of how we have excelled in the past! We were and are the best at what we do, whether it was freezing embryos, transferring embryos, training new hires, educating our clients, and earning the trust of clients.
6. What is your biggest accomplishment at Trans Ova?
This is another hard one to answer! I am proud of all the embryos that I froze. I was just switching over to my current client service role at the same time as we were starting sexed semen, and the reverse sort process. Our production numbers went up at an incredible fast pace, and I needed to figure out a way to capture client information and relay it to our labs. IT has built upon that initial system, and we now have an app for that! Lastly, the relationships I have formed between clients and employees, the ability to promote Trans Ova on a daily basis, and the opportunity to help our clients be successful, is my daily motivation for coming to work.