In This Section

News and Articles



Giving Back Moves Us Forward

James R. Thornton, CSP, CIH, FASSP, FAIHA, 2023-24 ASSP President and ASSP Foundation Chair
Jul 01, 2023

Jim ThorntonAt Safety 2023 in early June, I had the distinct honor of accepting the ASSP President’s Medallion from Christine Sullivan, ASSP’s 2022-23 president. Her dedication and accomplishments this past year were unrivaled, and I am humbled to follow the path she, our Board of Directors and our members have set for our future. I also cannot express enough my deepest gratitude to all of you for entrusting me to lead our great organization for the next year.

As my term begins, I am excited about the many opportunities that await the Board of Directors and our elected volunteer leaders to work with you as we grow our profession and continue to provide a professional community that shares ideas, identifies solutions and provides the support we all need to solve our daily challenges.

During Safety 2023, I remarked often on how outstanding it was to see and feel the energy of nearly 6,000 people coming together as a community to learn and connect. We can learn so much from the experiences of others. We are fortunate to have opportunities such as our annual conference and exposition to speak with colleagues and share insights, and explore the latest innovations from leading vendors. These interactions are critical to our individual career growth as well as to the continued improvement of our profession and ASSP.

As you look ahead to the rest of 2023, please consider how you can get more involved in ASSP. You have likely heard many times from other leaders that you will get back more than you give as an ASSP volunteer. Take my story for example. When I joined my local Society chapter 25 years ago, my goal was to connect with other professionals so I could learn what worked for them and what did not. The insight I gained informed my work and ignited my interest in becoming more involved in the Society. I can truly say that each experience has helped advance my career and made me a better safety professional and a better person.

Throughout these experiences, I have learned firsthand the importance of building strong relationships in all aspects of our lives. I often use the analogy of planting seeds. Think about planting a small seed, watering it, then watching it become something larger and more wonderful. When we take the time to connect with others, share our stories, offer encouragement and provide support, we help each other grow and flourish in many ways. ASSP offers opportunities for all members to get involved and help advance our profession. Please be sure to visit our Get Involved web page ( to learn more.

Over the coming year, I also encourage you to attend our Board Connection series events. We hold these virtual sessions every other month to give you an opportunity to talk with board members and share your thoughts and ideas about the Society’s initiatives and direction. Our next call takes place Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. CDT. Look for complete registration details in our ASSP Weekly e-newsletter later this summer.

In addition to informing the Society’s strategic direction, your participation in the Society helps position ASSP as a leading voice for the profession with federal agencies such as OSHA. Earlier this year, we incorporated feedback from hundreds of members into our comments on modernizing OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs. We also gathered significant member input to inform our upcoming comments on OSHA’s effort to assess how organizations are using leading indicators and their impact on safety and health management systems. Your experiences and ideas enable ASSP to strongly advocate for evidence-based regulations that will improve worker and workplace safety.

You have elected a strong group of volunteer leaders across the Society. The collective efforts of these committed individuals, along with your continued support, will help us advance the Society and ensure a bright future for ASSP and our profession.


Are You Passionate About Safety?

Volunteer with ASSP today.

Get involved


Jumpstart Your Learning

Access our latest free webinars, articles and more.

Advance Your Career

Earning an ASSP certificate can enhance your career.

Get Insight & Analysis

Learn about the latest trends in safety management, government affairs and more.

Connect With ASSP