New Executive Director Takes Reins at VPPPA

Veteran safety and health professional Paul M. Villane, CSP, OHST, takes the helm of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participant's Association (VPPPA) as executive director.

Veteran safety and health professional Paul M. Villane, CSP, OHST, has been named executive director of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participant's Association (VPPPA).

Villane has been involved in the OSHA VPP program since 1989, and has been in leadership positions with the VPPPA since 1991, when he was instrumental in forming the Region IV Chapter Board. He later served for eight years on the National Board of Directors.

Paul succeeds Lee Anne Jillings, the VPPPA's executive director for the past 7 1/2 years. Jillings, who initially joined the Association in 1993 as Director of Government Affairs, is leaving to assume the position of Chief, Division of Consultation Programs, Office of Cooperative Programs, Directorate of Federal-State Operations at the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, in Washington, D.C.

With over 25 years of experience in the field of occupational safety and health, Villane has had responsibilities at the site, corporate and international levels. He recently retired from his position as corporate safety professional with St. Louis-based Solutia after 37 years of service with the company. He first became involved in the VPP 13 years ago when he introduced Monsanto to the program. He has actively supported OSHA in various VPP activities, including becoming the first Special Government Employee (SGE) in the nation in 1994.

Villane served as Region IV Chapter Chair from 1991-93, before being elected to the VPPPA National Board from 1993-2001 as director-at-large, secretary and, most recently, as vice-chairperson. He is a certified safety professional and an Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST).

"The boards feel very fortunate in having a person with Paul's vast experience with both the VPP and the VPPPA. His knowledge of the history and development of cooperative programs will be an enormous asset to the association," said June Brothers, VPPPA chairperson. "His demonstrated leadership and management skills in the private sector will be valuable as he leads our association to the next level of worker safety and health protection."

Villane said that his vision in leading the VPPPA "is to enhance service to the membership and continue our efforts to promote VPP to all businesses, both large and small." One of his primary goals, he added, is to secure the future of the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) through codification.

The VPP, administered by OSHA and the Department of Energy, are a cooperative effort among labor, management and government. Acceptance into the VPP requires safety and health programs that exceed OSHA's standards. On average, sites participating in the VPP have overall lost workday rates 50 percent below the industry average. Nearly 800 U.S. worksites are VPP participants, and more than half a million workers in the U.S. are directly impacted by VPP.

edited by Sandy Smith

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