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Mark Guillet, president and CEO (left) at SaskEnergy, presenting a medal to Elmer Hollinger, operations manager, for his volunteerism.Provided

Whenever he can, Elmer Hollinger gives back to the Saskatchewan community where he lives, works and raises his kids. Knowing that his employer, SaskEnergy Incorporated, supports him and shares his commitment to helping others makes giving back easier.

Hollinger is an operations manager with SaskEnergy. When he’s not overseeing his team of front-line service technicians in Yorkton, a city of about 20,000 northeast of Regina, he’s lending a hand with some of the hundreds of charitable organizations the company helped last year. Each month, he volunteers up to 20 hours either with work-led initiatives or outside organizations such as the Kinsmen Club.

“I know that a lot of things don’t happen without volunteers,” says Hollinger, who was born in Yorkton and now raises his three children there.

Whether he’s getting trees donated for a new playground at a local elementary school, organizing a garbage cleanup along a five-kilometre walking trail or dropping the puck at a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) game, Hollinger is honoured to have the support of a company that prides itself on being ‘Saskatchewan’s Champion of Volunteers.’

“Our employees are known for stepping up and volunteering,” says Mark Guillet, SaskEnergy’s president and CEO. “We are truly honoured to stand behind these community and employee volunteers to help deliver not just large events but a lot of the small events that take place in the smaller communities. We demonstrate that volunteerism and the spirit that Saskatchewan is known for.”

For a decade, SaskEnergy has supported Goals for KidSport to help youth participate in sport. For every home goal scored by an SJHL team throughout the hockey season, SaskEnergy donates $20. The program has raised more than $230,000.

Without his employer’s flexibility and financial support, Hollinger says, he couldn’t continue volunteering. He uses his annual 13 earned days off – provided in addition to vacation leave – to chaperone school field trips or lend a hand at a fundraiser. For his commitment to volunteerism, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal last year.

Hollinger is not only proud to be recognized for his commitment to the community, but to be in a position where he can advance the company’s strong safety culture. Working in the natural gas transmission and distribution industry, he champions the company’s goal to have every employee and contractor go home safely each day and meet the vision of Mission: Zero – zero injuries, zero fatalities and zero suffering.

“Safety is a core value at SaskEnergy. We talk about safety every single day,” says Guillet.

Hollinger and his team work diligently to ensure that job-specific safety training is conducted, that safety reassessments and recertifications are completed, and that tailgate safety meetings take place monthly to review procedures and discuss emerging issues and concerns.

Having worked for SaskEnergy for 11 years, Hollinger also appreciates the company’s learning and development programs. Starting with the company as a service technician, he saw room for growth. He completed in-house training and became a technician trainer before being offered a managerial position. He has since taken part in the company’s management development programs. “I can’t believe how many opportunities are available. If you show interest, they will support you,” says Hollinger.

Guillet values SaskEnergy’s dedicated, community-minded employees. Without them, he says, the company couldn’t provide affordable energy to Saskatchewan and deliver on its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 35 per cent by 2030. “Our employees are very proud of making sure we have a safe, reliable system.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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