Director Spotlight

Have you ever wondered about the great minds that steer and shape the Shell Employees’ Credit Union at the strategic level – our Board of Directors?  Ever wondered who they are, what makes them tick, and why on earth they would choose to run a financial institution- in their spare time?

Wonder no more. SECU'S Director Spotlight is a multi-series column that will feature SECU board members with terms that are expiring. Not only a great opportunity for the membership at large to acknowledge director contributions, the Director Spotlight is also an illuminating piece on what it truly means to serve on the SECU board.

Spotlight on: Ed Huestis Expand/Collapse

Ed Huestis is no stranger to change. Having been with the Shell Employees’ Credit Union since 1971, he has witnessed the Credit Union evolve from a small, single-branch operation (back then, located in the old bakery building - legacy SECU members might remember this!),  to what is now the tenth largest credit union in Alberta, with offices in Shell Centre and the Scotford Refinery Complex.  Members may recognize Ed from his role as a Shell Oiltimers’ Club board member, which is one of the many ways that he has kept busy since retiring as Head Engineer - Emerging Process Control Technologies at Shell. He also is a hobby software developer (visit to have a look at his free golf event organizing software!) and an active member of several technical associations.

When asked about his stint on the SECU board which incidentally is his second time serving on the board (his first stint was back in the 1980s) Ed reflects, “One of my takeaways (is the) the appalling number and complexity of regulations the staff currently have to deal with, and I am impressed with the way they are professionally handling these challenges.”  Ed’s unique perspective as a longtime member, coupled with his innovative ideas and strategic thinking, has brought tremendous value to the board, particularly as the Credit Union plans for a path forward in a changing environment.  We thank Ed for his tireless efforts to continue to make SECU  a great place to bank, and for his continued loyalty as a member.

Spotlight on: Nathan Turnbull Expand/Collapse

Nathan Turnbull’s stint on the SECU board all began with an email complaint.

In 2010, Nathan reached out to Dorothy Lowrie, Manager of the Scotford office, to express his concerns about an increase in borrowing rates. His complaint was then passed along to the then-Board President, the late Margot Willison. Margot posed a challenge to Nathan to join the SECU board, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, in 2018, Nathan reflects on his two terms serving on the SECU board, most recently as a member of the SECU executive committee. “It has given me unique opportunity to develop as a finance professional in two ways: first to develop a much higher-level and broader perspective of an organization then I ever did in my day job, and second to learn a complete different business and apply those learnings to what I do a Shell.” When asked about his proudest achievement, Nathan names SECU’s 2013 efforts in providing interest-free fire relief loans to those affected by the Fort McMurray Wildfire.  “This was very personal to me as my sister (not a Shell employee or SECU member) lost her home in that fire.  It made me proud to be part of making a horrific situation a bit more bearable, part of making people’s lives better, part of the solution.”

Now that Nathan’s time on the SECU board is coming to a close, he plans to spend his newfound free time chasing after his two-year old son, Alexander while honing his fishing skills on the side. Nathan - we thank you for devoting your time and commitment to the SECU board for the past six years. Your strong voice, vision, and deep passion for the mission of the organization will be missed; wherever the future leads you, know the your SECU family will always be rooting for you.

Spotlight on: Amber Haworth Expand/Collapse

Although Amber Haworth is currently wrapping up her first term on the SECU board, she is no neophyte when it comes to governance. She currently chairs the HR and Risk Committees for the SECU board, and is also a director for the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. Amber’s background in non-profit governance provides a great complement to her role on the SECU board, especially given the parallel focus on community values. It is this emphasis on community, along with SECU’s member-centric approach to financial services, to that drew Amber to SECU in the first place.

When not helping shape SECU’s long-term vision, Amber works as the Finance Manager Alberta Light Tight Oil for Shell Canada where she is accountable for the end-to-end delivery of the finance function covering 3 Assets: Fox Creek, Gold Creek, and Rocky Mountain House in both the Duvernay and Montney formations in the Western Canadian Basin.   Previous to this she spent several years in Midstream Business Development for Total SA Canada in the heavy oil midstream and Hydrogen space.  She started her career in pipeline business development and investment banking. When not at work or at board meetings, you will likely find her cross-country skiing, acrylic painting, or enjoying some much-deserved downtime with her family.

Thank you Amber, for your bringing member-focused mindset and strategic thinking to the SECU board!

Spotlight on: Lane Mitchelmore Expand/Collapse

Like many current SECU members, Lane Mitchelmore joined the Shell Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) because of great rates. Lane had been shopping around for borrowing options, and found that SECU, true to form, was offering the most competitive pricing in the market. It was, however, an advertisement on the Shell Intranet that piqued Lane’s interest to become more involved with SECU, eventually leading to a multi-year Director Trainee stint on the SECU Board. His unique perspective as an IT subject-matter expert, complemented by his computer engineering background – with a specialization in nanotechnology, no less! -  added to the SECU board’s overall bench strength, at a crucial point when the Credit Union was shifting toward a more intentional approach to IT.  

Lane, at the culmination of his Director Trainee term, reflects on the ways that the Director Trainee program shaped his professional development. “First, it allowed me the opportunity to be involved and watch how strategic decisions are formed, discussed, and then ultimately decided on and how these decisions impact the day-to-day operations of the Credit Union.  Secondly, it gave me exposure to an industry outside of Oil & Gas and it gave me a new appreciation for the regulation and controls within Financial Services Industry and the challenges and opportunities that come with all of it.  Lastly, it provided me substantial learnings in the world of Finance (think P&L, financial & statistical reporting, and balance sheets).”

As a fast-rising young leader, we are confident that Lane’s well-rounded background will propel to great heights in his career.  Now that his time as a Director Trainee is drawing to a close, we want to sincerely thank Lane for his volunteerism and his many contributions to SECU, and wish him all the best in the future.