Jenny Dale, PCP

Cenovus Energy – Cochrane, AB

Jenny Dale is a payroll professional who enjoys the outdoors in diverse settings – whether on horseback at a western rodeo, skiing in the Rockies or swimming in the ocean.

Jenny grew up on the wide expanses of the prairies in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The family business was wheat farming and her hobbies were similarly western in nature: she rode horses and competed at rodeos. “That was my whole life,” she says, noting that she still feels the pull of the rodeo: “When I see barrel racing now, I feel a sense of longing.”

Today Jenny is applying her wrangling skills at hockey arenas and baseball diamonds with her 8-year-old son. She still loves the outdoors: family vacations are spent camping in the mountains or at a beach in Mexico.

Professionally, Jenny has been in payroll for about 15 years. After university, she started working in payroll for another, smaller oil and gas company and discovered that she liked it. “I don’t like math but shockingly I like payroll,” she says, adding that it didn’t really occur to her that numbers were involved. “I was too young to be worried about that – it was just fun learning something new.”

She wanted to further her career and her knowledge, so she got her PCP designation and she is now the Sr. Payroll Analyst for Cenovus Energy in Calgary. Her love of new learning experiences has come in handy as Cenovus recently bought Husky Energy, almost doubling its workforce to about 5,300 employees. “It was a little frightening,” Jenny says of the payroll implications and the ensuing conversion to a new payroll system. “We had to harmonize two benefits and compensation programs. There were a lot of moving parts.”

She calls Excel a life-saver, as she used it extensively to analyse data and run tests. “We had to run all the scenarios to validate if they would work properly.”

In the end, she describes it as a busy, but great experience involving much teamwork. “There have also been big cost savings for the company along the way,” she says, adding that her contribution to this was very fulfilling. “There was a great big learning curve, but I felt valuable, which was nice.”

National Payroll Institute

(416) 487-3380