Fawn Bergen, Global Environmental Program Leader; AMCOL International Corp.

Nov 19, 2013 1:00 PM ET

This month we introduce you to Fawn Bergen, Global Environmental Program Leader for AMCOL International Corp., one of the members who makes our network so unique!

What are currently working on?

I am currently working to improve our global environmental program. My focus over the next year is to develop new and improve existing guidance, systems, tools, and local and regional programs to achieve our goal of a world-class environmental program. This includes sustainability, environmental compliance, systems for measuring success (metrics and KPIs), as well as integrating our environmental culture through all of our operations and business units.

What do you like about your job?

The people I work with - specifically our EHS team. The people that you deal with on a daily basis can make or break a job, and I am really lucky to work with the group that I do. We all work very hard, have a clear focus, and truly work together as a team (and have a lot of fun too!).

Has your environmental program received any awards or recognition? If so, what?

Although our mine reclamation team has won environmental awards in the past, we don’t like to rest on our laurels. At AMCOL, we keep pushing to be the best and my challenge is to make sure that our operations don’t feel compliance, or even an award is good enough.

What is your biggest challenge in your current role?

Prioritizing my short-term tasks vs. long-term goals. The list of things that I want to accomplish is long and since work never comes in a neat little package, there are always pressing issues that we must resolve along the way.

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

Being awarded the Air & Waste Management Association’s (AWMA’s) International Young Professional of the Year in 2009 was pretty exciting. That award is given through nomination by your peers and then voted based on contributions to the Association and the air pollution profession, so it was a big compliment.

What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?

If you find someone who is willing to help you along your career path by providing you mentoring and support – don’t take it for granted because it won’t happen often in your lifetime. After you have been working in your field for awhile you will see that it is rare to find someone you work for that is really truly invested in helping you succeed beyond just a technical capacity. As I look back at my 16 year career, I see the positive impact those few individuals have had on me.

What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?

Each category (spouse/colleague/friends) gave me a somewhat different response when I asked them this question, but overall they have said hardworking, tough (when I need to be), and fun/nice.

What do you like to do during your free time?

Living in Colorado, our family (me, my husband, and two boys – 7 and 8 years old) enjoys all of the outdoor activities that our location offers including hiking and camping. But really, I enjoy doing almost anything to spend “downtime” at home with my family.