Thomas F. Cecich, CSP, CIH

Regional Vice President Candidate

Region V - Mary Jo Press


Mary Jo Press holds a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina State University in Chemistry and is pursuing a Master of Science Degree from Columbia Southern University in Occupational Safety and Health – Environmental Management.  Her experience is diverse in the safety field covering research and pilot scale-up, with extensive experience in industrial safety in food and beverage, automotive and animal feed industries.  In her current position of Senior Environmental Health and Safety Manager for Kemin Industries, Inc, she supports North American operations as well as provides high-level direction to worldwide locations in Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia.  She has also taught as adjunct faculty member for the community college system to help others to get their start in industry with solid safety and environmental principles. 

A professional member of ASSE since 1999, she is currently serving as AVP – Secretary for Region V. In 2011, Mary Jo presented at Leadership Conference on preparing Chapter of the Year Petitions and Best Practices for Chapters.  She has also held elected positions of President and Vice-President of the Hawkeye Chapter as well as manning booths to promote ASSE at various events.  The Hawkeye Chapter continued its legacy of earning STAR recognition during her service years.  Mary Jo has also presented at the NC Statewide Safety Conference and at the NC PDC.  She has been active in leadership roles in LEPC’s and safety councils in various states.  Mary Jo makes it a point to participate in the Manufacturing Practice Specialty conference calls and provide input.

Platform Statement

I have been privileged to serve as the AVP-Secretary since 2011. I have been a Society member since 1999 and have volunteered in many roles in the Region and Chapter.  I have served on the regional audit committee and am the alternate finance card holder for the region.  I have gained a greater vision of how ASSE can assist each member in reaching their personal potential, whether it be through professional growth in safety or in the growth of the member as a leader. I have seen new members challenged to take on a leadership role in the organization, then see that same person network with other Society members to leverage new career opportunities.  ASSE is a special organization, as it is member led.  We work together for the good of Society and for the good of all of us who are members.  I enjoy seeing the growth and helping to mentor this growth in others.  I’m most pleased to say that my best professional friendships budded in ASSE meetings and we continue to nurture these relationships no matter where our career takes us within the world.   

As I support my company’s locations around the world, I encourage the safety professionals to seek out ASSE and the career development opportunities that are offered.   Region 5 has the unique relationship of having the Egyptian membership assigned to our region.  Having relatives who live(d) in Egypt, most have recently moved due to the political issues, I feel a special connection to our members in this area.  My desire and platform for running is to help all chapters within the region, no matter their location, to be able to have the tools and support they need to be successful.