Pam Walaski, CSP is Senior Program Director with Specialty Technical Consultants, Inc. and a temporary faculty member for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Safety Sciences Department. She is a Professional Member of ASSP, currently serving a 3-year term as Director At-Large. She was previously a member of the Society Finance and Nomination & Elections Committees, served on CoPA and was Vice Chair of CoPS. She was also the Administrator of the Consultants Practice Specialty and Keystone Area Director for Region VIII.
Pam is a regular contributor to ASSP’s Professional Safety and won 3rd Place in the 2017 Professional Paper Awards. Her most recent article The Role of Indicators in OSH Performance Measurement was published in August 2020. She is Section Coordinator for Occupational Safety & Health Management Systems Section for the 3rd edition of The Safety Professionals Handbook scheduled for publication in 2021. Her book Risk and Crisis Communications; Methods and Messages was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2011 and she was an editor on the Consultants Business Development Guide, published by ASSP in 2015.
Pam has been a general session presenter at the ASSP PDC every year since 2005 and is an instructor for the ASSP Risk Assessment Certificate program. She also provides workshops on risk management, and other topics for ASSP and private clients.
Pam received the Region VIII Safety Professional of the Year Award in 2018, the Charles Culbertson Volunteer Service Award in 2015 and the CoPS Safety Professional of the Year in 2014.
From the outset, the COVID-19 pandemic created a significant financial hole in ASSP’s operating budget due to an inability to generate our largest source of gross revenue through in-person professional development events. Almost immediately, the staff and Board of Directors (Board) were in uncharted waters when a decision about holding Safety 2020 in person needed to be made, recognizing the financial gap that would occur if we cancelled or postponed the event, but with limited data on the likelihood of infection spread and damage to the Society’s reputation if we did. As one of your elected Board representatives, I was part of the team that quickly and decisively moved Safety 2020 to a virtual platform, earning accolades from attendees, vendors, and the news media.
In spite of Safety 2020’s success, the pandemic continues to create circumstances that challenge our Society. Since the summer of 2020, the Board and staff have been working to reimagine a future state of steadiness and eventual growth. This process has featured exemplary collaboration among Board and staff to diligently scrutinize the effects of the pandemic while endeavoring to maintain core member benefits and services. It has required, and will continue to require, tough but balanced decisions, rooted in maintaining the integrity of the Society. ASSP will have to take bold steps in the coming years, a condition not unlike that faced by most professional societies and the organizations for whom our members work. This process will require Board members who possess a deep understanding and appreciation of ASSP and its 100+ year history; demonstrated and tested leadership; and a strong connection to our members. This is a challenge I am willing to undertake, and unwilling to postpone.
In three years as a Board member, my focal point has been to represent the voice of the member. I have deliberately placed myself where members are - engaging with you at live events, participating in Society conference calls, responding to emails and phone calls, and being active on social media. I bring that voice to deliberations with my fellow Board members on strategic planning, while approving and tracking key performance indicators, and in pinpointing budget priorities to enable the long-term financial viability of the Society. I am an active, engaged, informed Board member, taking time to review materials presented by staff, asking thoughtful questions aimed at elevating the key issues to provide for balanced decision making - all of which will help to continue the legacy of this Society.
At this critical juncture in ASSP’s history, I believe steady and proven expertise is essential to continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, emerging on the other side not just surviving, but thriving so we as members can continue working together for a safer stronger future. I am running for Senior Vice President with a promise to continue to ensure that the voice of the ASSP member is represented on the Board and to work to stabilize and grow our Society.