Meet our two winners in the ‘Putting People First’ category – gold winner John Gentry, Health & Safety Superintendent, Fort Knox and silver winner Elizabeth Ankrah, Supplies Store Clerk, Chirano.
This category celebrates excellence in health and safety, as well as those who excel at fostering a work environment where people are treated with fairness and respect.
John and Elizabeth not only make a big difference at Kinross, but also in their communities at-large. We are grateful for their commitment and contributions every day. Congratulations to John and Elizabeth!
JOHN GENTRY, Fort Knox – Health & Safety Superintendent
John was one of the first employees at Fort Knox in 1996, the same year that we celebrated our first gold pour at the mine. He began as a truck driver in Mine Operations, spent time as a crusher mechanic and even led the Fort Knox training department. While John has worked in a variety of roles during his 18-year-career, he really found his niche with the Health and Safety Department.
John is known personally by many of Fort Knox’s 650 employees as someone who truly cares and looks out for his fellow co-workers’ safety and well-being. John genuinely cares for all of our employees and puts safety values as a top priority. Below are just a few examples:
- John has voluntarily led the weekly safety meetings for the blast crew for many years. These meetings are every Wednesday at 5:15 a.m. which requires him to come to work early. What makes these safety meetings so effective is that he engages the crew and welcomes an open dialogue.
- He sits in on every department’s monthly meetings to better understand the needs of each department and address any concerns in person.
- John also volunteers his time in the community in many ways from helping to build a community park, planning clean-up days, and shooting fundraising events.
- He championed the Lions Recycle For Sight Program at Fort Knox and has collected over 200 pairs of glasses and contact lenses for those in need.
John Gentry, Health & Safety Superintendent, Fort Knox, raising money for the Lions Recycle for Sight program
ELIZABETH ANKRAH, Chirano – Finance Department, Supplies Store Clerk
Elizabeth’s hard work and dedication was noticed right away when she started working at Kinross in June 2005 as a cleaner. In 2006, she moved to the Security Department and became a Security Guard. In 2011, she was transferred to the finance department as a Supplies Store Clerk, her current position. It is not just her commitment to Kinross that has won her recognition within the Company, but also her passion for helping people in the community.
Elizabeth is known to have a permanent smile on her face and a big heart and her altruistic nature has not gone unnoticed. She also assists vulnerable families in her local community of Etwebo. For example, Elizabeth has helped to pay for medical bills, schooling and food for a local family who had fallen upon hard times. She has also assisted widows at her church by giving them food and clothes.
What was your reaction when the Acting General Manager of Chirano told you that you were the Silver LOVA winner for “Putting People First ”?
I was filled with joy and was almost in tears. I actually found it hard to believe it was real. It seemed to me as a dream and filled me with joy. It has been one of the most remarkable experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I am very grateful.
Do you have a message for your colleagues?
I am grateful for their support and I want to encourage every employee to make these values as part of their daily lives.
Elizabeth Ankrah with Gordon Ruttenbur, Acting General Manager, Chirano
Elizabeth is always smiling at work