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ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering Group Honors CA’s Michelle Zimmerman as One of 100 Women Making a Difference in Safety

Posted in on Tue, Aug 30, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) Common Interest Group has honored Michelle Zimmerman of Petaluma, CA, for making a difference in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field as part of the WISE ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in Safety’ project.  Women from around the world and throughout history have been honored for their dedication to protecting people, property and the environment and for going above and beyond to make a difference.

With more than 20 years of experience in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field,  Zimmerman is the plant environmentalist at Alvarado Street Bakery in Petaluma, CA, where she is responsible for all regulatory compliance, loss control, human and food safety programs, and environmental issues. Alvarado Street Bakery is a cooperatively owned and operated commercial wholesale bakery specializing in organic sprouted whole grain bread. Alvarado Street Bakery services stores worldwide and employs 120 people at three locations. Zimmerman has had a major impact on the safety and health programs at the bakery, reducing injury and illness rates.  She was key in helping plan the bakery’s new facility and assisting with moving the bakery to the new facility in Petaluma, CA, in 2008.  From drain placement to flooring and lighting, all aspects of the new bakery’s construction were carefully monitored, resulting in zero injuries during the construction.  Alvarado Street Bakery received a certificate of merit from P3S, the Pretreatment, pollution, Prevention and Storm Water Committee of the California Water Environment Association for its excellent record, and was recently awarded the Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute and Green For All for making valuable contributions to both the economy and the environment.

In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Zimmerman is an active member of the San Francisco Chapter of ASSE and has been a member of the Society’s International Chapter for more than eight years.  She regularly sponsors children in the  Kids for Safety Awareness Annual Poster/Calendar Contest and in 2002, she was honored with the YWCA’s Women in Industry Award for Leadership. Zimmerman said, “I am pleased to receive such an honor and wish to acknowledge the contribution of fellow owners and workers of Alvarado Street Bakery who have helped ensure, through their actions and decisions, that everyone leaves work in the same shape as they arrived. “  Zimmerman added, “I am also pleased to be a member of ASSE and WISE, and encourage anyone interested in the safety, health and environment field to think of ASSE and WISE memberships as investments in their future.

The ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in Safety’ project honors women who, throughout history, have dedicated their careers to promoting innovation in safety, health and environmental issues.  The valuable contributions of women to the SH&E profession have been recognized through this project and later this year WISE will consolidate the profiles of all 100 honorees into a single publication, titled 100 Women, Making a Difference in the Safety, Health and Environmental Profession as part of ASSE’s (1911-2011) 100th anniversary.

WISE was established to foster the advancement of women in the SH&E profession.  The group provides professional development opportunities, evaluates the ongoing state of women in SH&E, mentors women in the profession, provides opportunities for women to obtain professional certifications and promotes the development and peer review of written material related to issues specific to women in the SH&E workplace.  For more information about WISE and upcoming events, please visit

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.  Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more information, please go to and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go to



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