ASSE Region VIII New England Area Annual PDC Sets Records

RegionVIIIASSE’s Region VIII New England Area celebrated its 16th annual Professional Development Conference (PDC) held in Warwick, RI, in December 2014. Thirty-eight OSH experts presented on topics including improving OSH programs, regulatory compliance strategies, and how to use common business metrics to show OSH value to business organizations. Attendees could earn 1.2 CEUs for the program. The program drew a 60% increase in attendance making 2014 one of the largest PDCs ever for the group. The PDC also saw a 100% increase in exhibitors over the past year. Five exhibitors—Industrial Hearing Testing, Region 1 OSHA, Safety Inc., Safety Source Northeast and Wilner- Greene Associates Inc.—have exhibited at every New England Area PDC.

Other innovations that contributed to the PDC success were the first regional online Safety Matters Silent Auction to benefit the ASSE Foundation (ASSEF). This year’s auction was truly a global event with the farthest winning bid coming from Qatar. ASSEF Graduate Scholarship Recipient Michael Murray and ASSEF Scholarship Recipient Elizabeth Velky, who spearheaded the auction, reported a revenue increase of 75% from the previous year and the total ASSEF revenue increased by 172%.

Current Keene State College ASSE Student Section members Kelsey Tiedemann, Alexis Zecha, Adam Phaneuf and Daniel Okyere from UMass Lowell assisted with silent auction and raised an additional $500 selling “ I Heart Safety” T-shirts at the event. Fundraising proceeds are donated to ASSEF.

David Crowley, CSP, lead another new addition to the evening with a networking event—Safety Storytelling Jam. Volunteers each spoke for 4 minutes on various safety-themed topics with a panel of judges. The winner was Don Olesen, who received a year’s supply of ice cream from New England-based H.P. Hood.

Of the event, PDC Chair John Spath, CSP, ASP, stated, “Our record-breaking success was aided by the generous support of our 19 sponsors including Gold Sponsors A.I.M. Mutual Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Keene State College OTIEC, Ruger Firearms, The Safer Path and The Scott Lawson Group.”

A full list of 2014 PDC sponsors can be found at The group is currently seeking speakers for its 2015 PDC, which is scheduled for Nov. 17-18, at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, MA. Proposals are due April 1, 2015.