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 - December 2006

In recent years, the Society has steadfastly pursued its mission to be a member-driven association that is a global champion of SH&E professionals and a global leader of the profession.

2006-2007 ASSE President Donald S. Jones, Sr., MBA, PE, CSP

A Truly Global ASSE

The world is shrinking. Technology and increased competition have erased many of the boundaries that once hindered global interactions. In fact, crossing borders-both physically and electronically-is now an essential function for most organizations.

It's no different for ASSE. In recent years, the Society has steadfastly pursued its mission to be a member-driven association that is a global champion of SH&E professionals and a global leader of the profession. Through various initiatives, we have developed strong ties with affiliated groups in Canada and the U.K., and have begun to build relationships with groups in other countries. In addition, we have nurtured chapters and sections in the U.K., the Middle East, Kuwait, Egypt, Ecuador and Western Australia. We've also been asked to form sections and chapters in Hong Kong, Nigeria, India, Singapore, China, France, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Peru and United Arab Emirates.

Meeting the Needs of International Members

Across all of these efforts, we continuously seek new ways to deliver more value and targeted benefits to the nearly 1,000 members outside the U.S.-as well as to bring the many other SH&E practitioners who reside internationally into the ASSE community. By growing international membership and developing services to meet their needs, we can raise the professional abilities and competence of practitioners around the world.

To further the Society's international outreach, ASSE's Council on Member & Region Affairs (CoMRA) has increased its interactions with the Society's international chapters. For example, in October, representatives from the Western Australia and Kuwait chapters attended the CoMRA meeting at ASSE headquarters and participated in the Society's annual Leadership Conference. During the meeting, these members shared information on the activities, concerns and future needs of their respective chapters. Information exchange such as this can only help us better understand-and meet-the needs of our international members.

In addition, ASSE's International Practice Specialty has created three membership liaison positions covering Europe/Middle East/Africa, the Americas and Asia/Pacific Rim. Members in these positions reach out to individuals throughout their areas to promote ASSE and communicate the benefits of membership.

Another key component of our international outreach is the effort to unify ASSE's international chapters and sections-collectively called "most of the world"-so these constituent groups can be represented as one body on CoMRA and the Board of Directors. In 2005, the Society's International Membership Task Force issued a report with nearly 100 pages of data and recommendations which focus on ways that ASSE can allocate resources to best serve its international chapters and sections. A Global Task Force now serves as a governing body and representative for chapters and sections outside the U.S. It is hoped that these intiatives will ultimately lead to the formation of a global region which would operate much like ASSE's other eight regions.

Toward a True Global Community

I recently had a chance to view a video about the many benefits of ASSE membership. On the video, current President-Elect Mike Thompson shares a story about reaching out to the ASSE network for input on a problem he'd been asked to solve. What amazed him, he explains, wasn't the response he received, but that he received correspondence from colleagues in places such as the U.K., the Middle East, Japan and Trinidad. "I realized we are a global community of networked professionals," he says. By continuing to expand and unify that powerful community-beyond geographic borders and across diverse cultures-we will create an organization that is truly global.

Donald S. Jones, Sr., MBA, PE, CSP