ECC Future Leaders Program
The ECC Future Leaders Program is a vibrant network of emerging professionals that supports the ECC's mission to promote thought leadership through fresh perspectives. By developing new ideas and giving visibility to bright leaders, this program energizes participation in the industry and encourages growth and innovation.
Future Leaders will have the unique opportunity to network with industry leaders, collaborate with peers in the ECC community, and participate in the Annual ECC Conference. Tomorrow's game-changing executives are today's Future Leaders, and this program provides the connections and exposure needed to take that next step.
ECC Future Leaders Program:
- Promotes new talent and unique perspectives through networking
- Supports development and increases diversity of the ECC community
- Furthers careers within the engineering and construction contracting industry
- Collaborates with the ECC Board to produce content for the Annual ECC Conference
Future Leader Benefits:
- Access to key industry leaders allowing for mentoring opportunities and thought leadership discussion.
- Presenting / discussing "hot" industry topics to key industry leaders
- Development of high-powered presentations
- Exposure to higher learning of various industry topics, etc.
- Networking with peer emerging leaders, as well as the established industry leaders
Guidelines for Membership
Each company sponsoring the upcoming ECC Conference is entitled to nominate a participant for the Future Leader Program. Future Leaders can participate up to their 3rd year in the conference as part of the Future Leaders Program.
Future Leaders should:
- Have 10-15 years of experience in the industry
- Be in an entry to mid-level management position
- Be recognized within the sponsoring organization as an "Emerging Leader"
- Participate in the mid-year meeting
- Participate in thought leadership / professional development activities
Chaitali Dave - Phillips 66
“I have absolutely loved the access that ECC and the Future Leaders program provides to current market/industry information, learning about the latest advances in project execution and ability to make long term connections with fellow industry colleagues.”
- How long you have been in the industry:
I just hit my 20 years in the oil and gas industry.
- What interests you most about the ECC organization?
I started out as a nominee for the Future Leader program within ECC and have absolutely loved the access to current market/industry information, learning about the latest advances in project execution and ability to make long term connections with fellow industry colleagues.
- What advice would you give to First year FL’s coming into the program?
Take advantage of participating in the conference development. I learned a lot about what it takes to create the right forums with the right topics that are of interest in the current market. Also take advantage of any public speaking opportunities you get. Most of us engineers need to get out of our shell and learn to articulate our ideas.
- Where is your favorite place you have traveled?
Paris is currently one of my favorite places to travel. My whole family went last December including our 7-year-old daughter and we all loved the history, the art and of course the food (especially all the pâtissiers). We loved to learn about the culture, trying to pickup bits of a new language and exploring this diverse city.
- How has the FL program served you in your current role at Phillips 66?
This role was crucial when I joined Phillips 66 as it was a direct connection to my job as an EPC category manager. Understanding the market trends in the EPC industry, knowing the various EPC companies and their service offerings, learning about what projects were successful and which ones we could learn from lessons learned that we can apply to our projects, and especially knowing the right contacts/companies when helping Phillips 66 develop our own capital project contracting strategies. Finding the right EPC companies with the right skills sets and timing to staff our capital projects was a critical part of my role.
- If given a budget of a million dollars, what type of community service project would you lead?
Education was always a very high priority for my immigrant parents. Ensuring that their kids do better than them, even if it means moving across continents with three young mouths to feed, so that they get a better education opportunity. Their influence has led me to always choose volunteer activities that are around education. I am a long-term volunteer of Junior Achievement, Tutormate, Barbara Bush Reading Foundation and mentoring children at a young age. So, I would choose to use the money towards an education program that ensures no child gets left behind and helps give them the tools they can use to get better education, so they can grow up and help their families have a better life.
- What advice would you give to Women starting out in a male dominated industry?
Do not be afraid to speak up!! I remember my first boss in Houston telling me I had three strikes against me in this industry: being female, minority and being young compared to industry average age. That was his advice to me, and I haven’t forgotten it to this day. Speak up in every meeting, volunteer to lead, and never be shy with your ideas.
- Who is your industry and non-industry role model?
My industry role model is JP Chevrierre, Transmar Consultants. He is a bottom-less wealth of knowledge and, I admire his drive and passion to always keep in the industry moving forward. He is continually pushing for more female leaders in our industry, whether its thorough his board member participation on female-owned businesses or through mentoring young female engineers like myself to continue to learn, lead and grow.
There are many non-industry role models from whom I have picked up different qualities to develop myself over the years. If I have to pick one, my non-industry role model is Cheryl Chartier, Articulus Consulting. She only recently moved to a new role after many years in the oil and gas industry, and her ability to break out of the industry and still take all her years of experience to help grow her consulting business is so inspiring. She was an amazing boss always pushing me to grow, when I worked for her at three different companies, and now as a mentor I regularly turn to her for advice. She is insistent that I go beyond my regular job and do more for my dreams.
- Do you have any suggestions for retaining ECC FL Alumni?
One of my suggestions is to pair up current future leaders with FL alumni and pair FL alumni with current ECC board members, conference speakers, leaders in the industry, etc., as mentors. This would not only help current FL members but also the alumni to continue engagement in the ECC forum and help the organization grow and evolve with our ever-changing industry.
Karen Griffin - Hargrove Controls + Automation
”Future Leaders: get involved and stay engaged with the organization - build your own relationships and share your own thoughts.”
- How long you have been in the industry:
I have twenty years of experience in Controls + Automation.
- What inspires you or motivates you about our industry?
While I graduated as a Chemical Engineer, I found myself drawn to Automation in the early stages of my career. I enjoyed being able to identify a process improvement need but also implement and carry out the changes and see the impact firsthand. Automation is an applied engineering field based on the principles we all learn – the challenges presented are unique and call for different kinds of innovation. Automation was born out of the last industrial revolution with the rise of digital technology and I believe it will be at the forefront of the next industrial revolution – AI, big data, and technology-based solutions where we are building on our digital capabilities. It is exciting to work in a field that is constantly evolving and changing as technology advances, requiring us to stay on the cutting edge.
- What aspect of your role at Hargrove do you enjoy most?
Working with our clients to identify their needs and then building a team that can supply those needs is incredibly fulfilling. At Hargrove, we can bridge with engineering and operations groups in order to find comprehensive solutions for our clients and build relationships that last.
- What are your personal goals serving on the board of the ECC?
I’m very interested in helping to formulate the thought leadership that drives our industry and being able to bring that innovative spirit back to my Team at Hargrove.
- What’s something about you (fun fact) that not many people know?
I was the trombone section leader in our high school band.
- You mentioned you are a mom of 3 young kids, how do you maintain your work/life balance?
My husband is in the military, and as a military spouse, you learn very quickly how to set up a support system that can accommodate for work and family, knowing there will be instances of long-term separation. Along with a strong support system, being flexible is key – but you have to take the steps to organize your life to allow for that flexibility. If all else fails, you just have to remember to put one foot in front of the other!
- This is your first year on the board at the ECC and it’s the first time we have used a virtual platform for the conference. With the many blessings’ technology brings, we all know it has significant challenges—can you tell us about some of the obstacles you had to overcome in the planning stages?
One of ECC’s key components is networking. It has been challenging to bring that into a virtual conference structure in an effective manner. We want to retain as much of the networking and communication benefits typically offered by ECC as possible. I’m excited about the results of our planning, and I hope our attendees will feel that we’ve delivered on this!
- This year you are overseeing the Forums for the ECC, can you touch on what we can look forward to at the virtual conference?
I’ve stepped in to assist Shannon Craig, who is overseeing the Forums this year in instances where his work-life has needed to take precedence, but Shannon is leading Forums. As with anything else, be flexible, help others, and ask for help when you need it. I’m excited about the insight we’ll be sharing in our Forums – we’ll explore topics around current global and industrial challenges, what we are doing to combat these challenges, as well as transformative ideas for how we will lead our industry into the future. I want our attendees to be inspired by what they learn and take away practical skills for leading our industry as we strive to overcome.
- Lastly, what advice or insight would you give to the Future Leaders of the ECC?
Make the most of the opportunities presented in the Future Leaders program. Get involved and stay engaged with the organization – build your own relationships and share your own thoughts. This is a chance to promote your ideas and shape the future of our industry.