Four Reasons To Get Involved With CGA
The rewards of individual participation in CGA can pay off in multiple ways. Anu George, an Air Liquide Plant Engineer in Louisiana, and Tom Drube, Vice President of Engineering at Chart Industries Inc., who were both honored earlier this year for their involvement in CGA, share why they prioritize CGA involvement and how it has benefited them personally and professionally.
Anu George was named New Committee Member of the Year for her work as chair of the Young & Emerging Professionals Committee and serving on CGA’s Atmospheric Gases & Equipment and Safety & Health Committees. Tom Drube was presented the Charles H. Glasier Safety Award for his more than 30 years of service to CGA.
With careers at both ends of the spectrum—a relative newcomer and an experienced professional—each sees the value of devoting the time to CGA. Here are some of the benefits they identified.
An Early Leg Up.
Drube was a young engineer just starting his career when he got involved with CGA. Stepping into the organization has gotten easier now, thanks to the Young & Emerging Professionals Committee, he said. “It serves as a gateway to CGA’s other technical committees. This is especially important if you want to dip your toe into the water. As you get more comfortable, try joining a task force on a specific issue or attending a technical committee. Think of it as an investment in your future.”
It Says A Lot About Your Commitment to The Industry—And Bosses Notice.
Participation can demonstrate that you’re invested in the industry and in company-aligned goals of safety, Drube said. “You’re showing your company that you’re invested in continuing to learn.” Drube also said participating has helped grow his confidence in leadership and presentation skills. “It’s something you can do to differentiate yourself and provide more flexibility for career development,” he said.
You Never Know Who You’ll Meet.
George not only works at a large company, but she also works away from company headquarters. So, it was a CGA event that introduced her to an executive at her own company who now serves as her mentor. “I would not have been able to have this relationship without meeting her through CGA,” George said. “She’s very high up. I had seen her through company events and town halls, but I don’t think I would have ever been able to network with her at this level.”
Participation also helped broaden her own network. “I looked at my networks and realized most of my network were people with three to five years’ experience. Now, I’ve ventured out to find sponsors and mentors.”
Networking is one of the most important skills in today’s marketplace, George said. “It’s probably more important than ever. The more engaged I am with CGA members, the more willing they are, the more open they are to share their experience. It’s up to the member how they want to use that information. The opportunities are endless.”
Drube also sees the connections he has made as a positive step on his career path. “When I started going to CGA committee meetings, it was a lot of networking. I found other engineers doing what I’m doing. I found engineers who were vendors to us and those to whom we were vendors. Everyone was looking at an issue through the lens of safety. That offered a refreshing perspective.”
An Opportunity to Give Back.
Writing technical standards can be involved and time consuming. But Drube remembers when he was a young engineer who relied on those documents. Now, he has evolved to the position of writing those same documents.
“You migrate from a consumer of safety content to a steward of those publications and a contributor,” Drube said. “Then you get to a point where you advocate for and author content. I’ve been able to go so far as to advocate for changes within the association, including new committees. Each one builds on the other. Now as we develop brand new committees, they are developing new content, driving safety.”
George also sees the benefits of giving back. “The more involved you are, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the more you contribute and share and give back to the industry. Giving back is inspiring, especially to a cause like CGA, where standards can help users operate our plants and use our products safely. I see it as privilege to be part of this organization and the industry and believe that I have a responsibility to help create a sustainable future for our industry.”
So, no matter if you’re new to the industry or association or a long-time industry veteran, there is an important place and rewarding purpose for you at CGA. Together we can ensure the safe use and growth of our industry.