Photo: TeamCITGO Employee Volunteers of the Year—Joe Bilbo Sr., David Sears and Charles Jernigan, and TeamCITGO President and Bob Carroll Legacy Award Recipient Tammy Spell (second from right).
TeamCITGO volunteers and their families, local elected officials, agencies that TeamCITGO serves and local business leaders recently gathered at the West Cal Events Center to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the employee-led volunteer group. TeamCITGO is the volunteer organization of the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery and was the first established employee-led industrial volunteer group in the area, donating thousands of community service hours to local charitable organizations throughout the last three decades.
During the program, TeamCITGO was collectively recognized by the Louisiana Legislature, Senate and House of Representatives, for its thirtieth anniversary with a special proclamation presented by Representative Mike Danahay. The proclamation honored the organization’s commitment to leading volunteerism in Louisiana since 1987 and its enduring legacy. Elected officials also in attendance included Louisiana legislative officials, local mayors and Lake Charles and Westlake City Council members.
President and CEO of United Way SWLA Denise Durel addressed volunteers about the importance of volunteerism for local charities and non-profits. She reiterated how much of an impact TeamCITGO volunteers have in making a difference in benefitting thousands of residents in the area. “TeamCITGO volunteers have a heart that is big enough to not only handle their own trials, but that expands to carry the burdens of others,” Durel said.
TeamCITGO volunteers average 4,000 volunteer hours annually and have served countless hours of community service throughout the years. In 2016 alone, TeamCITGO volunteered at 55 events with a total of 3,987.5 hours. CITGO Interim Vice President Refining Tomeu Vadell who attended the event said without a doubt, TeamCITGO volunteers convey the character of CITGO.
“Through volunteerism, TeamCITGO volunteers carry out the mission of CITGO to improve the quality of life in the communities where we operate. It’s this commitment to volunteerism that enables TeamCITGO to be one of the most highly sought after volunteer organizations in Southwest Louisiana. We thank our volunteers for the community stewardship that this great organization is known for in Southwest Louisiana and beyond,” Vadell said.
The top volunteers of the year for 2016 were also recognized during the special program. TeamCITGO employee volunteers of the year included Terminal Manager Charles Jernigan, 49 hours; Process Design Engineer David Sears, 51 hours; and Industrial Hygiene Specialist Joe Bilbo, Sr., 56 hours. CITGO Friends and Families Volunteers of the year were also recognized, including Pam Bergeaux, 42 hours; Priscilla Williams, 60 hours; and Pat Bergeaux (CITGO Retiree), 108 hours; as well as the Youth Volunteer of the Year: Lindsey Hudson, 48 hours.
In addition, CITGO Machinist and TeamCITGO President Tammy Spell was presented with the Bob Carroll Legacy Award named after the late Bob Carroll, a lead TeamCITGO member who exhibited the character and mission of TeamCITGO to selflessly serve his community. Spell was presented with the Legacy Award in recognition of her tireless dedication of service to TeamCITGO throughout the last 20 years.