"In a year that has challenged all of us in ways we never imagined, we are very pleased to recognize MPC's St. Paul Park Refinery for their award. Safety demands extraordinary attention in a normal year, double that attention this past year. Thank you St. Paul Park Refinery for keeping your employees safe."
- Paul Aasen, President of the Minnesota Safety Council
Employees of the St. Paul Park refinery volunteered at the 85th annual Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair in March. Lindsay George, Sam Reifsteck, Daniel McGraw and Ryan Mackey from the refinery’s Technical Services department judged projects at the middle school and high school level and participated in the Q&A sessions with the students. The four judges were impressed with the students’ work.
“I loved seeing their thought processes and interest in the scientific method – from testing lung capacity of musicians based on the instrument they play to gluten-free baking alternatives all the way to testing drag on different wing designs in a home-made wind tunnel,” said Daniel McGraw, Technical Services Manager at the St. Paul Park refinery. “I saw the interest in engineering and the scientific method is still alive and well within our youth, which is an exciting prospect.”
Hundreds of middle and high school students across Minnesota presented original research to professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. They compete for awards valued at $20,000. Top students move on to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair.
“Judges provide critical feedback to students – feedback that helps them improve their presentation skills, produce better science experiments, and perhaps even think more critically about their work,” said Jennifer Hadley, Operations Manager of the Minnesota Academy of Science, which coordinates the science fair. “The knowledge and experience of our judges help propel these young students forward, as they become future leaders in science, technology, engineering and math fields in Minnesota.”
John Wright has worked at St. Paul Park refinery since 2014, holding numerous roles in the Maintenance Department. Additionally, he currently serves as a Fire Captain for the St. Paul Park Fire Department (SPPFD) and has 16 years of firefighting experience with the SPPFD.
Austin Fontenot was named general manager of the St. Paul Park refinery in July 2021 after a long career in the refining industry. Fontenot is the first Black general manager of a Marathon Petroleum refinery, and he is committed to maturing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) at MPC and continuing his mission of community investment. He believes the DE&I Employee Networks are a huge step in the right direction.
"I want to have direct input into how we are driving the culture change at Marathon Petroleum," said Fontenot. "The individual needs to be valued first. That puts you in a level of comfort, where we can then be inclusive.”
"Where I see myself making the biggest impact is through people advocacy," said Fontenot. "It's about dedicating yourself to the individual. Leveraging those professional and personal relationships to deliver extraordinary results and differentiate performance by inspiring and motivating our teams."
He believes his experience working at a smaller, rural refinery early in his career, understanding regime changes from both sides of the spectrum (outsider and insider), and his skills bringing teams together will help him fulfill his purpose. Today, he's focused on learning and leading.
Recently, employees from our St. Paul Park, Minnesota, refinery donated their time to the Friends in Need Food Shelf to provide children with much-needed supplies for the upcoming school year. In addition, our team made a $1,500 donation to help pay for the backpacks and other supplies for local children in need.
St. Paul Park Refinery has been certified as a 2020 ENERGY STAR® facility by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ENERGY STAR certification recognizes the top quartile of similar plants based on their energy efficiency. To be eligible, a facility must also have excellent overall environmental compliance. This is St. Paul Park's third year receiving the certification, and MPC was named EPA's ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the third year in a row!
For more information on what it means to be ENERGY STAR certified and Partner of the Year, click here!
In June, more than 20 MPC employees volunteered to clean up trash along a two mile stretch of 70th Street in Cottage Grove, MN. For over 13 years, our team of volunteers has gathered at Highlands Park and kept the roadside clean from trash and other debris through monthly gatherings throughout the summer.