For Winnie Irizarry, building with positive energy comes naturally
GET TO KNOW US
He joined us three years ago as a Project Manager managing our efforts in Miami and the Bahamas. Then he returned to his hometown of San Juan to help develop and build our liquefied natural gas facility (LNG) in Puerto Rico. Today, he’s working to build an LNG import facility and a 300-megawatt power plant in Puerto Sandino, Nicaragua.
“This project gave me the opportunity to go back to the place I was born and do something positive for the people there”
“Building stuff is in my DNA,” says Winnie. “Since my earliest age, I played with construction toys. I visited my first construction site with my dad when I was 12 years old. We built our beach house when I was 16 – it took us a couple of years, but we did it! When I was 15, I decided to study engineering.”
“I feel proud that we completed the San Juan project in record time, despite the very real challenges of hurricanes, earthquakes, and a pandemic,” he says. “When we did the start-up, I received an email from a colleague at a previous company congratulating us on our achievement and recalling discussions about bringing gas to San Juan back in 1989. Thirty years later, NFE did it in less than a year. This project gave me the opportunity to go back to the place I was born and do something positive for the people there.”
“My biggest motivation is my own kids”
Winnie still has fond memories of growing up in San Juan.
“My favorite part was going with my grandmother to her country house for the summer,” he recalls. “We had no TVs, video games, or internet. I learned a little about everything, including managing cows, planting, fishing, construction, and mechanics. My cousins and I visited the beach every day on ATVs. Those were the best moments.”
Given that even Winnie’s childhood vacations involved useful activities, it’s no surprise he feels his friends and family would describe him as honest, hard-working, and organized. “I learned from my dad to work hard every day, and from my mom the values to be a better person,” he says. “My mom always said, ‘treat people as you wish they would treat you,’ and that’s a golden rule for me.
Now, my biggest motivation is my own kids. I want them to be successful and teach them these values so they can be good human beings.”
“No matter how tough times are, I always find a positive outcome”
Winnie doesn’t shy away from a challenge, at work or at home.
“I like the new challenges we face at New Fortress Energy every day, and that we are always doing something new – it never gets boring,” he says. “Someday I would like to create a small foundation to build houses in Latin America, where there are a lot of needs you don’t see until you visit these countries.”
It’s all part of the secret of Winnie’s abundantly positive energy.
“I’m powered by happiness,” he says. “I try to spread happiness to the people around me so they can be happy too. No matter how tough times are, I always find a positive outcome.”
We’re positively inspired by Winnie as well, and grateful that he is helping us power the world with affordable, clean, positive energy.