International Women’s Day
March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day that globally celebrates the accomplishments of women everywhere. Together, we can create a world of gender equality by taking action to drive gender parity and embrace equity.
At Al-Pac, we strive to create an environment of inclusivity, equity, and respect for our team members. This International Women’s Day, we are proud to recognize the contributions of the many women who are part of our team. We spoke with a few of our many talented team members to discuss what they enjoy about their work and advice for women pursuing a career in our sector.
JAMIE PERCY – BUSINESS UNIT LEADER, TECHNICAL
Jamie Percy is a Business Unit Leader with Al-Pac’s Technical Team. Al-Pac’s Technical Business Unit is responsible for customer service, quality testing, process controls & design and environmental compliance.
Before joining the Technical team at Al-Pac, Jamie participated in three Cooperative Education Experience (Co-Op) work terms during the course of obtaining her Chemical Engineering degree. From this experience, she says she found that pulp production varied greatly in processes when compared to other industries. “I worked as a process specialist/engineer, learning the pulp and methanol production processes for 6 years before becoming the Technical Business Unit Leader (BUL) at Al-Pac. As the BUL, there was a steep learning curve for myself on some Technical team aspects, especially environment because regulations are constantly changing.” said Jamie.
When asked what aspects of her role she is most passionate about, Jamie commented on the dynamic nature of working in a pulp mill. “Process improvement and minimizing environmental impact. I enjoy the variety that the day-to-day tasks at the pulp mill bring.” replied Jamie.
We asked Jamie, what advice would she give to someone looking to enter a career in the forestry/manufacturing sector? She said “Try it out! It is a great time to get involved in a renewable resource-based industry. There are always Co-Op or summer student positions available, which serve as a great opportunity to see if you would enjoy the sector.
CORALEE BRAUN – SAFETY COORDINATOR
Safety is Al-Pac’s priority and integral to the way we work. Coralee Braun is a Safety Coordinator, a key role in ensuring the safety of team members, contractors and visitors to our pulp mill.
Before joining the Health, Safety & Security team at Al-Pac, Coralee had a career in early intervention social services, a role that helped her build communication and interpersonal skills relating to her role at Al-Pac. Her interest in Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) started when she served as volunteer firefighter in her hometown of Cold Lake. It was her experience in Emergency Services, that prepared her for her first role at Al-Pac as a Health & Safety Shift Technician, before advancing to Safety Coordinator working with Al-Pac’s pulp operations teams.
Coralee described a typical career path to Occupational Health & Safety as dynamic and perfect for someone with an eagerness to learn new things. “There are many ways a person can enter the field of Occupational Health and Safety. For me, the progression went from Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Primary Care Paramedic, to obtaining my OH&S Certificate, and Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) and Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designations. The learning has never stopped, as there are always new things to learn, and new skills to sharpen while working in this career path.” replied Coralee.
When asked what aspect of her career that she is most passionate about, Coralee highlighted the variety of experience she has obtained working in Emergency Services, Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Safety. “This career is never boring and constantly offers up new challenges to undertake. I like that at the end of the day, I can show people that safety doesn’t have to be punitive. We can all work together to find solutions and make sure that everyone goes home safely to their families at the end of their workday.” said Coralee.
KIERA STEWART-SHEPHERD – INDIGENOUS RELATIONS ADVISOR
Kiera Stewart-Shepherd is an Indigenous Relations Advisor at Al-Pac. In collaboration with Indigenous communities, Al-Pac’s Indigenous Relations team works to build meaningful and long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities with a focus on consultation, engagement, and support for education, employment and economic opportunities.
Before joining the Indigenous Relations team at Al-Pac, Kiera started her career as an Operational Harvest Planner, which helped her to further her knowledge to find the balance in forest management operations that maximize environmental, cultural and social values in the forestry sector. “My background as an Indigenous person and my personal experience in working with Indigenous communities steered me towards the path of pursuing a career in Indigenous Relations. I quickly grew a passion for fostering positive and progressive relationships with Indigenous communities with an interest in our forest management activities.” said Kiera.
Kiera noted that listening and learning from Indigenous peoples and communities about the values in the forest that are important to them is the aspect of her role that she is most passionate about. When asked what advice she would give to someone interested in pursuing a career in the forestry sector, she replied “Be open to opportunities! Learn and listen from your colleagues, classmates and other people. It will take you a long way.”