ASSE 'Becoming Stronger, More Vibrant,' President Says

Outgoing President Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH, cited several initiatives as he greeted attendees at the opening general session of Safety 2017, the largest annual conference in the society's 106-year history.

DENVER -- "As you've heard, this PDC [Professional Development Conference] is the largest ever, and by a lot," ASSE President Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH, said during the June 20 opening general session at Safety 2017, the society's annual conference taking place at the Colorado Convention Center. "I'm pleased to stand before what might be the largest gathering of our society ever to discuss the state of the society," he added.

Cecich's term is ending here, and James D. Smith, M.S., CSP, director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, is becoming the society's new president as of July 1, 2017, to serve a one-year term.

Cecich discussed several initiatives ASSE has undertaken or accomplished during the past year, including upgrading its IT system and creating sustainable retirement benefits for its employees. "On challenging issues, we [the ASSE board] were determined not to kick the can down the road," he said, discussing the impending change of ASSE's name to the American Society of Safety Professionals. The ASSE House of Delegates has approved it here, and now ASSE's members will vote in the next two months on whether to make the change.

"We continue to be a vocal leader of the safety profession in these times of political change," Cecich said, and he also cited the society's investments to be ready to assist companies that want to comply with the coming ISO 45001 safety management standard, which he said is likely to be the most significant safety standard of the past 50 years.

"Our society is as vibrant and dynamic as I have ever seen it," he said. "It's growing and becoming stronger and becoming more vibrant."

Cintas, the award's sponsor, announced the winner of the ASSE 2017 Safety Management Innovation Award, Saudi Aramco's Samantha Horseman, during the session, and said she has decided to donate her award winnings to the ASSE Foundation. Leaders of IOSH, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, and the Safety Institute of Australia also spoke during the session and invited attendees to attend some of their upcoming large conferences.

"It's amazing to see so many safety professionals gathered together at one time," said Kathy Tull, president of CSSE, in greeting the attendees.

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