Member Feature: William B. Lee III
William B. Lee III began his journey in the liquid terminals industry years ago in 1991 when he moved back in with his parents in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lee was working for a temp agency as he worked to finish a history class as part of earning his chemical engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
“I was assigned to work in the supply department at CITGO Petroleum and when my supervisors heard that I was soon to graduate, they circulated my resume to several other departments,” said Lee. “The Corporate HSSE group decided to hire me as an environmental specialist. Most of the initial work I did was related to air for CITGO’s Terminal and Pipeline Operations group. Over time, the terminal group decided to employ me directly as a regional EHS&S specialist.”
Today, as a Regional Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security (EHS&S) Manager for CITGO Petroleum, Lee enjoys that his role is extremely varied and always offering something new.
“I am involved in most aspects of the operation of a number of different terminals, from driver issues to meeting with senior EPA representatives,” he said, noting that those just entering the industry should remember to be flexible. “These facilities tend to be staffed with people that have to perform many varied tasks on a day-to-day basis.”
Over the course of his career, Lee has seen the industry become more highly regulated than in the past, with an increased focus on safety in a way nobody would have imagined 30 years ago. As for where the industry might be headed in the next 5, 10 or 50 years, Lee says he’s unsure but still has some predictions.
“I’m not certain [how the industry will change], but I think there will be a reasonable amount of contraction and consolidation,” Lee said. “I think smaller facilities will have increasing difficulties in meeting an increasing regulatory burden.”
Lee encourages young people to pursue a career with a liquid terminal company.
“I think there are many challenges, but this industry will exist for many, many years to come and will be the basis for a long and fruitful career in a field that provides many products needed by the country,” said Lee, adding that organizations like ILTA are highly beneficial. “[My favorite part of being involved with ILTA is] being around people that have such similar concerns. You can generally find others who have direct experience with the issues you might be struggling with.”
In his spare time, Lee is often working with gaming computers and tweaking them for various role play games, first person shooters, and virtual reality racing simulators.
Courtesy of ILTA.