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 - June 2003

ASSE's future is bright. Our vision is clear and our leadership is strong. Thanks for the opportunity to serve such a wonderful, dynamic organization.

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

A Message From the President

Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night. Remember that song from The Sound of Music? As my term as ASSE President comes to a close, I, too, am singing that song. Before sharing my last printed words as your president, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the support of my family. With a grateful and loving heart, I thank my lovely wife, Kathy, and our daughter, Hannah, for their steadfast support during my years of service to ASSE.

As I recall my years of involvement in ASSE, I can honestly say that it has been a joy and a great experience. As in everything we do, there have been many happy times and some sad times, but all in all, the experience has been enjoyable. I've made lifelong friends throughout the country, in Canada and the U.K., and around the world. Through this journey, I've learned a lot and hopefully left my mark along the way.

When asked how I was able to lead this organization, my humble reply is, "When you stand on the shoulders of giants, the stars in the sky appear closer." My immediate predecessors-Eddie Greer, Sam Gualardo and Frank Perry-provided fertile ground on which both I and the Society have grown. ASSE's Board of Directors has also played a significant role, as have the four councils, in helping the Society achieve its stated goals. And I cannot forget the various national committees where sleeves are rolled up and the required work is actually accomplished. Most importantly, the regions, chapters and individual members have continued to play a key role in advancing ASSE to the level of success it currently enjoys.

One goal the Board set was to move more nimbly. That was certainly accomplished by addressing issues before Board meetings via teleconferences, numerous phone calls and volumes of e-mails. Another goal was to be able to look back and say, "Look what we did," rather than, "Look what we could have done." We engendered unprecedented cooperation among the councils-so much so the Society's council structure is virtually transparent from the "outside."

ASSE also made an impact with its ergonomics alliance with OSHA, which will have ramifications for years to come. The same can be said for partnerships developed with MSHA and EPA. In addition, our public relations efforts continue to make inroads in educating the public about ASSE, its mission and vision. Clearly, the Society has many strengths to build on next year with Skipper Kendrick as our leader.

Looking to the future, many goals are within our reach:

  1. Establish closer ties through partnerships and alliances with OSHA, EPA, DOT, MMS, USCG and similar groups.
  2. Educate small businesses about the bottom-line value of safety.
  3. Demonstrate the value of safety to CEOs of companies of all sizes.
  4. Create distance learning opportunities for SH&E professionals.
  5. Draw 6,000 to 10,000 attendees to the annual Professional Development Conference.
  6. Use the media to reach out to people of all ages.
  7. Maximize technology (e.g., virtual imaging, handheld computers) in order to perform our jobs faster, better and smarter.
  8. Make safety a sought-after profession-one that children mention when asked what they want to be when they grow up.

Beyond these, as an SH&E professional, my prayer has been that the Lord would give each of us a clear mission and a vision that will help us as professionals press toward the mark of eliminating
injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.

ASSE's future is bright. Our vision is clear and our leadership is strong. I'll miss you all. You have been and always will be dear friends. Best wishes to you and thanks for the opportunity to serve such a wonderful, dynamic organization.

So Long. Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen. Good Night.

Mark D. Hansen, PE, CSP, CPE