This will be my last article for QEHS Zine as the chairman of the Energy and Environmental Division. As you recall, EED's officers serve for a two-year commitment. I served as chair-elect for two years, then as chair for two years, and will stay involved as the immediate past chair for another two years. We've been through a lot of change over the past four years, but I want to dwell here on the future.
I just reviewed the list of the newest members who joined the
division in 2001. They are consistent with the profile of our
current membership. Within the United States, we are pretty well
spread around the country, with our largest membership being
the mid-Atlantic states. We are increasingly an international division, with our newest members coming on board from Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.
Our members are diverse in their professional roles. The newest members identify themselves as administrators, consultants, customer service representatives, inspectors, chemists, quality managers, environmental managers, and QA staff. What do we all have in common? How are all these diverse people, spread all over the world, interconnected? Why is our membership increasing at this point in time?
Here are five thoughts:
- Most people attracted to EED are involved in some type of complex enterprise, where there are significant and complicated issues related to quality, environmental, and health and safety.
- Most of our members have come to appreciate the interconnected relationships of quality, environmental, and health and safety management systems, especially in a complex project.
- Information quality will probably become even more important in the future, due to the complexity of the projects our members support.
- The division's early steps toward becoming more of a virtual division, with an expanded Web site and e-zine are paying off. We should continue to grow our cyber resources, as the budget allows. Eventually, we should have a multitude of technical papers posted on our site, adding value to our members.
- We must continue to reassess and refine our conferences. Smaller regional conferences may be more convenient for our members.
What do you think? If you've taken the time to log into this Web site and to read the e-zine, you are one of us, or you should be. What direction should EED pursue in the next two-year cycle?