EDMONTON, AB – The Alberta Chamber of Resources (ACR) has announced its 2018 Resource Leadership and Indigenous Resource Leadership award recipients, to be presented at the annual awards banquet in February 2019.
Since 1977, ACR has recognized an individual, organization or project that demonstrates commitment to the organization’s mission of providing leadership for the strategic and responsible development of Alberta’s natural resources. The recipients of the 2018 awards are Jessica Vandenberghe and Steve Williams.
ACR’s Indigenous Leadership Award is presented to Jessica Vandenberghe, Indigenous Community Consultant and Project Engineer at Urban Systems Ltd., in recognition of the extensive efforts she has undertaken outside of her formal work to promote a better understanding of education with Indigenous peoples; particularly Indigenous youth.
Vandenberghe says she has been fortunate in her life to have been adopted into a very inclusive, hardworking family that taught her how to be independent and to have a love of learning that values community and relationships. This ultimately allowed her to become the well-respected and known Professional Engineer she is today.
Raised as a farm girl in northern Alberta, Vandenberghe, obtained two engineering degrees from the University of Alberta – a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering Co-op with Computer Process Control specialization and a Master’s degree in Chemical and Mining Engineering.
Working for just under 10 years in the oil sands industry as a Senior Research Engineer, she holds several patents in bitumen extraction having worked on many pilot plants. Vendenberghe decided to pursue her passion for youth outreach and gender diversity by taking a position with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) in 2012 as the Director of Outreach and Product Services, later moving to the regulatory position of Director of Enforcement and Permits.
Vandenberghe worked with the provincial government, other regulators, and nationally on many projects including the Managing Transitions document, the EnGenious.ca video game, the Legislative Review Project, and improved the Permit to Practice process, disciplinary process, and the compliance case work for title and license protection. She has since decided to follow her passion for growing strong, vibrant communities and now works as an Indigenous Community Consultant and Project Engineer for Urban Systems Ltd., a civil engineering consulting company.
Her leadership helps any community, but primarily Indigenous communities, work through the governance, policy, legality, communication, and planning to help bring the community vision to fruition. She is a single mom of two children and strongly believes in diversity and inclusion, continual learning and works to be a positive role model and influence for the Engineering Profession.
“My proudest accomplishment has been working to influence more inclusive workplaces to help change policy and give me a chance to influence change,” says Vandenberghe, “I am truly honoured to be receiving this award from the ACR; it tells me someone is listening and that itself, means the world to me.”
The ACR Leadership Award is presented to Steve Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Suncor Energy, in recognition of his extensive career in building Canada’s energy sector. As a strong advocate for sustainable development in the energy industry, Williams is being recognized for his numerous contributions including serving as a founding member of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), a member of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy and as a member of the advisory board of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.
Williams has received the Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy from Canada’s Public Policy Forum and has previously been named Canadian CEO of the year by the Globe & Mail, Report on Business magazine. He has recently been selected to receive the 2019 Canadian Business Leader Award by the University of Alberta School of Business.
“It’s an honour to be recognized through this award,” said Williams. “Alberta is home to world-class resources that have the potential to deliver unparalleled economic prosperity to Albertans and Canadians. Our industry is keenly aware that development of these valuable natural resources has to address important environmental and social considerations. This award is about leadership when it comes to ensuring a sustainable approach to resource development. I’d like to extend my appreciation to all those who have shared that focus with me and with Suncor over the years – it’s a testament to collaboration and the good things that happen when we work together.”
Both awards will be presented at ACR’s Annual Awards Banquet being held on the evening of February 1st, 2019 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton.
The Alberta Chamber of Resources is a member-driven organization involved in resource development in Alberta. Members include mining, energy and forestry sector companies – those that create resource based products, and those who provide the diverse infrastructure, products and services essential to resource development. The organization has been pivotal in helping advance responsible development of Alberta’s natural resource base since its inception in 1936.