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Shell Martinez Earns Company Award for Community Work

The Shell Martinez Refinery earned one of 12 merit awards given out by the Shell Corporation in 2010 for its efforts in social performance and community relations in the city of Martinez.
People laughing at the Martinez Run

The award recognizes individuals and teams who help Shell gain and maintain its social license to operate through exceptional work with local communities and stakeholders.

The award, announced Dec. 9, noted that the Martinez refinery has improved its relationship with Martinez residents, civic leaders and local schools through employee involvement in volunteer activities and a commitment to community needs. The award says, “Shell Martinez now enjoys a great relationship epitomized by the city of Martinez ... declaring a ‘Shell Oil Products Day’ in Martinez” in 2010.”

Alicia Izarraraz, the refinery’s manager, said the award is important because it shows “our ongoing productive relationship with the community in which we do business.

“More than just operating well or simply giving money to charity, social performance is about being a responsible corporate citizen every day, and being a truly valued member of the community,” Izarraraz said in a letter to employees. “Your efforts to minimize and eliminate impacts to our neighbors, responding to and resolving community inquiries, volunteering for Shell’s various community projects, working with agencies and community groups and incorporating community concerns in both projects and day-to-day operations has made all the difference to us.”

Steve Lesher, manager of Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, was singled out for praise for focusing community service efforts, engaging refinery volunteers in community efforts, and starting the Shell-sponsored “Run for Education” to engage the community’s young families and raise money for Martinez schools. In 2009, the event raised more than $50,000 to benefit the Martinez Education Foundation.

Lesher said that he and Cathy Ivers, the refinery’s volunteer coordinator, helped to establish community service as a business value and garnered managerial support to track community service targets on the refinery’s business scorecard.

“That’s when we went from having a good program to a great one,” Lesher said.

In 2010, more than 40 percent of the employee and contractor workforce participated in one or more of 50 site-sponsored projects.

“We have employees who read to students at the local elementary school every week, employees who’ve refurbished historic buildings downtown, and employees who have wired local schools for computers and mentored developmentally disabled children,” Lesher said.