Senior Vice President Candidate
Michael Belcher, CSP
Michael Belcher, CSP, is director of safety for DS Waters, the U.S. leader in home and office water delivery, where he leads safety and health efforts that affect more than 5,000 employees. Belcher devotes most of his time working to align safety and risk management processes with desired business outcomes while managing a multimillion dollar budget.
With 23 years’ experience as a safety professional, Mike has worked successfully with various employers to control losses, improve operational performance, and prevent injuries, illnesses, fire and vehicle accidents. He also worked for Cingular Wireless and Coca-Cola Enterprises in prominent safety and risk management roles. He holds a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from University of Florida.
Mike serves on various Society committees, and was the Region IV vice president from 2010 to 2011 and deputy chair of the Council on Member and Region Affairs from 2011 to 2012. Mike was an area director for 5 years, and he has held offices as delegate, president, president-elect and secretary in the Georgia Chapter. Mike was named the Georgia Chapter’s Safety Professional of the Year in 2003, and he has appeared in television
interviews as an ASSE spokesperson.
Other professional affiliations include the Georgia Safety Leaders Council and the Direct Delivery Leadership Council. As a member of various ANSI Z245 subcommittees, he participated in the development of national consensus standards for waste management safety. Mike also is the former vice chair of the Atlanta-Fulton County Local Emergency Planning Committee, a published author and a frequent speaker at professional conferences.
It has been a personal and professional honor to serve on the Board of Directors and various national Society committees during the past five years. During this time, I've worked diligently to meet the needs of our members while promoting the value of safety with all of our various stakeholders, including our employers, our clients and the communities in which we live. My active volunteerism with ASSE goes back to 1999 and I have served faithfully at the chapter, regional and Society levels. I now have a complete picture of how ASSE operates along with the experience and know-how to help lead the Society as a Senior Vice President.
It is an exciting time at ASSE. We're into a new century of safety and health excellence with record membership levels, an expanding global presence, a healthy balance sheet, and increased participation by engaged members everywhere. ASSE is the recognized leader for the safety profession and we are more relevant than ever. But as we continue to expand, we must evolve in a wise and effective manner to meet the ever-changing needs of our stakeholders so that we can continue to prosper and add value to our profession.
Our profession has been recognized as a worthwhile career. But one of the most vital issues we face is interjecting safety into the organizational decision making process. We've taken a huge step in that direction with the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, and we will continue to leverage this educational and inspirational entity. But I won't be satisfied until we truly get a “seat at the table”. We will need to be relentless in our pursuit of positioning safety front and center with business leaders and executives.
The safety, health and environmental profession is often misunderstood as evidenced by the question that we've all heard before: “What exactly does a safety professional do?” As a result, our job is open to much interpretation and manipulation within business structures. Another significant challenge we face in our profession is demonstrating value and a positive return on investment. We've proven the value to ourselves. Now we must prove it to others once and for all.
One way ASSE can do this is through intentional, proactive public relations campaigns. Let's take our message directly to private entities and the general public so there can be no confusion about our profession and the numerous benefits that our members provide. I also believe in pursuing partnerships outside of OSHA and educational institutions. We have an obligation to make sure our voice is heard and to use our influence in a positive way.
Our Society is currently discussing the current governance model and whether or not it is the best structure to provide thoughtful, effective and sustainable results in the future. We've taken the first step by forming an advisory task force to examine potential alternatives and to make suggestions to our Board of Directors and House of Delegates. I am committed to making sure all voices are heard in the process and that we vet this issue thoroughly. A big ship can't turn fast, so when it does, you have to make sure it is going in the right direction.
ASSE's membership base continues to become more diverse with a wide range of interests, backgrounds and individual needs. The average age of our members is increasing, even though there are record numbers of young professionals pursuing safety and health careers. We now have 152 chapters around the world and our members face a wide range of cultural and social challenges. I am committed to helping our members meet these challenges, but at the same time, I would like us to hone in on the products and services that we can deliver consistently and effectively.
Enhancing the membership experience is a critical component of our strategy. It's not enough to just pay dues and attend a meeting once-in-a-while. Our members want a return on their ASSE investment. We have to get the right people in the right positions and execute appropriately at all levels of the organization. I am also dedicated to enhancing our supporting technology and IT framework for improving communication and access to information, while reducing the administrative costs and time burdens on our chapter leaders. We must be technology leaders, not laggards.
As you probably know, there are four (4) Councils that represent various interests within ASSE: Membership and Regional Affairs, Professional Development, Professional Affairs and Practice Specialties. These entities have accomplished amazing things that are moving our Society forward, like Chapter STARs, consensus standards, the Body of Knowledge, OSHA alliances, ANSI standards, conferences, webinars and much more. These Councils work together at the Society level, but I believe we have an opportunity to bring these resources together at the chapter level to maximize the benefits for our members.
I'm as enthusiastic about ASSE as ever. I've earned the respect of many members and volunteer leaders throughout the Society. Thank you for your consideration as I look forward to the opportunity to serve you faithfully as our Senior Vice President!