<- back

General Overview Report and Summary
CoPS at the 2004 Leadership Conference

The purpose of this report is to serve as in informal diary/summary of the activities of the Council on Practices and Standards (CoPS) attendees during the recently concluded ASSE Leadership Conference.

As some background history, ASSE provides this annual Leadership Conference at no cost to the attendees.  The only expense to an attendee is the hotel, travel and meals. The goal is to provide information in breakout sessions, roundtables, and keynote presentations about ways to build effective leadership skills, how to select and motivate volunteers, an opportunity to interact with SH&E colleagues, and most importantly develop networks with other like-minded practice specialty leaders.

Mr. James D. Smith, CSP, facilitated the presentation and discussions during the practice specialty sessions. Jim serves as the Vice-President of Practices and Standards for ASSE.

Friday, October 8, 2004

The CoPS "Break-Out" Sessions at the 2004 ASSE Leadership Conference began in grand fashion with members of several chapters joining the five (of the seven) Practice Specialty members invited to the Conference. CoPS Vice President Jim Smith convened the session and asked all attendees and guests to introduce themselves, providing their chapter, practice specialty (if a member) and their occupation.

Practice Specialty Leadership Attendees:

  • Bobbie Athey, Metropolitan Chapter, Administrator-Transportation PS, New York's Metropolitan Bridges and Tunnels Authority
  • Jim Johnston, New Jersey Chapter, Administrator-International PS, Wyeth Corporation
  • Mary Ann Latko, National Capital Chapter, Asst Administrator-Environmental PS, American Industrial Hygiene Association
  • Cindy Lewis, Gold Coast Chapter, Asst Administrator- Industrial Hygiene PS,
  • Jim Sheridan, Penn-Jersey Chapter, Asst Administrator-Healthcare PS, PMA Group


  • Shannon Taylor, Vice President-Arizona Chapter
  • Dennis White, President Elect- Arizona Chapter, State of Arizona
  • Anthony Howard, Columbia-Willamette Chapter, Hoffman Construction
  • E. J. Penewell, Orange County Chapter, Safety Consulting, Huntington Beach, CA
  • Michele Ashby, Louisville Chapter
  • Ronnie Larsen, Utah Chapter, Thiokol Propulsion
  • Faye Wannlund, Los Angeles Chapter, First Transit Company
  • V. C. (Raja) Rajashekar, Piedmont Chapter, 3M Corporation
  • Jason Clausen, Hawkeye Chapter, Allied Insurance
  • Troy Eisenrich, Badgerland Chapter, Allied Insurance
  • Mike Bradshaw, Bayou Chapter
  • Bob Downey, Sacramento Chapter, Construction Chair for the American Society of International Security
  • Mark Oldham, San Francisco Chapter, Fireman's Fund Insurance Corporation
  • Teddi Penewell, Orange County Chapter, Safety Consulting, Huntington Beach, CA
  • Patricia Ennis, Colorado Chapter
  • Rich Moscato, Greater Chicago Chapter
  • Mark Stone, San Francisco Chapter
  • Phil Combest, Orange County Chapter
  • David Talley, Central Texas Chapter
  • Mira Rubin, Greater San Jose Chapter

Of key importance is that during the initial presentation, VP Smith asked the attendees what did they want the Practice Specialties to do as he began his PowerPoint presentation about CoPS. He invited the attendees to ask their questions or make their comments as proceeded.

VP Smith noted that the most important responsibility of CoPS is to provide membership services, not only to Practice Specialty members but also to all Society members and the public.

As VP Smith talked about PS's and Branches, Mr. Penewell suggested contacting the International Facilities Management Association that he had worked with in Las Vegas, Florida, and California. Discussion then ensued about technology, and engineers, with Ms. Athey noting these people are all resources and chapters need to use them and PS's need to reach out to them.

Discussion then ensued about the changing face of safety management and the importance that quality financial management is now with SH&E professionals. VP Smith noted that ASSE was involved in signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the AIHA, the Board discussed AIHA interest in working with ASSE on the Business of Safety. VP Smith was asked to take the lead at the Board meeting.

VP Smith next discussed the focus of CoPS in bringing value to its membership. He noted that a great Value is the sharing of information at the Council, Regional and Chapter levels, adding that providing that Value is the goal of each of the Practice Specialty Strategic Plans, which then align with the CoPS Strategic Plan, which likewise aligns with the Society Strategic Plan---Leaders supporting the membership by bring Value.

Another Value to the PS's and Chapters is the continual interaction between CoPS and the Public Relations support that ASSE provides. That support often provides immediate response to questions raised particularly by the media and the public. Mr. White said that Chapters and Regions don't know about all of the technical resources and membership value that the PS's can and do provide. VP Smith replied that PS's not only provide nearly half of the speakers at the annual PDC, but that PS's can provide speakers at Regional PDCs, at Chapter meetings, etc.

Another important CoPS Value is the Technical Audio Conference Calls that have been extremely successful. VP Smith also noted that each PS has compiled a short list of White Paper topics that will be prioritized and discussed at the upcoming CoPS meeting. The priority topics will then be divided between the pertinent PS's to produce a White Paper. The white paper is another way to share knowledge and expertise to the Society members.

VP Smith then discussed the Practice Specialty websites that are being completely revised. He noted that one of the most important goals of CoPS, Practice Specialty attendees and staff attending this Leadership Conference is to bridge the gap with the Chapters. The intent of the web site is to share technical resources between the Practice Specialty members and Society members. Another value to our members.

Following the lunch break, VP Smith continued to prompt the attendees to comment or ask questions. Ms. Latko noted the importance of reaching out to create technical papers, topics and to work jointly with other organizations. Mr. Johnston suggested closer working projects with IOSH, CSSE and HSE (UK), especially with the British organizations' technical competencies. Mr. Johnston also noted that he had been working in Italy during the past summer and that our PS's should present and discuss operating standards from other countries.

Ms. Athey remarked about how diverse safety people are; that not all SH&E people are college educated but more and more are required to have additional education and certification; and that this should be a major concern to ASSE – both PS's and Chapters. Ms. Lewis suggested support for North American Occupational Safety and Health Week; that each PS should take part of the theme for this event and use it for communication and marketing to members.

VP Smith said that he would be putting the PowerPoint presentation that he was using on the Practice Specialties website very shortly. Concerning the PS websites, he noted that each PS is developing its own rationale or customization for its own website. Mr. Penewell requested that PDC info be provided to all Leadership Conference attendees. Mr. Sheridan said the most important item for him was the tools to do his job better. He asked for sample programs with templates for the websites. He suggested best practices information be included on the websites and the PS newsletters and that a best practices column be included in each newsletter from each PS and Branch.

Ms. Rubin suggested that PS need to market to new graduates and interns; she felt that these groups were an untapped resource. They particularly need best practice information as they are planning or starting their careers. She also noted that when she has put in the keywords “best practices” on a search engine, it does not bring up ASSE.

Mr. Downey said he felt that the Healthcare, IH and Environmental PS's should do more on homeland security, first responders and other response units, and defense medical equipment teams.

VP Smith used the Environmental PS as an example of what is working in PS's. He noted their website, their newsletter and their succession planning. He also noted Management PS for succession planning and Transportation PS or the issue specific categories in the Advisory Committee.

Ms. Latko noted that several ASSE and CoPS initiative have brought in both new members and have gotten existing members more involved, citing the Body of Knowledge Committee and the Z690 Writing Project Committee.

The afternoon CoPS Break Out session ended.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

A series of Roundtable discussion were held on Saturday during a 1-½ hour time period. Each session lasted about 25 minutes with participants having the opportunity to move to various topic tables. Basic topics for each session included What are PS's, newsletters, technical audio conference calls, and speakers for chapter meetings and local PDCs.

Session 1 Participants:
Frank Upham, Columbia-Willamette Chapter
Tim Healey, Connecticut Valley Chapter
Jim Johnston
Bobbie Athey
Mary Prisby, Three Rivers Chapter
E.J. Penewell
Mike Bradshaw
Sid Edgar, Southwest Chapter
Phil Combest
Lito Alfaro, San Diego Chapter
Denise Brooks, Lower Columbia Basin Chapter
Mira Rubin
Mike Rabach, West Michigan Chapter

Mr. Bradshaw asked about availability of the CoPS tabletop display that had been at the Headquarters reception the previous night. Mr. Combest noted that even as a CoPS Chapter Chair he had not known what CoPS was. A suggestion was made to include a PS member's PS name on their ASSE membership card. Ms. Prisby asked if CEUs were available for the Technical Audio Conference Calls.

Session 2 Participants:
Cindy Lewis
Bobbie Athey
Mike Rabach
Michele Ashby
Chris Vochoska, Bakersfield Chapter
Teddi Penewell
Kimberly Hughes, Greater Tidewater Chapter
Eric Voight, Penn-Jersey Chapter
Jonathan Klane, Maine Chapter
Mark Gabinet, Central Indiana Chapter
Gene Barfield

Ms. Ashby, Mr. Voight, and Mr. Klane all discussed the success and Value of the Technical Audio Conference Calls. Mr. Rabach asked about the potential for a call about HazMat. He also inquired as to what technology was needed or a hotel presentation/hearing of one of the TAC Calls, i.e. during a Chapter event. Ms. Ashby complimented the TQ&A Bulletin Board. Mr. Fisher noted that there were nearly 700 persons on the ASSE A-list and remarked that there was some consideration being given to ending the PS Bulletin Boards. Ms. Ashby also asked if the PS newsletters could be available in .pdf format, which was seconded by several participants. Individual PS newsletters articles could be available upon request in a .pdf format.

Session 3 Participants:
Layne Wortman, Central Indiana Chapter
Mary Winkler, National Capital Chapter
Brian Scott, North Carolina Chapter
James Jones, Wisconsin Chapter
Mike Gautreaux, Bayou Chapter
Mary MacDonald, Southern Nevada Chapter
Shannon Taylor
Al Borzych, Greater Chicago Chapter

Ms. MacDonald asked about the dangers to Hispanic workers – a problem with the building boom in Las Vegas.

The remaining discussion involved the TAC Calls, PS websites and bridging the gap between PS's and Chapters.