June 2017 President’s Message

This is my final newsletter to the membership. Over the past year, it has been a pleasure to serve as your President. Together, we accomplished much from the robust monthly dinner meetings to the overwhelming success of the 2016 Northeast Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (NEIHce). We have provided you with two additional newsletters, improved our following of social media content uploads, increased the strength of our membership, revenues, corporate sponsorships, collaborated with other NJ nonprofits and the NJ State Industrial Safety Committee (NJSISC) on sponsoring area dinner meetings, subscribed to the AIHA eLearning webinars, and raised awareness of industrial hygiene issues with other vested stakeholders. Hence, I am proud to report that NJAIHA is more financially solid with an engaged and sustainable membership. But through it all, it could not have been done without the dedication and support from the Executive Committee (EC) members.

Last month the EC took on a new challenge. We met to discuss the future of NJAIHA by developing a strategic management plan with specific whole goals and objectives as part of our annual action plan. We reviewed our strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats facing the organization. We looked at the impact of political, economic, social-cultural, and technological concerns. In addition, we considered the power and intensity of combining valued resources, collaboration with other aligned regional associations, expanding human talent and capacity for the next generation, and restructuring our focus for the 21st century. NJAIHA is determined to be your local source for technical information, training, and base of knowledge for our membership. If you have any ideas or suggestions to promote NJAIHA and the profession, please contact Craig Doolittle.

As you may know, NJAIHA is connected to AIHA’s eLearning solutions, which are designed for busy professionals seeking an alternate educational setting. This virtual learning environment provides the same standard of learning and level of technical content, but is administered online. Certification maintenance can be awarded by AIHA for participants. AIHA webinars are web-based continuing education events that enable attendees to learn anytime from the comfort of their own home or office. AIHA webinars are presented by industry experts on a variety of topics, catering to every OEHS niche, and are fully accredited and allow IHs and OEHS professionals to obtain contact hours towards their CM programs. Automatic registration to AIHA webinars can earn you at least 10 contact hours.

Thank you to the membership for voting a President-elect, Secretary, and Director of Administration. The candidate ballot results will be forwarded to the membership soon. We are excited to learn more about the platform for these newly elected officials during our August EC meeting.

Don’t forget our summer classes start soon. Although the structure of these classes is designed to help study for the CIH and CSP exams, you can also learn more about a particular topic to improve your understanding of the subject. Attending these summer courses can help those members who seek certification maintenance credits or continuing educational credits toward recertification as a CIH or CSP. For more information, contact Dr. Hank Shotwell.

Facebook and LinkedIn posts have attracted a new following of people interested in our profession. Our objective is to connect more with our members and attract new members on topics of interest and begin a deep dive by talking about the issues that affects the workforce, public, or environment. Using social media provides greater connectivity with our membership in a timely fashion rather than emails. We have posted a number of jobs opportunities on LinkedIn to complement the learning process. We encourage members to contribute information about the profession, interesting research, upcoming events, videos, and posting job opportunities. If you want to take a more active role in support of our social media content portfolio management, please contact Bernie Fontaine.

NJAIHA continues to seek more vendors to advertise in our monthly newsletter and website, and help sponsor our monthly dinner meetings. As a bonus for advertising, we will promote your business by posting your information on our Facebook webpage. Advertising helps connect business opportunities with our membership. If you would like to advertise, complete an application on the website. Jack Zybura can provide more information about posting any information to the website or social media.

Student scholarship awards will be presented at the upcoming June dinner meeting. This year ad the Executive Committee raised the maximum total awards aimed to attract more students for careers in industrial hygiene. Three scholarships will be given out – Raymond Manganelli, Brian Sylvester, and the Presidents’ award.

The NJ State Assembly and Senate passed the “Hazardous Drug Safe Handling Act.” The purpose for this legislation is to help protect healthcare personnel who work with or near hazardous drugs in healthcare settings and whom may be exposed to these agents in the air and through contact with work surfaces, clothing, medical equipment, and patients. Over the next 12 months, all stakeholders who have an interest will give their input into the construct of health and safety written requirements to support implementation of this legislation. If you would like to help us provide comment, guidance, and feedback to protect these workers, please contact Craig Doolittle.

NJAIHA continues to work with New Jersey State Industrial Safety Committee (NJSISC) leadership to collaborate on the annual award ceremonies and dinner meetings. It is an opportunity for NJAIHA to receive name recognition for our dedication and work to protect the health of all workers.

Our subcommittee continues to update the current bylaws and operation manual. One area of interest is deeper understanding of conflict of interest and fiduciary responsibilities of the NJAIHA Executive Committee members. If anyone wants to help or provide comment, please contact Dr. Hank Shotwell.

In closing, don’t forget about Safe + Sound Week – June 12-18, 2017. I hope to see you at the Thursday, June 15th dinner meeting at the Imperia located in Somerset, NJ! This is our end-of-year gala. We scheduled Mark Ames (AIHA) and Tom Case (AIHA Regional Local Section Representative) as our guest speakers. Look for details in a future email or a post on Linkedin and Facebook.

Best regards,
Bernard L. Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP, FAIHA
President NJAIHA