Member Feature: Andrea Simonin, CSP
Andrea Simonin, CSP, got her start specifically in the terminals industry in December 2021 when she was hired as the Safety, Health, Environmental and Sustainability Director for Vopak Americas.
“That’s when I really started learning about terminal operations,” Simonin said. “Before joining Vopak, I worked for a consultant company for 15 years, supporting oil and gas clients where I did have some exposure to terminals on some occasions.”
Simonin enjoys that her job allows her to deal with a diverse team of employees who speak different languages and come from different countries.
“I really think you learn a lot and things work out better when you work with a diverse team,” she said. “I also love that I get to travel to so many different countries to support the terminals we have in the Americas, from north to south!”
Over the course of her career, Simonin says the biggest changes she’s seen are currently happening right now.
“Terminals are defining goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to become carbon neutral by mid-century,” Simonin said. “The sustainability journey is happening and will require more and more specialized professionals who can provide ideas for terminals to use energy more efficiently and to replace fossil fuels as their main sources of energy, to lighter or greener fuels.”
Among the many security challenges Simonin sees the industry tackling at the moment are those related to cybersecurity.
“Protecting systems and networks from digital attacks is a constant effort, since malicious people are always improving their skills, too,” she explained. “There are some organizations that can provide support for improving other organization's physical or cybersecurity systems. Some best practices include using strong passwords, updating software, thinking before clicking to identify any suspicious links and training employees constantly to help reduce the chances of cyberattacks.”
In the future, Simonin anticipates that better systems will be built and better ways to protect people and organizations will also evolve. She also says that young people looking to get into the terminal industry should know that there are many opportunities spanning a variety of different careers.
“From admin jobs to operational jobs, there is something for everyone,” Simonin said, emphasizing that terminals store vital products that everyone uses in their daily activities. “Important products are transferred daily in different means of transportation, for import and export operations, meaning this is a very important industry in our country and globally, and for that reason it offers many opportunities for workers.”
For those just starting out at a liquid terminals company, Simonin offers some advice:
“Don't be afraid of asking questions to more senior personnel. They also started one day,” she advised. “The more you ask and study, the better you will be able to do your job and to grow in it.”
In addition to Vopak being an ILTA member, Simonin participates in the Security Subcommittee for the Environmental, Health and Safety group.
“I believe it's important to interact with other people who perform the same kind of work that you do and learn from them,” she said.
When she’s not working, Simonin focuses on being a mom and enjoys travelling with her family and friends and going to musical theatres and concerts.