Get To Know Our People - Ben Altis

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  1. I’ve worked at Viva Energy since 2011.
  2. My first job was in the Marine Team.
  3. My role now is with the Bitumen Team. I have been lucky enough to have five different roles in the business since I started.
  4. I help people reach their destination by ensuring Bitumen arrives on time and at a competitive price around the country. We are in a unique position, as we are the only manufacturers of Bitumen in Australia through our Geelong Refinery. Our products are used in many of the roads, runways and pavements that people and industry use every day.
  5. The best part of my job is being part of a team that is truly focused on results and fostering strong relationships with our customers.
  6. The biggest misconception people have about my role is, “So what is the difference between Asphalt and Bitumen?” Bitumen, which is produced by Viva Energy in Australia, is one of the main components that goes into making Asphalt, along with rock and sand. The Asphalt is produced at a plant, loaded and then laid on the road.
  7. I was led to this career by the strong reputation of the company.
  8. I prefer to start the day by getting as much done as possible early, before the main rush begins. My customers begin their work day out in the field pretty early so it’s important for me to ensure I know what is happening with production before the calls come into the team.
  9. I prefer to end the day by knowing what exactly has been done and what awaits me tomorrow.
  10. I am energised by exercise to start the day.
  11. The most interesting thing I am working on right now is about how we can assist our customers incorporate recycled products such as plastics, glass or toner cartridges into producing asphalt and how this can be extended into Bitumen
  12. The one behavior I attribute my success to is being dependable because I know I also want to count on others when I need them.
  13. The one thing that surprises me about working at Viva Energy is the number of people with varied backgrounds who are experts in a niche field. In our Bitumen team our Technical Manager has a doctorate and is a highly regarded resource whom I lean on with the many and varied technical questions that come back from our customers.
  14. The most funny/memorable moment I had at work was seeing myself at the airport on a Viva Energy billboard. In the following weeks I received many funny photo’s being sent in by customers which gave us all a good laugh.
  15. The worst job I ever had was as a labourer but from this, I learned that physical work would become more challenging as I got older. I was studying at the time and this gave an appreciation for what I did not want to do every day.
  16. The biggest mistake I made early on in my career was to sweat the small things and I have since learned a lot about perspective.
  17. The greatest career advice I was given was by my father around respect. “Be good to people you meet on the way up as they are the same people you will meet on the way down”.
  18. The most important skill every person should have is emotional intelligence.
  19. The one topic I wish I knew more about is: In Bitumen we are exposed to a number of customers who are experts in anything from civil construction to traffic management. Through our involvement and as a major sponsor of Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) I am fortunate enough to attend seminars and courses where I am learning more about the role each play in the construction of a major project and how our Bitumen contributes.
  20. How do you see this role evolving over the next 5 years? I think the push from our customers to produce sustainable roads that incorporates the recycling of waste products will only grow and challenge the way Bitumen and Asphalt come together more and more.
  21. Early bird or night owl? Definitely an early bird.

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