The life blood of the society

Greg Croce | TLT President's Report April 2019

Local sections are where STLE carries out its mission on a monthly basis.

Starting this year, STLE is presenting three awards for outstanding work by its local groups.

If you have read any of my previous articles, you know I am a strong proponent of STLE local section activities. Local sections are the life blood of the organization. It is where we can deliver monthly on our mission across the country—wait, across the world—to hundreds of people that cannot always make it to our national conferences. I value the time I have spent visiting local sections and look forward to the time when I am freed up to get back on the leadership of the Northern California Section. 

I want to use this article to explain some of the activities local sections carry out and some improvements we have made to both local section collaboration and awards program.

First, I want to discuss how the board engages with local sections. I mentioned in a previous article that the board meets four times a year, three of which are on weekends. Each weekend meeting consists of board committee and strategy meetings on Saturday and the full board meeting on Sunday. 

We have three main committees, led by folks from the executive committee. The Finance Committee, which develops and manages our budget, is led by Treasurer Ken Hope. The Governance Committee, which “governs” over the society, aligning the constitution and policy/proceed documents against improvements we make in both, is led by Secretary Paul Hetherington. 

Then there is the Section Affairs Committee, which works to build and support our local section activities and is led by Vice President Mike Duncan. STLE Immediate Past President Mike Anderson and president (yours truly) get to pick which meetings we attend on Saturday. Governance scares me (as does Paul’s memory of the documents and procedures), Finance puts me to sleep (sorry, Ed Salek), so I spend my time working with Mike Duncan in Section Affairs.

Last year we made some good changes you will see come into effect this year for local sections. First of all, we have brought back the section liaison positions within Section Affairs (remember, Rob Heverly?). Each Section Affairs Committee member now has at least one or two sections they are assigned to. Their job is simply to be another person our sections can lean on to help with anything the section needs. The role is not to replace Gina Cairo, who is the staff overall liaison for sections, but to augment the great work she does. Sections should be getting letters on who your liaison is shortly, so feel free to give them a call or email.

Sections spend countless hours, not only holding two- to three-hour meetings each month. They organize a significant number of additional events, from education programs, STEM camps, corporate/university outreach to golf outings. The best part is these events also bring in revenue, which most, if not all, sections give back to students in the form of scholarships.

For years we have given out a large and small outstanding section award at the annual meeting. I am happy to announce that starting in 2019 we will present three outstanding section awards. We will still judge sections against those of similar size (and budget) but probably will not title them by size but, rather, as just Outstanding Section Awards. In addition, we have given the Section Affairs Committee the ability to present outstanding achievements awards to sections each year. When we review the applications for section awards, we see so many achievements the sections have accomplished that we want to start rewarding them for doing them.

So this is a call to all the local sections—get your applications in, large or small, we want to know what you have been doing and, more important, want to reward you for your great efforts!

Until next time—CONNECT, Learn and Achieve.
Greg Croce is Delo Brand technical manager for Chevron Products Co. in Richmond, Calif. You can reach him at