It's no secret that 2020 was a challenging year, which is why recognizing each other’s accomplishments is so important – and a great way to kick off 2021! So, we're shining the spotlight on some employees whose selfless acts last year helped transform their communities.
Your McMurray Magazine (YMM) recently released their annual list of the Top 50 Under 50, which recognizes extraordinary people who make a positive impact in their community. While every single volunteer plays a crucial role in helping our communities, these awards aim to recognize key community builders and leaders within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). We're proud to see four of our Suncor team members recognized among YMM's Top 50 Under 50. Congratulations to Andrea Hine, Tom Gear, Mitchel Bowers and Joe McCarville!
From teaching ballet at the MacDonald Island Dance Academy to stewarding donor dollars to agencies supporting Fort McMurray’s most vulnerable, Andrea is always finding ways to support her community. When she's not volunteering, Andrea is a development lead in our Transformation Management Office.
Andrea serves on the United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo Board of Directors and is also part of its Community Investment Committee as a committee member and chair.
"Small acts of courage can have more influence than people realize," says Andrea. "If there was ever a time to have the courage to do the right thing, it was in 2020."
Mitchel Bowers/Simma Downe
Mitchel volunteers as the president of Pride YMM, is one of the board directors for Arts Council Wood Buffalo as their Métis representative, and supports RMWB's inclusion and diversity initiatives.
When Mitchel's not volunteering, they're working as the procurement coordinator in Suncor’s Strategy & Operation Services team. They're also the communications lead for Prism, which is Suncor’s LGBTQ2S+ employee inclusion network.
Mitchel's main hobby, drag, has been useful within their community involvement as well.
"As Simma (Downe), I get to participate in Story Time at the library, and I have done outreach at many of the local schools," says Mitchel. "I speak to gay-straight alliances (GSAs) about LGBTQ2S+ history and issues, and teach costume and drag makeup to aesthetic classes."
From various United Way campaigns through his workplace to coaching soccer and basketball, Tom was always looking for opportunities to help communities he’s lived in. Tom is the general manager in Suncor’s Firebag steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project.
"My favourite aspect of volunteering is just being able to help others and learn from them along the way," says Tom. "When I join these boards, I don't know everything, so it's great to get perspectives from others."
Tom is now the chair of the board for the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce. He has also been involved with the Keyano Business program as an advisor.
When Joe's not working as the senior advisor of Industrial Infrastructure in Suncor’s Transformation Management Office, he's supporting local charities and spending time with family.
When the flood in Fort McMurray happened in April, Joe volunteered with many other Suncor team members to clear flood damage from four homes and provide additional miscellaneous support within the community.
"The support Suncor provides to allow employees to volunteer is amazing," says Joe. "Through our volunteer and employee giving network, SunCares, I was able to provide additional community support with my volunteer hour rewards. It's pretty unique that Suncor provides those opportunities for us to support the community and social profits."
SunCares—supported by Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation—inspires Suncor employees to contribute to communities and support the causes that are important to them. Employees and retirees who volunteer in their communities can earn up to $2,000/year to donate to any community organization in SunCares. SunCares also allows employees to receive credit for volunteer hours, which they can donate as dollars back into the community and receive credit for acts of kindness.
On behalf of Suncor, we thank all volunteers—reflected here or not—for their unwavering support and generosity. We appreciate all the hours, passion, and energy each volunteer contributes throughout the year. Your efforts make a significant impact in your communities.