Stepping back.

Author:Riggs, David E.

During the last year, I have written a lot about the future of environmental health and the environmental health profession. In this column, I want to reverse direction and talk about the accomplishments of NEHA's officers, regional vice-presidents (RVPs), staff, and membership. To set the stage for the discussion that follows, let me elaborate on my term as NEHA president over the last year.

When I became NEHA president, I did it to give back to a profession I have practiced in my entire adult life and an association in which I have the greatest pride. It was my idea to give back to my colleagues the lessons and experiences I have gained in practicing environmental health for almost four and a half decades. To my surprise and satisfaction, I quickly found that I learned much from my fellow officers and NEHA's membership and staff. It has been my pleasure to interact with our state affiliates, partner organizations, and individual members. In every case, I learned something new and significant about the art and science of the environmental health practice. In other words, although my original intent was to give back, I was the actual recipient.

Now that I have set the stage for looking back over the last year, let me share with you the state of NEHA today and the accomplishments we have made together.

A great preponderance of our association's accomplishments fall into the area of strengthening relationships between NEHA and its state affiliates and members. Strong affiliates and an active, involved membership are the life blood of our association. NEHA's board of directors, executive director, and staff have implemented many initiatives to foster these relationships.

The development and implementation of a new customer relationship management and data system are underway. When in full operation, this system will enable members to explore the status of their membership, credentials, continuing education, and professional development through a single-entry point. In addition, registering for our Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition and other special events will be easier and faster.

During the last year, our RVPs have expanded their presence and roles in state affiliates. The national officers have attended state affiliate, partner, and stakeholder events and meetings.

The 2017 AEC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will offer a special 1-day training for state affiliate presidents. It is the goal of this training to give these leaders...

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