2016 IW Winners

Entrepreneur of the Year - Sudbury

Sheri Tomchick

Sheri Tomchick

It has taken a special kind of woman to create an innovative solution for the health-care field in Northern Ontario.

Sheri Tomchick is a serial entrepreneur who has grown, not one, but two new companies: Plan A Health Care Staffing Solutions Inc. and Staff Stat.

Tomchick grew up in Elliot Lake and made her way to Sudbury where she worked as a nurse and college instructor. When she hit a dead end during her teaching career, she simply found another path.

In 2010, she started Plan A Health Care Staffing Solutions. With enough experience in the challenges of filling shifts at long-term care homes, she saw a new opportunity. There was a need for recruiting quality professionals to fill the gaps. What she had not seen was the support and mentorship she would find as the market responded to her ideas.

Staffstat, an online application that quickly and efficiently schedules shifts, grew out of Plan A’s first challenge of facing the tedious task of contacting workers and coordinating shifts with long-term care facilities. Tomchick worked with a software company to find an easier method.

Before long, both companies quickly grew into Northern Ontario’s first, and only, health-care staffing agency providing assistance to the long-term care sector, seniors and their healthcare providers. The first year she quadrupled contracts and hired upwards of 75 health-care professionals. Five years later, she has a pool of 300 professionals across northeastern Ontario and between the two companies has grown to seven staff members.

“Because of the software, our model is so different than what is out there and it just keeps getting busier,” said Tomchick.

How does someone with no business experience achieve so much success?

“I have had many great mentors to help me through my biggest obstacles,” she admitted. Acknowledging that with exponential growth came exponential challenges. Through timely business mentors such Peter del Bianco of Bianco’s Audiotronics and Sudbury Chamber of Commerce president Debbi Nicholson she has navigated the explosion of her businesses.

“I have made a lot of mistakes along the way,” she said. “I had to learn to be vulnerable with my mentors and ask for help.”

Tomchick has been on a winning streak since embarking on her business ventures. She was the 2014 winner of the Bell Business Excellence award for Entrepreneur of the Year in Sudbury. She also won the People’s Choice award at the NORCAT Innovation Mill’s inaugural Pitch event, where she pitched her software, StaffStat. The latter award came with a prize of $25,000.

Whatever Tomchick received in mentorship and encouragement in those early years, she gives back to those following behind her. As a board member of the Sudbury chamber, Tomchick initiated the Business Rx group where like-minded early stage business owners come together to discuss challenges and offer support.

Continuously learning from others and giving back are important leadership qualities for this entrepreneur. She is also chair of the Sudbury Women’s Centre, and a member of Toastmasters; IODE, a national women’s charitable organization; and Soup Sisters.

Starting with little knowledge of business, she has generated resources and support to create an innovative and successful software company that is not only useful in the health-care field, but for mining, education and retail. She continues to ride the wave of her business growth and make a significant impact to the challenge of providing quality care for seniors across the North.

“We have landed some very interesting contracts and 2016-17 is going to be defining for Staffstat,” predicted Tomchick.

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