By Greg Pick, DTM, Immediate Past District Director, District Leadership Chair, Pathways Coordinator
Greg lived in his birthplace, Cincinnati, Ohio, until he graduated from college at the age of 23. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi. He was born December 11, 1960, and is the oldest of three sons. He has been with the love of his life and better half – Fredelita Picante Pick since January 2004. They wed on April 19, 2009. He has seven children, a brood (11) of grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. His hobbies include finances, fantasy football, and reading.
Greg earned his Bachelor of Science Nuclear Engineering in 1984 from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for 38 years. Greg has been an inspector throughout his career. As an inspector, Greg visits nuclear power plants and evaluates licensees against the laws and regulations that govern them. Greg has evaluated implementation of programs and conduct of employees related to equipment maintenance, control room operations, emergency response, fire protection, license extension and aging management, and, currently, cyber security. He was stationed at nuclear generating stations in Nebraska and Kansas but prefers his time in Texas. Greg has opportunities each inspection to communicate with individuals that conduct maintenance, engineers evaluating changes, and operators in the control room. He communicates with middle managers and to the site senior managers the inspection results. Each level requires communicating a different message as well as different interpersonal skills.
In April 2001, his supervisor recommended that he attend Toastmasters to improve his speaking ability in front of peers and managers within the NRC. Toastmasters provides an environment where he can speak, participate, and learn. Because of the tenets in the Toastmasters Promise of providing positive, helpful evaluations and maintaining a positive club atmosphere, Greg says he has grown in his ability to give positive feedback and recommendations for improvement in a manner that does not cause the receiver to stop listening. After eight years, an Area Director, Verna Jacobs, entered his circle and provided guidance and encouragement as a leader. Verna had earned her Distinguished Toastmaster and after some personal discussions, Greg decided he wanted to be that impactful on other individuals. He learned this meant he had to make a commitment outside his club. After serving as an Area Director, he recognized his strengths (organization and planning) and weaknesses (reading people during communications) and decided to continue serving in leadership to use those strengths and address the weaknesses.
Because of his participation in Toastmasters, Greg says he is now more adept at listening to the real message and not just the words provided because of increased recognition of the nonverbal communications provided. He communicates more effectively with family, coworkers, and with individuals during inspections. His job is easier, and he is more effective. Greg accepted the role in senior leadership as a challenge to himself and as an opportunity to understand the demands of a large organization – he was not disappointed. Learning opportunities occurred every day.