September 2014

As chief elected officer of the Society, ASSE's president promotes the advancement of the Society and the safety profession, and represents ASSE before members, other relevant professional societies and various governmental agencies. Professional Safety shares his latest thoughts on the Society, the profession and its practice.

Read past messages in the President's Message Archive.

President's Message - July 2002

2002-2003 ASSE President Mark D. Hansen, PE, CSP, CPE

Plans Make Dreams Come True

Every year at this time, a new president takes office for ASSE. Every year, the president and the Board of Directors start with a full head of steam and a long list of goals. And, each year, we painfully discover that we can do many things poorly and only a few things well. So, to ensure that this is a productive year, we have pared this list to those few things we can do well. We have generated a plan because without one, these goals will merely be dreams. Following is a brief list of goals we will strive to accomplish in the coming year.

Students. We have added a new goal to the Society's strategic plan that specifically targets students. It is our duty to welcome, celebrate and nurture these young people as they enter the profession. My father once told me it isn't what you take with you that is important, it is what you leave behind. We must leave a generation with the motivation, the character and the tools to succeed. I challenge each of you to locate just one student enrolled in a safety curriculum and mentor that student throughout his/her career. Ask us and we will help you find a student to work with.

Environmental. We are seeking to ally the Society with environmental organizations. The Society has initiated coalitions with several groups and will build on those successes in the future.

International. We are developing a strategy to determine how to best grow internationally. This includes framing an ambassador program. This process requires that we determine the critical mass of professionals in a given country; develop an entry strategy; assess how to best deliver products and services; build an ongoing relationship; and formulate an exit strategy.

Training Accreditation. The Society has an opportunity to build various programs based on ASSE's extensive book of American National Standards that will ensure the quality of products (eye/face protection, fall protection equipment) and services (training, consultation). This approach is now being vigorously explored with a consulting firm that specializes in these areas. Implementation of these findings not only will help our members in their search for quality, but it will also provide a non-dues revenue source for ASSE.

Intersociety Relations. ASSE must cultivate relationships with dissimilar societies and provide products and services to address their needs. We can easily apply the ambassador template to capitalize on our members' multidisciplinary involvement with other organizations.

Governmental Affairs. The Society will continue to favorably impact legislation and regulatory activities by commenting on those issues related to occupational safety and health and the environment.

Public Relations. This past year was exceptional with respect to public relations. We will continue to target core audiences and key stakeholders in order to achieve our primary goal of making the term safety professional as well known as the term doctor or lawyer.

Theme. To bring all of these ideas together, we've selected a theme for the year: "The Business of Safety: Your Competitive Advantage." Some of you may be uncomfortable with this theme, others may think it's about time. Frankly, the focus is too often solely on compliance. By focusing on how safety makes money for the company and starting at the top, our jobs will become much easier.

We want and need your help to bring this plan to fruition. We are flexible and welcome your suggestions. Help us mold the future and advance the SH&E profession. Our future is in our hands. The Jewish philosopher Hillel once said, "If not me who? If not now, when?" The time is now and the person is you. Let's work together and make this a productive year for ASSE.

The time is now and the person is you. Let's work together and make this a productive year for ASSE.

Mark D. Hansen, PE, CSP, CPE