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The Value of Volunteering With ASSP

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

Volunteers play a critical role in achieving outcomes in a member-supported organization like ASSP. This begins with how our volunteers—from board members to elected leaders in our regions, virtual and chapter communities to committee members and Advisory Group representatives—help create an environment where our members feel welcomed and respected. We also count on our volunteers to help us develop many of our programs and services. And, our volunteers provide insight about emerging trends affecting our industry. This sustained cycle of volunteerism is vital to the success of the Society, the advancement of the OSH profession and the continuous improvement of workplace safety.

You have also likely heard many of our volunteers say they get back much more than they give as a result of their active involvement. This statement has certainly held true throughout all stages of my personal journey as an ASSP volunteer. As you may know, my experience started when I got involved in helping to lead my local chapter. I eventually joined, then chaired the PDC Planning Committee, which ultimately led to my election as vice president, finance, then as senior vice president, a role that began the succession to my current office as ASSP president.

Each of these opportunities has helped me grow and practice a wide range of skills that have supported my career growth. These skills include everything from team building, coaching, and meeting facilitation to conflict resolution and business acumen. 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 lifelong friendships that I cherish. Simply put, everything I have done in the Society has helped me in my professional career and in my personal development.

This month, we opened our 2023 Society elections. Seeking elected office is one of the most meaningful and impactful ways you can volunteer. Committing to lead one of our councils, regions or member communities reflects your dedication to ASSP and demonstrates your commitment to advancing the practice of OSH. While most of the slate is set for this year, we are still accepting nominations for several open positions at the region and practice specialty levels. Please visit our elections website to learn more about these opportunities. And be sure to look for the 2024 call for nominations this summer.

In a survey of our volunteers, we received many positive comments about their overall experience. These three stood out:

  • “I can’t thank ASSP enough for the opportunities I have had and the people I have met as a result of my involvement.”
  • “ASSP makes volunteering easy and meaningful.”
  • “It has been nothing short of amazing and fulfilling! I would recommend it to anyone.”

These comments reflect several of the top reasons people volunteer as identified by the American Society of Association Executives Research Foundation:

  1. giving back to my profession
  2. expanding my professional network
  3. playing a larger role in legislative, regulatory and professional advocacy
  4. increasing my personal visibility and advancing my career
  5. improving my technical knowledge
  6. developing my leadership skills
  7. gaining deeper access to industry and professional information

We know that motivation, goals and aspirations change as volunteers progress through their careers. Considering these questions can help you explore your personal expectations of volunteering or help you advise a colleague considering their options: 

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What volunteer opportunities match those interests and goals? 

Over the years, I have asked many other leaders why they got involved. Those conversations reveal a common theme: They got involved because another member reached out and asked them to do so. 

Please consider this my personal invitation to you: Volunteer today and help fuel our collective mission to build a safer, stronger future for all. To share your interest in serving, simply sign in to the ASSP website and complete our Leadership Connection form (https://assp.us/leadership-connection). 

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