Employee Spotlight: Terry Chavez



Terry ChavezTerry chavez

Senior Thermographer at TÜV SÜD America

#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.

Can you discuss your role within TÜV SÜD GRC?
I’ve been a part of TÜV SÜD GRC since last August and work as a Senior Thermographer. In my role, I act similarly to a Field Technician and conduct electrical and safety inspections for clients. Whether it’s in a plant or an office building, I always find myself working in various environments. I also love the travel aspect of my job.

How did you pursue this line of work?
I explored a handful of different careers early on. I grew up by the ocean, so I was heavily involved in commercial diving for a while. When I had kids, I made the decision to change my career, which lead me to electrical work. I was involved with a number of companies, but by 2005, I discovered infrared thermographic electrical inspections, which was something relatively disregarded at the time, but I saw a lot of potential in. So, I decided to go back to school and educate myself more on this field. At this point, I was set in making this my career and dedicated a lot of time and effort into performing quality inspections. When I give a client a recommendation, I give my input as if I am the one doing the repair.

Once I left the company I was working for, I found myself working as an on-site Safety Manager, but soon realized it was not the role for me. When searching for another thermography company, I came across TÜV SÜD. I put in contact with my current manager, and it became clear this was an opportunity I could not pass up. Everything offered in this role was exactly what I was looking for. I’m able to travel, work in thermography, and collaborate with many skilled professionals who are very well-versed in the field. I’m always eager to learn and grow, and this job puts me in the position to do that.

What do you enjoy most about your role and working at TÜV SÜD?
I really enjoy traveling. Before COVID-19, I had finally found the sweet spot of my role, where everything was working out very well. It’s also gratifying to work with different people all the time. I feel like I can meet someone new and easily get along with them. I feel like I’m also always learning from the people around me.

How have you had to adjust with the current COVID-19 quarantine?
I’m a philanthropist. My wife and I run a small non-profit organization called Advanced K-9 UNIT Support Corp. where we focus on animal welfare. With the help of our staff, we organize fundraisers, offer emergency animal transportation, and dispatch emergency response aid when animals are in danger. In California, when the massive fires were having a devastating impact on the homes and lives of the people and animals in the affected areas, we utilized a vet ambulance to help move animals out of their homes to safety. I worked as a firefighter in 90s, so I know first-hand what it’s like to be on the front lines of a dangerous situation. In addition to helping animals, we were also receiving food donations for firefighters serving on the fire lines.

This is the kind of work we enjoy doing. Relating to the current pandemic situation going on, at the beginning, when supplies ran out quickly, we were able to donate the supplies from our medical trailer. We also helped by making food runs for the elderly who needed the help, so I’m grateful I’ve been able to help more since I’ve been home.

How do you think the industry will change in the future?
I think it will be more robotic and autonomous. It’s important that we adjust as new technologies come to fruition and evolve the industry. I’ve actually begun training on an infrared drone; I believe it will allow us to easily reach areas that we would not normally be able to reach with a handheld infrared camera. So, I’m hoping in the future we lean more towards a robotic approach to conducting our surveys and inspections. I also hope we broaden the scope outside of electrical and industrial and get more involved in agricultural to add services and benefits to those customers.

When not working, how do you spend your spare time?
I’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately, but back in January I traveled to Mexico for a couple of jobs and, in my spare time, I donated medical equipment to PJGE officers. Through that, I got to see the facility and what training techniques they use. I also set up a return appointment for next year, so I can go back with one of our First Aid and CPR instructors and teach them hands-on training on how to care for an injured canine. My manager was thrilled to hear about this, and we are aiming to set up an affiliation where TÜV SÜD can be represented during events like this.

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