Jeffrey W. Gifford, MS, CIH, CSP Vice President, HSSE Genesis Energy, LP Houston, Texas AIHA will continue to be the essential resource for worker health protection by aligning the benefits of membership with a broad, evolving, and dynamic professional population. The days of pure industrial hygiene practice are waning, but the underlying concepts of anticipating, identifying, evaluating, and effectively controlling risk to worker health and safety are enduring. Enterprises and societies need talented occupational health scientists to protect the work force, sustain productivity, and enhance quality of life. AIHA must creatively explore ways to provide content and educational opportunities to professionals who are assuming broader responsibilities with fewer resources. From my individual perspective, advancing content that continues to engage experienced professionals throughout their career is particularly challenging. I’ve heard many of my contemporaries remark that there is little to interest them at conferences, local section meetings, etc. beyond professional networking opportunities. This challenge may be best approached by offering more compelling volunteer opportunities allowing experienced professionals to engage in the development of less experienced professionals, either through enhanced local section participation, teaching or mentoring opportunities, or through organized pro-bono work. In any case, the need for talented industrial hygiene professionals will continue. The challenge for AIHA is to be nimble, creative, and responsive enough to engage them.
Cathy Hovde, CIH, CSP Corporate Health and Safety Manager Caterpillar Inc. Peoria, Ill.
AIHA programs have aided my professional development from a technical and leadership perspective throughout my career. I’ve taken advantage of the traditional education opportunities, but I also benefited greatly from volunteering opportunities like joining a committee, supporting a project, joining a local section board, or leading a committee. During these opportunities I met and learned from amazing IH professionals, developed leadership skills, and learned how to work in an organization. These were volunteer opportunities in which I gave back to the community, but I gained even more professionally. AIHA is focused on building IH professionals throughout their careers in the United States and abroad. We have successful programs that should continue, such as the mentoring program and Future Leaders Institute. Additionally, we support the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA), which directly focuses on improving the standard of practice globally through education. The partnership with OHTA is an example of another priority, pioneering coalitions. AIHA needs to continue to build partnerships with peer organizations to develop content and delivery models for the future of the field. We cannot be successful alone, but we can identify partners whose goals align with AIHA’s and work with them to advance the profession. By focusing the entire organization on mission-critical content, we can maximize our resources and more strategically align with peer organizations.