|Trish Ennis, CSP, ARM|
On June 8, 2014, ASSE’s House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved changes to the Society bylaws. The historic vote to restructure ASSE’s governance framework heralds a new day for the Society. The changes to come offer us an opportunity to take a fresh look at how we can better engage our members and improve lines of communication, while easing the burden on our volunteers.
One of the first changes we will see involves Society elections. Nominations for ASSE’s 2015 leadership positions are being accepted until Sept. 1, 2014. On the Board of Directors, we will elect a senior vice president and four directors at large. Other positions include council vice presidents for professional affairs, professional development and region affairs; vice presidents in regions I, III, V and VII; area directors in regions II, IV, V, VI and VIII; assistant administrators for nine practice specialties; and administrators and assistant administrators for four common interest groups. Be sure to visit the nominations and elections web page to learn more about these positions, the qualifications to run for office and the nomination package requirements.
The new structure that will take effect with the 2015 Society elections will result in a smaller, more diverse and strategic-focused board that can effectively recognize and capitalize on emerging opportunities that best serve ASSE’s mission. A volunteer leadership structure that provides more efficient engagement opportunities will create more support and streamlined responsibilities for members who have increasingly limited time to volunteer.
In charting ASSE’s new course, much work lies ahead. We will examine the current region structure and the level of support given to our chapters. We will seek to engage more members, embrace our diversity and continue to establish a broader global reach. Through these initiatives, we will create more leadership opportunities for members looking to get involved with ASSE in various ways.
I encourage you to sincerely consider what ASSE role you might fill. By becoming more involved in ASSE, you can help the Society elevate the status of the occupational safety and health profession and expand our profession’s influence with key stakeholders in the business community, workers, local, state and federal policymakers, and the general public.
Your increased involvement will also help ensure that we continue to challenge the status quo in our workplaces, our industries and our profession. In our workplaces, we must continue to evolve from technical advisors to valued business partners. In our industries, we must constantly look beyond our own work sites to identify emerging trends and develop innovative solutions that will improve safety performance.
In our profession, we recently challenged the status quo by approving the Society’s new governance model. To ensure that the anticipated improvements become reality, we must now begin the important work of implementing the changes related to this model. In the coming months, the Society’s leadership team will be reaching out to members, visiting with regions and chapters, talking to councils, practice specialties and common interest groups, and asking for input across the Society to inform and shape our future actions.
To start the process, ask yourself these questions: How do I envision ASSE? How would I like to be engaged? Then, please share your comments with me in this space. I look forward to hearing from you and collaborating with you as we begin this exciting journey.