Richmond Standard: Get to know the Refinery’s new Public Affairs Manager

blogimage.jpgGet to know the Refinery's new Public Affairs Manager.



  • Name: Patricia (Patty) Canessa
  • Job at Chevron…. Public Affair Manager for Chevron Richmond Refinery.
  • Years with Chevron:  10
  • Education: B.A. from University of Mobile and M.A from Troy University in Alabama
  • Lives in….Richmond, Carriage Hills neighborhood

1. Tell me about your background?
I was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. Both my parents are from El Salvador and that is where “home” is.  I have had the good fortune to see a lot of the world and have lived in several places including: San Salvador; Managua, Nicaragua; Guatemala City, Guatamala; Mexico City, Mexico; Montevideo, Uruguay; New Orleans, Miami, Mobile, Houston and now Richmond.


2. What was is like to move around to so many countries while you were growing up?
Depends on what age. I remember my most difficult move was from New Orleans to Uruguay as a freshman in high school. I did not want to go. One year later, I did not want to leave! You adapt. It also gives you perspective on life and helps to understand people from different backgrounds and cultures. And now, I treasure all the opportunities and enjoy the fact that I have many friends all over the globe.


3. Do you have a family?
I am recently remarried. My husband, Ricardo (Rick) moved to Texas just last year, where we tied the knot. I inherited two beautiful step-children, Emily (13)  and Luigi (7), and although they live with their mom in El Salvador , they visit us in the summers and Rick and I spend our holidays in El Salvador with them and our families. As an independent consultant, Rick travels to El Salvador every other month to visit them too. We miss them but now technology allows some of those gaps to be filled. Rick is a baseball player.  He played college baseball at Kansas City University and then professional baseball for the national team in El Salvador. I am a proud wife.


4. What’s your favorite part about working for Chevron?
The diversity and inclusion the company promotes. I have been with Chevron for 10 years now and I have always felt there are opportunities to grow within the company. As a Latina woman now in my third assignment within the company, I can attest to the Chevron culture as an inclusive one. [I’m pleased that the company received recognition for this with the Catalyst award Chevron received last month.]  I also enjoy working with people from all walks of life and have met folks from all over the globe.

5. What attracted you to the Richmond Public Affairs Manager position?
When the position opened in Richmond, I jumped at the opportunity!  Getting the opportunity to do what I love at one of Chevron’s largest and most important refineries was very appealing to me. I know people in Richmond have expectations for this refinery and I am looking forward to working to  meet those challenges in a way that is collaborative and reflective of our shared values.

6. What are your immediate plans for the refinery and the community?
Coming into a new position is always challenging for anyone.  One of my first priorities will be  getting out and exploring Richmond and getting to know the community.  I don’t do this work alone.   I am lucky to have inherited an extraordinary team in the Public Affairs department .

7. What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy exercising, particularly spinning (cycling). I also like to run on the weekend when I have more time. This year I ran my second half-marathon and although I like it… I am only “half crazy.” Anything outdoors with us is a hit! We also love movies and enjoy a good movie at the theater or at home. Recently, I have also started enjoying to cook. I like to try new recipes but I find it difficult to cook in small portions so we always have leftovers.

8. What do you most look forward to, moving to Richmond?
Coming from Houston – the weather!  I feel so fortunate to live so close to the Bay.  And of course getting to know the community – discovering new restaurants, places to exercise and volunteer.

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