An avid traveler and self-described “ham” (he once ran his own consulting business called “Lord Knows”) it’s not surprising that Steve Lord volunteers as a tour guide at the historic Yates Mill near Raleigh, North Carolina. Steve and his wife Arlene share a love of history and travel, and have many fond memories of vacations spent on the road with their five children - sons Philip, James and Thomas and daughters Karen and Eileen.
“We’ve always enjoyed traveling and learning about different parts of the country,” said Steve, who joined Pfizer in 2000 as part of the Warner-Lambert acquisition. “Now that I’m retired we can indulge in those activities more often.”
Retiring to the Raleigh area in 2009 opened up a world of opportunities for Steve and Arlene to “indulge” in the local history – and to discover a local gem. “After we had relocated we started studying the history of the region, and we were fascinated by it,” he said. “We visited as many historical attractions as we could, read text books and just about anything we could find, and that’s how we found the mill.”
After taking a tour of the 250 year-old mill, Steve and Arlene immediately volunteered – he as a tour guide and she at the information center. The one-hour tour has two parts, an introduction and background segment that Steve presents in the visitor’s center, and a guided tour through the mill that is conducted by another guide. “It’s very satisfying for me,” said Steve. “When the kids are quiet it means I’m getting though to them, and it’s really gratifying to see the looks of the faces of adults when they’re having an “aha” moment,’ he said.
One such moment is when he talks about the fate of the Eastern Longleaf Pine. “In the 1700’s there were 90-million acres of the Eastern Longleaf Pine along the coast from Virginia to Texas, he said” “Those trees were used to build masts for sailing ships, and they were sources of tar and turpentine, but they’re not very common anymore.”
Steve has always enjoyed a good challenge, and he recalled a memorable period of time in his career when he played a key role in Warner-Lambert’s transition to the SAP platform. He started his career as an accountant and progressed to roles in finance and IT, and has a Bachelor Degree in Business and Economics, with a major in Accounting, from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.