Chevron Phillips plant manager Dirk Vergaelen leaving for Kansas City

Dirk Vergaelen
Sarah Harris
Staff Writer

Dirk Vergaelen’s community involvement began in childhood, growing up in Belgium and becoming involved with the youth group, which is similar to Boy Scouts. Vergaelen attended university in Belgium and became a chemical engineer. “I’ve always had this interest in living and working internationally. It’s always been my aspiration,” Vergaelen says.
Through his work for Chevron Phillips, Vergaelen has been able to fulfill that dream, living in such places as Europe, the Middle East and the United States, meeting his wife in Port Arthur, Texas. Vergaelen says, “No matter where you live, people are similar. They have the same aspirations, the same goals. They want to be happy, make their families happy, provide for their families.
The cultural differences are sometimes interesting to experience and see.”
Vergaelen came to Borger in May 2017 and has spent the last t2 ½ years living in, and becoming involved with, the Borger community.
Vergaelen has taken part in the United Way Cook-off, the United Way Campaign, the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, judging the Borger High School Math Fair, the health and safety fairs and Leadership Borger.
“I think I integrated very well with the community,” Vergaelen says. “Through my work as the plant manager, I came in contact with the Chamber of Commerce. That was the basis for getting into the community and getting involved with different activities. I became a board member of the Chamber of Commerce. I was a board member and an actor with the Borger Community Theater. I also participated as a board member of the (Golden Plains Hospital) Jerry Waggoner Foundation. I enjoyed that very much. What I experienced here in Borger is people really form a community. I experienced it at the plant. People are very welcoming, sharing, and they even like a foreigner like myself. They want you to open up, share, and participate in these activities. I think that’s very important. Borger is a lively community. I’m happy to have been a part of Borger for the last 2 1/2 years. Borger is a really nice community. We have a lot of opportunities here, a lot of things that people don’t always appreciate or know about.
Being a part of the chamber and being a part of the community has helped me promote that a little bit. I think Borger leadership should do more of that.”
In the next few weeks, Vergaelen will be leaving Borger for Kansas City, where he will spend the next two years.
“I feel blessed that I’ve had a chance to live the way I live,” Vergaelen says. “I’m blessed with a good mind, am healthy, and have a wife who is willing to go with me like that. That creates an opportunity for me to live and work in different places.”