Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Texas City and joined the U.S. Navy straight out of high school. I served as a Seabee (combat engineer) for four years.
Q: When did you starting working at Shell Deer Park?
A: After the Navy, I took firefighting classes at College of the Mainland. But then I found out about the college’s process technology program, and I was hooked after a couple of classes. Once I received my degree, I worked at Sterling Chemicals for 10 years as an operator. I joined Shell Deer Park 14 years ago as an operator, and now I’m a subject-matter-expert in hydro reforming.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: I have an opportunity to interact with diverse groups of people on a daily basis and help train them so they can achieve their goals and expand their skillset. Due to my time in the Navy, I’m very passionate about preparing others to think on their feet.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
A: In my role, I need to ensure I can reach each individual on his/her level and tailor training programs so they’re truly effective. Everyone learns differently, so it’s critical that I’m aware of these differences and adjust accordingly. My ability to adapt quickly – which I learned in the Navy – plays a key role in helping others achieve success.
Q: How did your Navy service impact your job at Shell?
A: I don’t let setbacks or obstacles defeat me. Life’s challenges only make us stronger, so embrace them when they come along.
Q: How do you approach safety?
A: Safety isn’t just a word – it’s a mindset that’s embedded in everything I do. All it takes is one second of not keeping safety top of mind, and that could be the difference between a fatality or someone going home safely. Never lose your focus.
Q: What memory will stay with you from your service?
A: My time in the Navy taught me how finite life is...and how quickly it can end if we don’t protect the ones we love. Don’t look for an award to show compassion and kindness for others.