From Pasadena to Minneapolis and beyond…

Greg Croce | TLT President's Report July 2018

The journey to STLE’s top leadership position was more than just a California dream.

Chevron executive Greg Croce became STLE’s 76th president on May 22 during the society’s annual meeting in Minneapolis.

OK, it is my turn.

I am happy and excited to be your president for the next year. I’d like to begin by talking about who I am, how I got here and what I hope to accomplish in the next 12 months.

The vitals:
Name: Greg Croce.
Born: Pasadena, California.
Lives: Concord, California (that’s Northern California). Native Californian, never left.
Education: Bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering. MBA in marketing.
Works for: Chevron Products Co. (20 years) and before that Technip/KTI (12 years).

My first industry job began after college when I landed a job with Technip/KTI. It was a pretty cool job—designing large fired equipment for the petrochemical industry. After all that schooling it was great to jump right in and calculate real stuff like number of tubes, number of passes, materials, heat transfer, pressure drop and draft.

My knowledge of fired heater design led to myself and Tom Gilmore moving from Southern California to the North to open an office. That operation was so successful that I was asked to lead a team in Houston. Now, no offense Texans, but that’s when the brakes went on. 

I eyed a job at Chevron Lubricants as an OEM liaison. My first hurdle was to con the interview team, which consisted of several people, including the late Randy Baer and also Dan Holdmeyer, into hiring me. To this day, Dan is adamant that he was the single no vote on the selection team, but somehow I was hired. So thanks to Randy and Dan—well, Randy—for voting yes on me!

So my STLE journey began.

My new boss hired me on the agreement that I would soon prepare for and pass the STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist™ exam. I really wish I had known more about that test before I agreed to take it! After passing, I learned that if I supported STLE activities, I wouldn’t have to take it again. That was all I had to hear!

I got in contact with folks at the local section and within 12 month I found myself chair of the Northern California Section. That was a title I held off and on for the next five to six years as we rebuilt the section.

In 2005 STLE’s then West Coast Regional Vice President Jim Mather decided he wanted to stop working and sail around the world with his wife and two kids! He needed a replacement, and I was it.

I have been on STLE’s Board of Directors for the last 12 years. For the past six years I’ve served on our Education Committee, chairing it since 2015. That is a great assignment, and I plan to return.

My journey on the board started simply enough—board meetings, annual meetings, local section meetings—but the real fun was meeting and working with my fellow directors. I count some of them among my closest friends.

So here I am. What am I going to do?

As you might know, I have been a great supporter of STLE’s strategic planning process. With that in mind, my role as president is simply to make sure the society stays on the multiyear strategic plan we set in place many years ago with special focus on four initiatives:

1.) The continued development of STLE-owned education material.
2.) Continuous improvement of STLE certification programs.
3.) Extending STLE’s global outreach and proactively supporting our partners around the world who desire to join the STLE family.
4.) Continue efforts to launch local sections in Singapore, Thailand and Mexico, along with several sections in the U.S. 

I would like to thank Chevron Products Co. for its ongoing support of me, STLE and our industry. During the past 13-plus years, Chevron Products has supported my travel and time to attend more than 50 meetings in the U.S. and abroad.

I promise to work hard to keep STLE on the right track. Thank you again for the honor of serving as your 2018-2019 STLE president.
Greg Croce is Delo Brand technical manager for Chevron Products Co. in Richmond, Calif. You can reach him at