My 2018-2019 STLE Presidency

Greg Croce | TLT President's Report June 2019

The past year was a mix of the Good (mostly), the Bad and the Ugly.
 


Greg Croce speaking at Inter Lubric China, the 19th China International Lubricants and Technology Exhibition in November 2018. 


Understood. Quite the interesting title for my last article, but my time as your president has elements off all three, albeit definitely mostly the good.

It has been my honor to be your president for the last year. It is a tribute to the entire membership that I had such a nice time visiting our partner events, local section meetings and industry meetings. A tribute because this society is very well liked and respected around the world. People respect STLE because of our size, ability to make a difference, our huge volunteer movement and our ability to give back to the society.

The year I experienced does not happen if it weren’t for my family and Chevron. My family has endured me not being home as much as they like, but they have understood and encouraged. Chevron never once questioned my travel or time away from my day job. Thanks to my supervisor, Rommel Atienza, for the confidence to do what it takes to support my role and STLE.

This year I was able to attend and support events such as the Gordon Research Seminar as a career panelist, LubMat in Spain, NLGI, IMLA, OilDoc in Germany, along with visiting almost 10 local section meetings. I also was an invited speaker at the Lubricant Technology Forum (China), UEIL (Budapest), Inter Lubric (China), and TriboBR (Brazil). Whew, what a whirlwind it was! And that doesn’t include the regular board and Executive Committee meetings.

I was able to meet hundreds of key and respected people in our industry around the world. My most memorable moment was being in China at a big round table for lunch with key partners, where I was being questioned time and time again about how it is that STLE has so many volunteers that support the organization. My answers were many, from a personal desire I have to not retake the CLS exam to just having a great community that wants to give back to our society. One of my most proud moments in my career.

In addition, aligned with our long-term strategic plan, the society is executing several key initiatives: continuing our work to grow internationally in key aligned countries, improving education programs, expanding our relevance in the science world (tribology is the most common area of science in the world that nobody knows about) and overall making STLE the place to be.

There was “the bad” in all this. Being STLE president is mostly what you make of it, and I made the most of it. I mentioned the financial and timing support I receive from my leadership. The bad in all of this is presidents generally still have a day job they are expected to perform. We all know how to prioritize and multitask, but this has really been a year of having two jobs. I learned more than ever about balance and trying to keep your peers happy, but it wasn’t easy, and I believe I was not so successful. Good news (I think) to my peers—I am back.

The ugly. On Christmas Eve my mother was informed she has cancer. So, with all the above, any free time I have is dedicated to getting to Southern California to help my wonderful sister Renee tend to my mother as she handled chemo and many other heath issues in and out of the hospital. Happy to report that as of this writing my mom is doing better, but we have a long way to go.

The Executive Committee reminds me of the Golden State Warriors—completely and unfairly loaded with talent. You are in good hands next year with President Mike Duncan, sorry to see Mike “Tribology is Everywhere” Anderson go, and welcome to the team, Ryan Evans!

Thanks again for allowing me to be your president. I will never forget this experience.
 
Greg Croce is Delo Brand technical manager for Chevron Products Co. in Richmond, Calif. You can reach him at gcroce@chevron.com.