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 2008

Change is a constant in our world and we must proactively prepare and be ready for what the future holds.

2008-2009 ASSE President Warren Brown, CSP, ARM

Securing Our Future

If you’re like me, you considered many factors when you joined ASSE. Perhaps you wanted to network with fellow safety professionals. Maybe you wanted to be associated with a leading organization like ASSE. Or perhaps you were seeking leadership skills, career growth or professional development opportunities.

For me, one of the most important reasons I joined the Society and continue to be involved are the myriad professional development opportunities that ASSE offers and, in particular, the annual Professional Development Conference (PDC). I have always found this event enlightening and productive, yet studies of PDC attendance indicate that slightly less than 10% of our membership takes advantage of this opportunity. These same studies also show that more than 20% of those who do attend are not ASSE members.

I challenge each of you to take a close look at this comprehensive opportunity for professional development and I urge you to join us in San Antonio next June. You won’t be disappointed. More than 600 proposals to present were submitted for Safety 2009, and just over 200 were selected. These presentations will be delivered by high-quality speakers and will cover a comprehensive array of pertinent, timely subjects.
Along with the technical presentations at PDC, you’ll find many other opportunities for advancing your professional development. For example, the practice specialties and common interest groups will host events during which you can meet and talk with fellow members who face similar challenges and can offer valuable insight. By talking with your colleagues, you will expand your network, which will lead to future opportunities and personal growth. And through these interactions, you will forge friendships that will last a lifetime. Bottom line: Your professional development is best managed by you and the PDC is an opportunity you should not miss. Now is the time to plan to attend and to get it into the budget before the end of the year.

In addition to ensuring our individual futures through continuing education and ongoing involvement in ASSE, we all must work to secure the future of this great profession and to support our student members, who are our future leaders. One of the best ways to do this is by supporting the ASSE Foundation. I challenge each of you to give to the Foundation. Through the support of ASSE members, regions, chapters and corporations, the Foundation awards scholarships, funds fellowships and supports safety research—all of which are important for our future and our legacy. I recognize that these are difficult economic times, but you need not give a large amount to make this a success. If every member gave just $4, we would meet the goal to award $130,000 in scholarships—and we each could proudly say that we helped our students achieve their goals of becoming safety professionals.

To further encourage each of you to contribute before the end of the year, I will personally match the first $2,000 donated to the Foundation during the month of December—and please remember that by donating by Dec. 31, you’ll receive the added benefit of a tax deduction.

This year has seen its share of turmoil and uncertainty. We also witnessed a historic presidential election in the U.S. Change is a constant in our world and we must proactively prepare and be ready for what the future holds. As 2008 draws to a close and we look toward 2009, I wish you good luck and I hope to see you in San Antonio.

Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM