A September to Remember
Over the course of ten extraordinary days in September, AIHA held three successful events for three very different constituencies: the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) Scientific Conference, the annual conference of the Product Stewardship Society, and the Future Leaders Institute (FLI). These events, all held in Washington, D.C., demonstrated how AIHA is reaching audiences that transcend boundaries, generations, and traditional conceptions of our profession.

IOHA 2018 As host of the first IOHA Scientific Conference to be held in the United States, AIHA welcomed more than 530 attendees representing 36 countries for IOHA 2018. Close to 200 speakers presented on a variety of topics ranging from case studies to scientific research. A total of 57 educational sessions, all of which had an international focus, received high marks from attendees. In addition, the conference featured 26 exhibitors, 2 technical tours at the U.S. Capitol, and numerous networking events.  Highlights of IOHA 2018 included a keynote address by Nancy Leppink of the International Labor Organization (ILO), who spoke passionately about the need to address child labor and called for collaboration between ILO and IOHA. IOHA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Roger Alesbury spoke about his contributions to the IH/OH profession and his efforts to create the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA). The conference also featured the 8th annual Control Banding Workshop, a full day of sessions on control banding. PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP 2018 Founded in 2012, the Product Stewardship Society, an affiliate of AIHA, has shown impressive growth in a few short years, and its annual conference reflects that success. Since the first Product Stewardship Conference five years ago, attendance has grown more than 200 percent. This year, more than 300 attendees traveled to Washington, D.C. for Product Stewardship 2018, and another 22 sites participated virtually.
Highlights of IOHA 2018 included a keynote address by Nancy Leppink of the International Labor Organization, who spoke passionately about the need to address child labor and called for collaboration between ILO and IOHA.
CYNTHIA A. OSTROWSKI, CIH, is AIHA president and owner of CAO Consulting near Detroit, Mich. She can be reached via email.

The highlight of Product Stewardship 2018 was the announcement of a partnership with the American Board of Industrial Hygiene to create a product stewardship credential. The credential will encourage standard qualifications across the profession and help other industries understand what product stewardship is and how it can benefit them. The conference capped off a banner year for the Product Stewardship Society that saw the publication of Professional Practices of Product Stewardship, the first reference for the field. FUTURE LEADERS INSTITUTE It was my pleasure to participate in this year’s FLI, the sixth hosted by AIHA. From 92 applicants, the FLI planning committee selected 34 candidates, including individuals from Singapore, Tanzania, Australia, Canada, and India, in addition to those from the U.S. The program was created and presented by former FLI graduates, including Carter Ficklen, Perry Logan, Megan Canright, and Jason Kunz. AIHA Director Michele Twilley assisted this group as the Board liaison. The program provided instruction and tools related to personality and leadership characteristics. One session presented six thought leaders—John Henshaw, Jen Sahmel, Srinivas Durgam, Lilia Chen, Larry Sloan, and Kim Merritt—who provided both professional and personal insights and encouragement.   The best component of FLI was the activities. Attendees participated in a scavenger hunt within Washington, escape rooms, and community service projects. We made breakfast at the local Ronald McDonald House, packaged food for SOME (So Others Might Eat), and cleaned up Theodore Roosevelt Island. I am happy to report everyone exited their escape rooms from Ghostbusters, Titanic, Runaway Subway, Friday the 13th, and Curse of the Mummy. These activities allowed attendees to interact with each other and practice skills learned at the FLI.  I would like to thank the planning committee and thought leaders for their efforts and participation. Special thanks to Thursa La and Laurie Mutdosch of the AIHA staff, who not only assisted the planning committee but took care of the logistics to ensure the event ran smoothly.  Most importantly, thank you to the FLI attendees for being professional, energetic, and just plain fun all weekend. Our organization and the IH profession are in excellent hands.