Acden November Newsletter Issue 9

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November 2016 -


CONNECTION Table of Contents 1 Letter from Natalie Castro-Gentili 2 Acden in the Community 3 Better Earth Program 4 HSEQ Winter Preparedness 6 Anniversaries 6 Congratulations 8 Employee Profile 10 Getting a Grip on Winter Driving Hello everyone! 12 Acden HR For those of you I haven’t had the pleasure to meet, my name is Natalie and 15 Nat’s Recipe I am a senior human resources advisor at Acden. Originally from Winnipeg (or Winterpeg as some may call it), I moved to Fort McMurray in July 2014 to further 15 Careers my career at Acden. 16 The Comic Strip

A letter from Natalie Castro-Gentili, Acden HR

Like many of you, my working experience began in the restaurant industry. Through a series of promotions I became part of the leadership team where I was responsible for managing a number of employees. When an exciting opportunity arose in a retail corporation, I took those transferable skills and dove into the Human Resources field.

Throughout my career I’ve held many positions from assistant manager, personnel officer, human resources manager, disability claims management specialist and human resources consultant. I have been fortunate enough to work in operation driven industries which allowed the transition at Acden to be a smooth process. Although each of those positions were very different, each job presented the opportunity to discover what my strengths and weaknesses were and helped me narrow down what aspects of the role I liked whether it be operations, sales, training, logistics, customer service or employee relations. In my role at Acden I do my best to help our employees make these same discoveries about themselves and their work. During my interview process to work at Acden, one of the corporate traits I noticed was the family feel I felt during the interview and in conversations. Today, I am happy to say that I still feel that way and I encourage not only my department but the rest of our leadership to carry that culture into recruitment and when handling employee relations. The notion of a work family has never been more apparent to me than during the wildfire. Employees across the corporation pulled together to help each other and Acden leadership did everything in their power to assist staff throughout the evacuation period. I thank you all for your leadership, kindness and patience during that time. The Acden Human Resources Department exists to support you during your employment whether it’s to assist in advancing your goals, solve a problem with a co-worker or to offer assistance during a challenging personal time. To learn more about the Acden Human Resources Department or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me anytime at the contact information below.

Natalie Castro-Gentili Senior Human Resources Advisor 780.762.5525

Issue #9


Acden in the Community Sustainival - Acden has been a proud supporter of the

Sustainival Carnival since 2013. During the event this summer, Acden Environment provided waste and recycling bins and removal while Acden Bee-Clean made sure the grounds were clean for all to enjoy. A big thank you to both companies along with Acden staff who volunteered their time to help with set-up and ticket sales- great job everyone!

CBCF CIBC Run for the Cure - We are proud to announce

that Team Acden took home the Corporate Spirit Award again this year for the third year in a row! As in years past, the award would not have been possible without the generous support from Acden staff during the multiple fundraising events we squeezed in after the fire. For such a late start this was an extra impressive feat and we thank you all again for your support! GO TEAM ACDEN! *Special thanks to Cheryl Jesso, captain of Team Acden, who puts in a tremendous effort year after year to support this important cause.

RWMB Stuff-A-Bus campaign - A HUGE thank you to

everyone who donated food for the first annual RMWB StuffA-Bus campaign in support of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association. Thanks to your incredible generosity, Acden was able to contribute 26 full bags of food to help stuff the bus!


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program Fall clean-up


Thank you to all staff who volunteered for the fall cleanup of the Taiganova EcoIndustrial Park. Thanks to your efforts we were able to remove a truckload of waste from the side of the roads!

A reminder that if you wish to carpool to work, the carpooling signup sheet is in the boot room.

New initiatives! Idling reduction zone in the parking lot This winter, the parking lot at Acden Corporate Headquarters will be an idling reduction zone. According to the Government of Canada, if Canadian motorists avoided idling for just three minutes every day of the year, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 1.4 million tonnes annually. This would be equal to saving 630 million litres of fuel and equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off of the road for the entire year. Please consider these statistics and the environment when idling your vehicle this winter!

Zero waste events In collaboration with the Health and Wellness committee, all Acden events are now ‘zero waste’ events. This means that all event supplies are recyclable and that we no longer supply items like paper plates and plastic cups during meals.


Acden HSEQ –

Winter Preparedness – how prepared are you? If you live or work in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, you’re very familiar with snow and cold temperatures. Even with the unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of snow on the ground (at the time of writing), our winter season is upon us.

Remind your children not to play on snow banks created by shoveling or plows as they can collapse and children can become trapped.

Traction aids aren’t just for the workplace – invest in traction aids or a quality pair of winter boots for you and your family members. Slips can happen anywhere. Watch for drain spouts, sump hoses and vehicle exhaust for areas that can accumulate ice and create slippery patches.

Here are some tips to ensure you and your family stay safe during the winter season:

Home •


Plan for winter’s arrival. Snow provides a dangerous cover for many common tripping hazards. Ensure walkways and yards are raked and clear of any obstructions or debris. Holes should also be filled in before they become a hidden danger.

Have snow brushes, shovels, ice melt and winter or all season windshield wash ready for use.

Be the neighbour who puts their Christmas lights up early. It’s a lot safer when there’s no snow and ice to slip on, plus an added bonus – you’ll work more efficiently in the warmer temperatures.

Keep extension cords neatly coiled and ensure they are not laying over stairs or walkways.

Before you head out to shovel a fresh snowfall, make sure you’re hydrated and stretch your muscles inside where it’s warm. Take frequent breaks and know your limits.

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Auto •

Check to make sure you have all the components to change a tire if needed. Or, ensure your membership with a service provider like AMA is up to date. Remember to keep booster cables, battery packs or an electric air pump for your tire in your vehicle.

As we all learned during the evacuation, never let your gas tank run low on fuel, you never know how long you may have to idle for during an emergency.

Invest in a quality roadside emergency kit and always pack enough water and food for road trips in case of emergencies or delays.

Recreation Winter gives us opportunities for all kinds of fun! Skiing, skating, snowmobiling and tobogganing are all family favourites. Set ground rules with your children and discuss the safety hazards of the activity prior to departing for your outing. Make sure helmets and protective gear still fit prior to heading out and remember to dress appropriately for the weather! Field Level Risk Assessments aren’t just for the work place. When you arrive at your destination, perform a quick survey of the area and make a safety plan with your family or friends; •

Is this hill safe for tobogganing today? Are there exposed or potentially hidden rocks?

Is the ice thick enough for ice fishing?

Have we packed enough food and water?

Are we dressed warmly enough for the temperature?

What happens if we run out of gas or our snowmobile breaks down? Who can come rescue us?

Before I go skiing for the first time, have I stretched my muscles enough?

Do my children understand the rules of the skating rink? Do we have a plan to meet in case something goes wrong?

Remember the steps of a quality Field Level Risk Assessment: Stop and Think and ask yourself these questions: •

What is it we’re going to do?

What can be dangerous about this activity?

What can I do to make it safer?

Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN! Remember to reinforce safe habits in your family, and encourage safe behaviour with your children to teach them to be safety minded individuals. Besides protecting themselves, it will instill confidence in their abilities to handle unexpected situations. BE SAFE, HAVE FUN AND HAVE A PLAN! Acden HSEQ Department


Happy Anniversary!


Acden would like to recognize the following employees who are celebrating anniversaries with Acden. Thank you for everything you do, we appreciate your hard work and dedication!

August Anniversaries

September Anniversaries

Employee Company Years of Service Amer, Sayf Dawud Acden Environment 7 Basuta, Jaskiran Acden Environment 3 Epp, Victor Acden Environment 3 Hagen, Brian Hans Acden Environment 4 Lambe, Darrell John Acden Environment 4 Parks, Ross James Acden Environment 2 Pord, Christopher Karl Acden Environment 3 Sanderson, Timothy Harry Acden Environment 3 Stonehouse, Terry Neil Acden Environment 3 Schofield, Christine Patricia Acden Environment 2 Tucker, Blaine Clifford Acden Environment 5 Hagarty, Martin James Acden Facilties 2 Nitsch, John Francis Acden Facilties 5 Russell, Graeme Jared Acden Facilties 2 MacDonald, Andrew Wayne Acden Fleet 3 Wright, Evan Richard Acden Fleet 7 Butler, Erin Marie Acden Holdings LP 1

Employee Company Years of Service Andrews, Lorne Kevin Acden Environment 1 Berry, Elton Dale Acden Environment 3 Critch, Calvin Raymond Acden Environment 3 Decendario, Nestor Caldo Acden Environment 7 Forget, Michel Acden Environment 8 Grunau, Jarrett Lee Acden Environment 3 Hayward, Newman George Acden Environment 3 Holinaty, Rhys D Acden Environment 3 Lenihan, Blake Morton Acden Environment 1 MacAulay, Mitchell A Acden Environment 6 Sheppard, Alan Joseph Acden Environment 1 Sichewski, Rudy John Acden Environment 3 Tole, Gary James Acden Environment 2 Dmytriw, Mathew Ivan Acden Facilities 2 Draper, Garrett Colby Acden Facilities 2 Howie, William James Acden Facilities 2 Martin, Tony Darryl Acden Facilities 2 Minsky, Duelle JR Acden Facilities 2 Short, Kaelan Lief Acden Facilities 1 Gauvin, Terry Lee Acden Fleet 4 Hamelin, Sally Mary Acden Holdings 2 Keller, Hope Marie Acden Holdings 7 Macel, Amanda Acden Manufacturing 6 David, Laura Cristina Acden Tech Sonic 4 Kasule, Deogratias Acden Tech Sonic 2

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October Anniversaries

November Anniversaries

Employee Company Years of Service Barclay, William Learmonth Acden Environment 5 Shoemaker, Melvin Frederick Acden Environment 2 Kopecky, Kimeth Anthony Johnathan Acden Environment 2 Larmand, Monty Lewis Acden Environment 2 Madore, Leonard J Acden Environment 3 Nolan, Derek Lyle Acden Environment 2 Osman, Fuseini Acden Environment 8 Wright, Patrick Rae Acden Environment 4 Zwick, James Vernon Acden Environment 4 Burt, Requel Nadine Acden Facilities 2 Goebel, Ryan Darrell Acden Facilities 1 Kassar Baccache, Antonio Acden Facilities 2 Kimmaliardjuk, Stephen Eli George Acden Facilities 2 Naismith, Sarah Acden Facilities 2 Overbeck, Robert Coupar Acden Facilities 2 Patterson, Lisa Marie Acden Facilities 2 Smith, Stephen Wayne Acden Facilities 1 Drew, Calvin Acden Fleet 5 Jesso, Cheryl Joan Acden Holdings 14 Mercredi, Mitchell Junior Acden Holdings 2 Donahue, Patrick Gerald Acden Tech Sonic 5 Lazaro, Ryan Adlawan Acden Tech Sonic 2 Seaward, Michael Todd Acden Tech Sonic 5

Employee Company Years of Service Anderson, Clifford Myles Acden Environment 3 Campbell, Randall Albert Acden Environment 2 Hylton, Halzen Hugh Acden Environment 4 Laviolette, Peggy Bernice Acden Environment 5 Tran, Quan Cam Acden Environment 1 Aguirre, Megan Anthony Acden Facilities 2 Daigneault, Michael Kenneth Acden Facilities 2 McDonald, Matthew Trisha Acden Facilities 1 Honish, Timothy John Acden Facilities 1 Neal, Adonis George Acden Facilities 1 Asmare, Daneale Berelie Acden Fleet 5 Dubrule, Mark Anthony Acden Fleet 3 Evans, David Paul Acden Fleet 6 Fogal, Ronald William Acden Fleet 9 Manns, Cory M Acden Fleet 4 McCoy, Doug H Acden Group 9 Bruce, Hailey Acden Holdings 8 Phillips, William L Acden Holdings 5 Rogers, Claire Acden Holdings 4 Courtoreille, Justine Acden Manufacturing 1 McDonald, Vanessa Acden Manufacturing 2 McConnell, Dustin Anthony Acden Tech Sonic 1


Congratulations We’d like to recognize the following employees for their outstanding efforts and safe work practices: Morgan MacKenzie has been Incident Free since 2013. He is a team player who always helps his fellow colleagues and demonstrates excellence in his work on a day to day basis. He’s also an all-around positive influence in the shop and we appreciate his positivity day in and day out.

I would like to recognize Mr. Quan Tran for being an outstanding employee of the Acden Environment team at Shell Albian Sands. Mr. Tran has only been with Acden as a labourer for a short time but has already made a positive impact on the team by sharing his wealth of knowledge and ethics. He constantly produces results in a safe and consistent manner. He will work on any task in any weather and complete it in a safe and timely manner. Quan is always available to help out on his days off if needed and is always ready for any new task or training. He continually strives to be the best he can be. It is a pleasure to work with Quan, his smile and happy attitude provide the team with inspiration. I wish him many years of luck and service with Acden Environment. William Barclay, operations supervisor, Acden Environment

Stan Craig has been Incident Free since 2013. He leads by example and is always available when his colleagues need a hand. He is a true professional at work and we appreciate his great work ethic around the shop! Submitted by Ron Fogal, Acden Fleet

Congratulations to Acden Lemax who was presented an award for 8 years of Loss Prevention Excellence at Syncrude. Great job, thank you for working safely!


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Employee Profile Cheryl Jesso Tell us a little about you! Once upon a time, a loooonng time ago a little girl was born in London, Ontario. Surprise! That little girl was me. After my parents separated in 1978, I moved to Codroy, Newfoundland, with my mom and younger brother. My parents were both from Newfoundland and we moved there to be closer to my mom’s family. I am the oldest of three kids. I graduated from high school in 1985 and later completed an Administrative course. After first visiting Fort McMurray in 1999 and again in April 2002, I officially decided to make the trek west and moved here in October 2002. I held many different jobs after finishing high school. I was a bartender, a fish plant worker and a taxi dispatcher. It was as a dispatcher that I met my now partner, Brian Bennett. Brian had been a taxi driver and moved to Fort McMurray the year before I did. We’ve been together for 14 years but still no wedding proposal! Brian’s two daughters Kristal and Tara and Kristal’s friend Janine (who we call our adopted daughter) moved in with us in 2007. We have since been blessed with six grandchildren and they all own a piece of my heart. When I have some downtime, my hobbies include knitting, cross stitch and baking, none of which I get much time to do anymore because life is busy!

When did you start with Acden and what roles have you held since you joined the company? On October 23, 2002 I started working for Denesoline Environment as a nightshift janitor at Syncrude. This was before the company Denesoline Janitorial (now Acden BeeClean) existed. I was soon transferred to dayshift and later to the Team 31. Early in 2005 I interviewed for the position I have now as Payroll Administrator (editor’s note: her unofficial title is Jack of All Trades). At that time we had offices in the Biggs Avenue building (now The Ace Inn) and the entire Accounting Department was made up of three staff members. We moved into the Hardin Street Building a few months later and the business has been growing ever since!

Congratulations to Cherylth who is celebrating her 14 anniversary with Acden!

You are very involved in the health and wellness aspect of employee engagement, what motivates you to participate? At 35 I still had that feeling of invincibility and that I was going to live forever. That changed when I lost my mom to breast cancer in 2002, when she was 55. I realized that not only is your own health important but also the health and wellness of those around you. It wasn’t until 2008 that I started my journey to be a healthier me and am now a Zumba-holic. Zumba is a Latin dance/music inspired cardio work-out which combined with healthy eating helped me lose over 80 pounds. As a child and young adult I was very shy. I have come out of that shell and now love to be involved with group activities, learn from others and share what I have learned.

What do you enjoy about working for Acden? I like that there is room for advancement within Acden. I started as a janitor and now after furthering my education and gaining years of experience I am responsible for paying more than 200 employees. I have the opportunity to work with great people (I have the best bosses) and I have learned so much. Working in accounting can be frustrating and hectic but working for Acden and living in Fort McMurray has given me opportunities I may never have had and for that I am very grateful.


Getting a Grip

on Winter Driving

Not All Tires Are Created Equal! Tires have evolved over the years. Initially, there were summer tires and snow tires. Several decades ago, the all-season tire was introduced into the marketplace which provided motorists with better winter driving performance than a summer tire and the opportunity to avoid the cost and inconvenience of the semi-annual winter tire changeover. Some Alberta motorists still choose all-season tires since they meet personal needs based on driving habits, where they live and their comfort level with winter driving.

Submitted by Renee Lynk, Acden Fleet

The Law In Alberta Currently, the province of Alberta does not make it mandatory for vehicles to be equipped with winter tires during the winter months. However, Alberta Transportation does recommend that driving in severe winter conditions that vehicles are equipped with four winter or all-weather tires for improved traction and control.


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Common Tire Types and Markings Application

Tire Type

Winter Snow Tires

Winter Ice Tires




Look for the ‘mountain snowflake’ symbol that indicates the tires meet strict industry winter performance standards.

Can retain elasticity as cold as -40° Celsius.

Winter snow tires have special tread patterns with blocks set fairly far apart for better grip on snow-packed roads.

Designed to prevent snow build-up and improve traction in moderate to heavy snow.

Winter snow tires are a good choice for drivers in rural areas or those facing a mix of winter conditions.

Winter ice tires feature a tread pattern made up of blocks set closely together for enhanced traction on ice.

Marked with the same ‘mountain snowflake’ symbol, winter ice tires are a good choice for vehicles that mostly travel on cleared but slick and icy city roads or highways.

For those facing extreme ice or are travelling on mountain roads, studded winter ice tires can provide even more traction.

Fairly new to the consumer market, all weather tires provide elasticity above and below 7° Celsius, providing good grip on snow, slush, wet roads and bare asphalt.

An aggressive tread design bites snow and pushes away water and slush.

Provides smooth handling and a quiet ride on dry pavement.

All weather tires may be a good choice for those who want some of the benefits of a winter tire without the seasonal changeover.

Easily distinguished by the ‘Mud + Snow’ symbol on the sidewall, all season tires use tread patterns and compounds optimized to provide good wear and traction in a variety of conditions.

They perform well in summer and light winter conditions, but as the temperature drops to 7° Celsius the rubber starts to lose elasticity and traction decreases.

Most all seasons completely lose their elasticity around -15° Celsius.



Designed for summer use only (higher temperatures)


Hello from the Acden Human Resources Department! It’s that time of year again when the nip in the air makes us want to grab a pumpkin spiced latte or a peppermint hot chocolate and stay warm with friends and family. While our community has gone through a very tough year, the Acden family is back and ready to face 2017! It’s almost the New Year already, can you believe it? The Acden Human Resources Department has put together a list of tips and reminders to assist you both at work and at home:

EFAP Many of you have gone through significant life-altering events in the wake of the wildfire. The emotions from an event of this magnitude can linger for months or even years when shock, loss or trauma are experienced. Through your company benefits, you have access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) 24 hours a day. EFAP is 100% confidential, and does not share names of employees who contact them,


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or the contents of your discussions no matter how serious. EFAP can make arrangements for you and or your immediate family to speak with counselling over the telephone or in-person. You can reach EFAP at 1.877.418.1535.

Find a Work-Life Balance That Fits You! With the year wrapping up and the holiday’s right around the corner, it can be a challenging time of year to maintain a positive ‘Work-Life Balance’. When life is busy, how do you manage your personal life along with your career at Acden? If you need some support to help manage the demands of your work and home life, Life Works can help. Visit and enter the following login info: user ID- cinup / password- benefits.

About to Welcome a New Family Member? If you are welcoming a new family member (birth or adoption) and will be utilizing Maternity or Paternity Leave, we invite you to review the Acden policy 6.8 – Maternity and Parental or Adoption Leave for more

information. You can find this policy on the Acden Intranet or by requesting a copy from your supervisor or Acden Human Resources representative. Employees are eligible to take a protected leave if they have been employed for 52 consecutive weeks with Acden. Birth Mothers are entitled to up to 52 weeks of unpaid leave. Fathers or Adoptive Parents may take up to 37 consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave. Please see Acden policy 6.8 for more information about eligibilities and timeframes during this exciting time!

More on CINUP Benefits and Maternity/ Paternity Leave: •

If you are going on maternity or paternity leave, you have the option of either continuing benefits for the 52/37 weeks that you are away from work, or terminating coverage on the last day of work. If you decide to continue on the plan, the plan administrator must discuss premium payment prior to starting the leave. You also have the option to discontinue the disability portion of benefits while on leave. To add a newborn child, a notice of coverage change form must be completed and sent to Human Resources within 90 days of the child’s birth. For more information about the benefit portions, please speak with our Benefits Administrator or contact CINUP.

Leave of Absence and Benefits The continuation of benefits during any leave of absence requires insurance company approval. The Acden Human Resources Department will submit the request prior to your leave on your behalf. If approved, all premium payment arrangements are to be made prior to your leave.

Policies Updated By now, you may have been asked to sign off on recent revisions to the Acden Corporate Policies. The Acden Human Resources Department asks for sign offs to ensure all employees are up to date on any changes within the policies. It’s always a good idea to take time and review policies regularly to ensure you are familiar with Acden’s expectations. All policies can be found on the Acden Intranet.


Looking to grow in your career with Acden? When an opportunity arises, Acden is always looking to promote growth from within. Speak with your supervisor or manager and discuss your desire for new opportunities. Current opportunities with our wholly owned partners and partnering companies are posted on Should you apply for an opportunity within Acden, please let your supervisor or manager know.

Acden Human Resources is here for you! Each of the business units are supported by a team of Human Resources professionals. Acden Human Resources assists employees and managers in the following areas: employee relations, recruitment and selection, training and development, Acden policies, disability management, benefit administrations and much more. These professionals may include: senior advisors, advisors, generalists, benefits & disability coordinators, database information system administrators, general administrators and receptionists.


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You can contact the Acden Human Resources Department by calling (780) 791-0161, or stopping by the Acden Corporate Headquarters and visiting us on the 2nd Floor. You can also call to schedule a one on one appointment with one of our representatives.

From all of us in the Acden Human Resources Department, we wish you a warm, safe, healthy and happy holiday and end of year season!

Nat’s One Pan Meal – Roast by Nat 3 ½ - 4lb Roast (beef, pork or moose) ½ pkg Dry onion soup mix 1 can Mushroom soup 1 can Mushrooms – don’t drain 6 Potatoes - peeled & cut up 6- 8 Carrots - cut into chunks 4 onions – cut into 4 pieces Sprinkle roast with the dry onion soup mix on both sides, place in a shallow pan. Pour undiluted mushroom soup over top, add mushroom and juices to the sides. Cover and bake for 3 hrs at 325°. One hr before meat is done add vegetables, cover again and resume baking.

Careers Acden is a dynamic and exciting place to work and we are constantly expanding our capabilities and service offerings. We offer high energy team players outstanding opportunities to grow in roles that best fit their interests, aptitudes and career aspirations. Please visit to see a list of current job postings. For detailed information about benefits, please visit


The Comic Strip Comics submitted by Michelle Drummond Credit: Pinterest,

Thanks for reading! The Acden Connection will be circulated quarterly. It will report on the latest news coming from Acden, covering subjects like new business, company and staff achievements and social events. As this newsletter wouldn’t exist without you, we want to hear from YOU! We encourage you to send in your stories and achievements, or those of your co-workers you feel should be celebrated. This publication is intended to connect you with our company, our services and our people so please let us know if you have any questions. Questions, comments, or suggestions can be emailed to