Africa, Middle East and Australasia
There were six FIRST Excellence Award recipients from our East Operations, comprised of Africa, Middle East and Australasia locations. Terence Dixon, Deck Pusher, Deepwater Expedition; Gerald Fossett, Project Maintenance Supervisor, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1; Timothy Holden, Maintenance Supervisor, Actinia; Steve Hulce, Rig Manager, Deepwater Frontier; Steven Reynolds, Electronic Supervisor, GSF Jack Ryan and Walter Sheffield, Rig Manager, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2.
Find out how the FIRST core values impact these recipients and learn their insights on working for Transocean.
Deck Pusher, Deepwater Expedition, WAP
With more than four decades working for Transocean and its legacy companies, Terence Dixon says one thing has remained constant through the years: “the opportunities Transocean provides.”
“There is always a spot for you, no matter who you are,” he says. “If you are willing to put in the work, Transocean will provide the training you need to succeed.”
During his tenure, Terry, who works as a deckpusher on the Deepwater Expedition, says he has learned everything he knows from the many exceptional people he has had the pleasure to work with throughout his career at Transocean. He joined a Transocean legacy company – The Offshore Company – 43 years ago. His peers say Terry has a passion for people development and is always eager to share his knowledge. This is one of many aspects that led to his selection as a FIRST Excellence Award winner.
“Mentorship comes naturally for Terry,” said Andrey Andreev, Deepwater Expedition Rig Manager. “He doesn’t do it because it is part of his job description. It comes from his heart. He has taught and inspired hundreds of new recruits in many countries.”
Beyond his willingness to mentor, Terry also champions safety at every turn.
“He takes every opportunity to create a safer environment onboard, and even after 11 years on the DWE, he continues to find ways in which we can improve operations,” Andrey said.
Among Terry’s favorite career highlights was a recruiting event in Saudi Arabia when he had the chance to have an interpreter ask local recruits why so many were choosing Transocean over other drilling operators.
“The interpreter kept repeating the same responses from the men: ‘Safety,’” Terry recalled. “That was very rewarding.”
Project Maintenance Supervisor,
Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1, WAP
Gerald Fossett achieved a FIRST Excellence “hat trick” – winning an individual FIRST Excellence Award for his personal achievements last year, as well as a FIRST Excellence Award for installations and the Rig of the Year as a crewmember aboard the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1.
A member of the KG1 crew from the moment the rig departed the shipyard, Gerald used only one word to describe receiving an individual award and being part of a rig that achieved such excellence: “Priceless.”
“Gerald wakes up each morning thinking how he can make the rig a better place to work and inspires people with a can-do attitude that empowers them to do their job, but at the same time he holds them accountable for their decisions,” said Kiran Kamath, Asset Manager. “He has an open door policy and expects everyone to use it.”
Through a constant review of the company procedures and new standards, Gerald works to confirm we comply with what we say we are doing.
“He is passionate about doing the right thing and displays and encourages transparency and integrity in every aspect of day-to-day life on the rig,” Kiran added.
The OIM on the KG1, Danny Rotella, said Gerald sets out to support every individual who is “under his wing” and “obtain the best from them.”
“Gerald’s values rank highest of anyone I have ever met. He lives the core values morning, noon and night,” Danny said. “He is the most honest, sincere and trustworthy individual I have ever had the pleasure of working with, a heart of gold and a man that wears his heart on his sleeve.”
KG1 Captain Graeme Harms said the rig has stayed within budget in a large part because of Gerald.
“Gerald runs a very tight ship in that regard,” Graeme said. “He is a straight talker and doesn’t hold anything back for personal gain. Gerald’s focus on safety is not limited to his own department, but is on the entire rig. At every safety meeting, you can find him passing on information for the benefit of the entire rig and actively participating to achieve the company’s safety vision. Gerald stands behind each and every person aboard the KG1 and works tirelessly to perform his job to the highest standard.”
Maintenance Supervisor, Actina, WAP
Family values are rig values. That makes it easy to remember to take care of your work family the same way you would your family at home. Timothy Holden has spent more than three decades caring for his colleagues and succeeding at Transocean.
“Having spent about 16 of my 32 year career offshore, the men and women I have worked with on the rig are like family,” Tim said. “You treat this ‘family’ with the same respect and honesty that you treat your family at home. You always want to make sure the rig family returns home safely to their families onshore.”
As a maintenance supervisor on the Actinia, Tim takes great pride and full ownership and responsibility for the maintenance department on the rig. His efforts and commitment to the FIRST core values through the years earned him a FIRST Excellence Award.
“Tim is a great leader,” said Nikhil Suri, Rig Manager – Actinia. “He takes a keen interest in the development of the people who work with him and he is a visible safety leader, playing a big part in the rig’s operational integrity initiatives.
Tim always steps up to the plate. For instance, when some on the rig assumed new responsibilities, Tim helped make sure the rig continued to run smoothly by taking on additional responsibilities. This allowed his colleagues more time to learn their new roles.
“He lends assistance where required and takes a great deal of interest in keeping morale high on the rig,” Nikhil said. “Tim is the technical guru of the rig who has a thorough knowledge of all rig systems. He is measured and exact in his thinking and decision making and is not afraid to think outside the box.”
The level of respect Tim offers, his keen financial sense, leadership skills and ability to bring the team together are simply unrivaled, according to his peers who nominated him for the award.
“Tim has inspired me a great deal with the composed attention he brings to the job every single day,” Nikhil said. “He offers a special ability to bring the team together and keep them motivated. His immense, intimate knowledge of the rig, thoroughness with technical matters, keen financial sense, and above all, his commitment to doing the right thing when it comes to safety, make him an irreplaceable part of our team.”
Rig Manager, Deepwater Frontier, EAP
When the job offer came in more than three decades ago to work in the galley of the Glomar Coral Sea, a GlobalMarine rig, Steve Hulce took out a loan. He did not have enough money for the plane ticket he needed to get to work for the Transocean legacy company, but looking back now says it was the best decision he ever made.
“The rig life – largely the camaraderie and true feeling of family among the crew – is something I really miss now that I have been working onshore,” says Steve, who is the Deepwater Frontier’s Rig Manager. “Luckily my current role gives me the opportunity to continue doing what I love most – helping and mentoring the guys offshore.”
Steve’s passion and leadership are recognized by the entire Deepwater Frontier team as a key factor in the rig’s exceptional performance.
“We are proud to call him our rig manager,” said Richard Calhoun, OIM – Deepwater Frontier. “Steve is a true supporter. He lives and breathes operational integrity and ensures the Deepwater Frontier team follows the same path.”
Euan Coull, Asset Manager – Perth, says Steve is never too busy to share his knowledge and experience with others.
“His leadership has taken the Deepwater Frontier from a rig that was perceived to be struggling to a rig now perceived to be at the top of the fleet – 100% in global scorecard,” Coull said.
Vincent Berthou, Operations Director – EAP, says Steve sets high objectives and expectations for himself and his team.
“He leads by example with the ultimate goal of delivering the best performance in mind,” Vincent said. “Steve genuinely cares for his people and is passionate about their safety. It is very inspiring to watch Steve deal with people in the manner in which he does – with integrity, honesty, respect and always calm and composed. I consider Steve to be one of the best role models within Transocean, and consider myself privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him.”
*In October of 2014, Steve Hulce retired.
Electronic Supervisor, GSF Jack Ryan, NGR
Steven Reynolds has the incredible ability to inspire others.
When challenging times had some doubting their career paths, it was Steven’s wise words that encouraged team members aboard the GSF Jack Ryan to continue their careers at Transocean.
After the merger of GlobalSantaFe and Transocean, Steven became familiar with Transocean’s core values, ensuring that not only the electrical department, but the entire GSF Jack Ryan crew followed these principles and applied them to their jobs on the rig.
“Steve is a true leader in many ways. He leads by example and always displays integrity,” said Nathaniel Todd, OIM – Jack Ryan. “He is an excellent mentor and has developed his entire team to a higher standard. A safety champion, Steven is always engaging not only his crew, but other departments aboard the rig inspiring all to go the extra mile to achieve their common safety goals.”
Jeremy Jones, Chief Electronics Technician – Jack Ryan, says Steven’s work ethic is top-notch.
“He inspires the department by leading from the front, encouraging the team to go the extra mile,” Jeremy said. “In any situation – day or night – we can call Steve for help. His knowledge of the rig, willingness to share and teach information, work ethic and positive reinforcement make the members of the electrical department strive to do our best to keep our rig in top-notch condition.”
Jason Hook, Asset Manager Jack Ryan, said that the entire team was honored to nominate Steven for this award.
“Steve continues to impress daily and sets high standards,” he said. “He is greatly respected by the Jack Ryan team. The way he interacts with the crews on the Jack Ryan is a clear example of the valuable member he is onboard.”
Steven’s reaction to winning such a prestigious award: “I was shocked. Receiving the award really means a lot to me. … I feel extremely honored.”
Rig Manager, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2, WAP
The biggest change that Walter Sheffield has encountered since starting his career offshore more than 40 years ago – safety.
“It was my first time out on a rig, and the first guy I met – a big angry fella – said to me: ‘Boy, you can get hurt out here,’” Walter recalled. “I heard what he said, but what I saw when I looked down to shake his hand – a few missing fingers – made a much bigger impression than the words he spoke.”
Although missing fingers were common back in 1974, Walter says that is not the case today.
“You won’t see a bunch of people missing fingers walking around a rig now,” he said. “We learned as an industry that it is not acceptable and we can operate a successful business without people getting hurt.”
Walter has served in various departments through the years: marine, drilling, safety and training.
While working a 28 day hitch on the Jim Cunningham in 1998, his extensive knowledge became very beneficial aboard the rig as he filled in for the pump man, then assistant driller, followed by OIM. The day Walter was supposed to head back to shore, the rig lost its cook – and rumor has it, Walter also is a pretty decent chef.
Walter’s many years of experience offshore makes him the go-to guy.
“Having worked his way up through the ranks, Walter has seen so much and has a lot to offer related to ongoing rig operations,” said Rune Kval, Operations Manager. “Walter ensures that Transocean’s safety expectations are clearly communicated and understood and he demands results from his team. He is a man of integrity and honesty, demonstrating these qualities in even the most difficult situations.”
Peers say Walter’s commitment to financial discipline helped the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2 beat its budgeted field operating contribution in 2013.
“He is a leader who believes in his people, and those who work for him can trust he will stand by them,” said Akanksha Gupta, Asset Manager on the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2. “Walter gets the best out of everyone and creates a great culture among the team – that in itself is deserving of recognition. He is held in high regard by our customer and they always seek his input. It is inspirational to see Walter living the core values and doing his best to deliver outstanding value to both Transocean and our customers.”
Three FIRST Excellence Award recipients came from North Europe, the Harsh Environment segment of the West Operations. Jack Adams, Maintenance Supervisor, Sedco 704; Derek Anderson, OIM, Sedco 714 and Mark Milne, Operations Manager, Performance Management UK received FIRST Excellence Awards for achievements in 2013. Each had an encouraging outlook on how change has positively impacted safety and technology at Transocean.
Maintenance Supervisor, Sedco 704, NRS
Every trip offshore Jack Adams sets a personal goal to make one improvement be it mechanical, structural or procedural. His efforts had a profound impact on Transocean and those who work around him.
“You always complete a job thinking that you contributed when working with Jack,” said Chris Spence, Barge Supervisor. “If everyone around Jack takes a little bit of inspiration from his positive attitude and work ethic, the team would surely achieve success.”
Jack has worked on the Sedco 704 for most of his 33-year career. His knowledge of the rig, leadership, enthusiasm and passion make him an irreplaceable member of the 704 team and recipient of Transocean’s prestigious award.
The news came as a pleasant surprise for Jack, who did not realize he had been nominated. He said to receive this level of recognition for his hard work and efforts during the past three decades made the award even more special.
“Jack is a true and visible leader,” said Gordon Coull, Rig Manager Sedco 704. “He enjoys his job, which is infectious for everyone around him. The 704 team takes pride in the rig’s strong team culture, and Jack is instrumental in maintaining that culture.”
An outstanding mentor, Jack takes great pride in seeing individuals within the team succeed. Gordon calls Jack a first-class mentor, who takes enormous pride in developing his people.
“His mentorship is not only relevant in his own department, but to all involved with the 704,” he said. “Jack is always willing to give help and support to anyone.”
Jack says one of the best parts of his job is to see those he has mentored progress in their careers.
Sedco 704 OIM Alan Warren said Jack’s respect for employees, customers and suppliers is unsurpassed.
“I have worked with many people throughout my career and there are very few like Jack,”
CHARLES "DEREK" ANDERSON
OIM, Sedco 714, NRS
Team-building is important to Derek Anderson, who believes he is only as good as those who surround him. Those working closest to him describe him as a colleague who is honest, professional and someone who always acts with integrity.
Derek joined Transocean in 1985 and has been aboard the Sedco 714 for a decade. His genuine passion for the job and commitment to operational excellence is recognized immediately by those who come onto the rig.
The Sedco 714’s crew says Derek has had a major impact on the rig’s safety reputation, which is backed by a 2011 FIRST Excellence Award.
“Derek’s commitment to the Sedco 714 is infectious,” said Vic Groundwater, the rig’s Asset Manager. “Others want to do well and be known for doing things safely and efficiently because of him.”
Derek fosters a one team culture onboard, including with customers and others who spend time on the rig. He fully understands the value of teamwork, and the important role our customers play on the team. Derek says he applies Transocean’s FIRST core values to daily interactions with customers and it has resulted in strengthened relationships.
“By building relationships with our customers that are built on integrity and respect, we better accomplish our goals,” he said.
Alan Trevorrow, OIM 714, called Derek a true asset to our operations and Transocean.
“Derek lives and breathes the job with true dedication,” he said. “He is a hands-on leader, who truly enjoys sharing his knowledge at every opportunity. He inspires greatness in others through his unwavering leadership and commitment to the company’s core values.”
Operations Manager, NRS
Mark Milne epitomizes leadership. For him, it is not about a title, position or prestige. Mark leads by example, fostering a culture of honesty and trust. Committed to living the core values, he embodies FIRST Excellence.
In his 30-year career at Transocean, Mark has gained invaluable experience serving in roles offshore and onshore. He has a wealth of operational knowledge gained from hands-on experience offshore and a true understanding of safety and operational excellence. His experience as a QHSE Manager, combined with an excellent attitude, disposition and determination to succeed were instrumental in the North Sea’s exceptional 2013 HSE performance, according to his nominators.
“Mark has not only made a difference in the operations of the four rigs he oversees, but also contributed to the operational and safety successes of the whole North Sea,” said Adrian Rose, Vice President – Europe. “Mark sets clear expectations while maintaining the highest level of integrity. He has earned the respect of peers, supervisors and customers alike. He goes above and beyond in his determination to achieve the Company’s goals. He is customer-focused, people-focused and passionate about his job.”
Mark said he was shocked when Adrian and Neil Clyne, Operations Director, told him he had won a FIRST Excellence Award.
“To receive this type of recognition following the safety results achieved in the North Sea, where our incident rate was well below our 2013 target, made it even more rewarding,” he said.
Mark is known for his friendly, trustworthy nature, and being available any time his advice or presence is needed.
“He is a well-respected, high-performer offering many years of experience,” Neil said. “Mark always considers the interest of our employees and the company when making decisions. He’s a natural leader.”
There were 13 recipients from our Global Functions, made up of all functional entities outside of operations. The recipients work in locations around the globe and represent various functions from Engineering to Human Resources, Finance to Operations Assurance and Marketing to Supply Chain. One thing they all have in common is their commitment to the core values and a passion for their customers.
Commodity Procurement Manager, Amelia
Becky Keplinger consistently exhibits a strong commitment to Transocean and the company’s FIRST core values. She has earned a reputation for her dedication to People Focus – years before it was defined.
Becky always goes above and beyond to support her customers and did not hesitate when asked what she enjoys most about working at Transocean: “The People.”
“The first time I visited a rig and saw first-hand the work they were doing offshore, it made me want to work harder,” Becky said. “I wanted to do whatever I could in my role onshore to make our offshore workers’ lives easier.”
From the many individuals, who wrote letters supporting Becky’s FIRST Excellence Award, it is clear she has made quite an impact on her colleagues during the past two decades.
“Becky’s contributions have been felt and appreciated throughout the organization, including Finance, IT, Operations and Projects functions,” said John Truschinger, Senior VP CIO and Support Services. “Her respect for her team, colleagues, customers and our vendor community is well recognized. Becky lives each of the core values daily and serves as an example to our people, as well as to the vendor community to whom she represents the best of Transocean.”
Ray Bartholomay, Director Strategic Sourcing and Vendor Performance, said: “Becky is a beacon of the core values. Throughout her career, she has been a troubleshooter, solution provider, and go-to person in each of her areas of responsibility. As such, she has been entrusted to provide input in special projects and initiatives and influences disciplines beyond Supply Chain. Becky is always looking for better approaches and methods of doing business.”
Becky credits her achievements to great mentors throughout her career, who have led the way with change.
One of Becky’s mentors - Janet LeBlanc, Manager Supply Chain, and a previous FIRST Excellence Award recipient – said: “Becky’s commitment to Transocean makes her the perfect candidate for the FIRST Excellence Award. She goes above and beyond her job duties to make sure our rigs get the items and support required to keep the bit turning to the right.”
IT Technical Specialist, Houston
When he received word he had won a FIRST Excellence Award, Khawaja Kamran thought: “Not me.” Although shocking at first, Kamran says he is honored and humbled by the recognition from his peers.
One of seven team members in the Customer Support Center responsible for handling over 1,000 shore-based personnel in Houston, Kamran is a perfect example of IT service delivery. He makes an impact on everyone he works with, as can be seen in the personal relationships he quickly develops with his customers – and he has many.
“When observing him, it’s routine to hear him ask a customer how the kids game went or about a trip to Korea last week,” wrote IT Director Chip Dyson. “It is almost a weekly occurrence that IT management receives unsolicited feedback on Kamran.”
He exemplifies the company’s FIRST core values in everything he does by focusing on continuous cost reductions while delivering service to his customers without sacrificing quality. Kamran is honest and dependable, and displays a unique blend of professionalism with a personal touch. He uses teamwork to achieve results, sharing proven solutions and efficiencies across the organization.
“Kamran is one of those unique individuals whose outstanding technical talents are matched with his personal qualities,” John Truschinger wrote in support of Kamran. “He balances his technical skills with his superb people skills to the benefit of his customers on a daily basis.”
This customer-focus extends beyond working hours with Kamran coming in after hours to fix a cabling issue to support infrastructure and address connectivity issues, his colleagues wrote, adding this is just one of many examples of his “whatever it takes” attitude in action.
“Kamran has mastered the customer focus piece and demonstrates that superbly every day,” said Mark Sefer, Manager IT – Global Field Support. “When it comes to customer-focus, Kamran always goes the extra mile with a smile. He continues to impress his customers, peers and management team with his loyalty and dedication to his work.”
IT Technical Field Support Specialist, Houston
May Nham is passionate about keeping Transocean working as part of the IT Field Support team she joined in 2006. As part of the team, May is required to be available at any time to go to any place Transocean operates – onshore and offshore.
“May has one of the most challenging IT jobs in the company and she makes it look easy,” said John Truschinger, Senior Vice President of Support Services and Chief Information Officer. “May is by far the best at what she does. What is most impressive is not just her overall performance, but how she approaches her work and customers. May is a perfect example of FIRST and routinely demonstrates her commitment to these core values in everything she does.”
Through her commitment to the core values, hard work and technical skills, May has gained the respect of everyone fortunate enough to work with her. Her methodical and organized approach to every task and the quality of work she produces sets a new standard of excellence in customer service for all of those she encounters.
“I have been in the field and had to rely on her integrity, technical knowledge and superior work ethic to keep the office operational,” said Cathryn Armendariz, Assistant Treasurer. “I know that May provides her customers with the highest level of support and service. … The combined quality of her work product and customer service sets the standard for the rest of us who strive to provide excellent customer service.”
Mark Sefer, Manager IT Global Field Support, said May serves as an outstanding role model within his team, describing her as: “an extraordinary person who goes above and beyond the basics.”
“She continues to impress her customers, peers and management team with her dedication to her work,” he said. “May is a true technical gem with stamina strong enough to amaze all around her.”
May credits her achievements to her manager, who she says has always provided her with opportunities to learn and grow, and John Truschinger for inspiring and encouraging the entire IT team. The recognition makes May want to work even harder to contribute to the company’s success in any way she can.
This is something she already does well, according to Adrian Brown, Africa Remote Technical Manager.
“Everyone has a part to play in enabling the company to achieve its vision,” he said. “If everyone in the company had the passion toward their role to the same level that May has toward hers, the vision would have been a reality a long time ago.”
Manager, New Build and Capital Procurement, Houston
Through three decades at Transocean where she’s seen many changes and mergers, Linda Wetherell says one thing has always stayed the same since she joined Reading & Bates: “It still feels like a family – everyone has respect for one another and works together as a team.”
Linda said she was surprised to learn of her selection as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient and described the process as: “the best kept secret.”
The description may be appropriate for Linda, as well.
“She is a quiet contributor who rarely ventures too far from her office, but that’s because she is busy cranking out work,” wrote James Lowdermilk, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Project and Newbuild Support. “Normally, she will still be found at her desk on Friday afternoon and sometimes on the weekend, always working to ensure that every detail has been handled and all parties are fully informed on every topic. … Linda’s value and worth to Transocean is immeasurable.”
Her attention to detail and excellent work product also is something that is admired and others set out to emulate, her peers add. She additionally handles the most challenging projects with a steady hand and has been involved in fleet renewal for most of her career.
“Her strong commitment to the core values, which is fueled by her love of Transocean, has ensured that she provides service of the highest quality, support that has been consistently recognized by her customers, and value that has ensured the successful project completion and the delivery of new rigs to the market,” said Ray Bartholomay, Director of Strategic Sourcing. “Linda provides a daily example to those around her of the core values. She is the type of person for whom the FIRST Excellence Award was designed to recognize.”
Manager, Marketing Services and Strategy, Houston
Kristina Mays goes above and beyond each and every day. She believes in working hard, having fun and achieving success together as a team.
In eight years with Transocean, Kristina remains most proud of a contract win that involved teamwork to set a new market standard.
“When the contract came through, the entire team ran out into the hallway cheering, hugging and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment,” she recalled. “Then as quickly as the celebration began, the lead negotiator said: ‘All right, onto the next one,’ and we all got right back to it. It is the perfect example of the spirit of our team and the spirit of Transocean.”
Kristina is a dedicated leader, say her peers and supervisors who supported her for a FIRST Excellence Award.
“Kristina exemplifies dedication, loyalty, commitment, innovation and executes excellence that by all measures demonstrates the exemplary employee,” said Terry Bonno, SVP Marketing. “Her high morals and ethics guide her through her daily business and personal interactions. In her years of service, Kristina has always pursued her responsibilities with confidence and solid determination to complete a job well done.”
In her role, Kristina deals with multiple departments within Transocean and her exceptional understanding of the company’s business process and framework allow her to deliver unique and creative solutions to existing issues that provide improvements to the way we conduct our business.
“Kristina and her work are vital to the entire marketing department,” wrote Mark Monroe, VP Account Management – Marketing. “One would be extremely hard-pressed to find another individual who is as knowledgeable, intelligent, reliable, timely, consistent, and can match the exceptional quality of work she delivers.”
The recognition Kristina receives among her superiors, peers and direct reports in regards to her honesty and high degree of personal integrity speak volumes of her character.
“Seldom do people garner great respect without showing it to others,” wrote Stacey Earley, Director, Marketing Contracts & Proposals. “Kristina is highly-respected by all who work with her. She not only has strong technical knowledge and expertise in systems, financial and market analysis; but she also has the cool head and judgment to listen and learn from others, determine what does and does not need doing, and to direct the project and the people firmly to obtain the required result.”
Manager, HR Services, Houston
Jennifer Lopez is always willing to go the extra mile and do what it takes to get the job done – and then takes on some more. When asked about extra work she takes on, her response is always the same: “It won’t take long. I know they really need it.”
Senior HR Manager Paul Johnson says this is why Jennifer exemplifies Transocean and underscores her selection as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient. She is someone who has achieved much of her success when voluntarily taking on the most difficult tasks. It is this unyielding drive to succeed that inspires everyone on her team to meet their own challenges with such enthusiasm.
“Jennifer strives for excellence and has established herself as the backbone of our team,” Paul said. “She brings a level of discipline and ‘HR professional’ knowledge that we desperately need to deliver world-class service. Without Jennifer’s guidance, I am positive my group would not have enjoyed the levels of success we have thus far. She takes on challenges for no other reason than for the good of our offshore employees.”
Jennifer’s commitment to FIRST and direct management played a vital role in the successful development and implementation of many HR processes.
After observing problems with the management and administration of the Medical Leave of Absence policy (MLOA), she single-handedly took on the challenge of the system and has made significant changes to the administration process resulting in offshore men and women returning to the workforce much quicker than before.
She also played instrumental roles in the development of Competency Assurance Program (CAPs) and the Supervisor Development Program, saving the company resources and guiding the growth of future leaders respectively.
“Jennifer is the resident moral compass. She always makes sure we make the right decisions when dealing with employees’ futures,” said Steve Myers, Director – HR Operations Support. “During difficult times, she is always there to keep everyone’s spirits ‘above the line.’ Jennifer demonstrates every one of our core values in her performance and dedication.”
* Jennifer is now Manager, Workforce Planning and Recruiting
Director, Joint Venture, Leasing and Subsidiary Governance, Cayman Islands
Steve McFadin has performed varied roles, offering an ability to coordinate disparate groups to achieve common goals with practicality and sensitivity.
“Steve has never been a person to make a presentation, get approval, and then delegate the critical implementation to others,” wrote Kathleen McAllister, Chief Executive Officer of Transocean Partners LLC. “Rather, he is the one who rolls up his sleeves, learns the complex detailed steps needed for success and does the heavy lifting to ensure that multiple company-enhancing projects are turned from ideas into results.”
As head of Transocean’s Cayman Islands office, Steve is in charge of the parts of the organization responsible for the legal structures that support the company and its joint venture companies. He also supports Transocean Partners LLC as its Leasing Director, performing related duties to that role while maintaining his position at Transocean.
Steve has built a reputation for being “unflappable,” having a “can-do” attitude and “Zen-like calmness.” He is someone who always acts with integrity and honesty.
“I admire Steve’s capacity to remain calm, professional and diligent in the face of pending deadlines when working through complex situations,” said Garry Taylor, Finance Director – Global Business. “I must highlight a great quality that Steve has exhibited on more than one occasion – he offers sound, logical and value-added suggestions and solutions to difficult situations. Steve McFadin is a truly experienced professional leader who conducts himself in an exemplary manner – well worthy of a FIRST Excellence Award.”
While working on the Shelf transaction, which became very tense at certain points, particularly in the final few days, Karthik Gangiredla says Steve handled the serious complexities and tough discussions with integrity and honesty earning him respect.
“His friendly style interspersed with a jovial tone help to defuse tense meetings and aid participants to reach effective decisions on the way forward together,” Karthik said. “All of which helped the effective closing of the transaction.”
The challenges he experienced throughout his involvement in the Shelf transaction also led to some of Steve’s most rewarding experiences in his career.
“The amount of people who came together as a team to extract a portion of the organization – it was a true testament to the people of Transocean and their ability to work together to achieve the company’s vision,” he said.
Meanwhile, it is Steve who many within the company, say is critically important to Transocean.
“He will take time to listen to anyone and give him/her the best advice he knows,” Bonnie Gerow, Senior Legal Manager – Global Entity Management Team wrote. “He often can portray things in a slightly different light and we thrive on his ability to show us things we hadn’t thought of.”
Sr. Finance Manager, Aberdeen
Graeme Ure operates as a business partner for those he supports in every way he can. His knowledge extends beyond his finance discipline and into rig equipment and offshore operations. This dedication and commitment to continuous learning and his willingness to act as a bridge between functions led to his selection as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient.
“Graeme takes the time to work across functions, including rig leadership and Operations support. He ensures his team provides the best service and advice possible,” said Bob Herrin, Vice President Internal Audit. “Graeme is the guy that humbly takes care of his business, follows the core values and garners the respect of the people around him. He is the perfect candidate for this award.”
Graeme began his career with Transocean legacy company, Santa Fe International, in 1987. He says opening the new office in Aberdeen was one of his proud accomplishments: “I saw the realization of a project I had been involved in over the past three years,” he said.
To say that he was simply “involved” in this project reflects his genuine humbleness. Countless peers and supervisors describe Graeme as having been instrumental in every stage of the new office from the moment it was conceived. He managed this while still performing the many duties of his “day job” as Senior Finance Manager in the North Sea.
The office is only one of many examples of Graeme’s accomplishments where he exhibited the company’s FIRST core values to achieve success.
“Graeme’s superior performance has been sustained over a number of years, not only 2013,” said Garry Taylor, Finance Director – Global Business. “He is often referred to as the consummate professional. His enthusiasm coupled with the respect he is afforded by his peers is invaluable, especially throughout the exploration and implementation of organizational changes in line with the company’s SRL initiative. Graeme’s continued development and empowerment of his people has led to the creation of a strong finance team in Aberdeen.”
Graeme was very humbled to receive a FIRST Excellence Award: “It’s recognition that my peers appreciate the commitment I try and give every day to my work and to the company. I feel very proud that my colleagues regard me as deserving of this award.”
Sr. Mechanical Engineer, Houston
Aaron Barr’s technical knowledge has earned him respect as the “go-to” guy for the most complex problems at Transocean and he’s proven to be a great asset to the company and his peers within the drilling industry.
“Aaron is a model for a Transocean engineer. His drive for professional excellence and technical development in our narrow field of engineering is to be recognized,” said Trenton Martin, Engineering Manager, DP, Instrumentation and Controls. “He maintains his vigilance towards finding the technically correct, safe and cost-effective engineered solutions for our rigs. His insight into the complex dynamics of motion compensation as a system is unique in the industry.”
Darrel Pelley, who Aaron counts among his mentors, said Aaron has solved technical problems for Transocean that the original equipment manufacturers could not unravel during his seven years with the company.
“I can honestly describe Aaron as brilliant,” Pelley said. “His work behind the scenes has paid huge dividends to the company. When combined with his work ethic and humble personality, he embodies FIRST principles to me.”
Living up to the company’s FIRST core values in his daily life simply goes back to how he was raised, Aaron says.
Director of Engineering, Terry Loftis, points out Aaron’s willingness to help, constantly positive attitude and ability to focus on the task at hand.
“Throughout the years, I have not seen the smile fade from Aaron’s face, nor the sparkle in his eye diminish,” he said. “Aaron proudly represents himself as ‘Transocean.’ He embraces and embodies our FIRST core values. Our customers and vendors alike seek his advice, cooperation, concurrence and affirmation, which is quite remarkable. I am excited by the potential he holds for Transocean.”
* Aaron is now Manager, Mechanical.
Sr. Mechanical Engineer, Houston
Rafik Sabet brings a wealth of knowledge after 40 years of working at Transocean, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to constantly learn more.
“Rafik has kept up with the latest equipment and rig designs. He does not rest on the past; he is always looking to the future,” said Mark Weishaupt, Manager – Mechanical Rig Systems. “He inspires others to excel. His accomplishments and dedication to Transocean, as well as his personal qualities put him in the first-class group of employees.”
Dan Farr, Director of Newbuilds, added: “Rafik is one of those individuals whose work ethic, values and personality demonstrate everything you desire in an employee and as an individual. His leadership reinforces my faith that we can work to our core values, support our business and personal lives with integrity and have fun doing it.”
Terry Loftis, Director of Engineering, remembers asking Rafik to accompany him to a business meeting with an equipment supplier in Norway ahead of the holidays and Rafik enthusiastically accepted the assignment.
“Rafik participated through a week of rigorous technical debate, clarification and analysis, even enduring freezing temperatures and some ridiculously long hours – when transportation shut down due to snow,” Terry wrote. “At the end of the week, I thanked all of the subject matter experts for giving their time and putting their Christmas holiday plans in jeopardy.”
Rafik responded by thanking Terry, saying how much he appreciated the opportunity and how excited he was to learn about the equipment.
“With his – at the time – approximately 38 years of experience, and as a subject matter expert, he was still excited at new knowledge and a new challenge. I was motivated,” Terry wrote. “He always delivers, irrespective of the long hours, extended travel or lost holidays.”
Sr. Engineering Coordinator, Houston
Nearly 35 years ago, Diana Priest began her career with Transocean as a telex operator. Just as Transocean has evolved, Diana’s role evolved through the years.
As telex was replaced by facsimile then email technology, Diana’s career path transformed and she moved from being an operator into her current role as the Senior Engineering Coordinator in the Newbuilds department, where she has experienced some of the most memorable moments of her career. She has had the opportunity to travel to both Singapore and Korea to attend newbuild rig naming ceremonies that she organizes on behalf of Transocean.
The success of the rig naming ceremonies she puts together is the result of long hours of planning and her dedication to financial discipline. Diana makes sure Transocean is presented in the best light and that every detail goes as planned. Proof of her efforts can be found in the many acknowledgments received from those who attend, and particularly from our customers.
“Diana personifies Transocean and undeniably represents the FIRST core values of our company,” said Terry Loftis, Director of Engineering.
Many letters supporting Diana’s FIRST Excellence Award echoed the same theme: “She always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude, is as reliable as the sun rise and always gets the job done without complaints.”
It is clear she is the ultimate team player and her team includes all Transocean employees.
Diana’s positive attitude – even in the face of trial and hardships – lifts the spirits of all of those around her. Her desire to go above and beyond to assist others in every way she can inspires a pay-it-forward approach.
Winning a FIRST Excellence Award only encourages Diana to work harder.
“There is always room for improvement,” she said. “Being acknowledged for my hard work and what I have contributed so far just makes me want to do more.”
Manager, Marine Operations, Houston
John MacDonald is not one to give up easily and during his tenure with Transocean he has demonstrated what can be achieved through hard work and commitment. John says his start out at sea, and the dangers he encountered make living the core values second nature.
“John is committed to ensuring that the crew members that we have onboard are fully supported in getting what they need to maintain a safe work environment,” said Dave Young, Master on the Discoverer Deep Seas. “John has witnessed first-hand many of the incidents that have driven the policies, procedures and regulatory requirements that we uphold. His biggest concern is that we have what we need to be able to go home as we came to work. He is fully committed to ensuring that we can operate incident free, all the time, everywhere.”
He has earned the trust and respect of his peers, management and our customers through his actions.
“John is always honest with everyone no matter what the circumstances and he expects the same in return,” said David Hollier, DP Performance Advisor. “John is consistent in the way he treats everyone. He is well-respected in the industry and has an open door policy.”
The relationships John has built through the years are invaluable. Those who supported him in receiving a FIRST Excellence Award say even on holidays and vacations, he never lets a call for help go unanswered.
“John never passes the buck,” wrote Dan McGuiggan, Operations Manager – Luanda. “He’ll stay with issues and gather the support that is needed when more expertise is required. He opens doors that are closed at times, because of the trust and relationships he has built over the years with Transocean. He truly exemplifies Transocean in all that he does.”
* John is now Sr. Manager, Marine Support.
Director, Operations Assurance, Dubai
Bill Wainwright understands his job, understands his colleagues, and cares – truly cares – about both.
“Bill is one of those few people with the ability to look at others and immediately see the strengths they have, and then use it to get the most out of that individual or group,” said Jeff Ivory, Director of Operations – Africa Remote. “It is because of his ability to understand people that his leadership is often called upon to turn around a difficult situation. People like Bill are simply rare, although he will tell you: ‘This is just what it takes.’ But in reality he is always going above and beyond expectations.”
When asked what he enjoys most about working at Transocean, a career he began in 1975 when he was hired into the driller trainee program, Bill responded: “The people, it is always about the people.”
According to Dan McGuiggan, Operations Manager: “The key to Bill’s success is in his spirit and approach. He never waivers from what is right. He is honest and holds himself and his team to the highest standards. Bill gives everything he has for the success of his team and the company, inspiring everyone around him to do the same.”
His tenure at Transocean has taken him around the globe, allowing him “to influence operations worldwide with best practices he has built up during his 39-year career,” said Ed Moro, Director of Operations Assurance Europe.
“Bill is a professional and Operational Integrity and Performance are at the forefront of his thoughts and actions,” he said.
Bill learned he had won a FIRST Excellence Award early one evening in Dubai when his phone rang and Larry McMahan, VP Operations, was on the other end.
“At first, I was taken aback by the news,” Bill said. “And then I felt honored to have won such a prestigious award. At this point in my career, being with Transocean almost 40 years, it is very rewarding to know that the hard work and effort is not only recognized, but also appreciated. It makes me want to work even harder.”
There were four winners from our Americas Operations, working in the Gulf aboard the C.R. Luigs, Deepwater Nautilus and the Discoverer India: Glen Johnson, Suzanne Landry, Alistair Paterson and Harinder Arya each received FIRST Excellence Awards for outstanding performance in 2013.
Sr. Toolpusher, GSF C. R. Luigs, GOM
By no fault of his own, Glen Johnson was not the easiest recipient to inform about his FIRST Excellence Award – a road closure, detour and spotty phone service were the cause of a shortened phone conversation. When he finally got the good news, Glen was extremely honored to receive the prestigious recognition and was quick to credit his success to the hardworking crew aboard the C.R. Luigs.
Glen has been with Transocean for more than 25 years and aboard the C.R. Luigs since 2011. According to his peers, Glen’s knowledge and experience set a high standard on the rig and OIM Jimmy Long said his management of the drill floor played a big role in the C.R. Luigs’ completing 2013 with an impressive revenue efficiency.
“He goes above and beyond each hitch and inspires his crew to be successful in their positions while striving for the next level,” Jimmy said of Glen. “When it comes to safety, Glen leads by example. He sets expectations for following HSE policies and promotes safety through teamwork.”
It is an approach to coaching and mentoring that Bill Sannan, Operations Director – GOM, admires.
“When it comes to safety, he walks the walk and talks the talk, and his crew respects him for that,” Bill said. “Glen is performance-driven and the knowledge and experience he brings aboard the C.R. Luigs played a key role in the rig’s superior drilling performance.”
Bill added of Glen’s attributes: “This achievement is a testament to his leadership and adherence to the core values.”
Glen’s peers agree. They say his leadership style creates a culture in which everyone strives to go above and beyond.
“Glen has a tremendous amount of respect from me and the crew,” said Shaun Anderson, Sr. Maintenance Supervisor. “He is one of the key members aboard who led to the rig receiving a 2012 FIRST Excellence Award for achieving operational excellence. Everyone looks up to Glen. His attitude and enthusiasm make everyone around him want to better themselves.”
Radio Operator, Deepwater Nautilus, GOM
Suzanne Landry or “Ms. Sue” as she is called by the Deepwater Nautilus crew – makes an impact on the crews she’s worked with during her 20 years at Transocean.
Known as the “mother figure” aboard the Deepwater Nautilus, Sue has dedicated hundreds of hours “off-the-clock” to caring for the rig’s crew. Sue’s hard work, kindness and dedication to “looking out for her guys,” impacts many. Those who have long since moved on from the Deepwater Nautilus continue to call to check on Sue regularly.
“Sue is without peer as a radio operator within Transocean, and demonstrates the acumen, thoroughness, attention-to-detail and positive attitude daily that sets her apart,” said Christopher Berry, Maintenance Supervisor – Deepwater Nautilus. “Ms. Sue is much more than a radio operator. She is a confidant, guidance counselor, financial advisor, mentor and friend to the whole Nautilus team. She is an inspiration to all who rely on her each day, and her motivation and work ethic are contagious.”
When asked what she enjoys most about working at Transocean, Sue points to her colleagues.
“We are like family out there on the rig,” she said. “There is just a bond you have between the people and their families, which can make leaving a rig heart-breaking. However, a new experience and a new adventure is always right around the corner. That is what I really love.”
Director of Operations, Mike Wright, said anyone who visits the Deepwater Nautilus realizes quickly why the crew holds Sue in such high regard.
“She is very positive and committed to supporting everyone who comes aboard the Nautilus,” he said. “Sue takes the time to communicate important information about the safety and emergency roles of people onboard with care and compassion for each and every person. She is always doing the right thing for the company, individuals and the operation. People like Sue Landry demonstrate what the FIRST core values look like in an individual. She inspires everyone around her to be the best.”
OIM, Discoverer India, GOM
Alistair Paterson rarely is speechless – at least, up until he got word he won a FIRST Excellence Award.
“It is really difficult for me to take a claim for myself,” he said. “I much prefer to give credit to the team, so it was really hard to find the words to express my gratitude.”
Although Alistair may speak modestly about his achievements that earned him a FIRST Excellence Award, the team aboard the Discoverer India – where Alistair has been assigned since the rig began operations in 2010 – has no problem boasting on his behalf.
“Alistair is woven all throughout the fabric of the DID,” said Scotty Brashear, Rig Manager – DID. “He mentors all personnel across the rig. They look to him for guidance and motivation, and he has helped many get started down a path to further their careers. He was recently chosen as the successor for the OIM position and he did not miss a beat. He came armed with an agenda and his trademark work ethic.”
Those qualities have helped him succeed and navigate through continual change at Transocean.
“His crew sees him as a catalyst for change describing how employees who often fear change are helped by Alistair’s ability to look beyond the initial startup and identify the positive impact it will have on the future,” said Alan Quintero, SVP Americas. “Alistair is cheerful even in the face of adversity, which inspires his team to be happy and positive regardless of the situation, which thereby builds a stronger and better crew.”
Rig Manager, Deepwater Nautilus, GOM
Harinder Arya embodies the FIRST core values through his tremendous work ethic and technical knowledge.
This is something Harinder accomplishes by setting the bar high for himself and inspiring others to do the same, said Bill Sannan, Operations Director – GOM1.
“His technical knowledge, inquisitiveness and work ethic are impressive, but what sets him apart is the result of whatever he sets out to achieve normally exceeds all expectations,” Bill said. “Harinder’s commitment to safety is unquestionable and his willingness to help, rather than direct, those he supervises has earned their respect.”
One common theme throughout Harinder’s many nominations was his willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve success – adapting to change as necessary, self-educating through classes and reading textbooks. He never gives less than 100%.
And though his accomplishments are many, Harinder was surprised to learn he had received a FIRST Excellence Award.
He credited his success to the company’s core values saying: “I know I am delivering value to my fellow employees and our customers when I make decisions based on the values that are instilled in us through FIRST: Financial discipline, Integrity and Honesty, Respect, Safety and Technical leadership.”
Harinder also gives credit to another one of this year’s FIRST Excellence Award recipients: Walter Sheffield, who was the OIM on the Deepwater Frontier when Harinder started as a trainee.
“Walter set a high standard on the rig, leading by example,” he said. “Walter shaped my world view on how things should be done aboard a rig and I am lucky to have had the chance to work with such a great guy.”
Three teams were recognized for their successful achievements of 2013 performance goals. Not only did these three teams far exceed expectations, they demonstrated leadership in their unwavering commitment to FIRST.
THAILAND OPERATIONS TEAM
The Thailand Operations team received a FIRST Excellence Award for its ability to build and deliver state-of-the-art assets.
“The Thailand team, inclusive of the crew aboard the Transocean Siam Driller, Transocean Andaman and Transocean Ao Thai, has set a benchmark for the start-up of newbuild rigs,” said Vincent Berthou, Operations Director – EAP. “The Thailand team demonstrated financial discipline during the operational readiness phase in the shipyard contributing to the delivery of all three high-specification jackups on time and within budget. They have taken our relationship with our customer to a new level of excellence, building great trust between both parties through honest and open communications.”
Jim Pattillo, OIM Transocean Ao Thai, and LoAn Nguyen, Sr. Engineer Newbuild Projects, were chosen to accept the award at the annual ceremony in Houston. Both spoke highly of the team, reiterating the team’s success came due to efforts of each individual involved in the project.
“Everyone had the same objective – get the rigs ready to work,” said Jim. “It all came together very well. It was a perfect demonstration of different disciplines working together for one common goal.”
LoAn said the newbuild construction support group and operations personnel worked together “to ensure a safe, successful project and rig start-up.”
“The goal was to make sure the customer was happy,” LoAn added.
TAX DEFENSE TEAM
Transocean’s Tax Defense team was recognized with a FIRST Excellence Award for its unwavering commitment to excellence, steadfast financial discipline and outstanding business results.
The favorable settlement of six years of tax audits dramatically exceeded the target time period set within the company, a result of the resilient leadership of both Bill Hughes and Robert Kemp.
Facing many challenges along the path to success, the Tax Defense Team exhibited the attributes of the company’s FIRST core values – conducting itself honestly and with integrity, treating everyone with great respect and insisting on transparency. Bill and Robert earned the respect of the agency in charge of administering the U.S. tax laws, bringing great credit to the company through their actions.
Both men gave credit to the talented individuals that make up the tax department, and the leadership of Steve Hayes, Sr. Vice President – Tax.
“The diligent work by the tax defense team generated outstanding business results,” Hayes wrote in support of Bill and Robert’s efforts. “The combination of their incredible preparation, their steadfast belief in the technical merits of our tax position and the leverage of a favorable 2004 Tax Court ruling propelled us to a favorable resolution and timely closure of six years of tax audits. Had the tax defense team not made this incredible achievement, Transocean would still be in court. Transocean is fortunate to have Robert and Bill represent the company in front of the IRS and Tax Court.”
SEDCO 712 REACTIVATION TEAM
The reactivation of the Sedco 712 was a challenging shipyard project, but a project the team met with success by adopting a “One Team Culture” from the onset.
“The team demonstrated extraordinary dedication and passion to overcome numerous challenges during the nine months or so of the project,” said Adrian Rose, VP Europe. “And they did it whilst consistently promoting the FIRST core values of the company.”
Some of the challenges faced by the reactivation team were obvious from the start: Bringing a rig that had been cold stacked for four years back to operations and fully manning it.
“On day one, the rig had no crew whatsoever and the team had to simultaneously conduct the assessment and planning activities at the same time as executing the project, requiring enormous resourcefulness and innovation,” added Adrian.
To say that they achieved success is putting it lightly, as what was accomplished by the Sedco 712 Reactivation Team should serve as a blueprint for other project teams.
“It was evident from the start a team bond was forming and a ‘one team’ ethic was established, which was prevalent throughout the entire length of the project and is still in place today,” said Neil Clyne, Operations Director – North Sea. “The team executed their plan with 223 scopes of work executed over 254 days and at a cost 11% below budget. They exemplified the core values through their behaviors and work ethic and brought a rig back to life. Everyone working aboard the rig is proud to be a part of the Sedco 712 team, a result of the rig crew continuing with the same ethos of the reactivation team.”
Jason Roberts, Project Manager, and Craig Gunn, Asset Manager, traveled to Houston to accept the FIRST Excellence Award on behalf of the Sedco 712 Reactivation team. Both were honored to have been chosen to represent the team and they reiterated the “one team” theme referenced so many times throughout their nomination letters.
“The FIRST core values were a leading force behind our team’s success,” said Jason.
Craig added: “It is important to emphasize that word ‘team’ – as it took every individual member of the team working together.”
Two installations: Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 and Trident XIV received FIRST Excellence Awards for achieving operational excellence. An additional honor, the Striving for Excellence Award was given to the Trident XIV, as well as the Transocean Prospect and the Deepwater Frontier. The Striving for Excellence award recognizes one rig from each rig class – dynamically positioned floaters, moored floaters and bottom-supported – for the most improved scorecard results. Another award newcomer is the Rig of the Year award, which was presented this year to the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 for its scorecard results.
DHIRUBHAI DEEPWATER KG1
The Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 received both the FIRST Excellence and Rig of the Year Awards for its exceptional performance and scorecard results in 2013.
But accomplishments such as being named the Rig of the Year are nothing new for this ultra-deepwater drillship, which began operations in 2009. Since then, success has simply become part of the job.
“Everyone was really excited and proud,” said Toolpusher John Toms.
Ivan Paladin, Sr. DPO, added: “Winning the award is like fuel, driving us to want to work harder and do even better. It feels really good to be part of a team receiving this type of recognition for our hard work.”
John, Ivan and Mohammed Farhan, Chief Mechanic, made the trip to Houston to accept both awards on behalf of the KG1 crew.
The crew says FIRST core values are the foundation of the drillship’s culture. The rig performs well as a result, they say.
“At times there will be 20 different nationalities aboard the rig, but everyone is shown the same level of respect,” said Mohammed.
Like many other recipients, the KG1 crew also spoke of the closeness among the team.
“We work together. We eat together. We laugh together. We are a family and the KG1 is our home,” Mohammed added. “We take pride in the rig and everything onboard.”
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Stobart said he had a chance to visit the ultra-deepwater drillship last year and saw the excellent work of the men and women who operate the rig up close.
“I can tell you the rig just sparkles and the attitude of everyone onboard is perfection – plain and simple,” he said.
Winning two awards for her 2013 performance – FIRST Excellence and Striving for Excellence – the crew on the Trident XIV definitely knows the key ingredients to successful operations.
“Winning this award means everything to our team aboard the Trident XIV,” said Raphael Williamson, OIM. “It’s not the rig that won this award, it’s the people.”
The Trident XIV worked in Angola from 1997 until June 2014 when she transferred to Shelf Drilling. The continued focus on safety and training, using the many tools provided by Transocean, gave this mostly local crew the skills and knowledge they needed.
“We are not just a team on the T14, we are a family,” said Geronimo Neto, Driller. “The FIRST core values are the way of life on the rig.”
Raphael added the trust the crew built is important.
“When you are honest and treat everyone with the same respect they know that they are a trusted part of the team, which makes everyone work even harder to exceed both the company and the customer’s expectations,” he said.
Geronimo and Raphael represented the Trident XIV team at the awards, but were clear it was because of the hard work of every single crew member that the rig was able to achieve such an exceptional performance.
“We are all so proud that all of the hard work and effort of the crew has been recognized by Transocean’s senior management,” said Raphael.
The Transocean Prospect crew put in a lot of hard work and effort to take home the Striving for Excellence Award for the midwater floater, which has been working in the UK sector of the North Sea since January 2012 for a variety of customers.
The rig earned the Striving for Excellence award by improving its scorecard results in 2013.
When the crewmembers on the Prospect received news they had won a Striving for Excellence Award, they were thrilled.
“Everyone was surprised and also very proud to learn we had won the award,” said George McLennan, Welder and Safety Representative. “A lot of hard work and effort was put in to bring the rig up to the current standards following its reactivation. To be recognized for the team’s accomplishments, it feels really good.”
Representing their colleagues on the Transocean Prospect, both George and Kenny Strachan, Tourpusher, attended the award ceremony in Houston to accept the Striving for Excellence Award on behalf of the entire crew. Both were quick to point out who was responsible for winning this award: “It was the hard work of every single individual member of the Prospect team.”
“Receiving this award serves as proof that the FIRST core values are being successfully implemented onboard the rig,” said Kenny. “All crew members take pride in the rig and adhering to the core values while both working offshore and in their daily lives when they return home.”
Kenny said it is the people he works with that keep him going back offshore year-after-year. He has worked for Transocean for 18 years while George has been with the company for 30 years. They said Transocean’s safety culture, investment in employees and strong leadership in the drilling industry make them proud.
“Working at Transocean, you know you are working with the best in the industry,” said Kenny.
Outstanding operational performance in 2013 combined with a scorecard improvement earned the Deepwater Frontier the Striving for Excellence Award.
“I have visited the rig a couple of times and have seen the improvement in that operation first-hand,” said John Stobart, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “It is really remarkable how a team pulling together under strong leadership can achieve such an exceptional level of performance.”
Determined to improve its scorecard results in 2013, the Deepwater Frontier crew accomplished its goal by pulling together and living – not just following – the company’s FIRST core values. As the OIM on the Deepwater Frontier, Richard Calhoun helped the crew ‘keep their eyes on the prize’ by proudly displaying the rig’s two FIRST Excellence Awards won in previous years while working in India.
“Seeing the awards and being reminded of the honor and recognition that comes with them really got the group excited,” he said. “The entire crew pulled together as one to improve the rig’s operational performance, and our motivation increased as we began to see the results of everyone’s hard work. We are all very proud of what has been accomplished on the Deepwater Frontier.”
While Richard had the honor of representing the Deepwater Frontier at the annual award ceremony, he made sure his acceptance of the award was not misconceived: “You can’t say that the Deepwater Frontier’s success was because of any one person, but because of every person. Everyone came together as one team working toward the same goal.”
According to Richard there is still one goal remaining for the Deepwater Frontier crew: “I hope to be back here next year accepting Rig of the Year for the Deepwater Frontier.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award is Transocean’s most prestigious honor. It sets out to recognize tenured employees who have made profound, solid contributions to the company’s operations over a continuous period of time.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented, for only the second time in our company’s history, to Larry McMahan, Vice President of Operations Assurance and a 2000 First Excellence Award recipient.
VP, Operations and Assurance
Larry McMahan has demonstrated an unwavering commitment and has profoundly impacted Transocean, earning him the company’s most prestigious award – The Lifetime Achievement Award.
As the company’s VP Operations Assurance, his immeasurable leadership contributions and influence on our people, operations and the entire drilling industry have empowered many to thrive and succeed during his 34 years with the company.
“The name Larry McMahan is recognized throughout the industry, his reputation born out of a lifetime of high integrity and character,” said Steven Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “For years, we have received descriptions of Larry’s value and contributions from not only our people but from our customers, as well. Larry’s name was repeatedly mentioned by customers as the ‘gold standard’ – how they wanted the rest of us at Transocean to act and deliver. Larry is the very best combination of People Focus, Customer Focus and Execution Focus. I could not be prouder to have witnessed – and shared, the accomplishments and innovations and adventures he has provided.”
Through the years, Larry has offered exactly what Transocean needs. As the rig manager of the Discoverer Enterprise, the first drillship to utilize Transocean’s patented dual-activity technology, Larry was a key player in the enhancement of the dual activity operations. Larry was also instrumental in the development and continuous improvement of the World Wide Training Matrix and sponsored and developed our Operations Manuals and Handbooks. Along with his team, he continuously updates the operations management system that underpins our work on Transocean’s drilling rigs around the world.
Many pointed to how Larry: “talks the talk and walks the walk” when it comes to going above and beyond to leverage the core values in everything he does. Larry describes the core values as “fundamental principles that cover all aspects of what we at Transocean expect from everyone.”
“I try to be consistent in doing things right, which means safely,” he said. “My nature is to be cautious in all things. I keep my word as my bond and always treat others with respect.”
This was readily apparent during the tragedy involving the Deepwater Horizon. Larry’s contribution to the response team was beyond measure. He earned universal respect from everyone involved for his operational knowledge and passion for doing the right thing.
John Stobart, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said seldom has he seen the type of deep devotion and loyalty Larry has for Transocean.
“When I go out to rigs with Larry, he is clearly considered by the rig crews and management to be the last word in operations policies and procedures, credibility and respect,” John wrote. “He has earned this by working his way up through the ranks from roughneck. He inspires me, and I will do everything in my power to make Larry’s vision for Transocean a reality.”
Larry says he is grateful to have seen such transformation and be a part of such a dynamic company, even during the times when some of the changes may have been more painful than others. He says each transformation taught a lesson.
“I have learned so much from our rich culture and the individuals who make up the Transocean I know,” Larry said. It all started with his first mentor:
Some defining moments in his career included deepwater campaigns on the Discoverer Seven Seas in the 1980s and 1990s when multiple world water depth records were set one after another with several significant discoveries that are viable oil producing fields today. Another defining moment was the newbuild process of the Discoverer Enterprise.
“My wife and I were just married at the beginning of the build and I would not recommend to anyone to take on these two things at the same time,” Larry said. “My wife was very patient with me and for that I am grateful. The Enterprise went to work and we accomplished some amazing things in the first few years of operations that today remain the benchmark in some areas of well construction and subsea development.”
Larry said receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers left him “honored and earnestly humble.”
“Perseverance and patience are rewarding,” he said. “Change is inevitable and Transocean is a great company. It’s the people. It always has been and it always will be.”
Copyright © 2014 Transocean, LTD.