The Future of AIHA Membership
and Local Sections
In March, AIHA Past President Cathy
Cole hosted a meeting of representatives
from local sections, the Local Sections
Council (LSC), and the Board of Directors
to discuss ways to forge a more effective
partnership between local sections and
AIHA national. One outcome of this
meeting was a plan to restructure local
sections into eight geographic regions in
order to address their concerns about
representation to the Board.
Other outcomes from the meeting
played important roles in AIHA’s recently
completed strategic planning process, including the following:
• AIHA should develop a culture of expectation that members will naturally
be involved in local sections.
• Membership in AIHA national should
be promoted at local section meetings.
• The concept of AIHA membership
should be expanded to include connections with non-industrial hygienists.
AIHA is already acting on these ideas
as well. During our strategic planning
meeting, I appointed a team to examine
changes to AIHA’s membership model
that would be implemented in partnership with the LSC and the new local sections structure.
As AIHA membership slowly declined from
its peak in the mid-1990s, the Board peri-
odically discussed different membership
models. The financial impact of the Great
Recession has given us an opportunity to
change the membership model to appeal to
IH and EHS generalists while preserving
our focus on industrial hygiene. In addi-
tion, we want to reach out to occupational
health nurses and physicians, toxicologists,
epidemiologists, and other professionals
who, once acquainted with AIHA and our
members’ expertise, may contact our mem-
bers for professional services and purchase
our products and services.
AIHA’s success depends on member
involvement. To achieve our goal of
developing AIHA into a growing, re-
silient, global, multi-disciplinary and
interdisciplinary community of knowl-
edgeable professionals, three priorities
were agreed to during our planning
meeting: expand AIHA’s professional
community by attracting members from
allied groups; implement a new mem-
bership model and develop member re-
cruitment strategies; and implement a
communication strategy to better pres-
ent the profession and our members’
knowledge base to allied professional
groups, business, and the general pub-
lic. The membership team I appointed at
our strategic planning meeting will co-
ordinate their efforts with the local sec-
tion restructuring and collaborate with
other teams working to improve volun-
teer recognition, the Leadership Work-
shop, and the volunteer group structure.
My Personal Commitment
I am committed to improving the membership experience for each of us. Our
current initiatives in restructuring local
sections and volunteer groups, combined
with developing and implementing a
new membership structure, will begin to
transform AIHA into a growing, resilient
community of exposure risk assessment
and management professionals.
AIHA national has demonstrated its
willingness to partner with local sections
for the betterment of AIHA as a whole.
We look forward to working with local
sections leaders to strengthen our relationship for the future.
reached at (505) 667-1228 or email@example.com.