Fay Feeney and C. Gary Lopez have been named the 2017 recipients of the highest honor bestowed by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).
“ASSE Fellows have demonstrated exemplary achievements to the society and the profession,” said ASSE President and Fellow Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH. “Fay and Gary are highly deserving of this special designation.”
Feeney, CSP, ARM, has been involved in workplace safety for nearly 40 years as a business leader, academic lecturer, published author and conference presenter. She is a founding member of ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering and has served as chair of the ASSE Foundation. She is the chief executive officer for Risk For Good, which advises corporate leaders on governing emerging risks for sustainable business strategies.
“Fay has been instrumental in fostering a culture that promotes diverse thought and membership,” said ASSE member Michael Murray. “She has influenced the lives of so many young professionals.”
An ASSE member since 1979, Feeney is a strategic thought leader who has advanced the safety profession through education, research and leadership development. Her boardroom safety focus emphasizes a people-first culture that aligns with investor interest in human capital and sustainability.
“Fay is an innovator, relationship builder, problem solver, motivator and mentor who is willing to stretch others to reach their goals,” said ASSE Fellow Kathy Seabrook. “She has the ability to see the bigger picture where collaboration and partnerships are key.”
Feeney is a long-time member of EHS Today’s Editorial Advisory Board, and has been a presenter at EHS Today’s Safety Leadership Conference.
Feeney was enthusiastic about safety when she accepted the honor, make no bones about it; “I love safety, let me repeat that, I LOVE safety,” said Feeney, who added that being named a Fellow “means the world to me.”
Noting that “Safety is at the foundation of meaningful lives and safety professionals are uniquely qualified to be stewards of workplace safety,” Feeney noted her family members and colleagues who had influenced her along the journey, then spoke directly to the audience.
“Let’s talk about you and your role in making work safe for people. For those who speak to hard hats, I admire you,” said Feeney. “My career has been in conference rooms speaking to hard heads.”
She said the business value of EHS professionals in a rapidly changing world requires anticipating new risks. “We must now integrate a strategic risk approach along with compliance assurance. We do so by listening to all views, including opposing ones.”
She urged EHS professionals to connect their safety efforts to what she called “equality of opportunity.”
“Right the wrongs of the system in building an inclusive, safe culture that provides a fair process for all,” Feeney suggested, adding, “Be the voice with leadership making a business case for investing in people or as investors call us, human capital. I ask you to see something, say something, so something… Let’s move the needle and make the world of work safer, healthier and sustainable.”
Gary Lopez, CSP, is area vice president for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, and has been active in the safety field for 40 years. Lopez is chair of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee and previously was chair of the Standards Development Committee. For decades, he has promoted a holistic approach to managing risk.
“Since I’ve known Gary, he’s worked diligently to integrate safety into the management fabric of his employers,” said ASSE member Alex Scott. “He understands that safety goes beyond just focusing on employee injuries.”
An ASSE member since 1977, Lopez is experienced in all aspects of occupational safety and health, including building workplace safety cultures and demonstrating how managing risk financially benefits an organization. He has been involved in standards writing, hazard studies and working with government regulatory agencies.
“Gary is the consummate safety professional,” said ASSE Fellow George Pearson. “He is driven and ambitious, yet mild-mannered and easy to work with. He’s an expert in his field, showing meticulous technical prowess.”
Feeney and Lopez were honored during ASSE’s Safety 2017 Professional Development Conference & Exposition, held June 19-22 in Denver.
The Fellow designation recognizes an ASSE member’s lifetime commitment to worker safety and health. Nominees must have a track record of significant contributions to the occupational safety and health profession for 20 years. To see the society’s list of Fellows dating back more than 50 years, visit ASSE Fellow recipients.