J.D. Street, Risk All-Stars

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J.D. Street

J.D. Street
Director, Technical Training
CenterPoint Energy

What is your educational background?

BS in occupational safety and health, MS in management, certified safety, and HR professional

Did you know you wanted to go into the risk profession? If not, what was your journey to get here?

Not initially. I changed my major in college once I learned more about it. I appreciate the diversity it brings related to people, business functions, and overall career possibilities.

How long have you been working in the risk profession?

Dealing with both employee and public risk for over 26 years.

What do you love most about what you do?

Integrating with operations to solve problems and bring sustainable structure and improvement. It allows you to continue learning, to drive continuous improvement, and grow both on the technical and soft skill side of the business, including leadership.

Has managing risk changed over the course of your career? If so, how?

Expectations for risk management has increased across all functions of the business, including clear processes, data quality and metrics. Leadership also is giving more opportunities to engage employees in problem solving. Culture can really eat programs for breakfast, so the opportunity for employee engagement, awareness and precise education/learning programs have improved, resulting in improved risk management.

What advice would you give to someone who is about to start their career in the risk profession?

Listen, ask questions, engage others, and don’t let your ego get in the way. Bring a holistic approach to risk considerations and think about the connectedness of the safety management systems and the balancing of resources to work on the right things.

Do you have a personal motto? If so, what is it?

I have several, but my main motto would be: “Assume you have all of the authority in the world until someone tells you that you don’t.” People need to take action, communicate, and fix problems where they are — so don’t use the excuse of being a victim. Add up little wins to get success. Make progress!

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