MEET THE PLANT MANAGER
Joining the Team
Brett Woltjen Leads Norco Manufacturing Complex as New General Manager
Brett Woltjen doesn’t hesitate when asked about his recent appointment as Norco Manufacturing Complex (NMC) General Manager and relocation to Louisiana. He settled in just in time for King Cake, Carnival, and the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in early January, Woltjen was quickly introduced to a few facets of life in the Pelican State.
It’s not all that new to him, however. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Woltjen is familiar with the ups and downs of the Mississippi River and is no stranger to Louisiana State University. “Our oldest daughter graduated from LSU in 2012,” he says. “Given all the time we have spent in Louisiana visiting Kelly at school, attending games in Death Valley and visiting our many friends here, Louisiana feels like home to us already.”
A 30-year Shell/Motiva employee, Woltjen is enthusiastic about his NMC assignment. “The Norco Manufacturing Complex is very well respected within the company and industry,” he emphasizes. “I have visited here many times and have always valued and respected what the site has accomplished. NMC is known for a family atmosphere where everyone works hard, does the right thing, does it well and knows how to celebrate success the way only southern Louisiana people can.”
Prior to his current position, Woltjen served as Production Manager for Motiva Enterprises Port Arthur Refinery, leading the newly expanded site to its full integrated capacity, with strong positive cash flow and outstanding health, safety and environmental performance. His previous experience in such areas as operations, maintenance and project engineering throughout Shell, including Health, Safety, Security and Environmental General Manager on a global basis provide unique experiences for guiding NMC in a period of growth and change. He points to the Louisiana Integration Project as an exciting investment opportunity for the site and Louisiana. The multi-phased project will connect NMC and the Motiva Convent refinery through a series of pipelines. Additionally, modifications to the sites’ hardware will enhance the strengths of each refinery. “Our executive business leaders are demonstrating their confidence in NMC by continuing to make such strategic investments in the site,” Woltjen notes.
Generating margin and continuing to grow the site is a significant responsibility for the new General Manager, but for Woltjen safety is first and unquestionably most important. “My first priority is continuing and building on the health, safety, and environmental excellence NMC has recently demonstrated,” he says. “I take tremendous pride in working for a company that has the clear priority of placing safety absolutely first in everything we do while producing products essential for our society. My father and grandfather worked in manufacturing and my mother was a nurse. They reinforced for me the importance of protecting life, respecting the environment and taking pride in manufacturing excellence.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of my career has been the opportunity to be a part of the leadership of a company making a positive difference in the lives of employees and their families.”
A sports enthusiast, with a strong preference for SEC college football, Woltjen often tells people that working within oil refineries/chemical plants is the best team sport ever invented – with the exception of football, of course. “You work with a team of people on something vital to our society, utilizing your unique knowledge and skills with endless opportunities to learn and grow. It’s challenging, complex and satisfying,” he comments. “I am looking forward to continuing that team effort within the site.”
St. Charles Parish residents, especially those in the Norco community, can expect to see Woltjen in the neighborhood, participating in area festivals and activities and encouraging feedback about site operations. “It is important to be a welcome member of the local community, to have a strong positive impact on the parish while maintaining an open and interactive relationship with our neighbors, community leaders, contractors and employees,” he says. “And what a great opportunity to enjoy southern hospitality and the great food that comes along with it.”
By William Kalec