CI: Can you share a few highlights of your career with us?
I followed an unusual path from college to industry. My undergraduate degree was in chemistry, and after medical school I pursued an internship in general surgery. I quickly found that left little time for my family and was introduced to public health during my Air Force service at a missile base in Wyoming. Experience in Desert Storm led to the US Air Force Residency in Aerospace and Occupational Medicine. From there I spent 7 years at an organic chemical manufacturing company and have now been with OxyChem almost 17 years.
CI: When did you first become involved at CI?
My association with the CI now exceeds 16 years. I have been involved in the CI primarily through updates of CI pamphlets involving health topics and emergency response. Initially I was able to participate in the committees, but more recently I have been able to lead the task group. The CI has also been fantastic in providing support and introductions to others in similar positions — there are few of us now!
CI: What is something interesting about you that few know or would guess?
I am married with four daughters and one granddaughter, and enjoy outdoor hiking, biking, and hunting. I also enjoy faceting gemstones. My father-in-law introduced me to the hobby, and it is a great way to work with natural materials!
CI: Tell us about your favorite CI memory or success story. Why are you a member?
My favorite experience was sharing the CI pamphlet on chlorine health effects with emergency responders at an EMS Expo conference in Virginia, as part of a joint presentation with Robyn Brooks. The participants were firefighters and HAZMAT experts and at times, many of them found chemistry to be mysterious. It was great to visit face-to-face and assist them with how to look at chemicals and understand how and when to use their senses when approaching a chlorine response scene. Chlorine chemistry makes great products and sharing safety and health information is a great way to interface with the community!
CI: What advice do you have for early career professionals in the chlor-alkali industry?
Just get involved — you likely have more valuable insight and experience than you realize. Your perspective is valuable even if you are new to the industry, as you can bring fresh perspective to issues, we have all looked at for years. Sometimes it is a simple question that leads to new success! The CI staff are excellent at helping you find others in our industry facing similar issues.
“One of the great things about my role on staff is that I get to work with people with very deep knowledge and are generous with their time and expertise. Dr. Krebs went above and beyond during the update of CI’s medical pamphlet and found a way to explain complex medical topics in a way both medical and non-medical professionals could understand. When another opportunity arose to present on some concepts from the pamphlet to first responders, Dr. Krebs hopped on a plane and gave a presentation on a Saturday. I truly appreciate his dedication and generosity!”
– Robyn Brooks, (CI Staff, VP, HESS)