ILTA Member Feature: Dennis Mendenhall, Marathon Petroleum
Dennis Mendenhall, CSP, began his journey with Marathon Petroleum back in 2006, where he worked as a safety professional in the Terminal, Transport, and Marine organization. Over the years since, he’s transitioned through multiple experiences that have included all aspects of EHSS. In these roles, Mendenhall has supported domestic and international operations in downstream, midstream, and upstream business units.
Today, as Safety Manager of Logistics and Storage Terminals for Marathon, Mendenhall finds the best part of his job to be the people he works alongside each day.
“I am afforded the opportunity to lead and collaborate with a great team of people,” he said. “This team has become like family and truly makes each day a pleasure through the teamwork and collaboration exhibited, regardless of the issues and tasks in front of us. This team, coupled with Marathon Petroleum’s culture—which places the value of the safety and well-being of each worker ahead of competing interests—makes it a remarkable place to work.”
The industry has certainly evolved over the past few decades of Mendenhall’s career, having moved at a slower pace initially but gaining in steam in recent years.
“Today, although the industry is executing relatively the same tasks to move products from one point to another, market changes of where the products are needed, policy changes, and the technology available are all contributing factors driving the evolution of the terminal industry and how we execute our work and utilize our assets,” Mendenhall explained.
He predicts that in the years ahead, the market will continue to evolve across the world.
“New and alternative energy demands and changing regulatory requirements in developed areas of the world will drive the need for new infrastructure and services,” Mendenhall said. “Additionally, underdeveloped areas of the world are evolving to need the basic energy resources we are already accustomed to having. To deliver on the needs at each end of that spectrum, it’s evident that the industry will need infrastructure and technological innovation to help meet the demand.”
With this future increase in demand, Mendenhall reminds those pondering a career in the liquid terminals industry that it’s one whose presence is longstanding and well established, and it holds a bright future in meeting energy needs across the globe.
“This [growth] points to an industry that needs to continue to welcome the most talented professionals to bring their skills to a constantly evolving industry where they can make a difference and build a career,” Mendenhall said, further challenging those who are just getting their start not to silo themselves to the day-to-day roles and responsibilities they may have. “The role everyone fulfills allows their company—and the industry—to serve a much larger purpose. The more someone can learn the strategic impact of the role they play, while building the skills needed for their role, the better asset they will become.”
Mendenhall, who serves on ILTA’s EHSS Committee, shares that ILTA affords its members the opportunity to learn and build a network comprised of the best professionals and leaders within the greater industry.
“The relationships forged [through ILTA] allow member companies to be unified and achieve more than any of us alone,” said Mendenhall, who also attends ILTA’s tradeshow and participates in other ILTA initiatives and events as much as possible.
As ILTA member companies continue to evolve through the energy evolution, Mendenhall emphasizes the importance of all companies working and collaborating to ensure everyone is successful.
“We must continue to make sure our industry operates with integrity, within compliance and are responsible members of the communities we operate in, because when one of us fails, we are all reflected in that light as an industry,” he said.
Outside of the workplace, Mendenhall’s hobbies revolve around his children and supporting their activities as a coach in their softball, football and baseball teams.