Leadership Torrance Class of 2006

Barbara Graham

Community Relations Manager

Torrance Refining Company LLC


  1. Where were you in your career right before joining Leadership Torrance? I was a new California resident having just relocated from the Northern Virginia and just shy of one year in my new career in Public and Government Affairs at the Torrance Refinery when I joined Leadership Torrance in 2006. In fact, I was at the Chamber participating in a Black History Celebration Committee meeting the second day on the job, so the Torrance Chamber played an important role in my career from the beginning.

  1. Where are you in your career and life now? I am proud of the opportunities afforded me by my employer to expose me to various roles that lead to my current position managing the Community Relationships Department at the Torrance Refinery.  The introduction to the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce very early in my West Coast career has jointly enhanced my professional growth and enriched my personal life. I am grateful for the professional connections I’ve formed with a diverse population of like-minded professionals that has grown into personal friendships over time. I still enjoy those friendships today.  In fact, one LT classmate is now my work colleague and another is one of my best friends!

  1. What insight or benefit of Leadership Torrance do you value most? Much like my workplace, the Leadership Torrance program creates a learning environment where teamwork to achieve a common goal is established from the very beginning. I benefited greatly from working with a diverse group of individuals who shared a common goal yet brought their own individuality to the process. I have incorporated into my own skills toolbox what I gleaned from those individuals as we worked together to accomplish our class project. Sharing insights about leadership and discussing the topic with other professionals whom I might not have otherwise met or engaged with prior to Leadership Torrance has helped me to understand different perspectives and helped to shape my own leadership style. I also find it very beneficial to personally participate in the program early in my career because I was able to select other employees from our company to participate in the program every year since to enhance their professional development and help them connect with our community in a way that only the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce can provide.

  1. Anything else you would like to share? I recommend any business looking to develop their people seriously consider Leadership Torrance. It is an investment in your employees that will pay dividends in their growth, provide positive exposure for your business and help develop beneficial connections with the Torrance community.

It has been great to see how my Leadership Torrance classmates have progressed in their careers. There have been numerous times throughout the years when I needed to reach out to a LT classmate to collaborate on professional endeavors. Having a shared experience in Leadership Torrance made it very easy to reach out and reconnect.

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