President’s Message

ASSP NC Chapter Officer Elections (FY 2024-2025)

Nominations are in for the following positions:

President – Doug Gaylord

President-Elect – Frieda Sanders

Secretary – Robin Barfield

Treasurer – Jon Wallace

Advisory Board Member – Ogaga Tebehaevu

Advisory Board Member – Doug Gaylord  

Voting via e-Ballot will take place in mid to late April 2024.

President’s Message – October 2023

Keep Moving Forward

Greetings Safety Professionals!

First off, I would like to apologize for not getting this message out sooner and at the same time Welcome You to a new Chapter year.

The Chapter year started off with much adversity and challenge. We had Executive Committee members have to step down from their important roles, due to work obligations, leaving us playing catch-up and learning new tasks as a group.

With that, I would like to personally Thank the Executive Committee that supports me in leading this Chapter as President and for them stepping up and taking the bull by the horns (no pun intended as I do work in Durham, the Bull City) and keeping things moving forward.  

ASSP NC Chapter Leadership (2023-2024):

President – Doug Gaylord

President Elect – Frieda Sanders

Secretary – Matt Machles

Treasurer – Jay Sprankle

Delegates – Ogaga Tebehaevu and Robin Barfield

Membership Chair – Michelle Barger

Awards Chair – Jessica Frederick

Member at Large – Jeff Medlin

Our current technical meeting schedule, thru December, will be virtual. The next two technical meetings will be joint meetings with the ASSP Triad Chapter.

Links to the register for those meetings are below:

November 2023 Technical Meeting – Joint Meeting with the ASSP Triad Chapter – ASSP North Carolina Chapter

December 2023 Technical Meeting – Joint Meeting with the ASSP Triad Chapter – ASSP North Carolina Chapter

Our goal is to return back to in-person after the New Year. Schedule TBD.

More exciting news, the ASSP NC Chapter completed its 7th consecutive year by achieving Platinum Level recognition. This is the highest level awarded by ASSP.  A Special Thanks to our 2022-2023 Executive Committee Team and our Members for their continued support under past President Ogaga Tebehaevu.  

The Chapter currently has an OPEN position for:

  • Website/Social Media Chair

The Chapter has future opportunities for currently occupied seats that need to be filled by June 30, 2024:

  • Treasurer
  • Secretary  

Having incumbent members selected early, will allow for knowledge and training on the roles and responsibilities of that position from the current seat holders.

Thank you for your membership in the ASSP NC Chapter.

Doug Gaylord, MSOS, CHMM, SMS, RSO

APRIL 2023

Physically Back and Stronger

The Chapter held its first in-person meeting last month, after more than 2 years of meeting virtually. It was an ecstatic feeling for members to physically connect with one another. What is even more spectacular was the pleasure of having our own Executive Committee (EC) member and Student Affairs Chair, Dr. Mike Behm, come to speak to us on a special topic that offered contemporary views of safety science in what was titled “Safety Function Metamorphosis”.

A key takeaway for me from last month’s meeting is the bond that connects us. This bond is so strong that despite being virtual for a long time, our members remain committed. I don’t have any doubt that our mission is what binds us together. We are blessed to be surrounded by creative people, people who are committed to improving the health and well-being of the workforce in our community; people who are willing to step up when asked.

Speaking of our mission, this month of April, specifically April 28, is Workers’ Memorial Day – a day of remembrance for workers killed, disabled, or injured on the job. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2021, an 8.9% increase from 4,764 in 2020. This stat is a reminder that there is still a long way to go in eliminating preventable deaths in the workplace. You would appreciate why for more than six decades, the ASSP North Carolina Chapter continues to build a framework that provides knowledge, resources, and a network that empowers its members in the mission of promoting workplace safety and health.

There are other updates that I would like to share with you. The chapter election will be held on April 13 during the monthly technical meeting. The slate of candidates for election has been up on the chapter website since last month. The EC is interested in your participation in the election. In addition, the EC has some open positions for the next chapter year. If you are interested in being a part of the EC, please contact the Membership Chair.

Depending on when you are reading this message, we invite you to join our technical presentation this Month. Amy Robertson, CEO and Founder of Soul Advantage will be speaking on Mental Health in the Workplace. You may also view the archived recording on our website. Next month’s meeting (May 11) will feature “Safety Legality Versus Liability” by Tom Farr, Partner at Nelson Mullins Law Firm. See the chapter event page for more information and registration details.

In conclusion, I want to thank you all for your support of safety and health in all its ramification. I also want to thank you all for supporting ASSP’s goal. Your support of ASSP allows us to continue to fulfill our mission and serve the over 430 members of our community each year.


Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP

MARCH 2023

A New Season Begins

“It’s spring again – a time of rebirth as the natural world wakes up and revives after going dormant in the winter months.” – Better Place Forests.

Spring is often described as a season of new life, change, creativity, and adaptation. To some, it is a great time of renewal to gain insight into making new moves, setting new goals, or seeing through one’s goals. Regardless of our perspective about spring, a key message I would like to share with us this month is the need to continue to grow, professionally and otherwise.

Environmental Health and Safety professionals are not stagnant. Rather, we find ways to inspire ourselves, trying new experiences to become better stakeholders. The efforts we make each day in our respective roles contribute to making the world a safer and healthier place. When we continue to grow, it helps us impact our team positively and create good memories. And the more memories we create for ourselves and the people around us, the better it’ll be when we reflect upon these unprecedented times in the distant future.

This month is also a new season for our chapter. For the first time in over two years, we will be meeting in person for the chapter executive committee and technical meetings. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I want to thank you all. The support that we have been receiving since late 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began is remarkable. There has been sustained progress in membership growth and engagement despite the challenge of not being able to meet face-to-face for some time now.

I am happy that we are finally back! We hope you would consider joining us at next week’s technical meeting featuring Dr. Mike Behm and Ashley Heien, who both will speak on “Safety Function Metamorphosis.” Depending on the time you are reading this message, you may either join the event live or virtually next week or view the archived recording online. See the chapter website for more details:

Finally, you should be receiving an update in the next couple of weeks on the slate of candidates for the 2023-2024 chapter year. This (leadership positions) will also be posted on the chapter website for up to 30 days before being voted for at next month’s chapter meeting. As always, your presence and vote would ensure a seamless leadership transition for the next chapter year.

Thank you all for all you do and have a great month!

Ogaga Tebehaevu, MS, CIH, CSP