Jennifer Bray

Contracts Advisor, Project Procurement, Cenovus Energy Inc.

Describe a typical day

There is currently a Supply Chain Transformation underway at Cenovus, so “typical” is an evolving concept right now!  I am presently all things “pipeline” at Cenovus and have recently had the opportunity to try out a new role managing the engineering firms that procure our pipeline materials; in addition to the construction contracts I normally oversee.  So, a typical day might involve meetings at engineering firms, resolving issues with suppliers, tendering, negotiating and working with Project teams, Legal and Category Management - all while supporting the transformation! It’s certainly never boring!

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

The best part of being in contracts and procurement is that you get to work with so many people across all departments.  I learn so much from the people I work with.  Even though I am not out in the field or swinging a hammer myself, I take pride in going to our facilities and knowing that I played a (small) role in getting it built.  Right now, I appreciate Cenovus’ resilience. It’s not an easy time to be an oil sands company!

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

I am really proud of the fact that I was offered an international assignment (with a previous company) to the Middle East at a relatively young age.  It was an incredible experience to learn and to travel, and I am so thankful that I did it – and that my husband supported me and left his job to come with me! He’s pretty amazing!

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

This is a time where Supply Chain can really make an impact in the cost structure of an organization, which I hope will help companies realize what a strategic asset these groups are.  When you don’t set the price of your product, the incentive to challenge cost structures can be overlooked when times are good and it’s “spend, spend, spend”.  But in times like these, the biggest impact to your bottom line will come from well executed supply chain strategies.

Current community involvement efforts.

I just became a member of Junior League of Calgary and I am really looking forward to the year ahead with them – like YWE, JLC is another group of amazing women.

I am also a part of the “Indulge” committee for the Marda Loop Communities Association.  Our committee organizes the biggest fundraiser for the MLCA (and the definitely one of the best parties in town!).  We just had our event at the end of May and raised over $35,000!

Finally, I also volunteered this spring with CARE Canada’s “Walk in Her Shoes” event to raise money for women’s maternal health in developing countries.  It is a phenomenal organization – doing some really amazing work around the globe.  If you aren’t familiar with them, please check them out!

Why YWE?

This is going to sound cheesy, but life is about experiences and the best ones come through meaningful connections.  I am a part of YWE to engage with other like-minded women.

What are you reading?

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I am very interested in her technique and claim that you can simplify your life and never need to declutter again!