This month we introduce you to Allen Stegman, General Director Environmental and Hazardous Materials for BNSF Railway Co., one of the members who helps make our network so unique.
1. Why did you join NAEM?
I have been involved with NAEM for about 10 years now. I was looking for an organization where I could actively participate as well as one that fosters the sharing of ideas and strategies to ensure greater success in EHS efforts.
2. What do you like about your job?
I like the challenge and the variety of complex issues across many disciplines that need to be managed and leading a team of dedicated professionals to meet those challenges. I also like that I have an opportunity to work with people from all departments and at all levels of the organization (both in the field and at HQ).
3. What is your biggest challenge in your current role?
One would definitely be “change management” and ensuring our department continually evolves to meet the needs of our internal and external customers. Our department is involved (directly or indirectly) in supporting a variety of different corporate initiatives. Another challenge is managing the conflict (that seems to be occurring more and more) between scientific facts and opinion/activism.
4. What motivates you at work?
Trying to make a positive contribution each and every day.
5. What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
If you don’t like the challenge of “managing change by influence,” go into another field. Also, excellent communication skills are required before it is possible for a strong technical employee to become a leader. Do not expect strong technical skills alone to allow you to reach your career goals.
6. What are the three words your colleagues would use to describe you?
Persistent, Pragmatic, Strategic.
7. What are the topics you're most looking forward to discussing at NAEM events?
I look for creative approaches and solutions to problems that can be applied to various scenarios. Since we all come from very diverse operations, I look for tactics and strategies versus just specific topics. I always come away with a good idea or two from the EHS Management Forum and other meetings. (And sometimes those ideas are what not to do.)