Lone Star State Tech Knows the Importance of Integrity

After serving in the United States Marine Corps, the Lone Star State Native, Lonnie McEntire, wasn’t entirely sure what he would do next. What he did know was he wanted to secure a job that would allow him to take care of his family and also one that would allow him the opportunity to meet daily challenges and work both independently and with others. After considering a few different trade, university degree, and certification options, Lonnie called a friend who was working in Non-Destructive Examinations to pick his brain about the industry.

Subsequently, Lonnie decided this was a good option for him and attended The Ocean Corporation’s training program for Non-Destructive Examination. In 2005, after receiving all of the necessary classroom training for all basic NDE methods within this 9-month program, Lonnie Graduated and secured a job as an assistant. From there, he worked his way up and later attended Lavender NDT for his training in Advanced NDT methods. Lonnie is now a Senior Advanced Services Technician for IIA’s Field Services Group.

Each day is unique for Lonnie at IIA, and just like his taste in music, diversity is what he prefers. He starts off by contacting each client on that day’s schedule to confirm and coordinate arrival times and, with his assistant, travels to job sites for that day’s projects and in between he is taking calls from his technicians who are in the field, writing reports, scheduling new projects, and training his assistants.

There are many aspects of his job that Lonnie appreciates, but the fact that every day is different and the opportunity to mentor assistants seem to be his favorites. Always embracing a new challenge, Lonnie tells us that “when performing an inspection, you may see something you’ve never seen before, a welding configuration or a material you've never inspected.” To Lonnie, this means analyzing and trying something new or reaching out to one of the many industry connections he’s made over the years. He says, “It’s not the same thing every day which is fun.”

He really enjoys being out in the field helping the customers and also training and mentoring the assistants. After spending many years in this industry, he imparts this excellent advice: “The only thing you have in this business is your integrity, which will follow you wherever you go. Always remember that and do the best job you can and never pretend to know something you don’t.”

Along with his knowledge, dedication, and expertise he has brought to IIA, Lonnie’s proudest moment encompasses his having a hand in developing an inspection technique that solves fleet issues and he is extremely proud that this program has become successful. It has grown from zero to 6 regions, continues to expand, and is now a large part of the Field Services’ Portfolio. Everyday Lonnie may be doing something a little different at IIA, but we can always count on hard work, story-worthy service, and consistent professionalism from him whether in the office or out in the field.


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