CHRISTINE A.D. LORENZO, CIH,
is president of AIHA and safety and occupational
health manager for federal and state operations at OSHA.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (720) 264-6572
At first glance, winter may seem to be a time of relative inactivity for AIHA. Fall Conference and Asia-Pac are behind us, AIHce is several months away, and our face-to-face training courses don’t get started until March. But appearances can be deceiving; in fact, February is a vitally important time for AIHA, and contains one of the most significant events on the association calendar. Starting Feb. 27, dozens of representatives from AIHA’s local sections, committees, and working groups will meet at association headquarters in Falls Church, Va., for Leadership Workshop. This annual event provides local section officers and committee volunteers with guidance on how to succeed as leaders both within the association and the OEHS profession. This training helps prepare the next generation of AIHA committee and local section officers and gives them the tools they need to move to the next level in their careers. A NEW WORLD The first time I attended Leadership Workshop was in 2002, when I was the incoming president of the Rocky Mountain Local Section. Leadership Workshop opened up a whole new world for me. It was evident that both volunteers and staff put a tremendous amount of time and energy into making the event a success. The connections I made there and the knowledge I gained from experienced volunteers were invaluable to me. That weekend was the first time I saw up close the dedication of AIHA’s volunteers. Their passion and drive made a lasting impression and continue to inspire me to this day.
These fond memories are not the only reason why Leadership Workshop is one of my favorite AIHA events. It also represents the best qualities of AIHA as an organization and of industrial hygienists as a community of professionals.
Several AIHA presidents, including me, have written in this space about the extraordinary commitment of our volunteers. A study conducted by the American Society of Association Executives a few years ago found that, compared to most Americans, AIHA members volunteer more hours overall and focus more of their volunteering on professional and civic organizations. At a time when volunteerism in the United States is on the decline, AIHA members exhibit an altruistic impulse that sets us apart from other associations.
This impulse is the foundation for everything AIHA has accomplished in the past 75 years and the basis for our optimism about the next 75. I’m proud to be part of an organization whose volunteers pour so much effort into developing the next generation of leaders. With such a vibrant community of volunteers, we are poised to build on our position as the primary resource for industrial hygiene education.
IH IN THE OLD WORLD This February is a special time for another reason, too. AIHA will be leading a delegation to Mumbai, India, to participate in a conference organized by the Central Industrial Hygiene Association (CIHA). Several AIHA members will be presenting at the conference, including Paul Bozek, CIH; Cathy Hovde, CIH, CSP; Om Malik, PhD, CIH; Maharshi Mehta, CIH, CSP; and Shrenik Ranpura, CIH, CSP. I will deliver a keynote address on the current status of occupational health and safety legislation and a general session on medical surveillance, and AIHA Executive Director Peter O’Neil will participate in a discussion of the history and value of certification. Other presentations will focus on local exhaust ventilation, control banding, applied ergonomics, and occupational silica exposures.
That CIHA has organized such a sophisticated conference is a testament to the evolving capabilities of the Indian industrial hygiene community. Our CIHA colleagues are exhibiting the same level of passion for the profession as our own AIHA volunteers, and this bodes well for the future of worker health protection.
It’s also another indication that AIHA’s decision years ago to develop our relationships with India and China is paying dividends. With our collaboration, these countries are on the cusp of significant advancements in occupational health that will improve the lives of millions, and—like Leadership Workshop—they remind us of the good that comes from focusing on the future.
Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders BY CHRISTINE A.D. LORENZO, AIHA PRESIDENT
• The Synergist TOC