I don’t think that any of our members join the ASSP just so they can use it as a stepping stool in getting to some lofty position. I can’t think of anyone who would fit that description. But I can say that I see a lot of folks who join because they recognize it is the premier trade organization of the safety profession! As and example, when I became a safety professional, I asked my supervisor if there was an organization I could be a part of that would help me be better at what I do, where I could build professional relationships, see how other people make safety happen, and if possible, a place where I can help out. He said I should join the ASSP and be involved in the local chapter.
So, follow me on this: In this bitter-sweet situation, we see a person who was, years ago, relatively new to safety and who decided she needed to be plugged into the local community of safety professionals. She attended chapter meetings and helped on the Conference Committee. Soon she was participating in various ways with the chapter leadership team. Eventually, she became the president of the chapter and supported very necessary organizations such as WISE, O[Yes], and a variety of other functions. She was sent to the ASSP leadership conference, attended safety conferences, and eventually obtained her Certified Safety Professional credentials. As I see it, she didn’t join to make all this happen. She joined because it was a part of her profession, and yet it was also a part of her journey to where she is today in this profession. Because of her abilities, her skills, her leadership and her willingness to be involved, she has had success in our chapter and in her organization, which resulted in her being promoted several times to include this most recent promotion which will have her leaving our chapter. There’s where the bitter-sweet comes in! I have seen similar results with so many of our members and to be honest, it just makes me smile to see such great things happen to such great people!
We will be sorry to see her move, but we can say that we are better for her time here and I am guessing she will say that she is better for her time being involved. Being plugged in is essential to building ourselves as professionals. We all have something to offer each other in terms of friendship, support, mentorship, teaching and learning. We all make each other better at what we do. We can gain insights and rise to new levels when we get plugged in and get involved. While we congratulate her on her success, we will miss her when she moves. We can’t help but be excited for our members who have built their success along with the group of members who make up the Southern Oregon Chapter of the ASSP.
Get plugged in and get involved as it is just what safety professionals do – it’s a part of the journey.
President, ASSP – Southern Oregon Chapter
With over 20 years in occupational safety and health, Chris Lawrence is a retired US Air Force Safety Professional who is the Regional Safety Manager for Boise Cascade.