Celebrating our first-ever President’s Award winners

April 2023 — Cenovus Energy’s President’s Award Program helps acknowledge teams and individuals who truly exemplify our purpose and values and demonstrate the best of Cenovus through their everyday actions and behaviours.  

On April 21, our outgoing President & CEO Alex Pourbaix and his successor, Jon McKenzie, along with the Cenovus leadership team, celebrated the first-ever award winners. 

Winners from across the business were invited to a memorable evening to recognize teams and individuals who make a difference and celebrate their award-winning accomplishments. 

“It’s the people at this company who make it succeed, which is why programs like this matter so much to me. I’m so grateful that honouring our people in this way is one of the last things I got to do as CEO,” says Alex Pourbaix. “The 2022 award recipients have gone above and beyond in the eyes of their colleagues and we’re extremely proud of, and thankful for, their efforts.”  

The winners spanned our operations, including staff from our Atlantic and Western Canada regions, as well as our Lima and Superior refineries in the U.S. 

Protect what matters

Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Advisory Committee  

Foam Risk Assessment and PFAS Downstream Manufacturing teams  

Aaron Laszewski, Ajay Ambhorkar, Anna Laird, Blake Tullikopf, Cameron Twiss, David Warnock, Deepak Wazir, Derrick Marshall, Don Lafond, Eddie Ramirez, Gerry Oliver, Jeremy Gemuend, James Porter, Jocelan Lundquist, Mark Andrews, Matt Elkins, Matt Larsen, Matt Turner, Miles Moser, Nick Germain, Paul Way, Rob Goguen, Rob Pollichuk, Sam Murphy, Shane Myhre, Shawn Hare, Sunny Bimra, Tavis McKay, Tristram Tidd, Wes Graves

Cenovus formed an internal steering committee in response to the growing human health and environmental concerns related to PFAS. This group has assisted the Superior Refinery and other Cenovus facilities in the U.S. and Canada in taking proactive steps to minimize the risk posed by PFAS, such as transitioning away from formulations of AFFF that contain PFOS and PFOA.

The combined efforts of these teams protected what matters by minimizing the potential risk during PFAS deployment.  

Do it right

Rene Wooldridge

Rene Wooldridge accepts her award

Rene Wooldridge is someone who consistently demonstrates what it means to be your authentic self while being respectful and transparent.  

Rene exemplifies do it right by being present and guiding the way for the Atlantic Region and company to become a highly reliable organization by living and breathing our purpose and values.

Shawn Stangness

Shawn Stangness receives his award

Shawn is a consistent champion for Indigenous business inclusion. He works closely with Indigenous community businesses to ensure their success and helps Cenovus meet one of its key objectives of supporting Indigenous reconciliation. 

Under Shawn’s leadership, the Earthworks & Seismic team has been instrumental in helping Cenovus achieve its target spend with Indigenous businesses between 2019 and 2025. 


Make it better

Lesley Desjardins and Megan McVeyLesley Desjardins and Megan McVey  

Megan and Lesley moved fast to secure the tonnage of feedstock required to keep our Minnedosa Ethanol Plant in production and on track for hitting its 2022 budget.  

Their quick action contributed to substantial savings by the end of Q2.


Do it together

Conventional Well Task Force 

Conventional Well Task Force

Adam Saunders, Alan Bruggencate, Curran Miller, Jay Matheson, Mike Taylor, Nadim Kassam, Nicholas Meaney, Rydell Ohryn, Sandeep Randhawa, Simon Lee, Trevor Roberts

The task force was created to establish what our Conventional business’s manufacturing approach should look like. And their goal was to reduce capital, shorten execution cycle times and maximize value while maintaining safe operations.

Beyond the numbers and financial results, the way the team functioned and supported each other showcased all of our values. 


Greenhouse Gas Advocacy Group

Greenhouse Gas Advocacy Group

Andrew Nimmo, Devin Iversen, Inaayat Kassam, Jillian Falls, Susan Grey, Tyler Tarnoczi 

This group works across the business to increase the chances of positive policy outcomes for Cenovus and the industry.  

This group is quantifying the issue, evaluating new ways to approach it, and engaging key stakeholders to progress those solutions. 


Dennis Parsell and Eric Wireman

Dennis worked closely with our Lima Refinery’s Operations team, and Eric developed a plan with the Maintenance team to begin increasing throughput rates. Their efforts resulted in a new 30-day crude record for the Lima Refinery.

Dennis’s and Eric’s leadership and collaboration is a great example of doing it together. 

“While results are important, it’s how you get to those results ― how you show up for and treat those working next to you every day ― that matters even more,” says Alex. 

You can read more about our 2022 President’s Award winners in 2023 on cenovus.com, as we highlight each winner, overviewing their contributions and how they exemplify our values.

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