Thank you Torrance Refinery Company for Hosting the LEAD Program

What a day! This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to chaperone the chamber’s Leadership, Exploration and Development (LEAD) program.  This seven month program provides 26 sophomore students attending Torrance Unified School District, the chance to visit businesses, educational institutions and non profits in the South Bay.

LEAD co-chairs, Leslie Cortez and Bill Samp work to plan, organize and implement the sessions for the students.  This past Tuesday was Science Day. The morning began with opening remarks from Barbara Graham, Community Relations Manager at the Torrance Refinery Company. Barbara did an incredible job in arranging speakers from the Refinery to address the students regarding their education, the road they traveled on their career path and “what” leadership means to each of them.

Steve Steach, Refinery Manager; David Ingram, Health, Safety and Environment Manager and Joe Alvarez, Torrance Refinery Fire Chief welcomed students to the Refinery and provided information on health, safety, environment, safety and security. These three individuals also spoke about their career in a way in which inspired and motivated the students.

Ingram concluded his presentation by listing five important things for the students which included:  get involved and practice leadership; be an inquisitive learner; always be willing to listen to others; find a mentor and always have two resumes. He stated one resume can be created when looking for a job, the other is to be created for “what” and “where” you want to be.

Julie Chao, a West High graduate and a current Torrance Refinery Company employee, provided students a bus tour of the refinery. She gave an analogy that the Refinery is made up of many tanks, and asked that we think of those tanks as canisters in a kitchen. Each canister has something different in it and that each canister is very important to the Refinery’s operation. At the conclusion of the tour, the students were joined for lunch by Refinery leaders for a mentor session. Engaging conversations took place between the students and leaders.

Through partnership with the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, the Torrance Refinery Company is extended heartfelt apperception for being such a strong advocate for students. Efforts made to introduce students to business leaders this past Tuesday were extraordinary.

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