Our People: Great Western’s Susan Fakharzadeh Wins 2020 GRIT Award

January 2021 – Denver, CO

Great Western supports, empowers, and truly values our employees because they are the foundation of our business – and we have been lucky to employ the best of the best. It’s through our core values that we uplift our amazing talent behind the desk and in the field. We are proud to recognize our vice president of corporate communications and government affairs, Susan Fakharzadeh, who received a 2020 GRIT Award in the executive category!

The GRIT Award winners were chosen from hundreds of applicants, encompassing oil and gas, utilities, alternative energy, academia, and non-government organizations from around the world. Each winner showcases a commitment to GRIT – growth, resilience, innovation and transition – within the industry.

“Susan’s innovative work and masterful demeanor doesn’t go unnoticed at Great Western,” said Rich Frommer, CEO of Great Western. “We are proud to recognize her hard-earned efforts as she continually highlights and lives by our core values. Through her initiatives and goals, Susan pushes our organization forward every day, further solidifying Great Western as a leader in the oil and natural gas industry. For that, we are extremely grateful.”

As an influential leader in the business community, a mentor in the oil and gas industry, and a fierce proponent of women pursuing leadership opportunities inside and outside of the workplace, it’s no wonder Susan was selected among hundreds of candidates for her extraordinary leadership skills.

Susan has spent the last 11 years of her career dedicated to political engagement, policy work, outreach, and education in the oil and gas industry across North America. As the first female to be promoted into a vice present role at Great Western, Susan’s leadership has moved the organization into new directions while setting examples at every level.

Susan is a champion of Great Western’s core values; she continuously showcases exceptional stewardship by leading community partner initiatives. Susan passionately cares about Great Western’s contributions to the environment and the surrounding communities, as well as her own dedication to serving the nonprofit sector.

Under Susan’s direction, Great Western’s influence has grown exponentially at a local, state and federal level through established relationships with elected and appointed officials and increased community partnerships. In 2019, Susan’s leadership and forward-thinking action propelled the community investment program, which led to the support more than 53 Colorado nonprofits. In 2020, despite the economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 and the oil market crash, Susan has worked to not only maintain, but increase, Great Western’s community investment by 50% over 2019. Additionally, she leads the way in supporting major fundraising and community initiatives in local education, family services, food banks, health care and military organizations. Susan organized and led Great Western employees in preparing 5,000 meal boxes for Adams County schools, serving 45,000 meals to Food Bank of the Rockies and Weld County Foodbank, and building a new home for a single mother of four children with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity.

Along with having “GRIT,” this award is well-deserved as Susan excels in a male-dominated field and assumes leadership in an industry that is constantly scrutinized. Susan’s constant creativity, advocacy, and positivity empowers her team and the natural gas and oil industry, ultimately setting her apart not only in Colorado’s energy industry, but its business circles at large.

With a seasoned career in natural gas and oil, Susan is highly respected in the industry and fights on behalf of energy operations in the face of any challenge. Susan stands for compassion, safety, and community, which is the face of oil and gas that the industry needs. Susan is a huge asset to our team and we’re ecstatic to see her efforts recognized!

The GRIT Awards were created by Katie Mehnert, CEO and founder of ALLY by Pink Petro, with this year’s awards sponsored by Gibson Dunn, Marathon Global and NES Global Talent. See the full list of GRIT Award winners at this link.