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 2008

You can contribute to ASSE in many different ways. In the end, it’s not so much what you specifically do, but that you are truly involved.

2008-2009 ASSE President Warren Brown, CSP, ARM

Involved Members

I recently attended the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering’s (CSSE) professional development conference in Quebec City, Quebec. While listening to various re­ports and presentations during the meeting, I noted many similarities between ASSE and CSSE. Eldeen Pozniak, completing her term as CSSE president, reported that the conference had a record attendance and that CSSE membership continues to grow. ASSE has achieved similar records and sustained growth in recent years. During a reception for CSSE’s first practice group (similar to ASSE’s practice specialties), CSSE Executive Director Wayne Glover reported that this would be the start of potentially more practice groups. ASSE recently announced its 14th practice specialty (Fire Protection) and as a Society we continue to look for ways to meet the needs of practitioners in specific areas of practice. Incoming CSSE President Art Nordholm said he would be polling members for their opinions on the future direction of CSSE. ASSE always welcomes feedback from members on its direction and activities.

Such successes are only possible with committed leadership and involved members. Member involvement allows us to recognize and satisfy member-driven knowledge needs. Through your involvement and feedback, we gain a better understanding of what members are looking for from ASSE. And when more members are involved, we have a greater pool of re­sources from which to draw to satisfy those needs.

ASSE’s strategic plan effectively captures the Society’s needs, and your elected leaders are focusing more attention on the basic planning process to ensure that there is good synergism within the planning process. But are we engaging enough ASSE members in advancing our organization’s vision and achieving our mission? Getting you, the members, more involved in the Society can only improve our efforts.

In my message in the October issue of PS (p. 8), I urged all 32,000 members to volunteer to take on some task for the Society. Each of you can help fill a key role. Each of you can offer new ideas about how our current offerings can be improved—and share insight on new opportunities that exist for ASSE to meet member needs. While not every idea can be implemented, your aggregate feedback can help us adjust current programs and develop new ones that will benefit the ASSE membership as a whole. Through your involvement and feedback, we may find that the greater parts of perceived needs of members are being met. We may also determine that it is necessary to rearrange priorities within existing programs to meet needs not previously recognized.

We continue to strive for simplicity in our processes to ensure that your volunteer in­volvement has a positive impact on the increasingly important work/life balance. Your involvement need not be a full-time commitment—it should fit into your lifestyle. You can contribute to ASSE in many different ways. You can share comments on state-level regulatory and legislative activities, attend chapter meetings, join a practice specialty, write an article for Professional Safety or the practice specialty technical publications, get involved in research or volunteer to serve on a committee, to name just a few options.

In the end, it’s not so much what you specifically do, but that you are truly involved. Each of you has something to offer ASSE. By getting involved, you will support your professional community, advance your career and help ASSE continue to make a difference. By becoming more active in the Society, you will help make ASSE stronger.

Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM