Puget Sound Refinery HR Manager Robin Yates presents $10,000 Community Cup Competition check to Kenny Holzemer, Executive Director of Growing Veterans.
Puget Sound Refinery HR Manager Robin Yates presents $10,000 Community Cup Competition check to Kenny Holzemer, Executive Director of Growing Veterans.

While employees at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery have given back of their time as community volunteers for decades, a new program at the refinery was created in 2016 to take community volunteerism to the next level. The new “Community Cup Competition” was launched mid-year with the goal of promoting a healthy competition between departments at the refinery, while making a visible difference in the community through volunteer activities. By the end of 2016, Shell Puget Sound Refinery employees had documented over 6,000 hours of volunteer service back into the community; the equivalent of three full-time employees working for an entire calendar year!

The competition guidelines were easy to follow. Employees filled out simple documentation to track their community volunteer service throughout the year. The more an employee volunteered, the more points were given to their department. The more points a department had, the better odds they had at winning the Community Cup drawing. At the end of 2016, a drawing occurred based on the points each department accumulated throughout the year, and in the end, the Production Department won the drawing and was awarded the 2016 Puget Sound Refinery Community Cup.

As a reward for winning the 2016 Community Cup, the Production Department was given the opportunity to select a local non-profit organization to provide a $10,000 charitable contribution to on behalf of the Puget Sound Refinery. After deliberation, the Production Department selected the Growing Veterans non-profit, an organization whose mission is to empower military veterans to grow food, communities, and each other. The Production Department, the refinery’s Military Network and employees across the Puget Sound Refinery felt a special connection to the work of Growing Veterans, and are proud to partner with them to further their mission in Skagit County.

2016 Puget Sound Refinery Volunteer of the Year Jess Brown, Safety Coordinator in the Capital Projects Department, who personally logged over 250 hours of volunteer service in the community.
2016 Puget Sound Refinery Volunteer of the Year Jess Brown, Safety Coordinator in the Capital Projects Department, who personally logged over 250 hours of volunteer service in the community.

To recognize a successful inaugural Community Cup Competition, the refinery hosted a Celebration Gala on January 17th at McIntyre Hall on the campus of Skagit Valley College. During the event, the Production Department was recognized as the winning department, as were the individual Department Volunteers of the Year from each department across the refinery, and the overall Refinery Volunteer of Year.

The 2016 Puget Sound Refinery Volunteer of the Year was Jess Brown, Safety Coordinator in the Capital Projects Department, who personally logged over 250 hours of volunteer service in the community.  Brown’s commitment to community in 2016 included volunteer service with Friendship House, A Simple Gesture – Anacortes, Skagit Project Homeless Connect, Youth Dynamics, Union Gospel Mission, AMOS Health & Hope, and Engedi Refuge. Brown has been an active community volunteer for over 25-years, giving back throughout Skagit County, and in 2016 even used his vacation days to serve others in Lynden, Portland and as far away as Nicaragua.

Brown was selected by all of his fellow PSR Department Volunteers of the Year from across the refinery, which in addition to Brown, included Jon Fischer, Michelle Stahl, Janita Aalto, Brian Johnson, Ross Wilson, Melanie Glasscock, Jim Walker, Ryan Kudlacek, Mike Arendse and Kevin Henning.

James Steller, Reliability and Refinery Excellence Manager for the Puget Sound Refinery, spearheaded much of the organizing to launch the Community Cup Competition. Steller hosted the Celebration Gala on January 17th, and following the event said, “It fuels me to see so many of my colleagues giving back of their time and talents to the community. We had a terrific first year, and I can’t wait to see how this competition will grow in 2017.”