Remember the Alamo?

Remember the Alamo? If so, you may recall that it was originally named Misión San Antonio de Valero and became the Shrine of Texas Liberty 173 years ago this month when, on the morning of March 6, 1836, the last of Col. William B. Travis' 189 woefully outnumbered "Texian" and Tejano fighters finally succumbed to what seemed a sea of Mexican soldiers led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The battle was pivotal in Texas' fight for independence, which it achieved the following month, and it remains one of the all-time heroic struggles against impossible odds. Historians say Santa Anna's men numbered 4,000.

Interestingly enough, that is roughly the same number of safety, health, and environmental professionals the American Society of Safety Engineers expects to troop to San Antonio from all parts of the globe this summer for Safety 2009, this year's ASSE Professional Development Conference & Expo. The event takes place June 28 through July 1 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, located in the heart of the city's historic downtown, mere blocks from the famous mission/military post/battleground.

The event is one of the strongest shows in safety. As it does every year, it will be offering a brigade of educational and networking opportunities. More than 225 concurrent sessions in 18 tracks will cover topics on construction, fire protection, health care, industrial hygiene, safety management, manufacturing, mining, oil & gas, risk management and insurance, transportation, regulatory issues, technical and engineering standards, international safety and health, environmental issues, and personal development.

A new track this year focusing on business skills will alone feature some 20 classes delving into subjects such as "Cost Analysis and Budgeting: Risk Analysis and Hazard Control" (Session 561), "Execution: The Difference that Makes the Difference--Achieving Superior Performance" (Session 562), and the "ROI of Ergonomic Impacts: Demonstrating Value to the Business" (Session 729).

In addition, a number of pre- and post-conference seminars, safety issue roundtables, keynote and lunch presentations, an exposition with more than 400 exhibitors, and an executive summit--all involving a veritable cavalry of industry experts--will extend the learning opportunities to all quarters.

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