President’s Message – April 2020

Hello ASSP Georgia Chapter!

First, allow me to extend my wishes that this finds all of you and your loved ones healthy and safe.  These past 6+ weeks have been a surreal experience for us all – unprecedented events that I’m not sure any of us thought we would experience in our lifetimes.  For some, we have been separated from loved ones, for others we have been isolated from our workplaces and colleagues.  And unfortunately for others, they have found themselves without employment while companies have shut down or drastically cut back on operations.  Wherever you are on that spectrum, and in whatever situation you find yourself these days, know that you are not alone… that there are others out there who you can reach out to and connect with…and when this pandemic is over, although things will never be the same as they once were, we will come together once again as colleagues and friends.

Our ASSP Georgia Chapter continues to be here for you throughout our current situations.  We have things to celebrate and things to share with you, so please keep reading for some important updates…

Let’s start with Congratulating some of our own!

  • For the first time in several years, I’m proud to announce that our Chapter has awarded our Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) award to Mr. John Barnard of USI Insurance! John’s activities in helping improve the safety and health of the workplaces you visit and service, along with your willingness to help your fellow safety professionals excel and succeed in their own careers, make him a very worthy candidate for this award.  John has been also put forward as a nominee for our ASSP Region IV SPY Award.  Please extend your congratulations to John if you know him!
  • Also, we want to congratulate Camille Oaks for being elected as the new Assistant Administrator for the Women In Safety Excellence common interest group! Camille will serve as the Assistant Administrator for the next 2 years, and then she’ll become the Administrator for 2 years after that.  We wish her the best in her new leadership role!

On behalf of our Nominations and Elections Chair, Rick Gruca, thank you to all who participated in our first-ever e-ballot election for our 2020-21 Chapter Officers.  We had 200 ballots submitted!  And the results were unanimous.  I’m happy to announce that the following individuals have been elected and will serve as your ASSP Georgia Chapter Officers for 2020-21:

  • President: Patrick Marcotte
  • President-Elect: James (JW) Culbreth
  • Vice President: Edward Platenburg
  • Secretary: Charles Lawrence
  • Treasurer: Jimmy Mize
  • Delegates – Scott DeBow * Luis Marquez * Timothy Moss * William (Bill) Vargo

Next, for those who missed our April meeting, I want to announce that our May One-Day PDC has been cancelled.  This is to ensure we comply with ASSP guidelines that in-person meetings should be put on hold.  Instead, we will have another Virtual Meeting, hearing from Dr. Mitch Garber speak about Ergonomics.  You’ll be seeing a meeting announcement soon with more details and the webinar login information.  I hope you’ll consider joining in!  We are currently planning on our June meeting being held in person at the Georgia Power HQ building, but keep an eye on the meeting invitations and announcements as we get closer.

If you are looking for some virtual learning opportunities that can help you earn CEUs, be sure to check out ASSP’s Online and Virtual Training Courses.  They include topics such as fall protection, workplace violence, ISO 450001, and even CSP and ASP prep courses.  Login to your account at and then at the top under the “Education” banner click on “Online Learning”.  Also, keep an eye on your ASSP weekly emails with details and links to upcoming courses.

And speaking of education, we all know that the annual ASSP PDC / Safety 2020 is currently scheduled for June 23-25 in Orlando.  Earlier this month Society Leadership announced that the PDC will likely shift from an in-person event to a virtual experience.  By the end of this week they are to have a final announcement with the decision on what will happen.  Be sure to keep an eye on your emails if you’ve already planned to attend or may consider attending if it becomes a virtual PDC.

Finally, I want to remind everyone that we have current job openings posted on our chapter website for those looking for new opportunities.  You can also find national openings on ASSP’s website,

That’s all I have for this month.  Thank you all for what you do for our profession and for your company or clients. Please continue to do what you can to stay safe, stay healthy, and help those around you – we’re all in this together!!  Hope to “see” you all next week at our May Meeting!


Christina Roll, MS, CIH, CSP
President, Georgia Chapter
American Society of Safety Professionals