Aera Energy’s Tina Carmona is a woman of GRIT—and she has the award to prove it.
Carmona was honored with a 2018 GRIT Award at the HERWorld Global Energy Forum in March. Held in Houston, Texas, the forum reached 450 onsite and 74,000 internationally through an online broadcast.
Carmona accepted the award at Aera’s Bakersfield headquarters, surrounded by more than 100 applauding co-workers watching the live broadcast. She was one of 30 energy leaders from around the world honored with a GRIT Award during the forum.
The GRIT awards recognize women leaders in energy and the men who advocate for their progress. GRIT stands for growth, resilience, innovation and transition in a transparent world.
“Winning the award has made me realize that at times I sell myself short because of what I feel I lack: education, experience, talent,” said Carmona, information specialist. “It has encouraged me to accept the recognition with grace and to begin the process of fixing the things I feel are missing.”
In fact, Carmona has since enrolled in classes this fall at Bakersfield College to begin working toward her degree in business administration—something, she says, “I may never have done without winning the award.”
More than 200 award applications were received. The selection process was narrowed down to 45 finalists, and then to the GRIT recipients.
Carmona was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Chris Danforth, Aera’s IT operations manager.
“Tina’s role is huge, and yet her work is unseen by most people,” Danforth said. “What’s most important is her mindset. She views the 450 people who work in this building as family. She works tirelessly to meet their needs and to make sure the Oaks is a safe and comfortable place to work each and every day.”
Carmona manages maintenance, event planning, meeting accommodations, catering, supply purchases and office moves for the Oaks, Aera’s 233,000-square-foot headquarters building in Bakersfield. She oversees a dedicated team that operates the mail center, graphics and reprographics departments. She also assists with building security. As the Green Team lead, Carmona directs “reduce-reuse-recycle” efforts in line with Aera’s environmental commitment.
Carmona, who joined Aera in 2006, will complete her Facilities Management Certification in June.
Three honored as GRIT finalists
In addition to Carmona, three other Aera women were recognized as GRIT Award finalists:
- Erin Larner, reservoir engineer. “Being a finalist for the GRIT Award was an honor,” Larner said. “I never would have nominated myself but knowing that one of my peers took the time to write a nomination about me was extremely flattering. The group of finalists was such a diverse and accomplished group of people, that having my name amongst all of them is a moment that I am truly proud of.”
- Lisa McAlister, learning advisor. “I was honored to be nominated for the GRIT Award, but it took serious convincing from colleagues and family to get me to submit my questionnaire,” noted McAlister. “Putting pen to paper reminded me that I have travelled a pretty gritty path in my career, and I sometimes forget that my path has not been traditional or ordinary. I am grateful that someone out there felt I was worthy of the nomination.”
- LaMeka Ross, human resources advisor. “Being nominated and selected as a GRIT finalist was truly a surprise,” Ross said. “To be selected as a top finalist among 200 CEOs, executives and fellow energy professionals worldwide was a tremendous honor in itself. I love the HR field, the industry I work in and the community I serve, so I am grateful to be recognized by Pink Petro, an organization dedicated to connecting, engaging and recognizing leaders in the energy industry around the globe.”
“These women exemplify what it means to be a modern leader in energy,” said Katie Mehnert, founder of Experience Energy and Pink Petro. “Our industry is in the midst of dramatic change, and the GRIT Awards were designed to recognize those who are embracing our collective need for growth, resilience, innovation and transition in an increasingly transparent world.”