Employees Celebrate 50 Years at Ergon's Newell Refinery

Thu., Jul 28, 2022 | Ergon

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ergon – West Virginia, we are honored to commemorate a special milestone for three employees who have been with the refinery since its beginning in 1972. Doug Burdick, who retired July 1 as Vice President – Refining at EWV and worked with these men for many years, had the following to say in recognition of Steve Murray, Dan Foltz and Nick Kalinski’s 50 years of service:




Steve Murray (or Sugar Bear, as he is affectionately known) has been a staple in the conversion area for over 50 years. Kind, soft spoken and always looking out for those he works with, Sugar Bear is admired for the patient and kind way he takes new unit employees under his wing to impart some of his vast knowledge. He is dependable, dedicated and a pleasure to be around … and he keeps his fellow employees supplied with donuts.

Dan Foltz’s knowledge of the crude separation area is second to none. Over the last 50 years, he has been the one everyone turns to when the need to learn and understand something in the crude area arises. Dan’s dependability is unmatched. If he is on the schedule, you can be sure he will show up. He is also the first person to arrive in a crisis or when extra help is needed.

Nick Kalinski has been a leader as an Outside Operator for as long as anyone can remember. Operators breathe a sigh of relief when they see Nick scheduled for shutdowns and startups. Every B & C Operator in the crude separation area can say they learned from Nick. He has been a wealth of knowledge and experience and has always been willing to share those attributes with up-and-coming operators.”

Steve, Dan and Nick get the occasional “Man, you've been doing this since before I was born” comments from coworkers. They have actually worked alongside multiple generations of families from the Newell area.

“We’ve been through a lot of changes over the years, especially after Ergon took over,” Steve said. They went from working for a union for 25 years to working for a privately owned company, which all agree has been a positive experience. They also helped with changes Ergon made at the refinery, including increased capacity and the addition of important safety features. “The biggest thing probably was changing from pneumatic instruments over to DCS, which allows us to open and close valves from inside in the control room,” Steve added. “Before, everything was manual.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is their appreciation for their coworkers. All agree that the Ergon family is what makes the job something they would want to do for so many years, from bosses who treat employees well to coworkers who are “amazing.“

Thank you, gentlemen, for your dedication and service to Ergon!