Employee Stories

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We're a team of forward-thinking employees working hard to create our career paths. We believe in safety, teamwork and getting the job done right. See why good energy starts here.

Through the Spectra Energy Website

Meet a Few of Our Employees

Scroll through their stories below.

  • Colin's Close-up
    Colin
    Plant Operator
    Based: Dawn Hub Storage Facility
    Years with company: 9

    When Colin drives into work at the Dawn Hub storage facility and begins his shift, "I get to operate some of the most powerful and cool machines you can imagine, including a 44,000 horsepower Rolls Royce jet engine. The Rolls Royce is one of eight jet engines that power compressors at Dawn to either inject natural gas into the storage wells or pump it out to customers across Ontario and beyond," he said. "It can get pretty intense when all of the jet engines are running in the winter during the peak period of demand," added Colin, who is a plant operator at Dawn, which is one of North America's largest most liquid natural gas trading hubs. As a plant operator, Colin "looks after the operation of the jet engines and takes care of the myriad of valves in the plant. You kind of look after the whole place. It’s a fulfilling job with great pay."

    What advice would you give to someone starting a career at Union Gas?
    Never be afraid to ask questions.

  • Amanda's Close-up
    Amanda

    Assistant Support Manager
    Based: London, ON
    Years with company: 7

    First impressions matter. As a student, Amanda went looking for a co-op work partner and spoke with representatives at a manufacturing company and with a representative at Union Gas. The job at Union Gas was not in her field, but the interviewer won her over. "He was so easy to talk with. He was pleasant and enjoyed what he was doing." The more she thought about it, what looked like a tough choice became easy. “I chatted with my dad about it and he told me, 'To take a gamble on Union Gas.'" She did, and has been with the company for seven years in various roles. Amanda has seen the company's caring nature up close. “What separates Union Gas from other employers is career support and community involvement. I was encouraged to get my professional engineer license (P.Eng.), which I did. I've also volunteered since I was a child, and love that I can give back to communities."

    What is your work philosophy?
    You are only confined by the walls you build yourself.

  • Carl's Close-up
    Carl
    Labour Relations Consultant
    Based: Waterloo, ON
    Years with company: 2

    The safety culture at Union Gas is a strong and vibrant one, said Carl, who is a labour relations consultant based in Waterloo. "Personal safety is a priority at the company, and it is engrained in you the moment you walk through the door," Carl said. “We want everyone to return home safely at the end of the day. There really is no greater goal." He enjoys the challenges of a job that allows him to operate at multiple company offices. No matter what office he is in, one conversation that is consistent, Carl said, is the one about safety. "Regardless of where you go, we talk about safety first." The company culture also embraces openness. "Co-workers are always talking to each other, which is great for learning and understanding," he said. The culture of openness extends to include opportunity as well. "If I want to go for a ride-along to experience someone else’s job or serve on a committee, managers don’t hesitate to say yes."

    What advice would you give to someone starting a career at Union Gas?
    Opportunity comes in different ways, so be flexible!

  • Chuka's Close-up
    Chuka
    Station Design EIT
    Based: Bright, ON
    Years with company: 5

    "From the moment I arrived I felt like I’ve belonged here," said Chuka. He received his engineering degree from the University of Nigeria and joined the company five years ago, becoming a valuable member of the engineering team at the Bright compressor station. Chuka is working within the Engineering in Training (EIT) program with the goal of getting his professional engineering licence. "EIT is crucial and allows me to get experience fairly easily. People are supportive and experienced and are always willing to share knowledge about Bright, which is a critical and complex piece of infrastructure at Union Gas." he said. "There is never a dull or boring moment in this job. I have to add that Union Gas has had a huge influence on my family," said Chuka, whose eldest son was recently one of 10 children of company employees selected to receive up to $5,000 per year in Spectra Energy scholarship funds toward undergraduate study.

    What are two things that you could not live without at work?
    The people and the opportunities for personal development.

  • Jim's Close-up
    Jim
    Vice President of Business Development, Storage and Transmission
    Based: Chatham, ON
    Years with company: 27

    Jim's career path is proof that change is transformative. During his 27 years in the natural gas business, the vice president of business development, storage and transmission at Union Gas moved from the engineering side of the company to project management, and is now a senior leader on the commercial side. "Everything I learned along the way is being used as I take on new challenges," said Jim, an engineer by training who is based in Chatham. A catalyst for Jim was time spent earlier in his career working in the Maritimes. He lived in Halifax and was a project and construction manager overseeing the building of natural gas pipelines. "I was able to hone all of the skills I developed early in my career. I was able to learn from some outstanding people. Halifax was a great experience, personally and professionally," said Jim. Today, part of his duty as vice president is accountability for the continued success of the Dawn Hub, a natural gas storage and trading hub. "That's a long road from installing pipelines in the Maritimes, but I enjoy the challenge," said Jim.

    What are two things that you could not live without at work?
    Tea and humour.

  • Jenn's Close-up
    Jenn
    Manager, Internal and Executive Communications
    Based: Chatham, ON
    Years with company: 3 years (6 months with Union Gas)

    Jenn has always liked to keep people informed. "Connecting and engaging employees with what's going on at the company is essential," said Jenn, who is manager of internal and executive communications. "Everybody wants to be part of something, so sharing the company's goals and values and helping people understand the company's vision ensures we are all driving in the same direction," said Jenn, who came to Union Gas after spending time in a communications advisory role with Spectra Energy in Calgary. What struck her about Union Gas almost immediately “was the sense of community in my department and across the company." Jenn has been impressed by employees' United Way participation, which is "through the roof," and by the fact we've been named a Top 100 Employer six years in a row. In fact, she used the details shared through the Top 100 competition to learn more about Union Gas. "What I love is that Union Gas doesn't always do the tried and true, but takes risks," she said.

    What is you work motto/philosophy?
    To work smart, hard, and be kind. And to always show up with a smile.

  • Carlie's Close-up
    Carlie

    Operations and Maintenance Engineer in Training (EIT)
    Based: Dawn, ON
    Years with company: 3 1/2

    Carlie seizes an opportunity when it's presented. So it's no surprise that she is taking the opportunity to obtain her professional engineer license (P.Eng.), an experience that is greatly supported at Union Gas with valuable support and guidance throughout the arduous process. "The opportunities are endless at Union Gas, so I want to ensure I'm taking all of the right steps on my way to getting my engineer’s license," said Carlie. "I like to be involved in other things too, beyond obtaining my P.Eng., and Union Gas supports that." She participates in Toastmasters and is a member of the Leadership Development Network (LDN) at Union Gas. Taking part in the LDN allows her to work with a mentor who has been at Union Gas for 25 years. "Having a mentor is invaluable," she said. Carlie is also a board member of the London Science Fair, and she recently attended the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix with Team Canada. Union Gas gave her time to attend the fair. "The company gave me such a great opportunity," said Carlie.

    How do you like to spend your Flex Fridays?
    Sleeping in, getting exercise and poking fun at my partner for not getting Flex Fridays.

  • Ken's Close-up
    Ken
    Senior Application Developer
    Based: Chatham, ON
    Years with company: 31

    Ken and his three-year-old guide dog Daryl, a black German shepherd, attend meetings at Union Gas together. "Daryl often sleeps under meeting room tables, and co-workers sometimes don’t know he's there until the end of the meeting when he gets up from his resting spot," he said. Ken, a senior application developer, lost his sight when he was 18 (caused by hydrocephalus) and uses a voice synthesizer screen reader called JAWS while at work. He has worked with Union Gas for 31 years and appreciates the way his co-workers interact with Daryl. "They find it calming to have a dog in the office. When he's off harness, he's just a dog and not considered to be working. He sometimes wonders over to them for a visit. Clearly, co-workers and the company are very accepting of me having a guide dog. That's very reassuring on a professional and personal level," Ken said.

    How do you like to spend your Flex Fridays?
    Flex Fridays are spent at the cottage.

  • Kirby's Close-up
    Kirby

    Utility Services Manager
    Based: Windsor, ON
    Years with company: 2

    "We always work hard to keep our teams and our communities safe," said Kirby. The utility services manager heads a team based in Windsor that installs gas meters and conducts maintenance work, but another integral part of the job "is responding to emergencies where the Union Gas crews work to protect property and people, alongside police and fire officials. It’s the kind of job that you never know what you are going to get from one day to the next. That’s one of the appeals of this job." Kirby said the ability to think on your feet is essential to the position. "But you should always take the time to think about safety, and keep risk tolerance in your mind at all times," she added. Kirby, who has been with the company for just under two years, studied chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo and interned during her undergrad for 16 months with Union Gas before accepting a full-time position.

    What is your work philosophy?
    If an opportunity makes you a little uncomfortable, it’s probably worth pursuing.

  • Matthew's Close-up
    Matthew

    Income Tax Specialist
    Based: Chatham, ON
    Years with company: 4

    Matthew, an income tax specialist based in Chatham, has felt wholly supported by Union Gas throughout his career quest to obtain his chartered accountant (CA) designation. "Having that CA designation is critical. Along the way I have been supported by mentors who you can chat with anytime, about anything. Every step of the way, the company has somebody there for you to lean on. They know what you are going through, because they've been through it, and they let you know how they felt when they were doing it," said Matthew. It's a supportive work culture but also a learning one, he added. The Chartered Accountant Training Office (CATO) program that Matthew was enrolled in is supported by the highest levels of the executive at the company. "We even met with Union Gas President Steve Baker, which was great. It shows that CATO is supported all the way to the top," added Matthew, who now holds a CA designation.

    How do you like to spend your Flex Fridays?
    Catch up on some things around the house/yard; go for an outing with my family and then play some guitar!

  • Lija's Close-up
    Lija

    Capacity Planning Engineer
    Based: Chatham, ON
    Years with company: 6

    When Lija was a kid she wanted to build things. "I've watched my designs become reality at Union Gas, and it's been an exciting time given all of the growth we've had over the past few years," said Lija, an engineer who recently moved from design to operational planning. "The key to the company's success is everyone working as a team, something I am experiencing in Chatham at the company's head office. There's a lot of camaraderie in the office,” she said, adding there is much support among engineers. "The company provides numerous training opportunities to engineers, and make us feel at home in a learning atmosphere," Lija said. Union Gas has more than a dozen offices spread across the province. Each offers employees a sense of belonging. The capacity planning engineer has found similarities between Chatham and Halifax (her hometown), ones that are appealing to her. "Just like in Halifax, the people in Chatham are very friendly."

    What are two things that you could not live without at work?
    Loose leaf tea and my calculator.

  • Sam's Close-up
    Sam

    Financial Analyst
    Based: Chatham, ON
    Years with company: 1

    Sam grew up on a farm outside of Chatham, about a 15-20 minute drive from the Union Gas head office. He's always known about Union Gas, and been aware that it has a stellar reputation in the community. It's one of the biggest employers in Chatham, and his family knows people who work there. Sam graduated from Brock University, obtaining his Bachelor of Accounting, and then completing his co-op studies at Union Gas. After graduation, he was hired full-time as a financial analyst with the company. "It was awesome. I was excited to work for a top grade company," said Sam. "The natural gas business is really, really interesting." Sam is working hard to get his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. He feels fully supported in his quest, and has plenty of praise for the company's CPA program. "Things are moving along very nicely thanks to the program and thanks to my mentor," Sam said.

    What advice would you give to someone starting a career at Union Gas?
    Always make sure you’re having fun.

Union Gas is a Spectra Energy Company.