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Calgary Father’s Day tribute honours Syncrude employee

Jun 22, 2016

Heroes come in all different forms – they are our neighbours, co-workers and friends. They are people like Matt McLean, Syncrude employee and father to a five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. Matt and his family lost their home last month in the wildfire.

During a special Father’s Day tribute, Matt was selected to receive the Unsung Hero Award presented on the Dave Kelly Live Variety Show in Calgary.

“When the producers were connected with the McLeans and heard their story it was clear to everyone that they’re an incredible family who has been through an unimaginable ordeal,” says Mike McKeown, Partner and VP of Production, Dave Kelly Live Variety Show. “It was our honour to create this moment for them.”

On June 15 Matt’s wife Jennifer attended the show to receive the award on her husband’s behalf, as she believed he was working and unable to attend. Unbeknownst to them, Matt flew to Calgary to surprise his family. After his first flight was cancelled from high winds, Matt got on another flight and made it to the show with minutes to spare.

When his name was called out, Matt walked up on stage to surprise his wife and accept the award, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the venue.

“It was quite an honour to get the award on behalf of all fathers everywhere. It was very heartwarming and overwhelming,” says Matt, Syncrude Production Coordinator. “The show recognized that we were going through a challenging time due the fires, and with me working away at site. It’s hard to be away from family for extended periods of time, but am looking forward to spending some time with them soon.”

For many employees at Syncrude, finding a balance between family and work can be challenging but also rewarding.

“Matt is one of many examples within our organization who have demonstrated a commitment to safely restarting our facility, and at the same time dealing with personal family matters due to this wildfire,” says Hakan Ceylan, Hydrotreating Business Team Leader.  “I know this award experience is something that Matt and his family will cherish forever.”

Syncrude salutes Matt and all employees who are displaced by the wildfire, who continue to work hard to safely restart our operation.