ISHN's Power 101

January 4, 2012

It’s 2012 — here are the leaders of the environmental health and safety world.

Two common leadership traits we note in all the different sorts of personalities listed: 1) Everyone here is a competitor, and everyone has ambitions. Some are quiet, some combative, but all are competitive and ambitious; 2) They know more, oftentimes much more, than they will tell you. Supports the adage: “Those who talk don’t know, and those who know don’t talk.” Another leadership trait: discipline.

Chuck Adkins – OSHA region VII administrator based in Kansas City, a CIH and a Class A regulator. True professional.

Jordan Barab – OSHA officials come and go, Jordan’s been in DC pushing and blogging about job safety proposals for decades. He rotates from inside and outside the agency and Capitol Hill. (1) (2)

Mark Bly – as executive VP for safety and operational risk at BP, he occupies the hottest seat in safety; started at BP in 1984 and now must make good on BP’s vow to set a new standard for safety excellence.

Liz Borkowski – lively blogger on The Pump Handle. Research associate at George Washington University’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. (3)

Bill Borwegen – Service Employees International Union safety and health director never misses a moment to advocate for safety, especially now in the healthcare sector.

Robert Brady – an attorney and CEO since 1977 of Business & Legal Reports, a subscription-based safety, enviro and HR interactive community and management services delivering daily, weekly and monthly compliance and professional info across multiple media platforms. 

Garrett Brown – Cal/OSHA officer is one of the top experts on globalization and the too-often attendant degradation of safety. (4)

PieterJan Bots - Owner of EHSQ Elite and its 21,567 members worldwide, one the best LinkedIn discussion groups.

David Carroll – VP, environment and public affairs for LaFarge issued report on Corporate Ecosystems Service Valuation Business Guide.

Tom Cecich – one-time pharma industry EHS director is a prime mover behind the new Center for Safety and Health Sustainability. (5)

Mike Connors – OSHA region V boss headquartered in Chicago, one of the class acts in the agency, with the likes of Marthe Kent (Region I honcho), Bob Kulick (acting Region II head) and Cindy Coe (Region IV administrator). Political regimes come and they go; these folks are the spine of the agency.

Andrew Cutz – he’s all over the Internet promoting and discussing global EHS issues you’d otherwise never know about.

Aubrey Daniels – safety books rarely get mainstream media attention, but Aubrey has authored several on the human side of why we do what we do that have attracted notice.

John Drebinger – one of the most-traveled and best-marketed of the safety motivational speakers. Funny, emotional and very successful.

Colin Duncan – fast-flying CEO of BST epitomizes the new era of market-driven global safety. As the behavior-based safety movement proved 20 years ago, who needs regs?

Thea Dunmire – authority and blogger on OHSAS 18001, the most popular EHS management system in the world.

Fay Feeney – extremely well-connected consultant at the forefront of bringing safety into the 21st century world of operational excellence and business risk. Now that’s talking management’s language.

Fred Fortman – for years as executive director of ASSE he and his leadership team have presided over the booming growth of ASSE’s national conference and multi-media brand extensions.

Jim Frederick – assistant director HSE for the United Steelworkers and on the staff of the Tony Mazzocchi Center for health, safety and environmental education. The late fiery, formidable Mazzocchi, one of the all-time hell-raisers in job health and safety, was pivotal in the creation of OSHA. (6)

Janet Froetscher – president and CEO of the mothership, the National Safety Council.

Richard Fulwiler – former EHS Global VP seems to be known by everyone; has schooled a generation of sales reps and product managers in how to quit relying on OSHA to sell and instead make a business case for safety via the Qualified Safety Sales Professional course; Rick has written and lectured extensively when not motoring on his Harley.

Scott Geller – how many ebullient, charismatic humanistic behaviorists do you know? His loyal following stretches back decades. The psychology of safety and a generation of Ph.D. grads are Scott’s legacy.

Randy Green – successor to Ivan Weinstock as the hardest-working magazine publisher in the safety business; has made ISHN the premier safety publication in the U.S.

Bill Grana – tech savvy CEO of PureSafety survived the Internet bubble burst of 2000 and continues with his team to push and prod the safety profession into a higher level of technology acceptance: enterprise-wide software for managing safety training, programs, occupational health, medical records, cases and claims.

Mike Gromacki – VP of operations and chief tech officer at Dixie Chemicals, Houston, responsible for sustainable development, green chemistry, energy efficiency and alternative energy. Look for more professional titles to include these key issues.

Tom Grumbles, former AIHA president, CIH at Entrix in Houston, is a leading authority on what every IH should know about stewardship and sustainability.

Samuel Gualardo, MA, CSP – director of PA OSHA consultation at Indiana University of PA (IUP) and present of National Safety Consultants, Inc. Past ASSE president is expert speaker and author on safety management.

Mary Margaret Hamilton – Social investment specialist, Shell Upstream Americas, Houston.

Mark Hansen – past ASSE president and one of the early proponents of “you have to make the business case for safety,” on which he has authored articles and books.

Ron Hayes – Mother Jones magazine called him a “hellraiser.” Ronnie has driven across the country for nearly 20 years since the workplace death of his son, counseling families of victims and conducting safety training classes, always for free. Has poked, prodded and threatened OSHA to be more empathic with victim’s kin.

David Heidorn – manager, government affairs & policy, ASSE.

John Henshaw – MPH, CIH, Sr. VP, managing principal, ChemRisk LLC, Sanibel, FL. The former AIHA president and OSHA chief never ages. Polished proponent of making the business case for safety.

Darryl C. Hill – most recent past president of ASSE.

Hugh Hoagland – Sr. partner, and President,, Louisville, KY, has conducted 100 electrical incident investigations, 60,000+ arc flash tests and is an expert in arc flash testing and electrical safety. Hugh drives arc testing methods that feed the NFPA 70E standard and is a member of ASTM, ASSE, NFPA, IEEE, CSA Z462 and IEC representing the U.S. as an expert in arc flash for ISO standards.

Dr. John Howard – NIOSH director is the most visionary EHS professional of his generation.

Diane Hurns – ASSE’s PR/Media Relations maven is the best PR person in the field.

Ted Ingalls – A peer of the late, great Dan Petersen who continues to share his and Dan’s philosophy on the hard but simple facts of what it really takes to manage safety.

Karl Jacobson – Sr. VP of Liberty Mutual’s Loss Prevention Dept. is an authority on the ANSI/AIHA Z10 management system standard and safety and health performance metrics and research.

Dave Johnson – chief editor of ISHN magazine since 1980.

Mark Katchen – Founder of the Phylmar consultancy, Mark was an early adopter of the market-driven global safety economy, and also the consulting model based on collective alliances with private contractors. Is an AIHA global ambassador for EHS.

Skipper Kendrick – former ASSE president has more than 500 LinkedIn connections; one of the most wired-in professionals. As a consultant Skip does it all, from leadership and culture assessments to innovative safety apps for tablet devices.

Nancy Kondas – DuPont Sustainable Solutions’ creative product development director for quality safety training programs across multiple media platforms that have been translated into 33 languages.

Kenneth Korach, president and CEO of TRA, safety and security management consultants, has 30+ years managing operational and safety assessment projects; now introducing version 4.5 of safety management software to track incidents, investigations, corrective actions, training, claims, performance metrics, industrial hygiene, BBS and activity scheduling.

Marne Keller-Krikava – J.J. Keller VP of strategy and business planning. Keller has grown its online safety management “toolkit” platform and community network to 19,000 paid subscribers.

Tom Krause – co-founder and chairman of BST mixes business acumen with a passion for safety thought leadership expressed in scores of articles, speeches and several books.

Phil LaDuke –blogger who wants to knock safety upside the head to quit feeling like a corporate orphan. Takes on all comers.

Chris Laszcz-Davis – principal and founder, The Environmental Quality Organization, authority on all things green chemistry.

Jerry Laws – respected chronicler of safety news and issues for 15+ years. There ain’t many of ’em.

Jim Leemann – from his outpost in Arizona Jim pushes and pulls safety pros to adopt a systems thinking mindset to see the whole picture, not just the OSHA regs.

Alan Leibowitz, MS, CSP, CIH, executive director of environment, safety, health and security at ITT Corporation. Recently presented on “Management System Zen.” An authority on ANSI Z10, ISO 140001, and OHSAS 18001.

Nancy Lessin — program coordinator, United Steelworkers’ Tony Mazzocchi Center, Boston; along with now-retired Jim Howe of the United Autoworkers, Nancy helped shift the focus of behavior-based safety (BBS) from employees-only behavior to organizational behavior.

Myron Levin – founder of FairWarning, a non-profit that investigates and publishes reports on safety, health and corporate conduct. Myron had a 20-year career as a reporter for the LA Times. Haven’t heard of FairWarning? Go to

Tim Ludwig – protégé of Dr. E. Scott Geller, Tim is a professor at Appalachian State and is making a name for himself as a BBS blogger, writer and speaker.

J. Davitt McAteer – first person you want to talk to about mine safety. Former head of MSHA in the Clinton years, widely respected and quoted as a mine safety scholar and researcher.

Andrew Mangan – executive director of the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development; part of a network of 60 national councils worldwide, and is a partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a global network of 200 international companies with members drawn from 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. Has 60 big-time corporate members, from P&G to DuPont and GM.

Dan Markiewicz – few in the country know more about reproductive health issues than this Toldeo-based CIH and CSP. Also one of the few to publish and speak on integrating community public health with workplace safety and health.

Peter McCausland – CEO of Airgas for 22 years, during which time Airgas has become a major safety products distributor nationwide, with 500 safety specialists in 800+ locations. Airgas’s website contains a library of MSDSs.

Katherine McFate – President and CEO of OMB Watch, which has been closely tracking, analyzing and publicizing the secretive world of DC standards-setting since 1983.

Terry McSween – founder of the Behavior Safety Now conference more than 15 years ago. BSN is a unique annual reunion of BBS experts and users.

Shawn M. Galloway – ProAct Safety’s young president and chief operating officer is pioneer in safety podcasting, and a prolific writer. You’ve heard of safety podcasting, haven’t you? One day you will. (7)

Celeste Monforton – prolific Pump Handle blogger; professor at GWU’s Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health. Often quoted in mainstream media.

Charlie Morecraft – horrifically burned in a workplace accident, Charlie has chalked up more frequent flier miles than any safety motivational speaker. Everyone knows Charlie’s story.

John Mulhausen – director, corporate safety and industrial hygiene for 3M.

Carol Singer Neuvelt – executive director, NAEM, an elite networking forum for corporate EHS executives now making a strong effort to harmonize corporate sustainability reporting, which ranges from spin to substance.

Steve Newell – Mr. Metrics. Mercer/ORC consultant who in another life authored the vaunted OSHA “Blue Book” of recordkeeping guidelines; for years now has pressed the need for a much broader dashboard of safety performance measures. (8)

Terrie S. Norris – current president of ASSE.

Peter O’Neil – executive director of AIHA, whose leadership team has aggressively extended the AIHA brand globally.

Valerie Overheul – president, CEO and founder of Summit Training with 30+ years experience. Valerie was awarded the ASSE Foundation’s 2011 Distinguished Service Award for her fundraising work on the board 2003-2008 and her company’s ongoing fundraising activity.

Robert Pater – management consultant who applies martial arts to prevent injuries and, oh, by the way, also advises execs on culture and performance issues. (9)

Chuck Pettinger – another grad of the Geller school of safety popping up on the speaking circuit more and more, discussing predictive analytics, the use of observations and other safety data to predict and prevent injuries.

Corrie Pitzer – no-nonsense international consultant, an Aussie who makes much sense dissecting causes of accidents, specializing in at-risk behaviors, organizational error, and safety culture.

Rick Pollock – high-energy safety professional and savvy businessman (founder and president of CLMI Training), soon to be ASSE president, one of the first to take a systems/modular approach to training programs vs. the one-off OSHA video.

Elizabeth Pullen – current AIHA president.

Charles Redinger – zen master of management systems; has his fingerprints on much of the research on EHS management systems for the past 20 years. (10)

Gary Rosenblum – cerebral CIH has pushed long and hard for greater transparency in workplace safety performance; also a pro who has no difficulty blending risk management with safety and health management.

James Roughton – one of the most tech-savvy safety pros you’ll find, and you’ll find him all over the Net. Expert on job hazard analysis.

Deborah Roy – director of health, safety and wellness at L.L. Bean. BS in Nursing, MPH in occupational health and safety, authority on reducing corporate eco-footprints and employee health promotion. (11)

Jim Ryan – chairman, president and CEO of W.W. Grainger, $7.2 billion global MRO distributor leading the charge of mammoth MRO distribs like Airgas, Fastenal and MSC into safety gear sales. Grainger offers free safety training and 33,294 safety products.

Peter Sandman – not only one of the great risk communication experts, but one of the best thinkers and writers on the nature of corporate management, what makes bosses tick, why managers do what they do, or don’t do.

David Sarkus – logging many miles under the radar as an increasingly popular motivational speaker and leadership/culture consultant. Known as The Safety Coach®. Wish we could get him to write more.

Peg Seminario – AFL-CIO’s longtime go-to person for all things job safety and health. Always was at the table in closed-door DC policy discussions. We say “was” because substantial safety and health policy negotiations no longer exist in DC, replaced by pie-throwing contests.

Kathy Seabrook – global consultant very much at home in the post-OSHA era of market-driven EHS decision-making. Also one of the EHS pros comfortable discussing sustainability issues.

Joel Shufro – executive director of NYCOSH, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, with a membership of 300 individuals and 200 local unions. The most visible grassroots job safety advocacy group.

Dan Shipp – president of the International Safety Equipment Association pushes for recognition that global safety and health standards are coming to America.

Michael Silverstein – chair of OSHA’s national advisory board; model for the intelligent, disciplined professional, articulate with tempered passion.

Jas Singh – global EHS traveler at the forefront of educating a corps of EHS techs in emerging nations.

Sandy Smith – another longtime chronicler of safety news and issues who puts passion into her editorials.

Martine Stolk – environmental health and safety director at The Dow Chemical Company, responsible for reducing Dow’s enviro footprint.

Linda Tapp – innovative nationwide safety trainer who is plugged into the ASSE influencer network.

Joel Tietjens –well-traveled, well-respected safety consultant, writer, speaker, wit.

Rex Tillerson – chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil since 2006, ultimately accountable for the company’s world class safety and health operating management system.

Aaron Trippler – Mr. Inside, government affairs guru at AIHA for years, should be a blogger but takes in too many meetings and publishes his Happenings On The Hill every month instead.

Pat Tyson – managing partner, Constangy, Brooks and Smith LLP, Atlanta. Former OSHA chief, an attorney; few people know where the bodies are buried in the OSHA sub-culture like Pat.

Mike Wallace – director of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Focal Point USA; a key player in the upcoming G4 guidelines for voluntary corporate sustainability reporting that could for the first time include safety metrics beyond simplistic injury rates.

Sabrina Watkins – head of sustainable development for ConocoPhillips with global responsibility for implementing ConocoPhillips’ corporate sustainability policies.

Robert Weissman – President of Public Citizen, founded by Ralph Nader, which has forced OSHA’s hand more than once to lower toxic exposure limits; also focuses on mine safety, needle stick injuries, strengthening OSHA, hazardous substances, and medical resident hours.

Frank White - Global Director, Mercer ORC HSE Networks. Former OSHA top lieutenant, labor law attorney, is a DC honest broker, respected by just about everyone. With a team of top consultants, has worked with multinationals in building EHS bridges to the EU and Asia Pacific since there are no longer EHS issues to be brokered in DC.

Dewey Whitmire – ASSE’s director of professional development, along with Trudy Goldman and others, runs a tight ship at ASSE’s growing national conference, the annual winter SeminarFest, and ever-evolving slate of topical, popular symposiums.

Mike Williamsen – management consultant, blogger, writer and speaker working for Caterpillar Safety Services came up through the operations side and specializes in integrating safety, particularly some of the sage of safety Dan Petersen’s work, with Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and culture change.

Barbara Wisniewski – VP of Safety and Health at McWane, Inc. Case study in how a professional can turn around a safety program when backed by ownership.

Michael Wright – hard-nosed director of HSE for the United Steelworkers International has been one of the most visible and quoted job safety advocates for decades.


Selection criteria

To be one of the 101, individuals were evaluated on:

1. Ability to reach a national and/or international audience;

2. Ability to create a community of pros with shared interests (via conferences, seminars, associations & special interest groups; branded media products; websites, web forums, etc.)

3. Current, active participant and contributor as subject matter expert

4. Ability to draw and/or generate national media coverage

5. Personal access to corporate management executives; ability to create, manage and/or change large corporate EHS cultures

6. Personal access to Washington federal safety and health policy makers

7. Ability to influence federal safety and health policy; corporate policy; professional society policy; labor union policy; international policy

8. Ability to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between safety and health stakeholders at the national and/or international level

9. Longevity in the public eye — years of service; media coverage; development of audience following

10. Ability to start up and/or manage a successful safety-related business; volunteer organization; display of commitment and management acumen

11. Followership — size of legacy; respect of peers;

12. Innovation and creativity — development of EHS-related research, theories; models; performance measures; communications products; best practices


The editors looked for key contributors to the growth and dynamics of the environmental health and safety field in 2012. These areas include:

  • research
  • communications
  • multinational corporate cultures
  • healthcare safety
  • globalization of safety
  • use of social media
  • training & education
  • federal regulation and enforcement
  • professional society activity
  • management systems
  • the business case for safety
  • performance measurement
  • technological innovations
  • data management
  • sustainability
  • corporate social responsibility
  • grassroots activism
  • product stewardship
  • labor advocacy


Email me at with any comments or questions. — Dave Johnson, Editor



1 You’ll notice missing from this list are OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. Washington, at this bitterly partisan point and time, can accomplish nothing.

2 For the same reason, no U.S. Senator or Congressman is on the list. If not for some associations and consultancies based in DC, plus Dr. John Howard and a few bloggers, Washington would not have a place on this list. Right now it is a power and decision-making black hole.

3 Women are well-represented on the list, occupying 23 spots. Several head professional societies; others are successful entrepreneur consultants and corporate execs. The presidents of ASSE and AIHA are both women.

4 Individuals – subject matter experts – on globalization’s impact on worker safety score high on this list.

5 Individuals – subject matter experts – on sustainability score high on this list. Doesn’t matter if you see sustainability as a PR tactic or an ecological survival tactic, it’s not going away as a business tactic.

6 Tony Mazzocchi is a historical figure who changed the course of events in workplace safety and health by instigating for the creation of OSHA. He’s up there with Dr. Alice Hamilton and Jennifer Silk, author of the hazard communication standard, as one of the few who put their hands on the arc of EHS history and shaped it.

7 Investment in technology has come about slowly in job safety and health. Individuals pushing tech on a field that can certainly make more use of it score high on this list.

8 Individuals pushing for safety and health performance metrics far more insightful and actionable than good old OSHA numbers score high on this list.

9 Consultants are a force to be reckoned with in EHS. At least 33 people on this list making their living as a consulant. Some were pushed out, opted out, cashed out from corporate seats. Others, like Peter Sandman, realized early on they just didn’t want to manage people.

10 Management systems experts score high on this list; in the post-OSHA age marked by scant federal safety rulemaking, many brand-dependent multinationals will attend to voluntary EHS management systems to harmonize and standardize their global supply chain EHS practices.

11 There really should be more corporate EHS executives on this list. But they log so many hours in their jobs it leaves little time to write, lecture or otherwise affect public policy. Also, they prefer to talk candidly with their peers behind closed doors.