February 16, 2021 By Rock to Road
Every year, Rock to Road asks the roadbuilding and aggregate sectors to acknowledge its best and brightest. And every year, you never disappoint. Holly Shurey, Plant Manager at Lafarge Canada in Vancouver, B.C., was named as one of the recipients of the award.
For Holly, being stuck indoors all day just wasn’t for her. After working a short stint as a medical office assistant (MOA) after graduating from high school, she quickly realized that a typical office job did not suit her.
“I wanted to work in construction or with heavy equipment,” Holly says. To get into the industry, she left her position as an MOA and started out with a temp agency working as a general labourer on a construction site for Lafarge Canada.
“I jumped in and soaked up all the information I could, and kept learning more and more,” Holly says. “I was working on the ground as a labourer and quality control and worked my way up from the bottom. I showed my initiative and worked hard, and an opportunity came up as a superintendent. I ended up getting the role and was a superintendent for over a year.”
While working as a superintendent, a mine manager position opened up within Lafarge Canada. Holly jumped on the opportunity to apply immediately.
“I fought for the job and have been a mine manager for a year,” she says.
Holly thanks her family for much of her success to date.
“My grandfather and my father have always worked in the construction industry. My father worked in the aggregate industry. They’ve always inspired me and supported my goals. If it wasn’t for my family, I don’t think I would have been as likely to take those risks. Watching my father and my grandfather succeed in this industry, and similar industries, was an inspiration for me.”
Holly currently oversees a wash and crush plant that supplies 13 different ready-mix plants. She has completed some significant projects during her time with the company.
“Holly worked with cross product lines and used her QC background to maximize output of a high demand product and minimize waste,” says Jessica Ritchie, human resources coordinator for Lafarge Canada, adding that the project resulted in substantial cost savings and maximized profit. “It helped extend our sand and gravel reserves.”
Holly says she has already taken steps towards her next long-term goal with the company.
“My long-term goal is to utilize and repurpose the waste material to expand our financial gains and create a market for niche materials working with our sales department,” she says. “It’s just about thinking outside the box.”
Holly enjoys lending her time to other young professionals to help develop and mentor future leaders and personnel to their maximum potential.
“The thing I love most about my management role is leading people and developing people, helping them succeed. I find a lot of fulfillment in that,” she says. “I hope that I can be proof for other young women that it is possible to start from the ground up as a woman and make your way up in this industry. All it takes is a little hard work and dedication.”
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