Congratulations to the 2016 YWE Award Winners!
Beth Pollock grew up in Toronto, ON, and moved to Calgary after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Queen’s University. Since then, she built an impressive resume amassing experience in Investment Banking and Consulting, as well as completing her MBA from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business. In 2015, Beth joined Gibson Energy as the Manager of Corporate Finance where she says that her team is made up of a smart, hardworking, and driven individuals.
Beth’s boss nominated her to apply for the 2016 YWE Awards, as she thought it would be an excellent way to recognize Beth’s impeccable work and accomplishments. Beth says she is honoured to be selected as a recipient and recognized with such an outstanding group of candidates. She is “excited and looking forward to building relationships with others and learning from other people in the industry and the changes they’ve brought about in their organizations.” Beth is passionate about collaboration, and the opportunities that YWE provides for women to “hear about what other people are doing, and identify ways to be innovative and bring about change.”
Beth was selected to lead the 2016 United Way Campaign at Gibson Energy and says that she is inspired by seeing all of the individuals who work at these types of organizations and give so much of their time and commitment to their communities. Over the course of the 2016 Campaign, Beth and her team were able to increase employee participation by 52%.
Beth was recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for her passion about innovation and driving change; something that does not go unnoticed in the workplace. “Beth challenges the status quo with her continuous improvement mindset.” Beth believes that innovation is especially important in a commodity related sector, as the industry is always evolving. With regards to the future of the energy industry, Beth thinks that we will see companies running more efficiently than they were previously, and that we will see a more disciplined industry.
When asked about mentorship, Beth agrees with a textbook definition of the word, that mentorship is a relationship with a more experienced or knowledgeable person than yourself. While Beth thinks that it is important to have a textbook mentor in your life, she thinks that it is special and important when young female professionals are able to find female mentors in the workplace, which she has found in her boss at Gibson Energy. Beth believes that mentorship provides individuals an opportunity to pass on advice and that it is great to have people to be able to discuss challenges with.
Beth’s advice to women in the energy industry is simple, “focus on the work”. She says that if you work hard and you focus on producing the best deliverables that you can, it will give you the best chance of being rewarded and moving up in the organization and continuing to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Written by: Jenna Mortis
Category Manager, Supply Chain Management
Christa Tucker graduated with a Bachelors degree in Commerce from the University of Calgary 12 years ago, but her journey to become an emerging leader in energy didn’t begin there. Her father spent his career in oil and gas operations so she was exposed to the industry from a very early age and felt she was destined to follow in his footsteps. Through her summer student positions, she gained real-world experience and developed a network within the energy industry that guided her towards a career in Supply Chain Management (SCM).
Originally, she felt that SCM wouldn’t be a good fit – “it seemed quite tactical,” she recalls, but an early mentor saw her potential as a summer student and encouraged Christa to explore the diversity within the field, and the opportunities that a career in SCM could offer her.
As it turns out, that mentor was right. Today, Christa is a Category Manager in SCM at Husky Energy where she has been part of a strategic transformation of their supply chain organization aimed at setting the bar higher not only for Husky but amongst its Oil & Gas peers. Over the past 5 years at Husky, she has helped her team transition into a high performing function and a critical part of Husky’s operations. She believes that improving performance and driving innovation will remain key to staying successful as the industry regenerates from a difficult last few years.
Christa was recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for her leadership of a cradle-to-grave process with a cross-functional team, achieving outstanding value in terms of savings, processes and scheduling through her recent delivery of one of the most complex and high spend categories in Husky. The project was praised as “one of the best collaborations between Supply Chain and Operations to date”.
Christa has been fortunate to have supportive leadership throughout her career. She appreciates the backing and career development focus that she receives in her current role, to the point that her boss motivated her to apply for this award.The support she has received from her superiors has inspired her to pay it forward. She hopes to use this award as a platform to generate visibility and promote the values Young Women in Energy (YWE) promotes both internally at Husky and through other opportunities that arise.
For her, being a part of this network is an opportunity to connect with, advocate for, and learn from other ambitious and talented women in the industry, and to motivate others by being a positive influence. Christa was drawn to YWE because of its emphasis on formal and informal peer-to-peer mentorship.
Christa lives the values of YWE in both her professional life and her personal one. It’s important to her to show her two and half year-old son, Grady, that his mom is strong, independent and not afraid to take on a challenge. Supermom in the flesh – she even managed to complete her MBA program while juggling her job and a baby!
Written by: Whitney McKenzie
Senior Reclamation Advisor, Oil Sands Strategic Technology
Working in an environmental field was always the plan for Christine Daly, however when growing up on a farm in rural Ontario, the Alberta Oil Sands were not on her radar. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with Honours where her research was focused on the ecology of the Great Lakes. Her professor then encouraged to pursue a Masters degree focusing on wetland reclamation in the Alberta Oil Sands – something foreign to her at the time. Christine is now a Senior Reclamation Advisor in the Oil Sands Strategic Technology group at Suncor Energy Inc., where she happily reports that she can, “work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to some of our biggest environmental challenges facing the Oil Sands industry.”
Christine’s research during her Masters degree allowed her to work closely with Suncor and the other companies developing the Oil Sands assets at the time. It was then that Christine began to see Suncor as a leader in not just energy, but also in sustainability and stakeholder engagement. Now, nearly ten years later, Christine represents Suncor on several Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) committees, collaborating with other sustainability professionals and organizations with diverse backgrounds and interests to further the important research that she is doing.
Christine has always seen the potential to make things even better in her work, whether it is how land is reclaimed or how the energy industry must adapt in challenging economic times, and she notes “smart businesses need to evolve with the times and have to listen to their critics […] if we don’t, we’re not going to stay in business. It’s smart business, and it’s the responsible thing to do as a global citizen.”
Christine has had many people throughout her career recognize her aptitude and passion and who have encouraged her along the way. She knows first-hand the value in a developing key mentoring relationships. Christine cites having “approached a mentor for the right reasons and in a meaningful way,” for building successful relationships with mentors who have become champions for her both in her educational aspirations and career.
Christine is recognized with a 2016 YWE Award as she was commended for her “remarkable record of accomplishments as a testament to her knowledge of ecosystems, industry, and people as well as her ability to identify and communicate strategies to develop sustainable systems.”
The one thing that is abundantly clear when you talk to Christine, is that she is incredibly passionate about her work. She was nominated for this award because of her “aspirations of improving Canada’s ecological and economic status through reclamation in Canada’s Oil Sands region.” Christine credits, and gains inspiration from spending time her husband and her sons, as well as spending time in nature, and she is passionate about her work because she is working towards building a better world for all of us, “I feel really fortunate to work in this industry and to be able to make a difference.”
Written by: Berkley Downey
Elizabeth Logan, P.Eng.
Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability Services
Ernst & Young LLP
After completing her Masters of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Elizabeth Logan built an impressive resume in change management and air quality consulting. Elizabeth believes what’s led her to her success so far (in addition to her education and work ethic) is a willingness to jump into any new opportunity with two feet. When doors have opened for her, Elizabeth has walked through them and tried to make best of the prospect in front of her. That is how she came to be a Manager of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at Ernst & Young LLP (EY),after starting out as an Engineering Research intern in 2002.
Elizabeth decided to apply for the YWE award to further showcase her leadership abilities, and inspire the more junior members of her Climate Change and Sustainability team at EY. Through conversations with new staff, as well with as friends and community members, it came to her attention that many are still surprised at the effort oil and gas companies make to be sustainable and the consideration they give to climate change issues. Being recognized by YWE has allowed Elizabeth to shed light on how the energy industry incorporates sustainability as a core value and who leaders are in integrating sustainability into core business strategy. Elizabeth strongly believes that today’s professionals, especially young professionals, are increasingly recognizing the importance of environmental stewardship, and social factors in developing resilient businesses and communities to support future generations. Elizabeth saw this opportunity as one to further the conversation, especially among fellow young women in energy.
Elizabeth was recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for her passion about integrating climate change and sustainability into all service offerings within her company, as well as her passion for ensuring climate change and the role of carbon is included in all conversations. She is commended her focus on staying abreast of global issues in the area of climate change and sustainability; this enables EY to be relevant to energy clients by helping them solve challenges including regulatory hurdles and to meet strategic climate change and sustainability objectives.
A Past President of the Calgary Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), she led and developed a focused Chapter vision with strategic goals focused on culturing the strengths of the Calgary membership, and harnessed support of local industry partners. In 2009, she spent time volunteering with EWB, completing a four month fellowship in Ghana. In addition to her full-time job, Elizabeth also has over five published works and still a member of multiple professional organizations. She has also recently served on the board of Connecting Environmental Professionals helping to facilitate active environmental dialog in Calgary.
Elizabeth hopes to be recognized as being flexible in her thinking and seamlessly adaptable in new situations. She will continue to see future regulations and prospective clients as opportunities and is confident that these practiced patterns will lead to continued success and collaboration. Elizabeth is pleased with her career trajectory and is passionate about her work. “I really believe a successful energy industry is inclusive with sustainability.”
Written by: Maureen Murphy
Category Management Advisor
Jennifer Bray believes a Supply Chain professional can demonstrate they are making a difference in a technically driven industry like energy by influencing the bottom line, and Jennifer aims to change the face of energy by demonstrating the powerful impact that Supply Chain Management can have in an organization.
With two bachelors degrees and a Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) Designation she is now proudly working for Cenovus on the Supply Chain team as a Category Management Advisor. Her background at a mergers and acquisition firm and various energy companies including Apache, Total E&P Canada and Pembina Pipelines led her to her current role. At Cenovus, Jennifer has many responsibilities including developing category strategies for key sub-categories of Engineering & Construction in alignment with overall Category Management objectives. Jennifer was recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for her ability to take on more complex sourcing opportunities, successfully executing a large amount of work, and leading continuous improvement projects. Recognized as a leader, Jennifer was been a strong advocate of challenging the status quo to implement new contract models for some of the highest spend categories.
In 2009, Jennifer was expatriated to Doha, Qatar with Total E&P Canada and at the time she was one of the youngest women to be expatriated from Procurement. She transitioned into a French speaking, patriarchal society and found success through the challenging growth opportunity. She brought strategic sourcing to the Qatar office and consolidated work into master agreements that allowed Operations to conduct their work efficiently while continuing to leverage cost savings. Jennifer is extremely proud of this highlight in her career that she was able to overcome significant cultural barriers and be included into the female Qatari working community.
Jennifer leverages any opportunity to volunteer and gives back to the community. She has been volunteering with the “Indulge” community fundraiser for the Marda Loop Communities Association (MLCA) along with many other organizations. Last year this event raised $40,000 to truly make a difference in the community.
Jennifer goes above and beyond what is asked of her and constantly seeks out new ideas and solutions through collaboration, market intelligence and by engaging with the Supply Chain Management Professional community. When asked about the future of energy Jennifer says she “believes the future of energy will be with companies who can strategically manage costs while adapting and innovating efficiently”.
Written by: Maureen Murphy
Katherine Sinex. P.Eng.
Alberta Regulatory Affairs Advisor
To say that Katherine Sinex doesn’t back down from a challenge in an understatement. In fact, she’s established a track record of tackling complex problems with diverse stakeholders in collaborative and innovative ways. Her deep technical proficiency and developed leadership capacity helps her face those problems head-on. Her educational background certainly helps: she holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Masters in Psychology. She has spent several years at Chevron Canada Limited, growing from an Engineer in Training (EIT), through several Reservoir Engineering roles into her current position as an Alberta Regulatory Affairs Advisor.
Her current role puts her front and center in some of the most interesting conversations about the energy industry in Alberta, and Katherine plays a key role as the face of her company in those conversations. She puts in great effort to represent her organization well within the industry. She was recently Chevron’s lead for the highly impactful Alberta Royalty Review. She applied her communication skills to obtain alignment amongst diverse stakeholder groups, and relied on her technical depth of knowledge to positively influence the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Department of Energy, and other industry partners to gain Chevron a key seat at the table for ongoing discussions.
Giving back to her community and sharing her knowledge are actually some of the ways that helped her establish those communication and leadership skills that have served her so well. She was the youngest leader of an internal Chevron technical network of nearly 1,000 global members and sought to create a “team of young ‘consciously competent’ simulation practitioners” across Chevron’s global network of Reservoir Engineers. She also established a how-to ‘wiki’ that provided a reference library to support her peers and promote their development. To ensure that practitioners had an opportunity to share their insights with one another, she also launched a world-wide monthly meeting where people could present their work to their peers, and she would share those learnings with other technical networks. Those efforts to bring people together and elevate the collective intelligence of a team haven’t gone unnoticed by her peers. A reason that she was nominated for a 2016 YWE Award is the fact that she’s considered a role model, even without being in a formal leadership position, due to her unwavering hard work and perseverance.
Katherine holds herself to an incredibly high standards at work, while still making time for her family (including a very supportive husband, Brad, six year old son Oliver and dogs Sandy and Maggie). She also knows the value of staying connected to other like-minded professionals, through associations such as APEGA, SPE, and YWE. There’s no doubt that her hard work and tenacity will continue to positively influence those who are lucky enough to be a part of her network!
Written by: Courtney Hanley
Laura McIntyre, P.Eng.
Senior Supervisor, Production Engineering, Jackfish 3
Laura McIntyre is a born and raised Calgarian and the daughter of a Production Engineer. Given that the energy industry is in her blood, pursuing a career as an engineer herself was a natural fit. Today, Laura is a Production Supervisor, Jackfish 3 at Devon Energy.
She describes her career so far as extremely dynamic. Her roles have ranged from engineering to sales and she now finds herself in a leadership position. When speaking with her, it’s obvious that Laura has a unique combination of technical prowess, and undeniable people skills. She’s demonstrated these abilities in her professional roles, whilst making a conscious effort to develop personal characteristics that make a great leader. She has found a great fit with Devon, as they emphasize a similar value system to her own – embracing a shared mission, exhibiting integrity, being a team player and communicating openly.
Laura was recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for her “unparalleled passion for developing people, bridging organizational gaps, and striving to deliver exceptional results”. She is commended for her ability to champion, both internally and externally, opportunities to support female progression in the workplace.
Winning this award provides her the opportunity to be a role model within the industry, for her family (especially her young daughter and son), and at Devon. She sees many strong future leaders around her and wants to provide them support while they grow professionally and personally. Laura has experienced the unique challenges that come from balancing work and home life and hopes to support women going through the same transition.
Laura recently returned from maternity leave and says she’s ready to get back in the game. She hopes winning this award will help springboard this transition, help her grow her network and allow her to be more active in the YWE community. She also hopes she can grow her awareness of what is happening in the industry, spark insightful conversation, and develop strategies to bring back to her workplace. Laura sees YWE as a place where a diverse group of women can connect and develop meaningful relationships with one another, and encourage others to find their path. For Laura, that is what mentorship is all about. She encourages others to focus on what they can bring to their companies and to step out of their comfort zone by approaching a senior leadership member for a coffee, for example. But above all, she suggests that we try to “be authentic, light-hearted, and have a sense of humor.” On a whole, Laura strives to continually challenge and better herself and is humbled to be acknowledged by such an impressive group of women!
Written by: Whitney McKenzie
Business Strategy Manager
Having grown up in Calgary, Lauren Rooney has always had an interest in and been somehow connected to the energy industry. While studying Business in University with a focus on energy, she quickly got involved in as many different initiatives as possible to maximize her exposure to the industry– something that she continues to do to this day.
In University, Lauren was a founding member of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy Students’ Association (ISEEESA), now known as Fuse Collective, and shined as she led the organization as, President for her two final years. Lauren also played a key role in bringing the inaugural International Student Energy Summit to Calgary in 2009, an event that is now held every two years across the globe. She continued her passion for community building as a new graduate, joining the planning committee for the World Petroleum Council’s (WPC) Youth Forum when it was held in Calgary, after attending WPC international events in Spain, India, and Qatar as a student.
Having a wide range of interests in the energy industry, and not always knowing exactly what she wanted to do, Lauren found a home at Accenture Strategy on their Strategy Consulting Team. In this role Lauren is able to help a variety of energy clients with some of their toughest challenges, a task that is always changing and never dull. While at Accenture Lauren continues to stay engaged in a wide range of activities, including co-leading Accenture’s Women’s Employee Resource Group, a group that organizes networking and professional development events, while facilitating partnerships with external organizations like Young Women in Energy, and creates a safe space within the company to have a conversation about gender equality in the workplace. Lauren maintains close ties to Fuse Collective as a member of the Advisory Board, providing guidance to the executive team as well as acting as a mentor to one member each year. In addition, Lauren continues to have a connection to WPC, having attended the Youth Forum held in Brazil this past fall. Lauren understands that, “to get a breadth of experience and to expand your network it’s important to do more than just things within your company.”
Lauren was praised for being an “energetic innovator and industry advocate” and is recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for not only solving some of Accenture’s client’s largest industry and internal challenges, but for her passion of collaborating with greater society through her volunteer pursuits.
Throughout her career Lauren has made a point of surrounding herself with great people, and she plans on taking advantage of being an award winner to continue to do just that. She says, “it is an honour to be a part of a group of nine other women who are also doing phenomenal things.” Lauren is at the forefront of a changing industry, and YWE is honoured to have a front row seat to see what she accomplishes as she continues to grow and fuel her passion for the energy industry, as she notes, “I can’t think of a better time to change."
Written by: Berkley Downey
Senior National Account Manager
“The energy sector is cyclical and in constant motion. This is why it is important for me to rely on individuals who are capable of embracing change and deliver results in transitional environments,” says James Cairns, Vice President, Petroleum and Chemicals for CN Rail. Laurence Nguyen is one of those individuals. In her own words, Laurence comes from a “modest background”, however her parents worked hard so she could gain access to top tier education and formational experiences. Those experiences eventually brought her to CN Rail, where she was hired on as a Market Manager. She then moved her way up through National Account Manager to her current role; Sr. National Account Manager. In this role Laurence manages a multi-million-dollar portfolio of customers’ shipping petroleum and chemical related merchandise by rail and is required to provide innovative solutions to meet her customers sourcing and delivery needs.
Her impressive educational background includes a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and a Master of International Business with a double major in International Finance and International Security Studies from Tufts University in Boston. It’s hard to believe that Laurence Nguyen also found the time to learn five different languages on top of that!
Laurence has been recognized not only for her dedication and commitment to the responsibilities’ in her role, but also when it comes to charitable contribution through volunteerism. Last year, Laurence raised $5,000 as part of a charity boxing event and she really made a strong impression at this event! Margot Micallef, Founder and President of Oliver Capital Partners said she had, “rarely seen so much force of her determination to win.” This sentiment was echoed by others, and it was her dedication to intensive training and perseverance that allowed her to win in a knockout.
As young females forging our paths in the energy industry, any recognition of the hard-work and positive impact we make in our workplaces is welcome. So it is to Laurence’s credit that she has garnered the high praise of her Senior Leadership at CN, “There is no doubt that Laurence will continue to deliver outstanding performance as she brings our customers to see us as a true supply chain leader,” says her Vice President. Laurence is appreciative of the recognition from leadership and peers for the significant contributions she has already made and looks forward to the benefits of being a YWE award recipient, “The award means that there is a clear will from the energy industry to promote more women into leadership positions. Finally, it means that I will be continuously learning from the best to become a better self.”
Never one to back down from a challenge, Laurence says she strives in a transitional environment, where she can challenge the status quo. When it comes to advancing the interests of women and the energy industry it’s a challenge she has been and will continue to take on.
Written by: Lindsay Campbell
Senior Communications Specialist, Public Affairs and Communications
A passionate communications professional, Leanne says that her career found her at an early age. After a university marketing presentation in her high school gymnasium 20 years ago, she knew that a future in Public Relations spoke to her and fit with her inherent skills and abilities. After a decade working in her chosen field, she notes that she particularly enjoys the psychology behind it and understanding how different people interpret information based on their life experiences. As a self-described “extroverted introvert”, Leanne says that this has helped her hone her communication skills further as it makes her constantly reflect on why people communicate and engage with others the way they do.
For the past eight years, Leanne has felt at home working for TransCanada. She has been presented with opportunities to explore many different facets of communication, including external and internal initiatives, and is now moving into an employee engagement focused role.
When it comes to mentorship, Leanne believes that is, “where the capacity for leadership gets its early beginnings.” Leanne was recognized with a 2016 YWE Award for her ability to successfully lead, even without the title or direct reports. She was commended for this by TransCanada’s Director of Communications, who stated that “the direction Leanne gives to others is grounded in doing the right thing rather than what one is expected to do.” With regards to Leanne’s personal view on leadership, she says that the saying, “treat others as you would like to be treated” should be reworked to “treat others as they would like to be treated.” Leanne explains that a crucial part of being an effective leader is the ability to understand what makes someone unique and mentoring, coaching and rewarding them in ways that align with their character.
Being a recipient of a 2016 YWE Award, Leanne says, is, “really humbling, since I’m used to being behind the scenes and supporting events and initiatives like this one,” but Leanne looks forward to using the award to draw attention to the great work women do and the value that they bring to the table, as a result of their unique perspectives and opinions. She is also pleased that she is bringing positive recognition to TransCanada, as she feels that often the energy industry has a hard time talking about the good work that it does.
Leanne likes to surprise people in her personal and professional life. She enjoys pushing herself outside of her comfort zone and testing her limits. She enjoys motocross as a hobby, and says, “every time I’m on my bike, I do more than I thought I could. It has taught me that I am only held back by my own limits of what I think is possible.” Motocross teaches Leanne about perseverance and dedication, and gives her the confidence to know that she can overcome challenges, and she finds these skills are transferable to the workplace.
Leanne continues to push forward into the future. She is cautiously optimistic that the energy industry is headed for greener pastures, though she says that there is a lot of work to be done to change the conversation between industry and the general public. Leanne is committed to championing employees at her organization, ensuring that they are proud of their work, and teaching them how to be ambassadors, both for TransCanada and for energy in North America.
Written by: Jenna Mortis