VPPPA Safety+ 2019: Chairman J.A. Rodriguez Gives Opening Address

Aug. 28, 2019
"Imagine a time and a place where we no longer need to mourn workplace fatalities or disabling injuries or crippling diseases," VPPPA Chairman J.A. Rodriguez told Safety+ attendees.

Imagine a world where there are no workplace fatalities or debilitating injuries or diseases. 

J.A. Rodriguez, Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) chairman, gave a boisterous State of the Association address at the 35th annual Safety+ Symposium in New Orleans.

"We are the champions of safety management system excellence and the facilitators of collaboration, membership and the protection of workers, and our new logo is a testament to that commitment," he told the crowd of roughly 3,000 attendees.

VPPPA has been on a path of accelerated growth for the last year, first with the complete revamp of its Safety+ Symposium and a new association logo. Rodriguez detailed the list of achievements the organization has celebrated throughout the past year.

The organization saw the launch of its National VPPPA Mentor of the Year Award. It also has utilized technology to spread its mission, including live streaming of workshops and broadcasting the symposium's entire opening session on Facebook Live. VPPPA's The SafetyPro podcast streamed live from the VPPPA's Media Center for the first time. In addition, this is the first year a professional general session production team has been on hand at the Safety+ Symposium.

Rodriguez said the association's new logo represents VPPPA's commitment to continuous progress, growth, superiority of solutions, deliverance of the best in safety management system excellence and to innovation. VPPPA strives to create integrated partnerships and create offering to generate successful business outcomes "all the while protecting what matters most...every worker, everywhere."

Going forward, Rodriguez highlighted four initatives as part of its 2022 strategic plan: demonstrating value, growing strategic partnerships, enhancing global presence and being the resource for safety management system excellence.

"I may not be with you for the next 35 years, but let my vision of commitment, collaboration, diversity and inclusion and the uncompromised focus be the guiding light that illuminates the road ahead so that our children and their children's children get to live in a world that is a better place at work and at home," he said. 

Rodriguez continued, "A time and a place where we no longer need to mourn workplace fatalities or disabling injuries or crippling diseases. A time and place where worker health and safety is beyond being a priority, beyond being a value, beyond being memorialized by a catchy slogan, but rather has transformed into a slice of the overall management system that is embraced and celebrated for its contributions to risk reduction, success of the overall enterprise and as a positive influence to our overall global economy."

That, he concluded, is his vision for VPPPA's next 35 years.

About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

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