Wayne Jones, Ed.D., gives new meaning to the title "top recruiter." A professional member of ASSE's Southwest Chapter and chair of the OSH program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Jones recently became the first-ever ASSE member to recruit more than 1,000 colleagues to join the Society.
Jones says he never really thought about how many people he had referred until ASSE notified him several years ago that he had hit the 600 mark. "ASSE sent out its referral honor roll. I opened it and was like, 'Well, lookie here,'" he says. When he hit the 800s, Jones set his sights on reaching 1,000 recruits.
Jones's journey as a recruiter began right after he joined ASSE in 1998. "I became faculty advisor to ASSE’s student section at Southeastern and started referring students. They started talking about ASSE to former students who were out in industry. Those people started calling me to ask how they could join. That's how the ball got rolling," Jones says.
What brought him to ASSE in the first place? Jones credits Bob Semonisck, his first boss at Southeastern. "He's an ASSE Fellow, so he was all ASSE from the get-go," Jones explains. "I figured if ASSE had him wound up, I needed to be a part of it. I credit Bob with everything that I have going on right now. He walked, lived and breathed ASSE. That's really what got me in."
He says ASSE has benefitted him and his students and colleagues in many ways over the years. "On a personal level, ASSE has been really good to me the last 20 years, and I've gotten to know some great people like Jim Smith, Jim Thornton, Paul Specht, Charlie McLaughlin . . . I could go on and on."
His students have benefitted from scholarships through the ASSE Foundation, participating in the annual Future Safety Leaders Conference, attending ASSE's annual conference and using the online job board.
Jones is pround of the ASSE imprint he has helped create at Southeastern. "We have about 2,600 alumni, most of whom are active ASSE members. It is fun to see them carrying on ASSE."
Jones sees recruiting new members as a way to give back. He mentions ASSE often whenever he makes a presentation. "When people come up afterward and ask about ASSE, it’s a great opportunity to talk about the Society and what it has to offer." Then he simply directs them to the website and says, "Plug in me as your sponsor and go from there." He is also sure to tell them about ASSE's practice specialties, noting that many times when he is asked questions he is able to say, "Well, ASSE has this group that might interest you. Why don't you check out it out?"
Some might call Jones a walking ASSE advertisement, an observation he welcomes. "ASSE is a positive organization and I want to help it be successful," he says. "The more numbers we get the better. I'm not satisfied with 37,000 members. I want 100,000 members because there is strength in numbers. If we are going to be heard in Washington, DC, we need that size."
Jones has a simple formula for making that growth happen: If each current member would refer just one person, the Society would double in size, he says. "Wouldn't it be twice as awesome if ASSE were twice as big as it is right now? Can you imagine the impact we could have? ASSE does great work with 37,000 members. What could it do with nearly 80,000 members? Just imagine."
Referring new members is easy. To learn more visit ASSE's Member-Get-a-Member web page.
Originally published Feb. 21, 2017