Inside Aera


Accolades Oct 15, 2020

Multiple honors put Aera in the spotlight

Four organizations recognize Aera and employees for excellence

Aera information specialist Victor Perez

Aera information specialist Victor Perez

While we don’t do what we do to win awards, it’s always nice to have others recognize the work you do. We’re proud to share that Aera and several employees have been recognized
for excellence by four organizations in recent weeks.

Here’s a closer look:

Victor Perez – Honored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

“A true shining star” is how HPE described Perez when it named him its Insider of the Month in August. Perez is an information specialist on Aera’s systems administration team. He’s spent the past two years transitioning HPE’s SimpliVity technology to Aera’s virtual server infrastructure.

The new infrastucture system has not only tripled Aera’s server performance but “reduced our data-center footprints as well as our licensing, power and cooling costs,” said Perez, who joined Aera in 2013. “This has enabled us to have site resiliency across all assets using data replication – reducing our disaster recovery time from weeks to hours.”

What earned Perez the recognition from the technology company was the “valuable information he brought to the table” as part of a very intense SimplVity customer program. Perez’s input on support, features and development, HPE said, was “stellar.”

Aera's Joseph Roberts

Aera’s Joseph Roberts

Joseph Roberts, Charles Lwanga Yonke and Aera Energy – Honored by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Western North America Region

SPE’s regional awards recognize members for their outstanding technical and service contributions. To be considered for one of these awards, a member must be nominated by one or more peers. SPE members serve as judges. The 2020 regional award recipients become candidates for the equivalent international award in 2021.

  • Joseph Roberts, Aera’s Belridge project team manager, winner of SPE’s Projects, Facilities and Construction category. Judges noted Roberts’ extensive experience and technical leadership in numerous projects over the years. Those include working at diatomite facilities, among the most difficult projects anywhere in the world. With Aera and Shell for over 30 years, Roberts has also served as exploration project manager, reservoir development team manager and chemical team manager. He is a registered professional engineer and has been an SPE member since 1994. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Oregon State University. Roberts has authored technical papers on water and gas treatment.
Aera's Charles Lwanga Yonke

Aera’s Charles Lwanga Yonke

  • Lwanga Yonke, Aera process analyst, winner of SPE’s Management and Information category. Lwanga is a well-recognized international expert, judges said, who’s a leader in developing and implementing best practices in information quality and information management. These include eliminating poor data quality as a source of reservoir management risk, improving safety and environmental stewardship and reducing operating costs. His contributions have also increased the business value of petroleum data-driven analytics and the success of the digital oilfield.

Winning this award is a repeat for Lwanga, as he first won it in 2008. During his career of more than 30 years, Lwanga has successfully implemented projects and led teams in multiple areas, including production engineering, operations and information quality. An SPE member since 1983, Lwanga holds an MBA from California State University-Bakersfield and a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Aera Energy – winner of SPE’s Regional Distinguished Corporate Support Award. SPE honored Aera for its support of employees as SPE members as well as its substantial involvement in the communities where it operates. SPE underscored Aera’s proactive efforts through social media and other platforms to better inform the public about the benefits of oil and gas.

Aera Energy plus 7 – Honored by the 2020 GRIT Awards

Aera Energy won “Best Energy Workplace” and seven GRIT awards during an Oct. 13 ceremony hosted by ALLY/Pink Petro.

The virtual event honored some of the top energy leaders from around the globe. It was Aera’s second consecutive year winning the organization’s Best Energy Workplace award.

Aera recipients in other categories were:

  • Executive – Christina Sistrunk, former president and CEO of Aera Energy
  • Teams/Affinity Groups – Aera Black Employee Network
  • Ally – Brent Ilott, drilling manager
  • Individual:
    • Erin Larner, manager of operations
    • Jane Myneni, inclusion & diversity and engagement lead
    • Jessica Leung, facilities engineer
    • Linda Mohammad, production engineer

The GRIT Awards and Best Energy Workplaces are designed to honor the best of the best in the energy industry – those who lead by example and show others that anything is possible. GRIT stands for growth, resilience, innovation and transition in a transparent world. Nominees are evaluated on professional accomplishments, personal philanthropic efforts and other qualities through a blind review by a panel of judges. There are multiple winners in each category. This year saw a record number of award applications, said Pink Petro founder and CEO Katie Mehnert.

Aera Energy – Finalist in 2020 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

Aera Energy is a finalist for Corporation of the Year in the 2020 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.

Aera is also among those in the running for the category, Renovation/Tenant Improvement, for helping the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County install a new roof and 74.4-kilowatt solar-power system at its Bakersfield headquarters. The building’s upgrades are saving the nonprofit $10,000 annually in utility costs. That, in turn, has allowed the club to increase its services and programs.

Award winners will be announced Oct. 23. They’re presented every year to honor the people, places, businesses and groups that have conttributed to enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Bakersfield area.  The awards cover 16 categories and are judge by a panel of community members.

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DID YOU KNOW? Aera Energy is a three-time recipient of the Forbes America’s Midsize Employer List, placing ninth in the 2022 ranking and securing its spot in the top ten midsize companies to work for in the United States.

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