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Thank You for the Honor

Christine Sullivan, CSP, ARM, 2022-2023 ASSP President
Jun 01, 2023

When I decided in 2019 to run for the office of senior vice president, I knew that if elected in 2020, I would become ASSP president in 2022 because of the automatic succession process. Knowing this, before taking that step, I talked to colleagues including Trish Ennis, Deb Roy and Kathy Seabrook, all of whom have served with honor in this position, as well as ASSP Fellow Fay Feeney. Their guidance and insight helped me understand what is required and expected of the leader of ASSP.

Preparing for the role has enabled me to make the most of this experience. Over the past 12 months, I have learned a great deal about being a leader and about our Society. I have met and spoken with many of you during virtual meetings and at in-person gatherings. I am truly amazed by the dedication I see and hear for our profession and this organization. 

I am inspired by your resilience and adaptability. If the last 3 years have taught us nothing else, we know that our world will continue to change constantly and rapidly. This requires that we continually adapt and adjust, whether to new technologies, workforce turnover, staffing challenges or changing expectations. As our profession continues to evolve, we must continue to learn and grow as OSH professionals as well.

I have also been heartened to see our progress in improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across ASSP and within the OSH profession. We held a virtual DEI Summit in January that strengthened our commitment to principles of fairness, respect and equitable opportunities for all. In addition, the ASSP Foundation continues to find new opportunities for promoting safety as a career among a more diverse pool of students.

There is a proven connection between DEI and safety, and it is one of the many ways we are better protecting workers everywhere. We understand that change is never easy. Our willingness to think differently and our courage to act differently will create a better future for ASSP, our profession, our workers and our companies.

Our DEI journey is far from over—it is a marathon, not a sprint, as the saying goes. But I think the message in ASSP’s motto says it all: “Working together for a safer, stronger future.” When we learn and work together and support one another, we can achieve many great things, including making workplaces safer for all.

I often talk about the fact that I have gained so much from my active involvement in ASSP. Each volunteer role has helped me grow and practice a wide range of skills that have improved my career. Getting more involved also helped me expand my network and allowed me to meet several mentors who continue to influence my career. And, I have developed many lifelong friendships along the way. Please consider expanding your involvement in ASSP in the coming year. I know you will receive many rewards as a result.

It has been a distinct honor to work with my colleagues on the Board of Directors, our many volunteer leaders across the ASSP community and our professional staff. We have a first-class team that truly cares about our Society and our profession. I am truly grateful that you entrusted me to lead this organization and I am thankful to have gained this valuable experience.

While my time in this role is coming to a close, I remain committed to sharing my passion for ASSP and promise that I will stay involved. I will continue to support, mentor and contribute to ensure that we remain focused on what we do best—keeping workers safe, healthy and well. As safety professionals, what we do matters greatly to our workers, their loved ones and the next generation. I am both humbled and honored to have served you and this organization.


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