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 - November 2004

A larger membership equals a stronger Society voice—one that will be sought out by industry, regulatory agencies and government officials.

2004-2005 ASSE President Gene Barfield, CSP

Growing ASSE and the SH&E Profession

Recently, I was discussing the benefits of ASSE membership with a new SH&E professional; he had heard about ASSE, but was not aware of the diverse services and networking power of membership. During our conversation, my friend also asked about the size of the local chapter and the Society. I detailed the size of the entire Society, and discussed the benefits of membership as well as how the local chapter could help him be more successful in his new duties. Since that discussion, he has applied for membership and will attend our next chapter meeting.

Driving back to my office, I thought about those SH&E professionals who are practicing without the benefits and services provided by ASSE. We need to show these professionals why it is so important to join the Society. We need to show them that ASSE provides them with the resources they need to deliver world-class results.

During my years of membership and service to ASSE, I have found that networking among fellow members is a powerful tool. I have learned how to implement safety management systems by networking with fellow members. I cannot think of a more effective way to learn about process improvements than to discuss and share experiences with peers. Society members also gain leadership and management skills while serving in chapter, region and national offices. More members mean more sections and chapters, which mean more leadership positions will be available to help SH&E professionals practice and improve these important skills. More members also provide additional volunteer leaders to guide the Society in crucial activities such as governmental affairs and standards development.

Larger membership equals a stronger Society voice—one that will be sought out by industry, regulatory agencies and government officials. As ASSE becomes more active in commenting on current and proposed regulations, we need more resources to research best practices that will improve the regulations when promulgated. As the Society grows, so does our ability to create change at the local, state and national levels when important issues on certification, licensing and qualifications of SH&E professionals are included in legislation.

As the Society grows, so does our ability to provide knowledge in the development of best practices for protecting people, property and the environment. In addition, we will have greater impact on regulations that we must manage. ASSE and its members have an influential voice in the business of safety and provide valuable resources to organizations around the country and throughout the world. As we continue to grow our membership, that influence and impact—on both the profession and workplace safety and health—will continue to grow as well.

Take the opportunity to introduce a nonmember to the power and positive growth they can obtain as an ASSE member. Visit our website at to find information you can readily share with your colleagues and peers about the benefits of ASSE membership and the many resources the Society has to offer.

Gene Barfield, CSP