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.
More members and colleagues must take advantage of educational and networking opportunities—not only to improve our knowledge but also to share our experiences with fellow professionals.
|2008-2009 ASSE President Warren Brown, CSP, ARM|
Safety 2008 in Las Vegas, NV, was another record-setting event for ASSE. More importantly, feedback from attendees on the perceived value of the conference was very positive. For me, it was gratifying to see more than 4,000 SH&E professionals taking advantage of the many educational and networking opportunities available during the conference. We must continue to encourage more members and colleagues in the field to take advantage of such opportunities—not only to improve our knowledge but also to share our experiences with fellow safety professionals. Such activities will help us move the profession forward.
ASSE continues to look for ways to help those who are unable to attend such an event to have access to some of the learning opportunities. For example, we currently offer audio files of many of the conference sessions that you can easily purchase and download to your computer or MP3 player. I am also urging chapter leaders to electronically produce some of their meetings— both the social interactions and the technical presentations—and make them available on their chapter websites. In addition, I am urging each region’s leadership to select several of their chapters’ presentations and post them on the ASSE website for viewing by any member at any time.
How else might we use readily available technology to better serve our members? Consider the example of the Eastern Carolina Chapter. In partnership with East Carolina University, the chapter has held two virtual meetings for its members. During one meeting, members were able to learn from speakers in Raleigh, Virginia Beach and Greenville; they also were able to vote and deal with other chapter business. (To view this meeting, go to http://gcweb.tecs.ecu.edu/gcweb4/catalog. Click on the link for Global Classroom Seminars Spring 2007 and go to page 3 of 3 to find the meeting, which is posted in two parts. To learn more about the process involved, contact Michael Behm at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Additionally, the Region VI Regional Operating Committee (ROC) used two web-based services—WebEx and Second Life—to conduct a meeting that included the Kuwait Chapter. This summer, the region will conduct a ROC orientation in much the same manner. (To learn more about this virtual approach, contact Region VI Vice President Jim Morris at Jim.Morris@VBSchools.com or ASSE’s Dan McNeill at email@example.com.) ASSE’s professional development and practice specialties groups also continue to use web-based seminars to help serve the Society and the profession. These events are affordable and participation is very easy—even for those not raised in the Internet era.
To build on these successes, our communication and technology task force is researching the wide spectrum of communication methods currently available in order to match these methods to our members’ needs. Some members prefer paper communications, others prefer electronic delivery and many like a combination—a kind of situational communication. If you have opinions or ideas in this area, please share them with me and I will make sure they are passed on to the task force.
By engaging more members through improved communications and information exchange, we are also building interest in volunteer leadership. To capitalize on this interest, a task force is currently assessing various leadership techniques. The group will then develop training opportunities to share these techniques with our volunteer leaders. This focused process will enhance the overall quality of your experience as a Society leader and member. It will also improve the succession process within our chapters and regions, ensuring a strong leadership team far into the future.
These efforts will certainly strengthen ASSE. By engaging more members through technology and enhanced communications, we will expand the profession’s body of knowledge and serve as the leading resource for SH&E professionals worldwide. By enabling the active participation of more members and giving them opportunities to develop the skills needed to lead the Society, we can ensure a strong future for ASSE and the profession.
Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM