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Your Vote Influences Our Future

Jim Smith, M.S., CSP, 2017-18 ASSE President
Mar 01, 2018

Jim SmithEach March, ASSE members elect leaders to serve at the board, council, region, practice specialty, common interest group and area levels. As members of a professional organization, I believe it is our fundamental duty to review the candidates’ information on the ASSE elections web page, then cast our votes via electronic ballot.

There are plenty of other reasons you should vote. Elections are an important part of our organization’s governance—they give all of us a voice in matters of importance to the Society and our profession. By voting for our future leaders, you help ensure that ASSE remains laser-focused on its strategic priorities. These volunteer leaders will shape ASSE’s future direction, and by voting you ensure that the best interests of members and the profession remain at the forefront of what we do.

To understand the importance of electing strong leaders, consider some of our recent achievements, all driven by those we have elected to office:

  • We restructured the board of directors to put a stronger emphasis on strategy and enable more nimble decision-making.
  • We partnered with NIOSH to conduct research on at-risk Hispanic workers in the construction industry.
  • We became a leader in developing ISO 45001, the now-approved global standard on occupational health and safety management systems.
  • We created many new continuing education opportunities, including an expanded number of certificate programs, fully online courses and microlearning.
  • We brought worker safety into the global dialogue on human capital and corporate sustainability reporting.
  • And, recognizing the need to be more inclusive and truly reflective of the diverse disciplines represented by our members, we examined our organization’s name and brand, research that led to historic votes last June and August to change our name to the American Society of Safety Professionals.

These accomplishments are the result of the vision and leadership of our elected officers. The candidates on this year’s slate are ready to continue this good work. By running for office, they have signaled their dedication to help our organization continue to grow, improve and succeed.

That is why I am calling on more members to vote in this year’s election. Typically, only about 15% of our members vote each year, with similar return rates across our nine regions, as this breakdown from 2017 shows:

Region I: 14.40%         Region VI: 16.50%

Region II: 15.30%        Region VII: 14.10%

Region III: 13.40%       Region VIII: 14.20%

Region IV: 15.10%       Region IX: 18.50%

Region V: 17.50%

I know we can do better. Here is my challenge to each of you: Spend some time reading the candidates’ biographies and platform statements on our website. [If you do not have access to the site, call ASSE customer service at (847) 699-2929 to request copies of these materials.] Then, when your ballot arrives on March 1, take a few minutes to cast your vote. If you do not receive an electronic ballot or if you misplace it, send an e-mail to elections@asse.org to request a new ballot or click the request-a-ballot button on the elections web page. Throughout the month, we will send several reminders to those who have not yet voted.

I hope you will accept this challenge and vote in our election. I also urge each region to get more members to vote. Voting is open March 1 to March 31. All members in good standing are eligible to vote. Casting your ballot is a simple process that you can complete in 15 minutes or less. To make it even easier, the ballot has links to each candidate’s biography and platform statement to help you select your preferred candidate. Simply put, voting is one of the easiest ways for you to engage with ASSE.

This is our opportunity to determine who our future leaders will be. ASSE has a tremendous impact on the OSH community. What we are doing now will help ensure that the Society is an everlasting organization. Your vote will make a difference in our profession’s future.

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