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 2006

Many behind-the-scenes jobs are waiting for those of us who have attained the title of “past.” Rather than rest on our laurels, we must make ourselves available to help, guide, support and mentor.

2005-2006 ASSE President Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP

There Are No 'Lame Ducks' in ASSE

As my term as ASSE President draws to a close, I look back on a year filled with great moments with members, students and the global SH&E community. It went by as fast as my friend and past president Eddie Greer predicted. At times, it seemed as though events were moving at warp speed!

What were some of these moments? The Future Safety Leaders Conference with our outstanding student members . . . South Carolina Chapter 50th anniversary celebration . . . regional PDCs . . . Board of Directors’ meetings . . . Leadership Conference . . . conferences of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and Institution for Occupational Safety & Health in the U.K. . . . Pacific Rim Safety Conference . . . visiting with the Safety Institute of Australia . . . visits to Auburn University and Murray State University. I could list many more. To say that I am optimistic and enthusiastic about the future of this profession and this Society would be a huge understatement. We truly have much to look forward to—and much to do.

As those before me have shown, and as I challenge those who will follow, our work does not end on July 1. The same holds true for all board members, chapter and section presidents, practice specialty administrators and student section presidents. None of us is a “lame duck.” We just assume different roles, all with the same goal of protecting people, property and the environment while advancing this great profession.

Many behind-the-scenes jobs are waiting for those of us who have attained the title of “past.” ASSE values and needs our perspectives and our efforts as former leaders to help maintain continuity as the Society moves forward. We can be instrumental in helping to develop the future leaders of this profession and ASSE. We can help by communicating, coordinating activities and filling in wherever help is needed. Rather than rest on our laurels, we must make ourselves available to help, guide, support and mentor.

I want to share an e-mail Gina Mayer-Costa sent to ASSE’s Diane Hurns. Gina’s daughter, Siena, was a contestant last year in ASSE’s kids’ poster contest.


I wanted to share with you something that my oldest [daughter] Siena brought home from school last week. She is 7 and in second grade, and had to complete an assignment about what she wants to do and be when she grows up. Now I have to preface this by telling you that many times I feel guilty working full time and putting a lot of time into ASSE rather than being with the kids. Anyway, she brought home the assignment and one question asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she “wanted to work in safety and be in ASSE.” It really made my day and I was so happy and proud that she wanted to be like me and also knew enough and added you guys! You really made a great impression on her last year. I don’t think any other kids in her class named joining a professional organization! Take care and best of luck with NAOSH Week kickoff.

Letters like this tell us we are doing the right thing. Thanks, Gina, for letting me share it. And thanks to all of you for your support this past year. I know you will give Don Jones the same wonderful support. As I urged in my first message last July, continue the march.

Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP