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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
Finding Your Way to Good Works
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April 6, 2013 11:30 a.m.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…and He shall direct your path
(Proverbs 3:5-6)<>


When I asked my potential client for a physical address for our meeting location, I received the following response: The use of GPS is not permitted when travelling to our sites. I knew then that I was in for an adventure. I got directions to an undisclosed location and a promise for a host to meet me at an intersection, where I would park my car and travel with a group to a series of drilling sites, located on rural routes that I could not get to again if my life depended on it. My adventure on this trip was exploring applications for green technology for primary and secondary containment on drilling platforms. Environmentally-friendly, cost-effective solutions for petroleum…my nerd-radar was on a 10!!!<>

Adventures in Arkansas: With today’s technology, I take “selfies” to chart my location in unknown territories…you know, just in case. But that option was not always available. My first job out of college required me to spend time in northwest Arkansas traveling in rural areas that supported the turkey production supply chain. So I rode in pickup trucks with virtual strangers to turkey farms, hatcheries, feed mills, etc. Years later, after I started Latrobe, I found myself in a similar situation, riding in a pickup truck with someone who appeared uncomfortable taking me to visit upstart drilling platforms supporting the Fayetteville shale play. So how did I find a way to break the ice? I initiated a conversation about Razorback sports, rice farming, and duck hunting. I remember talking with my host so much that we almost got stuck somewhere in Faulkner county during the 2011 Storm of the Century. <> 


Adventures in Asia: My most memorable adventure was my first visit to China. I was visiting a supplier that we were developing to provide raw materials for steel products. It was 2003 and in the early infrastructure development. Although I flew into Shanghai, the worksite was in Dongtai, an agriculture community in its infancy for industrial production. When I say infancy, I mean that along the two hour journey, many of the roads and basic necessities did not exist. When we got to the work site, I remember asking my host about the facilities and was directed toward a trough, hidden behind a makeshift aluminum wall. What to do with my new London Fog trench coat was the least of my concerns!!!<> 


Adventures in Assimilating into non-traditional work environments: Throughout my career, I have developed a list of survival tactics to make it easier on my hosts and me when travelling to rugged work sites:<>
·        Wear a jacket or a vest with pockets (there’s usually no place to keep a purse)<>

·        Keep a small container of hand sanitizer & baby wipes on you (use your imagination)<>

·        Know the outcome to last night’s game or local event (good conversation starter)<>

·        Develop tough skin for political/religious/social issues (awkward conversation ender)<>

·        Glamorize/personalize where appropriate (i.e., my chartreuse safety hat)<>

·        Be yourself (you do not have to act like a man to work in a man’s environment)<>

<> 

As a little girl, I was always told to pay attention when I went anywhere, so that if I got lost, I could always find my way home. As an adult, I have been blessed to go on adventures where that was not always an option in the natural. By faith, I know that I have a supernatural power directing my path to find my way home safely. Now, if I could just find my way to owning a rock quarry and a dump truck. After this week’s adventure, my entrepreneurial radar saw a potentially new opportunity for good works.<>


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