Our 2020 Heroes


This time last year, not many would have predicted that 2020 would turn into the year of a global pandemic. As a business, we’ve seen moves from our office spaces to kitchen tables and spare rooms, our customer meetings held over video calls, and our plants rapidly implementing additional safety measures, all to minimise the risk of Covid-19 to our colleagues, business partners, and local communities.

Our 2020 Heroes

While we had faith in the talent and resolve of our people to power us through the global pandemic, we’ve still been amazed at the dedication and commitment displayed to keep our business running smoothly.

To recognise the extraordinary work undertaken all around the world, we asked everyone to nominate their colleagues that most deserved special praise for keeping people safe, keeping operations running, keeping customers served, and for being a 2020 Hero. We received 575 nominations for individuals and teams, and our selection committee whittled all these deserving submissions down to 45 nominees, and 30 eventual winners

Here are our 2020 Heroes:

Asia-Pacific region

Zhijun (Mark) Zhao, Nantong, China: For working hard to lead our Journey to EHS Excellence and Covid-19 response for Nantong, all whilst preparing expansion projects, liaising with governmental officials and engaging all Nantong employees.

Clarice Seah, Singapore: For managing the Singapore office with passion, being mindful of costs, and doing a great job ensuring the safety of employees when returning to the office post-Covid-19.

Europe region

Kerstin Werner, Lubeck, Germany: For her endless resilience in delivering the Plant Power customer conference, moving the large-scale conference twice before taking the event online for key customers in Europe.

Patricia Gonzales, Ossona, Italy: For leading the implementation of SAP for our Stabilisers and Functional Systems product line, collaborating with many people in different sites and finding solutions to every problem.

Alan Holliday, London, UK: For keeping our London office operating throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with outstanding ISIT technical support on and off-site – nothing is ever too much trouble.

Archi Quddus, London, UK: For giving colleagues a real boost during lockdown by bringing people from across our global network in the form of a Global Choirtwice!

Avanti Patel, London, UK: For being agile and working tirelessly to successfully complete a deal during a global pandemic (our acquisition of Sweet Green Fields) , and bringing global teams together to work on solutions.

Kelly Fox-Petersen, London, UK: For spreading happiness and care, being a positive force for good, and looking after people’s mental health as a Mental Health First Aider through her active participation in virtual coffee mornings and employee resource groups.

Rob Davies, Mold, UK: For making sure our teams in Mold had the technology they needed to work from home (within 24hours!), jumping in to fill the ISIT role, and working as a member of the SAP Go Live project.

TMEA region

Tumelo Nxumalo, Johannesburg, South Africa: For going the extra mile and always being available to assist the team and customers - on one occasion working late into the evening to help a colleague with a sick child to transition comfortably to homeworking. “The most selfless and humble human being.”

Maybell Morfe, Dubai, UAE: For being extremely committed to her role of Pandemic Manager, helping the team in Dubai to stay safe and adapt to new ways of working and living - many tasks outside of her normal role but with a focus on keeping people safe.

Latin-America region:

Consuelo Abbruzzese, Buenos Aires, Argentina: For delivering extraordinary work with a key customer, strengthening our relationship and position Tate & Lyle as a trusted expert.

Clara Satizabal, Cali, Colombia: For working tirelessly to ensure that customer expectations are not only met, but where possible, can be serviced even better – one example leading to a large customer win in region.

Johanna Martinez, Cali, Colombia: For working across four of our product lines in the Andean Region, supporting account managers, customers and distributors, and always delivering impeccable work.

North American region

Bartlomiej 'Bartek' Walas, Decatur, IL, USA: For working tirelessly to provide financial support for our Industrial Starches business.

Cathy Rentschler, Decatur, IL, USA: For her enduring pride in her work and ongoing support professionally and personally to colleagues – “when you need an answer, you go to Cathy!”

Jason Stokes, Decatur, IL, USA: For going above and beyond since the start of the pandemic, moving teams to home working where neccessary, and always proactively finding ways to improve operations.

Lori Donley, Decatur, IL, USA: For supporting the safety of everyone in the facility by ensuring colleagues understand the protocols and procedures in place, and going out of her way to support colleagues and their families, helping them feel reassured and safe in an unknown environment.

Tony Chapman, Decatur , IL, USA: For impeccable customer service and demonstrating real dedication in finding a solution for a customer, going above and beyond.

Ryan Gross, Hoffman, IL, USA: For being the backbone of the Sweeteners R&D team's crew during Covid-19, and willingly stepping up to support colleagues who couldn't be in the lab to move their projects forward.

Michael Wakeley, Hoffman, IL, USA: For being an integral part of keeping our labs running for critical work – even coming in on nights and weekends to fix equipment or keep trial runs moving. “Your day is better for seeing him!”

Clint Davidson, Loudon, TN, USA: For taking over allulose production and process, with little forewarning, working many hours to support the allulose campaign . He maintains a wonderful attitude, even in times of stress.

Randall Squirek, Lafayette, IN, USA: For leading the Covid-19 preparation in the plant, being proactive and positive and helping others be the same. And raising funds for the Humane Society too!

Frank Luciani, Morrisville, PA, USA: For going above and beyond to ensure we could continue to safely run our operations, supporting pandemic protocols, new ways of working and training for sites.

Team Award

Not all heroes stand alone, and often the biggest impact occurs when a team of dedicated people come together to make a change. Because of this, we wanted to recognise a group of people who were nominated many times over for their incredible contribution to our Inclusion & Diversity efforts:

Casell Randle, Home-based, USA For their efforts in setting up and co-leading the Black Employee Network and continuing to have a positive impact on inclusion and diversity at Tate & Lyle.
Derrick Williams, Hoffman, IL, USA
Donald Cole, Hoffman, IL, USA
Melinda White, Dayton, IN, USA
Monica Clark, Hoffman, IL, USA
Suley Sanik, Kingsway, UK For creating a safe space for colleagues to share experiences and discuss challenges related to the LGBTQ+ community and promoting allyship across the Group - his passionate efforts are moving our inclusion and diversity discussion along.

A huge congratulations to our winners and to everyone who was nominated for their fantastic and ongoing efforts. You’re all Tate & Lyle 2020 Heroes!


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