Member Feature: Melanie V. Landry
|Melanie V. Landry, Environmental Manager for the Gulf Coast Region.|
Melanie V. Landry became involved in the terminal industry just before her 20th birthday. She grew up mere blocks away from the St. Rose Terminal of International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT)—the building where she now works for the company as Environmental Manager for the Gulf Coast Region.
"I knew of IMTT because they donated a park to our community, sponsored the recreational baseball teams, and donated to the volunteer fire department,” said Landry, who was waitressing at a restaurant across the street from IMTT in 2012 while attending the University of New Orleans for Civil and Environmental Engineering. “I became friends with the IMTT employees who would come in after work for boiled crawfish. One afternoon they told me about an opening for an engineering intern.”
Landry recalled how those employees always had great things to say about working at IMTT, so she decided to send in her resume the next day and began her internship that May.
“As an intern, I spent my time climbing tanks, walking pipelines, inspecting weld seams, performing environmental inspections and being a ‘gopher’ for the maintenance department,” she said. “I spent about 90% of my time in the field and loved every second. IMTT management found out that I was paying for school on my own so they began paying for my classes and books.”
As graduation drew near, Landry knew she wanted to remain with IMTT and approached management about staying. The feeling was mutual. And though there were no openings in the engineering department, the company asked Landry if she wanted to work with the environmental manager, who had announced she’d be leaving at the end of that year. Landry agreed and transitioned into the EHS department as an environmental engineer.
“That was a pivotal moment in my career,” she said. “Over the years, I’ve become an environmental subject matter expert, and I’m also pursuing my master’s degree in Occupational Health & Safety from Columbia Southern University using IMTT’s continuing education program. I’m grateful that IMTT took a chance on a young engineer and have provided me with the support and resources which have molded me into the professional I am today.”
The best part of her job, Landry says, is interacting with others.
“Whether I’m working internally with our commercial group to strategically permit to accommodate customers’ needs, hosting a regulatory audit or participating in community-outreach events, I love having the opportunity to problem-solve, educate and inform others,” she said, noting how liquid terminals are a vital component of the chemical, petroleum and food industries. “It’s a unique industry that has the ability to adapt to market and regulatory changes. This makes it a great place to pursue a life-long career.”
When it comes to offering advice to someone just starting out with a liquid terminal company, Landry recommends taking advantage of every opportunity there is to learn and to spend time with veteran employees.
“If you’re an office employee, spend time in the field to see how operations work. Learn the unique vocabulary (pigs, pancakes and skillets),” Landry explained. “The information learned in the field and experience gained is invaluable. It’s important to understand how decisions we make and the plans, policies and procedures we write can impact those in the field. Utilize continuing education programs offered by your company to expand your skillset and advance your career.”
Over the course of her career, Landry has seen the industry adapt to changes in the fuel market, enhance safety measures, and seek to educate the public. In the coming years and decades, Landry predicts the industry will further adapt to these fuel market changes, in addition to regulatory changes.
As for community involvement, Landry serves as a member of the Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish, whose motto she strongly believes in: “Service above self.”
Landry is also an Engineering Advisory Panel Member for a local school and has participated in volunteer activities with the Arc of St. Charles, United Way, and St. Charles Parish Public School System.
“I’m blessed to be able to actively seek and coordinate community service opportunities on behalf of IMTT that benefit my hometown,” she said. “I’m also a member of our Community Action Panel for our IMTT St. Rose and Gretna locations. Here I take the time to educate and inform residents about our environmental compliance requirements and performance.”
Landry is married to her high school sweetheart with whom she shares three beautiful children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old.
“There’s never a dull moment.”
Landry shared a message for others in the industry:
“Don't be afraid to take a chance on a young engineer, and to try to be involved in the communities in which you operate. I wouldn’t be where I am today if IMTT hadn’t done those things.”
Courtesy of ILTA.