White had just taken the helm in March when COVID-19 forced numerous changes at the refinery. The risk of the virus had to be carefully mitigated for those essential employees still coming into the plant on a daily basis, and other refinery staff needed their own unique support as they transitioned to working remotely.

Despite the rapid changes, White, who has lived in Anacortes for the last five years as the refinery’s production manager, stepped into the new role with great confidence in his colleagues.

“COVID-19 really emphasized how well our people know their business, how resilient they are and how they can adapt,” said White.

More than three months into the new position, White continues to praise everyone on the team for their efforts to keep moving forward with their focus on safety and the community.

“Shell Puget Sound Refinery exemplifies great operations which at the core means demonstrating care for our people and care for the community every day,” White said. “Our people are proud of what we do here because we make products people rely on and we do so in a manner that puts personal safety, process safety and protecting the environment first.”

While it might not have been the start to his General Manager tenure White was expecting, the University of Wyoming alum has taken it in stride and worked to be like the kind of leader he admires; one who knows and cares for his team.

“Our Puget Sound Refinery team truly impresses me each day. It is a family atmosphere and it really feels tight knit. How well people know each other at our site, how well people step up to help each other here, it has stood out over these last three months,” White said.

White says while he feels the family atmosphere inside the refinery, it’s a tight-knit community feel that stretches outside of it too. Puget Sound Refinery employees combine to contribute thousands of hours of volunteer activities annually and many are active members of the community in other ways such as serving on numerous local non-profit boards. White himself is an active member of the United Way of Skagit County Board of Directors.

As the year moves forward and his second child gets ready for college, White and his wife, Tammie, are looking forward to enjoying nature in the Pacific Northwest – something they love. This summer he says the focus will be on staying a little closer to home, hiking the many trails throughout the Anacortes Community Forest Lands.

“We live in such a special community with so much to offer,” said White.

Under White’s leadership, the Puget Sound Refinery team remains focused on its vision of “proudly fueling life in the Pacific Northwest,” safely producing the products the community relies on for the summer season and beyond.

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