Jenell Williams-Pinder and Latoya Farinha are on a mission to make local companies “oil and gas-ready”

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Jenell Williams-Pinder and Latoya Farinha

By Lakhram Bhagirat

Guyana’s oil and gas industry is relatively young since production started just a few years ago. That means that many local companies are now learning what they need to do to position themselves to take full advantage of the opportunities coming from the industry.

Jenell Williams-Pinder and Latoya Farinha have been working in the industry for a number of years and though relatively young, they have garnered the knowledge to assist businesses to take advantage of the opportunities.

Both women are Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) specialists and together they created BrinsJen Systems Development Specialists. The company is a Guyanese-owned and women-led QHSE Management Systems development company and was birthed with the intent to introduce more local companies to QHSE Management Systems for their daily operations.

Jenell is a QSE specialist with over 10 years of professional experience in various industries including construction, oil and gas, manufacturing and technology. She is the holder of a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Delhi. She is also certified in various areas of QHSE Management and received training on ISO, API O1 and API Q2. The accomplished entrepreneur is also pursuing studies in Quality Assurance at the University of the West Indies.

Latoya also boasts the same degree of work experience and is the holder of a Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Guyana. Like her co-founder, Latoya was also trained in various aspects of QHSE Management. She is pursuing her NEBOSH certification in Health and Safety Management.

Jenell recently sat down with the Sunday Times where she shared the journey of birthing BrinsJen.

“We were both safety and HSE specialists in the oil companies that we worked in and many times when our local companies are trying to get into the oil and gas industry there is usually a gap in their application process. So, we have many equipped local companies with products and services that the oil and gas industry require and they’re willing to collaborate but it does not work out. The oil and gas industry strict on safety. It is number one priority. So many times, these companies would present excellent portfolios, excellent products, excellent services but then they don’t have a safety culture, they don’t have a culture of quality.

“So, we found an opportunity in during the COVID pandemic when we were at home working remotely. Just thinking about what we wanted next for our career and we birthed at BrinsJen SDS, where we thought all our skills would be more beneficial to the Guyanese local business sector. We want to aid them in building quality and safety into their management system to complement whatever services they already have. We launched in June of 2021, of course we were still both employed in the oil and gas industry up to recently,” she informed.

Jenell said that thus far, the local companies have been responding well to BrinsJen and are eager to improve their QHSE systems.

“If you have a project that you just need assistance with quality and safety, we can do that section of the project for you while your engineers or whoever do the organisation. Our springboard to form the company came as a result of being in the oil and gas industry and seeing the difficulties that some local companies were facing. I know from, from our knowledge of oil the oil and gas industry that they’re extremely flexible in a sense and really just don’t dismiss companies that want to work with them. They say hey, go back to the drawing board, you can improve on the safety aspect, this quality aspect and so the opportunities are always be there. So we want to fill the gap by providing that service to companies and say hey you already have a product or a service that these companies want you just need to implement a QHSE Management System and it’s not only for oil and gas industries,” Jenell explained.

She noted that while the focus of everyone is to better position themselves for the oil and gas industry, QHSE Management Systems extend far beyond that. It is required in almost every industry.

“It’s not only about you trying to work with an oil and gas company, it’s about you being able to merge with an international company who wants to also, you know, collaborate with what you have to offer. It brings you up to a level of customer service and employee management and culture where you’re not only operating from a place of just producing a product and service.”

Having a QHSE system can help to improve the quality of processes and products, ensure the health and safety of workers, along with controlling the environmental impact of operations. The team of BrinsJen SDS aims to develop such systems from the ground up to ensure that they are unique to each company and that it leads to continuous improvement in overall operations.

The duo differentiates themselves by intimately getting to know the operations and services of each client, then collaborating with the management team and other key operation leads to create a QHSE Management System that is truly reflective of the organisation. The also conduct training to ensure that those systems are effectively rolled out to all staff.

“We want to kick off a culture change where everyone is talking about safety and quality. Everyone is engaging their staff on how they should work. Where not only a big company can afford an extravagant QHSE system but it can also be a small company. The industry is open to all types of companies, it’s just that they’re big on safety and quality. We know the system; we know what they need for quality and safety and we can help. We want to be catalysts or rather be part of that change, because it has started. We want to make it more accessible to small and medium sized businesses.”