(Two to Be Elected)
Kimberly Castillon, CIH Region 1 Audit Program Manager OSHA Boston, Mass.
While taking on a brand refresh can be challenging, I believe it is imperative in order to keep pace with AIHA’s message, and also to ensure that message is distributed in a way that encourages involvement and future growth. We, as a professional group, have the opportunity to perform one of the greatest services by ensuring the safety and health of people around the world in all kinds of settings. While AIHA as an organization and CIHs as professionals are recognized within the safety and health industry, the associated value can get lost to those outside the profession.  As a group of professionals continuously evolving, we have battled with a complicated definition. Even after 25 years as an industrial hygienist my family still asks, “What exactly do you do?”  I believe our message needs to be simplified and encompass a unified brand that capitalizes on the value and importance of our work. The dissemination of this message could work well on social media where interactions are broad and far-reaching. A unified, simplified, and concise message can be used in all types of venues—small business, contractors, trade organizations, social media, presentations, job fairs, and internships/universities to name a few. However, before disseminating the message, it is key to simplify the definition and identify the value.
Bernard L. Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP, FAIHA Managing Partner The Windsor Consulting Group, Inc. Monroe, N.J. AIHA must seek a robust multi-disciplinary approach both internal to the membership and external to valued business partners with a similar mission, value, and vision. Moreover, there are business valued opportunities for AIHA members within local sections and nationally to engage and empower members from students to mid-career professionals to enhance their education and learning opportunities, promote the profession, mentor undergraduate and graduate students, cross-train other professionals, and provide study partners.  For mid-career professionals, provide low-cost training and review courses for certification, solicit outreach initiatives to schools with STEM programs, discuss how industrial hygiene can protect worker, public, and environmental health, reach out to business organizations, and collaborate with state agencies on matters affecting people and planet.  On a more senior level, members can begin outreach programs to discuss and propose legislation with state representatives, seek industry and regional and national business partners on similar concerns on social, political, and economic issues, provide stories and briefs to educate the public, speak at business meetings and public events including local radio and television, and crosswalk the profession between various business and educational platforms from product stewardship to  total worker health. Retirees within the local sections are a valuable resource to guide and manage local section strategic management plans, improve the bylaws, record historical perspectives, and recognize the distinguished service of longtime colleagues.
Maharshi Mehta, CIH, CSP President International Safety Systems, Inc. South Brunswick, N.J.
Defining our profession in two words, “industrial hygiene,” is not an easy task. “Occupational health and hygiene” seems to be more a reflection on what we do. I would like to insert in communication terms like “reducing occupational health risk,” which in turn “enhances overall quality of working population” while reaching out to stakeholders.  Here are some approaches to promoting the value of the profession:  1. AIHA volunteer groups from various committees visit local colleges and arrange a hands-on workshop on occupational hygiene. Student representatives are introduced to the concept, then they walk through their area and identify health hazards and how to reduce health risk. The best performer receives an award from AIHA.  2. AIHA arranges a seminar for deans and principals of colleges and discusses how significant our profession is in reducing health risk and increasing longevity of the working population. Relate this to someone in their family who is working in industry and potential health risk and risk mitigation options. 3. Invite school deans and principals from the city where AIHce is held at no cost. Invite also student leaders at AIHce and discuss career options.  4. Obtain the mail list of other stakeholders like labor unions and HR managers and conduct free webinars on the value of our profession in increasing lifespan, among other value additions.
Rick Newman, CIH Health Informatics Lead/Sr. Industrial Hygienist, Corporate Health Services Marathon Petroleum Company Findlay, Ohio The first step, which AIHA has taken, is to acknowledge that there is a need to improve the way we promote the profession. When we look around us and all we see is uniformity, we need to do more, become more diverse. To promote the profession effectively requires a multi-level approach, from grade school through early career professionals ready for a change.  We can adapt the tools we use as industrial hygienists to the problem of promoting our profession—defining the problem, determining the cause, developing solutions, implementing solutions, and evaluating the success of those solutions. We start with the end in mind, defining what successfully promoting our profession looks like. Next step is to establish where we are today, to set a benchmark. Success will require engagement of the membership. Who better to promote the profession than those of us who live it every day? With a starting point, a defined goal, and an engaged membership working at every level, success is all but guaranteed. Success is not an endpoint; it is the beginning of a process of continued promotion. There are existing AIHA committees for developing career opportunities, mentoring, and retaining young professionals. Perhaps organizing the membership to address promoting the profession with a dedicated committee will ensure that when we look around our profession, we see strength and diversity.