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ASSP elections highlighted by Thornton’s upcoming move to president

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April 10, 2023
By OHS Canada

Global OHS News ASSP USA

Jim Thornton

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has announced its new leaders from the 2023 Society elections. All terms begin July 1. James Thornton will serve as ASSP president for 2023-24.

“Our Society’s strength is rooted in our dedicated volunteers and their desire to take on key leadership positions,” said ASSP President Christine Sullivan, CSP, ARM, whose term ends June 30. “Engaged safety professionals have always defined ASSP, keeping it vibrant and advancing worker safety and health everywhere.”

ASSP’s top elected positions – all part of its Board of Directors – are president, president-elect, senior vice president, vice president of finance and directors-at-large. Each is a one-year term, except for the three-year terms of the vice president of finance and directors-at-large. The annual succession of leaders from senior vice president to president-elect, and from president-elect to president, is automatic.

Following are snapshots of ASSP’s newly elected leaders, whose influence and contributions will help shape the Society and the profession while sustaining the organization as a global leader for workplace safety and health.

President James Thornton, CSP, CIH, FASSP, FAIHA, is president of consulting firm Alpha Industries LLC and previously directed safety and health for 40 years at Huntington Ingalls Industries, the nation’s largest military shipbuilder. He is an ASSP Fellow with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and master’s degree in industrial hygiene. An ASSP member since 1998, Thornton resides in Hampton, VA.


President-Elect Pam Walaski, CSP, FASSP, is senior program director with Specialty Technical Consultants Inc. and teaches occupational safety and health courses at several universities across the country. She is an ASSP Fellow with 30 years of experience. Her honors include ASSP’s Charles V. Culbertson Outstanding Volunteer  Service Award. A member since 2003, Walaski will be president in 2024-25. She resides in Templeton, PA.

Senior Vice President Linda Tapp, CSP, ALCM, CPTD, is president of SafetyFUNdamentals, an occupational safety training and consulting firm. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as vice president of finance. Tapp was ASSP’s Safety Professional of the Year in 2007. She has a master’s degree in environmental health. An ASSP member since 1989, Tapp will be president in 2025-26. She resides in Madison, NJ.

Vice President of Finance Thomas Kramer, P.E., CSP, is managing principal for LJB Inc. He returns to the Board of Directors after serving as a director-at-large from 2019-22. He was ASSP’s Safety Professional of the Year in 2016. He holds an MBA from Miami University in Ohio and a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Cincinnati. An ASSP member since 2000, Kramer resides in Springboro, OH.

Director-at-Large Stephanie Johnson, CSP, CHMM, is area manager of Global Real Estate, EHS, at AT&T, leading the EHS tank program nationwide. She has nearly 20 years of occupational safety and health experience. Johnson served as Southwest Chapter president and Region 3 North Area director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. A member since 2007, Johnson resides in Duncanville, TX.

Joining these five leaders on ASSP’s 2023-24 Board of Directors are Directors-at-Large Steven Gray, CSP, CHST; Tim Page-Bottorff, CSP, CIT; and Daniel Snyder, Ed.D., CSP, CHST, OHST, CIT. Jennifer McNelly, CAE, has served as the Society’s CEO since 2018.

Candidates for the board must be professional members who possess specific qualifications. The criteria include involvement in an ASSP committee or task force, a record of positive contributions to the occupational safety and health profession, support and understanding of the Society’s vision, and being an effective motivator who is results-driven. Find a complete list of the Society’s 2023 election results on the ASSP website.


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