July 11, 2016 | Vol. 66, No. 12
Dear PEI Member:
PEI has developed a mentor-match program for employees of member companies. We call it PEI Connect. This is an exciting new program established to help individuals develop and advance their careers in the industry.
Mentoring is a collaborative, mutually beneficial partnership between two people: a mentor who possesses skills, knowledge and experience, and a mentee who is looking to increase his or her skills, knowledge and experience in the same areas. Studies have shown that having a mentor is a top factor affecting an employee’s success, career satisfaction and whether they stay with an organization.
I am a big advocate for mentoring because it worked so well for me.
I had two fantastic mentors during the first eight years of my tenure in the petroleum equipment industry: Dick Trask and Howard Upton.
Dick Trask was president of Petroleum Equipment
Company in West Roxbury (Boston), Massachusetts. As the newly elected PEI
vice president, he visited our headquarters office in Tulsa during my second
week on the job in January of 1979. As I was driving Dick back to his hotel
after dinner, he saw a tank truck dropping product at a Phillips 66 station.
“Quick, pull in behind him,” he shouted. I did, and for the next 30
minutes—on that dark and cold January evening—he told me what he knew about
vapor recovery, API bottom loading adaptors, drop hose, fuel delivery
elbows, overfill protection, manholes, placards, sight glasses, gauge sticks
and paste. My industry education had begun.
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Dick realized that I was new to the industry and had a lot to learn if I was going to make it my career. He graciously offered his time to teach me what he could if I was willing to devote five hours a week studying the industry. Every Monday, he would assign me specific parts of the equipment catalogs from Southern Pump & Tank Company (hardbound, gray and black), Ace Tank & Equipment (yellow, 660-page behemoth) and Huddleston Equipment Co. (chock full of vapor recovery equipment) to read. Then on Fridays, schedules permitting, we would discuss what I read in further detail and he would answer my questions. We did this for 14 months. I have always been grateful for Dick’s willingness to help a 27-year-old lawyer with no technical background understand how things worked in this industry.
As i was learning about petroleum equipment from Dick Trask, Howard Upton—PEI’s executive vice president and my boss at the time—taught me about association management and the people and companies that made up PEI. Howard had been with PEI for 28 years when I was hired. He knew everybody and everything about the people and companies we served. For the eight years we worked together, I was fortunate to spend time with Howard—again, whenever our schedules permitted—to talk about the industry. He held nothing back, and I did my best to take it all in. And we did this with our feet up on his desk. What a great way to learn.
No two mentor/mentee relationships are alike. I am not suggesting that the relationships and the time commitment involved with the PEI Connect program would (or should) be like those I had with Dick and Howard. (In fact, our program asks for mentors and mentees to connect as little as one hour a month.) But the mentors I had made me a better professional, and I expect a similar result from those who choose to become involved in PEI Connect.
Full details about how PEI Connect works and how mentors and mentees can get involved in the program are available on the PEI website. If becoming a mentor or mentee (or both) appeals to you, I encourage you to fill out the form(s) and give it a try. Since this is a member benefit, all mentee applications will require you to provide your PEI member login. Questions about any aspect of PEI Connect should be directed to Bob Young firstname.lastname@example.org at PEI.
JONES & FRANK ACQUIRES ANS DISTRIBUTING
SPATCO ACQUIRES MID-SOUTH PUMP SALES AND SERVICE
PEI SEEKING FIND RED VOLUNTEERS FOR ATLANTA CONVENTION
LIFT STANDARD APPROVED BY ANSI
SENATORS URGE EPA TO INCREASE RFS REQUIREMENT
VEHICULAR GASEOUS FUEL SYSTEMS CODE UPDATED BY NFPA
ADMITTED TO PEI
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.