Steve Switalski, Principal, Financial Analysis

As a resident of Santa Cruz County for over 25 years, Steve saw joining the Hermosa team as an opportunity to be part of something that could improve the trajectory and wellbeing of his own community. Five years later, Steve reflects, “When the opportunity to work for South32 came up, it seemed like a really good chance to take, and so I went for it and have been here ever since.”

As Principal, Financial Analysis at Hermosa project, Steve works closely with his peers on internal budgets and leading monthly financial reporting. Through peer-to-peer collaboration, Steve compiles the project’s financial reports to share with both South32 and his coworkers at Hermosa. His goal is to compare Hermosa’s monthly spending to the project’s budget across all departments. Steve works closely with his teammates to analyze their spending, help them understand what their cost drivers are, and provide background knowledge to help them effectively manage business costs.

Steve has always liked working with numbers, so balancing project-wide budgets and spending appealed to him. An unexpected aspect of the job for Steve was the opportunity to build meaningful relationships. “I have a much deeper personal connection with people now, and I enjoy that much more than I would’ve ever expected or hoped for. That’s been a huge benefit for me,” he adds.

Before entering the mining industry, Steve worked in manufacturing, which eventually led him to a job in Nogales, Mexico. When he took the job with South32, mining was an entirely new field for him and he’s still learning new things every day. Steve has been able to embrace this ongoing learning mindset as he’s continued to gain expertise – something that he looks forward to sustaining as he supports Hermosa for years to come.

What does Steve enjoy most about Hermosa? The collaborative environment, which he believes should exist in more workplaces. Steve adds that he and his colleagues feel like they’re part of one team with a common goal of developing Hermosa in the best possible way for the surrounding community. For him, South32 has proven that “there’s a strong desire to advance people’s skill sets and to really have people grow within the company, not necessarily for the company’s benefit, but for their own careers.” Steve says he is eager to watch both his teammates and the project grow. “You’re going to see a big change in the lives of our community members, and that’s really exciting,” adds Steve.

For those interested in working in the industry, Steve encourages them to keep an open mind and show up ready to learn. Every day poses its own set of challenges and successes, and being patient while also receptive to change is the key to success.

As a longtime member of the local community, Steve and his wife have thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of living in Santa Cruz County, including the good weather and abundance of outdoor activities that keep them busy. Another highlight for his family is their proximity to Mexico, where his wife was born and raised. Together, they enjoy visiting family in Mexico and dining at some of their favorite restaurants. Steve additionally notes how fantastic the Santa Cruz County school system has been for their three children – with a special shout out to the teachers and coaches who care for and educate future generations. Steve’s enthusiasm for the project and his community are unmistakable, and we are fortunate to have him as an example for what it means to be a part of our Hermosa team.

Steve Switalski, Jefe de Análisis Financiero

Steve es residente del condado de Santa Cruz desde hace más de 25 años, y vio la oportunidad de incorporarse al equipo de Hermosa como un medio para ser parte de algo que podría mejorar la trayectoria y el bienestar de su propia comunidad. Ahora que han pasado cinco años, Steve nos cuenta: «Cuando surgió la oportunidad de trabajar para South32, me pareció que era una buena opción, así que decidí tomarla, y he seguido aquí desde entonces».

Como Jefe de Análisis Financiero en el proyecto Hermosa, Steve trabaja en estrecha colaboración con sus compañeros en presupuestos internos y en la elaboración de informes financieros mensuales. A través de la colaboración entre colegas, Steve compila los informes financieros del proyecto para compartirlos tanto con South32 como con sus compañeros de trabajo en Hermosa. Su trabajo tiene como objetivo comparar el gasto mensual de Hermosa con el presupuesto del proyecto en todos los departamentos. Steve trabaja en estrecha colaboración con sus compañeros de equipo para analizar sus gastos, ayudarlos a comprender cuáles son sus impulsores de costos y darles conocimientos previos para ayudarlos a administrar eficazmente los costos comerciales.

A Steve siempre le ha gustado trabajar con números, y le atrajo la tarea de cuadrar las cuentas de los presupuestos y los gastos de todo el proyecto. Para Steve, un aspecto inesperado del trabajo fue la oportunidad de entablar relaciones significativas. «Ahora tengo una conexión personal mucho más profunda con la gente, y lo disfruto más de lo que hubiera esperado. Eso ha sido un gran beneficio para mí», añade.

Antes de ingresar a la industria minera, Steve trabajó en el sector de manufactura, lo que eventualmente lo llevó a un trabajo en Nogales, México. Cuando aceptó el trabajo en South32, la minería era un campo completamente nuevo para él, y todos los días sigue aprendiendo nuevas cosas. Steve ha sabido adoptar esta mentalidad de aprendizaje continuo a medida que continúa adquiriendo experiencia, algo que espera mantener mientras apoya al proyecto Hermosa en los próximos años.

¿Qué es lo que más le gusta a Steve de Hermosa? El entorno colaborativo que, en su opinión, debería existir en más lugares de trabajo. Steve añade que él y sus colegas sienten que son parte de un equipo con el objetivo común de desarrollar Hermosa de la mejor manera posible para la comunidad circundante. Para él, South32 ha demostrado que «existe un fuerte deseo de mejorar las habilidades de las personas y de que estas realmente crezcan dentro de la empresa, no necesariamente para el beneficio de la empresa, sino para sus propias carreras». Steve dice que está ansioso por ver crecer tanto a sus compañeros de equipo como al proyecto. «Se verá un gran cambio en la vida de los miembros de esta comunidad, y eso es realmente emocionante», añade Steve.

A quienes estén interesados en trabajar en esta industria, Steve les recomienda mantener una mente abierta y estar listos para aprender. Cada día plantea su propio conjunto de desafíos y éxitos, y ser paciente y al mismo tiempo receptivo al cambio es la clave del éxito.

Como miembro de la comunidad local desde hace mucho tiempo, Steve y su esposa han disfrutado plenamente de los beneficios de vivir en el condado de Santa Cruz, como el buen clima y la abundancia de actividades al aire libre que los mantienen ocupados. Otro aspecto importante para su familia es la cercanía a México, donde nació y se crió su esposa. Juntos disfrutan visitar a la familia en México y cenar en sus restaurantes favoritos. Steve también señala lo fantástico que ha sido el sistema escolar del condado de Santa Cruz para sus tres hijos, y le envía un agradecimiento especial a los maestros y entrenadores que cuidan y educan a las generaciones futuras.

El entusiasmo de Steve por el proyecto y su comunidad es muy evidente, y tenemos la suerte de tenerlo como ejemplo de lo que significa ser parte del equipo de Hermosa.

Tracy Orton, Contract Specialist

A little more than a year after she filled a temporary position at the Hermosa Project, Sahuarita resident Tracy Orton was onboarded as a full time Contract Specialist in March 2020. Despite the challenges of joining a new team during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and starting her job remotely, Tracy knew that she wanted to be part of something from the ground up. Three and a half years later, Tracy reflects on her time at Hermosa. “I am really excited about what we’re doing as a company. It has been such a huge blessing for my family and I to work for an awesome company like South32. I just can’t say that loud enough.”

Tracy came to the Hermosa Project with nearly 30 years of administrative experience in construction. Joining South32 was the first time she dipped her toes into the mining industry. In her day-to-day work at Hermosa, she facilitates the behind-the-scenes contracts required to engage vendors and suppliers to support the project. She manages a variety of contract agreements, such as attorney-client privilege relationships, community contracts, supplier agreements and master service agreements. Tracy also serves as a Hermosa Project representative on South32’s Supply Culture Committee , which provides her with an opportunity to engage with other representatives from South32’s diverse project portfolio each month.

Tracy’s enthusiasm for her work is palpable. She enjoys partaking in employee Lunch and Learns where she gets to hear from a rotating group of Hermosa Project departments as they update one another on the latest project happenings. Her favorite part of the job? Passing along the knowledge she’s gained over the years. “I find joy in learning new things and teaching other people to use those skills,” she shared. Tracy homeschooled her six children for a period of time, reinforcing her knack for teaching others.

For others who are interested in becoming a Contracts Specialist, Tracy says that understanding the relationship between company and client is key. It was important to Tracy that she works for a company whose values aligned with her own and one that she could be proud to work for—the Hermosa Project has provided her with just that.

When asked to shout out one of her favorite places in Santa Cruz County, Tracy was quick to name Ovens of Patagonia, a local coffee and sandwich shop. In her free time, she enjoys taking advantage of Arizona’s weather by visiting local trails and dog parks with her one-year-old Saint Bernard, Danny. Tracy is training Danny to be a certified therapy dog in hopes that they will be able to give back to the community by visiting different charity organizations, first responders and nursing homes together.

Tracy exemplifies the Hermosa Project’s values through not only the work she does at South32, but also through the hobbies she pursues in her spare time. We are proud to have Tracy as part of our Hermosa Project team.

Tracy Orton, Especialista en Contratos

Poco más de un año después de ocupar un puesto temporal en el Proyecto Hermosa, Tracy Orton, residente de Sahuarita, ingresó como especialista en contratos a tiempo completo en marzo de 2020. A pesar de los desafíos de integrarse a un nuevo equipo en plena pandemia de COVID-19 y comenzar su trabajo de forma remota, Tracy tenía el deseo de formar parte de algo desde el arranque. Tres años y medio después, al reflexionar sobre el tiempo que lleva en Hermosa, Tracy nos cuenta: «Estoy muy entusiasmada con lo que estamos haciendo como empresa. Ha sido una gran bendición para mi familia y para mí trabajar para una gran empresa como South32. No me canso de decirlo a viva voz».

Tracy llegó al Proyecto Hermosa con casi 30 años de experiencia administrativa en el sector de la construcción. Su ingreso a South32 constituye su primera experiencia en la industria minera. En sus labores diarias en Hermosa, facilita la elaboración de diversos contratos necesarios para traer proveedores que apoyen el proyecto. Ella gestiona una variedad de acuerdos contractuales, como lo son: relaciones y privilegios entre abogados y clientes, contratos comunitarios, acuerdos con proveedores y acuerdos maestros de servicio. Tracy también se desempeña como representante del Proyecto Hermosa en el Comité de Cultura de Suministros de South32, lo que le brinda la oportunidad de interactuar con otros representantes de la diversa cartera de proyectos de South32 cada mes.

El entusiasmo de Tracy por su trabajo es palpable. Le gusta participar en las actividades de «Lunch and Learn» de los empleados, donde puede escuchar a un grupo rotativo de departamentos del Proyecto Hermosa mientras se ponen al día entre ellos con los últimos acontecimientos del proyecto. ¿Lo que más le gusta de su trabajo? Transmitir los conocimientos que ha adquirido a lo largo de los años. «Disfruto al aprender cosas nuevas y enseñar a otras personas a usar esas habilidades», cuenta ella. Tracy educó en casa a sus seis hijos durante un tiempo, lo que reforzó su habilidad para enseñar a otros.

Para los que estén interesados en convertirse en especialistas en contratos, Tracy dice que la clave está en comprender la relación entre la empresa y el cliente. Para Tracy era importante trabajar para una empresa cuyos valores estuvieran alineados con los suyos y tener un empleador del que pudiera estar orgullosa, y el Proyecto Hermosa le ha brindado precisamente eso.

Chris Gray, Site Services Manager

Chris Gray’s career in mining has led him all over the world. In the last 30 years, Chris has lived and worked in Nevada, Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia, Australia, Ghana and Canada, until he eventually landed back in the States at South32’s Hermosa Project in Arizona. His time abroad provided him opportunities to engage with people from different backgrounds and work within culturally diverse corporate environments. Through his experience, Chris learned the nuances of international mining and over the last five years, he has brought that expertise to the Hermosa Project.

On the job, Rico Rico resident Chris helps run the project’s operations which encompasses a wide range of facility maintenance for assets such as roads, electrical and water treatment. Once the Hermosa construction team builds something onsite, Chris and his team step in to help operate it.

Chris enjoys the satisfaction of being part of a team and working together toward a common goal. Despite any challenges that might arise, he finds motivation in setting achievable goals and knowing that he’s capable of getting the job done. Whatsmore, Chris enjoys the dynamic nature of the work and is committed to making sure everyone not only gets the job done but does so safely. “If you’re not into change then construction probably isn’t for you, because it changes day to day and you’ve got to be able to go with that change and move forward, while seeing that everybody is making it home safe at the end of the day,” shared Chris. As a South32 employee who has been with the company since Hermosa Project’s inception, Chris has been able to contribute to the company’s safety culture that continues to meet industry standards.

In his free time, Chris can be found riding his motorcycle through scenic Santa Cruz County and into greater Arizona. He’s been a motorcyclist since he was in his 20s and enjoys attending rallies and riding with friends. He credits time on his Harley as his go-to stress reliever.

Advice for someone interested in this line of work? Take it from Chris when he says, “Have an open mind, don’t be scared and ask questions.” It’s important to know the correct course of action and execute accordingly in order to mitigate risk onsite.

Chris continues to serve as a model employee at South32, demonstrating his commitment to not only the project, but also to his colleagues.

Giselle Lertique, Office Administrator

Before joining South32’s Hermosa Project, Pima County resident Giselle Lertique worked for a hospital in Globe, Arizona for 18 years. She wore a number of different hats—from emergency room admitting, to laboratory receptionist, to managing medical records—her previous experiences allowed her to exercise organizational skills while working with a variety of people from different backgrounds. Giselle then decided to pivot in her career when she accepted a job as Hermosa Project’s Office Administrator three and a half years ago. “When this opportunity came up to work for Hermosa, I jumped on it. I felt like I couldn’t go wrong,” she said.

Giselle’s personal ties to the mining industry spans generations, as her uncle worked for another global mining company with projects in Arizona for over 40 years. Members of her family have moved to the area specifically to work in mining and gain access to the opportunities it presented to them. Giselle knew that she wanted her son to grow up with the same opportunities that had been a part of her family’s history.

On the job, Giselle is kept busy by helping provide area residents with information about the project or helping connect them with the Hermosa team. She enjoys frequent and friendly interactions with her Hermosa Project colleagues as she works to assist them with their own work-related needs. “I’m proud when I see employees with smiles on their faces,” said Giselle, who is someone that is always willing to go out of her way to help others succeed in their roles. Giselle helps run Hermosa Helpers, the project’s volunteer group that supports community events and initiatives, such as distributing bikes and helmets at the Patagonia Bike Rodeo and assisting the East Santa Cruz Community Food Bank in their remodel and move-in.

In her downtime, Giselle enjoys visiting Christopher Columbus Lake with her dog Daniella, where she takes in the serene environment and beautiful sunset views. One of her favorite hobbies is sewing, which is something she has dedicated herself to through her contributions of making baby booties for The Mourning Project. Giselle’s commitment and passion for the things she’s involved in, both on the job and off, shine through as she talks about her experiences within the community.

For someone interested in joining the mining industry, Giselle’s advice is to have an open mind and to be willing to learn as much as possible. “If you put yourself out there, you can probably learn every aspect of the mine. That’s my ultimate goal,” she said. Giselle is proud to work at a company that is community-oriented and one that remains culturally diversified. Hermosa Project is thrilled to have someone who embodies the company’s values and is certainly lucky to have her on board.

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