ASSE's Centennial Year Work Well Under Way

When ASSE members meet next June in Chicago to celebrate the society's 100th year, they’ll experience a unique conference in America's best convention city.

Preparations for the 2011 ASSE Professional Development Conference & Exposition began four years ago and will continue until the doors open June 12, 2011, at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. ASSE has big plans for involving its chapters and other safety associations, said Richard A. "Rick" Pollock, CSP, CEO/president of CLMI Safety Training in Minneapolis and chairman of the 100th anniversary planning committee.

Pollock starts July 1 as ASSE's 2010-2011 senior vice president, which means he will be its president two years from now.

Richard A. Pollock, CSP, CEO and President of CLMI - Blueprints for Safety"We want it to be bigger and better," he said, referring to the 2011 conference. "On the other hand, we want to make sure that we manage it well and have a great event. The thing we're really working on is to make this not just a PDC event -- it's really a celebration that we want to go all the way to the grassroots of our membership. So we've put together planning guides for chapter participation. . . . At the PDC itself, we're going to have what we're calling the Chapter Pavilion. We're giving space to every single chapter who wants one and we're encouraging them to come with their history: Who are your founders? What are some of the major events that have happened that really formed your organization locally?"

Pollock said he saw leaders of IOSH, CSSE, and safety professional associations in Australia and Singapore at a luncheon recently and spoke with them about common efforts in 2011. Nothing formal has happened yet, but "it's very high on our list," he said. "We intend to reach out to our sister associations, our sister organizations. We also intend to reach out to labor, to government, and to business and hopefully have this become a focal point for the issues that we commonly face. Although it's our 100th anniversary, it's our belief that it's really the birth of the modern safety movement. A lot happened, give or take a few years, right in that period of time."

Naturally, ASSE will celebrate its 100 birthday as a "Century of Safety," but the society's 2010-2011 president, Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, explained in a June 12 letter to members that a single day of celebration won't be enough. "We will be sharing our history, milestones, best practices and insights with the world during 2011 and hope that you can join us in telling not only our story, but yours. The history of ASSE is comprised of many stories, milestones, individual successes and efforts and we want to share that information," he added. "We not only want to hear your story of successes, challenges, connections, best practices, but we also want to tell it along with the 'Century of Safety' history to external and internal audiences worldwide."

The 2010 ASSE conference excelled in almost every way. It ranks second all-time in the society’s conferences for registered attendees, with 3,600, which was exceeded only by the 3,859 who attended the 2008 conference in Las Vegas. With 399 exhibitors occupying 61,600 square feet of exhibit space inside the Baltimore Convention Center, this year's was a record expo for this professional association of 32,000 members.

The theme of the 2011 celebration is "Your Safety Is Our Business. Your Future Is Our Mission." ASSE will keep members and the industry informed about the year's activities and Safety 2011 at http://www.asse.org/newsroom/100/index.php.

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