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ASSP Recognizes Five Next-Generation Safety Leaders

Apr 20, 2020

PARK RIDGE, IL — The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has selected its first group of recipients for a new award and professional development program that aims to advance occupational safety and health careers while supporting the entire profession. ASSP’s 2020 Emerging Professional Award was earned by five next-generation safety leaders who demonstrate leadership, volunteerism and a desire to widely impact workplace safety through their involvement in the world’s oldest professional safety organization.

“Today’s emerging professionals are tomorrow’s leaders in occupational safety and health,” said ASSP President Diana Stegall, CSP, CFPS, ARM, SMS, CPCU. “We want to support their personal and professional growth so they are well-positioned to help advance the profession and strengthen our Society. This year’s group has exceptional potential and we look forward to seeing them take on greater volunteer leadership roles over time.”

Emerging Professionals 2020

The inaugural group selected for ASSP’s Emerging Professional Award is:

•  Matthew Herron, M.S., P.E., CSP, CPE, is a senior safety engineer at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. He has worked in safety since 2009. In his current role, Herron developed the Safety 360 Program. “This innovative program promotes a safety culture that empowers employees to proactively identify, correct and report unsafe conditions and at-risk behaviors,” he said. “We’ve had a dramatic reduction in recordable incidents.”

•  Jayme Hobson, M.S., CSP, STS, CHST, is a regional safety, health and environmental director for AECOM joint venture GUBMK in Paducah, KY. She began her safety career in 2007. Hobson has instituted leading indicator-based safety and health promotional programs that have been adopted on a global scale. “It’s all about the people,” she said. “It’s my mission to show companies that an investment in safety upfront is worth it.”

•  Jarred O’Dell, M.S., CSP, CUSP, is safety director at Syracuse Utilities in Brewerton, NY. He has been a safety professional since 2011 and has been involved in complex projects such as international river crossings on the St. Lawrence Seaway and air lifts into New York’s Adirondack Park system. “I began as a department of one and built a team that is as large as seven during our peak in the summer build season,” he said.

•  Anthony Marletta, M.S., CSP, ARM, LEED GA, is a risk control consultant at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Long Island, NY, where he began his safety career in 2013. He is leading the development of a new standard on premises design and maintenance related to slip and fall prevention on ice. “Our goal is to address one of the leading causes of injury to both the worker and general public – that being falls on the same level,” he said.

•  Ogaga Tebehaevu, M.S., CSP, CIH, is an industrial hygiene specialist at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. He started his career as a safety engineer in 2007. “I like to find new ways to solve workers’ safety and health challenges,” he said. “In 2016, I was part of a team that implemented a LiveSafe app that reports hazards and communicates safety needs. It’s become a hub for hazard data collection and reporting.”

The group will be placed into a yearlong professional development program that begins June 1. Each person will be matched with a mentor from ASSP’s past president and Fellows community. Highlights include complimentary registrations for ASSP’s annual Professional Development Conference and Exposition, Leadership Conference and Leadership Development Experience.

There also will be opportunities for the emerging safety professionals to engage with ASSP’s Board of Directors at networking events and participate on ASSP committees. The group will have its own page on the online ASSP Community platform to join safety and health discussions and ask questions of experienced members.

Candidates for the award must be ASSP members who are under 40 years old or have fewer than five years of experience in the occupational safety and health field. The Society will recognize five recipients each year. The award is sponsored by Amazon.

About ASSP – Working together for a safer, stronger future
For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Professionals has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of nearly 40,000 professionals covers all industries, developing safety and health management plans that prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths. ASSP advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media contact: Blaine Krage, 847.768.3416,

Julius Rhodes

As a long time professional member of ASSP a former member of the COPD and a Foundation Trustee, i am pleased to say congrats to the inaugural class of emerging leaders. Certainly the profession is in very capable hands as we move forward. To those of you I've previously met please know I'm at your service. To those of you I've not yet met I'm ready to support you as well.  Continued Success, Health and Blessings.


Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR

Founder and Principal 

mpr group


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