Patty – Vice President Strategy and Business Support

Location: Sharjah

Year joined in: 2008

Position joined as: Legal Advisor

A woman clearly shaped by her circumstances, it’s obvious why Patty, VP Strategy and Business Support for our Training Services business, has excelled in challenging roles that demand a practical approach to short-term problem resolution while keeping one eye on the future. These are skills Patty refined early in life.

Though she lived most of her life in Canada, her perspective and drive to succeed were influenced by the trials she endured with her family in their native Lebanon. Patty spent her formative years living amidst the Lebanese civil war. During the conflict her father was kidnapped and tortured for ransom. After his release the family fled to Canada.

With everything left behind, no income and unable to speak the language, Patty and her family settled in a small French Canadian city that was unaccustomed to immigrants. Patty’s mother and father got to work cleaning hotel rooms and washing dishes to support four children.

Patty learned English by watching cartoons and studying children’s books. “It was horrible to be living with such challenges, but this is where I built my strength. From this point on, I never accepted no as an answer.”

Not afraid to fail

Patty’s determination grew as she did. With a focus on her studies she earned scholarships and grants to attend University in nearby Ottawa. She worked four part-time jobs to make up the financial shortfall; completing her undergraduate studies in biochemistry before moving onto law school. Education she says “was the door to the world.”

After graduating she stayed in the Canadian capital for nine years working first in private practice and then in government. Eager to escape the harsh winters she jumped at an offer to jet off to Doha for an interview. Successful in the recruitment process but ultimately ineligible for a Visa as a single woman, Patty wasn’t discouraged from accomplishing what she had set out to do. After connecting with a Petrofac recruiter she had met while in Dubai, Patty’s exposure to the commercial world began.

Patty says: “I was young and hungry and determined to prove myself. Petrofac gave me the opportunity to excel. My experience is that if you want to grow and you are willing to put in the work, no one will stop you from stretching yourself.”

The path to success

From a young legal advisor (Sharjah), to Head of Legal Services and Company Secretary for the new Petrofac Emirates commercial and legal operations (Abu Dhabi) and then back to Sharjah to work as Director of Commercial before starting her current role; it’s no surprise Patty has earned a reputation as a smart, assertive leader, who is driven to deliver. Admitting her early years may sound like the storyline of a movie; this isn’t someone looking for attention. She is humble, friendly and instantly likeable.

Patty credits her parents as role models for hard work, drive and compassion – the same values she is committed to instilling in her own daughters. “I think about my parents and then what kind of role model I want to be. I’m fortunate to be able to provide a comfortable life for my girls with my husband, but I want them to know it can’t be taken for granted. I want them to know the value of hard work and achieving goals.”