Chevron Phillips employees share life lessons, SPE’s value

Two Oklahoma-based employees of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP – Jon D. Ratzlaff, technical services manager, and Tom Giovannetti, technical service engineer – recently visited main campus, sharing on-the-job pointers with Penn College plastics students.

Ratzlaff encourages students to get involved –and stay involved – with SPE.

During an hourlong presentation, Ratzlaff characterized their positions as a combination of “geeks and car salesmen” as they travel the world: knowing the complex technology inside and out, but also being able to explain it to customers and colleagues in layperson’s terms.

A keenly attentive plastics audience absorbs an industry perspective.

Both men reviewed for their audience (many of them members of the college’s globally top-ranked SPE student section) the equipment and processes with which they work, the range of products that result, the necessity to diplomatically navigate all manner of people, and the need to be informed and responsible ambassadors for their chosen field.

Giovannetti espouses teamwork, whether refining processes or resolving problems.

Ratzlaff, who served as national SPE president in 2013-14, urged students to take full advantage of the organization’s many offerings: a resource library, professional contacts, leadership opportunities, webinars and lasting friendships.

“Personality tests do not define you as a person. Figure out who you are as an individual and how to deal with other people,” he stressed. “And be sure to get outside your own walls.”

Added Giovannetti, with a voice of 22 years’ experience: “You’ll need everyone’s ideas.”

Photos by Shannon M. Munro,
vice president for workforce development

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