Employee Spotlight

Lloyd Wakeford

Meet Lloyd Wakeford, assistant accountant, and his son Derek, apprentice electrician.

One has been working at Saskatchewan Minerals for 32 years. The other is just at the beginning of his career. Father and son, Lloyd and Derek Wakeford are two men at the opposite ends of their careers, but both represent the hard work, get the job done attitude of Saskatchewan Minerals.

“You just come and you stay,” says Lloyd. “It is a good place to work, there is no doubt about that. The benefits are good and the people are good to work with – what more can you ask for?” Lloyd’s first job was as a labourer at Saskatchewan Minerals — if you don’t count the year he worked for CPR as a teenager. Over the next three decades he made the switch to an office job and worked his way up to assistant accountant and union president.

Getting the job done

Lloyd is the man in charge of payroll, accounts payable and invoicing. He laughs his job off as not very exciting, but Lloyd is the guy who makes sure everyone gets paid.

“As long as employees and vendors are paid on time they are happy and you are the greatest person in the world,” says Lloyd, who gradually took on more responsibility over the years and took the opportunity to study business in the evenings. He attributes his longevity and career growth within the accounting department to his ability to meet deadlines without making mistakes. And his supervisor agrees.

“Lloyd is conscientious,” says Brent Avery, general manager. “He knows what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by, and if something is out of the ordinary he asks for clarification.”

Because his work touches so many departments, Lloyd has worked hard to improve communications and streamline process across all departments.

“I pride myself on being a hard worker and hopefully Derek follows in my footsteps,” says Lloyd.

Like father like son

Despite growing up with his father working for the company, Derek never thought Saskatchewan Minerals would be where he’d end up. Now the father of three is in his third year as an apprentice electrician, just two years away from becoming a journeyman. His job satisfaction comes from working at a place that is family- friendly and encouraging. He also has an opportunity to build on natural talent of working with his hands. “Every project I tackle is satisfying because I know my trade well enough to be able to take on any project and solve problems,” says Derek. “My job involves quite a bit of responsibility and I think I am trusted to get the job done the proper way.”

Derek’s supervisor shares his confidence. “Derek started at the bottom and worked his way up,” says Jason Nernberg, assistant plant manager. “As a labourer you have to be versatile. You have to be able to do everything. I can give Derek a job and he knows what he’s doing. He shows a lot of initiative.”

All in the family

Lloyd and Derek are the most current father and son team at Saskatchewan Minerals, but family ties aren’t uncommon. Husbands, wives, parents, children and cousins all work side-by-side. Those connections are vital to the success of Saskatchewan Minerals.

“It improves communications both internally and externally. Because we are family we are more open with each other,” says Brent. “Employees are also aware of the company and its philosophies before they work here and understand the importance of the business to the community, and work hard to ensure its success.”

Lloyd and Derek have hard work and an understanding of Saskatchewan Minerals in common, but both work very different jobs. Lloyd is calm with a temperament that lends itself to methodical office work. Derek has been dubbed a tinkerer by his wife and excels at his job because it is hands-on and doesn’t require him to work a desk job. Both help build a dynamic team at Saskatchewan Minerals that builds on individual strengths to help the company excel as a cohesive unit.

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