Flint Hills Resources
Health and Safety Manager
Corpus Christi, TX
How did you get involved in safety?
After performing field safety at an entry level for a local contractor, I decided to get a degree in a safety related field. I applied for a night shift job at a manufacturing company in the area that provided tuition assistance, got the job, and enrolled in college. I worked nights for almost 3 years to finish my degree. Since then, I have worked in various industries including, construction, smelting, mining, petrochemicals, and building products ranging from emergency response, safety work practices, and process safety.
What is your most recent safety related work accomplishment or something you’re proud of?
One of the actions I am most proud of is helping to develop the next generation of safety professionals. Seeing safety professionals develop and grow is very rewarding. I have had the pleasure of working with great people and mentoring their development. In addition, I have spent time teaching safety related courses for the local college at nights and on weekends for adult education to gain entry into the workforce.
What has been your favorite aspect of the VPPPA?
Being a member of the VPPPA provides the ability for us to benchmark other industries, share learnings, and ultimately improve our safety performance. In addition, there are educational opportunities, provided information to keep your organization up to date with legislative, innovation, and other technological advancements. Lastly, the VPPPA provides recognition to superior performers in industry.
What is one of the biggest challenges you and/or your company currently face when it comes to safety at the workplace?
Our next journey is Human and Organizational Performance, which is meant to build a “true learning” organization. One of the primary tenets is “how leaders respond matters” – this concept is integral to building trust. Safety always revolves around the people, attracting great talent that fits your culture, developing all levels of the organization through training and experiences so an overall culture is strong and sustainable. Creating an environment for people that empowers and fulfills them takes constant focus.
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in safety?
It is a challenging, but very rewarding profession. Personally, I have always considered the safety profession a “noble” profession – helping people, preventing people from getting injured, and developing capabilities by increasing their knowledge base. Also, I think you should be a life learner – after over 30 years in the safety profession I have recently completed a Master’s Degree in Emergency Response.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I enjoy participating on philanthropic organizations, such as: Halo Flight – I serve as President of the Board for this organization that performs emergency life-flight and scene flight services; and Ronald McDonald House Charities – the company I work for sponsors several major fund raising events including being the title sponsor for Ronald McDonald Men Who Cook which can raise up to $400,000 for the charity.