We are now 8 months into the 2017-2018 chapter year. It has been another great year for the North Carolina chapter. We have continued to grow our network by joining the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce as well as the social media platform MeetUp, and have a brand new platform on LinkedIn that we are working to build. Our professional membership has grown to 434 professional, with an additional 20 student members of our chapter. That is an impressive 454 members that belong to the North Carolina chapter of ASSE. It was just February 2nd, 2017 that we announced we had surpassed 400 members. We have added over 50 members in the last 12 months and are well on our way to 500 members.
In September 2017 I conducted an analysis of our membership. At that time 136 of our members were from Wake County, with Durham County accounting for another 32 members. We have members in 56 of the 100 counties within North Carolina. We also claim members throughout 8 states within the United States, and one member from the United Kingdom. Those are impressive numbers, and we are very proud of our members and our footprint. You are the reason our chapter continues moving forward in the right direction.
Society and your chapter executive committee are working hard as we transition our organization from the American Society of Safety Engineers to the American Society of Safety Professionals, move to be more inclusive of our immense industry that requires us to wear multiple hats and does not always identify us as engineers. There will be many changes coming over the next year with the name change officially taking effect at Safety 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.
In December we held a Toys-for-Tots collection drive focused on raising funds to procure bike helmets and PPE for children who receive new bicycles, scooters, skate boards, etc. for Christmas. We raised an impressive $850 for the drive, which was an additional $545 over the previous year’s drive. That allowed us to buy 30 helmets and 8 sets of knee and elbow pads for children of all ages in the Triangle area.
For the second half of this chapter year we would like to hold a drive to collect PPE for the local Habitat for Humanity programs. They need gloves, hardhats, safety glasses, vests, etc. I know that we will come together yet again to donate to a worthy cause to help keep volunteer workers safe as they build homes for those in need.
The North Carolina chapter reached Platinum chapter status for the first time ever during the 2016-2017 chapter year, and we are certain to repeat for the 2017-2018 chapter year. This is a prestigious honor. There are 141 chapters within our society, but only 33 chapters achieved this honor. As chapter President over those periods I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the great safety professionals that have served as members of the executive committee. Each member has volunteered their time to execute at a high level and bring new and exciting ideas to the table. Each member of the executive committee accounts for vital elements to keep our chapter moving forward and growing. With a membership of over 450 members I want to extend the open invitation to each and every one of you to get involved. If you care about expanding the knowledge base of our members there is a place for you on the EC. If you care about networking and communicating with our members and sharing our message there is a place for you on the EC. If your specialty is note taking, accounting, web design, social media, or event coordination there is a place for you on our EC. Our executive committee meetings are always held one hour before our technical meetings each month. They are open to every member that wants to see the process or share their ideas opening with our committee. Our whole purpose is to educate and assist our members and our community in aspects of environmental, health and safety.
We have three technical meetings left to close out this chapter year (February 15th, March 8th, and April 12th). Check out our events page to book mark those meetings on your calendars, https://nc.asse.org/event/. May is the annual North Carolina State Safety Conference, https://ncsafetyconference.com/, and June is our year end celebration and officer installation ceremony that is always open to all members to attend to celebrate as we close another chapter year and install the officers that will lead the chapter for the following year. We hope to see you at an upcoming event and maybe even an executive committee meeting.
Christopher S. Hinson, CIH, CSP, CHMM
North Carolina – ASSE Chapter President