August Member of the Month: Terry D. Gray
VPPPA: Do you have any special hobbies/interests? If so, what are they?
Terry D. Gray: I enjoy spending time with my wife and having fun with my kids!! That makes me really happy to have their love and support. I also enjoy speaking! I love inspiring people, making people smile, encouraging people to do and be better. I feel like words are important and we should use them to uplift and teach one another. I love making music as well and being creative in leadership.
VPPPA: What is/was your position and how long have you been in the position?
TG: I am a pipefitter and I have been a pipefitter at my current job for 8-1/2 years but 15 years overall.
VPPPA: What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
TG: The greatest challenge in my career so far has been advancement as an hourly worker in leadership without having a degree. I want to make a difference and an impact for my fellow workers and honestly the world. But, advancement is difficult without a degree of some kind. As an employee without a degree, you are limited in what you can do because of the rules and stipulations in place that prevent someone without a degree like me from advancing. School is still an option for me and I’m still considering it, but I don’t believe you have to have a degree to make a difference and be a leader. However, making a difference without having one seems to be a much harder and longer journey. But I’m satisfied with my decisions so far and I’m willing to put in the work necessary to achieve my dreams and aspirations without one… for now.
VPPPA: What is your most recent accomplishment?
TG: My most recent accomplishment has been being selected as the VPPPA Safety and Health Outreach Award!!
VPPPA: How did you get involved in the Safety & Health world?
TG: I was asked by a friend to join a safety team and i did it to add something positive to my resume. However after being envolved for a time it grew into a passion for me.
VPPPA: What makes you passionate about the VPPPA?
TG: My passion for VPPPA comes from the affect it has had on my life through my experience with how serious the members are about making it priority to supply solutions to the safety culture around the world. Without VPPPA it would be hard to stay inspired to continue to fulfill the requirements of being a VPP site. I believe the relationships created in VPPPA are vital to continuing in safety excellence at any VPP site.
VPPPA: What has been your favorite aspect of the Association?
TG: Networking has been my favorite aspect. Meeting so many others who are passionate about changing the culture for their fellow employees. I think it is amazing how we all come together at great events across the country to bring change to the way we all do safety.
VPPPA: What advice would you give to someone interested in the VPP or the VPPPA?
TG: DO IT!! Your family and the family of your fellow organizational members will be grateful for the efforts you take to ensure their loved ones have the best opportunity to make it back home everyday. It is work, but constantly improving to ensure your people make it home everyday to do the things they live to do makes it totally worth the effort.