Dale Grigorenko- Never Stop Improving


Age: 33

Education: BS Welding Engineering Technology,

Ferris State University

Community Involvement: Team Rubicon Disaster Relief

Dale Grigorenko came to Plattsburgh through the support and connections of a recruiter. At the time he was contacted, he was working as a welding engineer at a heavy equipment manufacturer. “Once I reviewed the Norsk job and visited the area, I decided it was a good fit for me and my family,” he said. “Having lived all over the country, I have found the Plattsburgh area to have a lot to offer if you look.”

Dale grew up in Asia and spent time climbing in the Himalayas at an early age. After graduating from high school, he attended college but soon made a transition to the military. “My initial failures at college drove me to rethink my life strategies and ultimately led me join the Army,” he observed.

The Army became an incredible learning experience for Dale. “During my time in service I learned about discipline, motivation, perseverance, and the value of teamwork,” he said. After completing his service, Dale worked in maintenance, construction and welding, which led him to his passion for engineering. “Once I knew what I wanted to do with my life, I found a school which provided a good program and that put me in a very competitive place in the workforce upon graduation.” Today, Dale proudly works as the Engineering Development Manager at Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh.

What are you doing to make a difference in your profession?

I work to encourage and explore innovative and out of the box thinking. Especially when it comes to failure. When something does not go as expected, it is not really failure. It should be considered a learning experience and not something which should discourage you or be a dead end. Taking a risk and “failing forward” is often a very good thing.

What is the single most important characteristic for success?

Ownership. Own everything in your workspace. If you want to do anything in this world, you must take the initiative and go after it. Success is not going to show up knocking on your door if you just wait. As a leader this also means taking ownership of the successes and failures of your team. This is the burden of leadership.

What is your biggest professional success?

Being awarded a patent. My grandfather was a prolific inventor, machinist and business owner. I have always admired his achievements and hoped to achieve some of the same things.

What is your dream job?

Being an astronaut. At this point in life, that (space)ship has sailed, but we can still dream, right?

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

When at work, engage work. When at home, engage family. It’s an important precedent to set early on in a career, because it will establish the expectations that people at work and at home have for me. Being engaged in my family life is very important to me. When I am home, I try to be there both mentally and physically. I have small children and they are only this age once, I don’t want to miss their energy, enthusiasm and curiosity of learning about the world around them.

What important lesson have you learned in your career?

Be genuine and keep your word. Nothing is more damaging to how people perceive you than putting up facades and not following through on things. You must live within your means and abilities. If you cannot do something, say so. People will respect that. That is not to say that you should not challenge yourself but understanding what you are capable of is key.

What is the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?

People who are dedicated and desire to give back to the community they live in.

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?

Continue to support venues and businesses which make them want to live, recreate and relax in the area.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?

Pursue improvement in an aggressive but collaborative nature.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

It might sound strange, but it is having children. The decision to take on the growth and livelihood of a human being is a big one. It is still terrifying to me that at a young age, they are wholly reliant upon us to keep them alive and well. It definitely brings life choices into a new light.

Write a note to your younger self

… Don’t be an idiot.