Mentoring Corner: Meet The New MPDC Committee Chair By Michael Finnamoremike finnamore

Hi everyone! I am hoping that all of you and your families are having a fantastic summer thus far. I am still digging out from conference, travel, etc., but wanted to take a moment to introduce myself self as I will be chairing the Mentoring and Professional Development Committee (MPDC) over the next year.  My name is Michael Finnamore and I work for Baxter Healthcare as the Director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability for their Global Supply Chain and Contract Manufacturing organizations.   Additionally, I serve as Baxter’s Global Director of Industrial Hygiene, responsible for setting direction for the Hazardous Materials program.   I have been part of mentoring program for about five years serving as a mentor for young professionals in the Chicagoland area as well as volunteering on this committee.  I am very passionate about the mentoring program and I am looking forward to the upcoming year.

As the lead of the MPDC I will be focused on enhancing the mentor/mentee program by increasing our visibility across AIHA and ensuring a positive experience for all mentors and mentees. We have a very strong team and I am fortunate to have a long list of great leaders to follow.

Over the next year we plan to continue to provide the same level of professionalism and leadership as we continue to provide a forum and framework for both mentees and mentors to grow in their professions and careers.   We will continue to strive to provide educational opportunities for all AIHA members and this is where you come in!  I want to encourage everyone to reach out to me or any of the team members (See list below) with ideas or needs that the MPDC may be able to fulfil.  I am looking forward to working with everyone in 2017/2018.


All the Best,



MPDC Board 2017/2018


Mike Finnamore, Chair
Tim Paz, Vice Chair
Michelle Coutu, Secretary


MPDC Regional Directors

Tim Paz – East Region


Brandi Kissel – South Region


Karla Simon – Midwest Region


Zach Pasquinelli – Central Region


Kate Serrano – Western Region


Andrew Boester- Canadian Region/International



“OH the Places You Will Go!”


This featured piece is a collaboration between the AIHA SECP and the AIHA Hazard Prevention and Engineering Controls Committee (HPECC) and is a chance for SECP members to hear from practicing IHs about their experiences in the field.

This quarter’s newsletter features Geoffrey Braybrooke, CIH and Christine Baker, CIH, CSP, PMP.

What type of business is your employer and what types of industrial processes do you survey as their IH?

Geoffrey:  I work for the Army Public Health Center. My Division assesses chemical, thermal, and noise hazards for the Army heavy industrial base and for military unique exposures such as those of armored vehicle crews.

Christine: I am involved with consulting for military, local governments, private industry, and international health care organizations. I typically evaluate how OEH professionals execute their occupational health programs. Additionally, I assist organizations in improving their emergency preparedness capabilities through plans, gaps analyses, equipment selection, training, etc.

What do you think is unique/interesting about where you work and the type of IH work you do there?

Geoffrey: Aside from the full range of industrial processes, the wide variety of Army weapon and soldier support systems provides an ongoing learning experience; we have the chance to specialize somewhat in expertise in specific types of hazards such as toxic metals.

 Christine: As a consultant, I will rarely work on the same process or project for more than a year. Sometimes I only get to work on a process for one week. One unique aspect of the consulting work that I do is that I am able to collect best practices from a wide range of customers and share these with others.

How and why did you get involved with this type of IH work?

Geoffrey: This discipline was my first job as an industrial hygienist and proved to be an interesting and challenging work environment.

Christine: After completing my bachelor’s degree in environmental chemistry, but before starting the Peace Corps, I convinced the Portland (OR) Fire Department HAZMAT Coordinator to let me intern there. During this internship time, I asked a dozen people what master’s degree I should pursue and which one would give me the most opportunities down the road. A few individuals that I asked suggested industrial hygiene. My reply to them was, “Great, I’ll do it. What is it?”

What types of hazards do you typically see doing IH where you work?

 Geoffrey: The most common hazards that I assess are toxic gases and metals produced by firing weapons; toxic gases and particulate from metalworking and coating processes.

Christine: I see all types of hazards in my line of work, but I wanted to point out something else that I have noticed. I caution those IH staff members and technicians to continue to self-develop.  During my day to day operations, I have noticed IH staff members that have become conditioned to fill out boxes and forms. We don’t want to be the Occupational Health and Safety professionals that turn their brains off with respect to evaluating the quality of data or how appropriate it is for the situation. An example I want to share would be: Let’s say you’re are evaluating a noise exposure on a mechanic and you notice a 140 dBA exposure within the first ten seconds of that noise dosimetry sample. A seasoned IH would recognize that this probably is not generated from work in that mechanic’s shop and is most likely from the cover being pulled off the dosimeter’s microphone.  This is an example of the specialized knowledge, skills, and ability’s that we develop from field experience, being mentored, continuing education, and years of experience practicing.

What types of controls do you typically see/evaluate doing IH where you work?

 Geoffrey: Most of the controls that I see during day to day operations are Industrial ventilation, respiratory protection, and hygienic and housekeeping procedures.

Christine: In my normal day to day work, I will typically see PPE… PPE… PPE… and training.

What do you consider are the biggest challenges for an IH where you work?

Geoffrey: My Division serves the entire Army and it is sometimes difficult to exchange information with industrial hygienists at the installation level who are doing most of the routine IH work for that location.

Christine: A big challenge in my field of industrial hygiene practice is the ebb and flow of contracts. Sometimes your company has way too much work. Sometimes you have to lay people off.

What are some examples of common recommendations you make doing IH where you work?

 Geoffrey: I frequently provide recommendations for engineering controls and use of respiratory protection. I also make recommendations to develop and maintain written compliance programs that cover the full range of control measures for specific hazards.

Christine: The recommendations I make typically are in the context of evaluating the work of organizations’ OEH professionals.

– Just because reports and other communications might be technically correct, if the customer cannot understand what is being said and do something with the information, then it was all for naught.

– There is no “done” when it comes to improving written communications.



Conference 2017 Highlights!



Event Time Location Event Type
Sunday, June 4
AIHce EXP Social 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Grand Ballroom A-D, Seattle Sheraton Hotel Networking
Monday, June 5
First Timers’ Orientation 6:30 – 7:30 AM Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Grand Ballroom A Networking

First time attending AIHce 2017 and don’t know where to start? Meet other first time attendees and learn how to make the most of all the learning opputunies avaliable!


Opening Keynote: Life in the Form of a Question, Ken Jennings 8:00 – 9:30 AM Check final program Keynote
CES: Resume Critquing 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
SECP: Table Topics 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Expo Hall, The HUB Table Talk

Topics address issues of specific interest to young industrial hygienists or to hygienists new to the profession. Seating is first-come, first-serve. The first 25 attendees to appear at this session will receive a discounted voucher for lunch.


·        IH Training Opportunities Through ERCs

·        Career Paths in Industrial Hygiene

·        CIH Exam 101

·        Field Work and Travel for the Industrial Hygienist

·        Networking for the Industrial Hygienist

·        Students in Global Industrial Hygiene

·        Breaking Down Barriers


CES: Career Portfolio: The New Professional Development Tool 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Round Table / Employment Services
CES Seminar – Let’s Get Hired! 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Round Table / Employment Services
MPDC/SECP: The 8th Habit of Highly Effective Industrial Hygiene Leaders 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Rooms 618-620, Washington State Convention Center Round Table
CES: Resume Critquing 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
Expo Hall Networking Reception 4:30 – 5:30 PM Exhibit Hall 4EF, Washington State Convention Center Networking
MPDC Mentoring Networking Event 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. FareStart, 700 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101 Networking
Tuesday, June 6
AIHF Fun Run/Walk 6:30 a.m. Olympic Sculpture Park Networking

Come meet fellow IHs and support the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) Scholarhip fund! Run, walk, (or sleep in) your donations help fund schlarships for students pursuing degrees in IH and related fields.


Ignite 8:00 – 9:00 AM Check final program Keynote
CES: Resume Critquing 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Resume Critquing
CES: Mock Interviewing 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
Student Local Sections Council Business Meeting 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Room 3A, Washington State Convention Meeting
SECP: The Sole IH/EHS Professinal in Your Organisation 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m Room 606/607,Washington State Convention Round Table
SECP: Lunch Talks 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Expo Hall, The HUB Table Talk

Topics address issues of specific interest to young industrial hygienists or to hygienists new to the profession. Seating is first-come, first-serve. The first 25 attendees to appear at this session will receive a discounted voucher for lunch.


·        Building a Career Portfolio – Sponsored by Career and Employment Services Committee

·        Industrial Hygiene in the Oil & Gas Industry – Sponsored by the Oil & Gas Working Group

·        Communication Etiquette in the Digital Age – Sponsored by the Communication & Training Methods Committee

·        Top 5 Hazards in the Workplace and Ways to Control Them – Sponsored by the Hazard Prevention & Engineering Controls Committee

·        Emergency Response & Incident Preparedness for the Young Professional – Sponsoredby the Incident Preparedness and Response Working Group

·        How Mentoring Relationships Can Set You Up for Professional Success – Sponsored by the Mentoring & Professional Development Committee


CES: Resume Critquing 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
CES: Speed Networking 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Networking / Employment
SECP: Prespectives on Preparation for the CIH Exam 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Room 303, Washington State Convention Center Round Table
Mentoring and Professional Development Committee Meeting 4:30 – 6:30pm Willow B, Sheraton Seattle Hotel Meeting
AIHce Power Hour 6:30 – 7:30 PM Sheraton Hotel, Metropolitan Ballroom Networking
Wednesday, June 7
27 th Annual Student Poster Session 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Expo Hall Poster Session
CES: Mock Interviewing 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
MPDC: Education Session: Mentoring – Experiences, Advice and Real World Application 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 p.m. Room 307/308,   Washington State Convention Center Round Table
SECP: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Room 613/614, Washington State Convention Center Round Table
Closing Keynote: The Brains Behind Leadership 2:15 – 3:15 PM Check final program Keynote
Students and Early Career Professionals Committee Meeting 3:30 – 5:30pm Aspen Room, Sheraton Seattle Hotel Meeting



Evolving Industries of Seattle

By: Michelle Coutu

Prior to be settled by European settlers, the area now known as Seattle, Washington was inhabited by Native Americans. The modern city was incorporated in 1869 and experienced its first economic success supplying lumber to the rapidly growing city of San Francisco. After a severe era of economic depression in connection with the panic of 1893, which hit Seattle hard, it rebounded and redefined itself as the main supply point for the Klondike Gold Rush. The American Messenger Company (to become UPS), Nordstrom, and Eddie Bauer were all founded during this economic boom in support of prospecting expeditions and propelled Seattle’s economic success into the early 20thcentry.

World War I saw the beginning of Seattle’s reputation as a transportation innovator. Seattle shipbuilders produced over 20 percent of the United States wartime ship tonnage. It also sparked the growth of Boeing, a once local airplane manufacture, which continued to excel with the advent of World War II. However, the 1960s and 1970s saw another down turn for airplane manufacturing in Seattle due to the loss of government contracts, the oil crisis, and manufacturing delays regarding the Boeing 747 aircraft.

Nevertheless, Seattle continued to reinvent itself. Moving into the 1980s saw the arrival of Microsoft, which had been having difficulties with recruitment at their original headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once Microsoft was established, other tech and web based companies, such as Amazon, began to develop in the city. Today Seattle continues to prosper based on the growth of the tech industry.

Countdown to Conference! AIHce 2017 Seattle, WA


Every year we look forward to meeting up with old friends, making new ones, and learning about the newest hazards and monitoring technology at the annual American Industrial Hygiene conference and exposition (AIHce). This year will also see a new conference format designed to meet the needs of today’s busy professionals. With PDCs now taking place before and after the conference and exposition you can find a learning experience that fits your schedule. Speaker sessions have been blocked into one hour sessions in order to allow participants more options to attend to more sessions; but never fear, all your favorite events and sessions are still there. In fact, due to the overwhelming popularity of the Ignite sessions it has been given a new place of prominence as the general session, on June 6.


Customizing your Conference

No two conference experiences are ever the same. While each city helps shape the conference   participants are given ample opportunity to customize their own experience based on their personal goals and interest. While many folks show up to the conference yearly and wing it, taking a few minutes to think about your own personal interests and goals can help you focus on the sessions, round tables, volunteer group meetings, and networking events that are most pertinent to you. Once you’ve figured out your direction you want to go in, you can use the Conference Program and App to help you keep track of all  the events   you  want to attend. We’ve highlighted  here for you  events and session specifically designed for Students and Early Career Professionals and hope you will join us for as many as you can.  Capture.PNG

Tech Corner: Using Outlook More Effectively

By Michelle Coutu

Most of us outlook as an email client however it was designed as a digital personal organizer. Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, and Journal Features allow you to manage and track you 2016 goals. Here are three underutilized features of Microsoft Outlook that will help you with tracking meetings, training, sampling, and compliance needs.

Using Inbox Folders and Rules

In order to avoid distraction while working on tasks, create rules that filter your email in to separate folders so that you can check on them later.

Create folders in outlook by navigating to the “Folder” tab in the ribbon bar and clicking the “New Folder” button. You will be asked to name the folder and selected a location. Click “Ok” when complete.

Then navigate back to the home tab on the ribbon bar and select the email you would like to create a rule for. Click the “Rules” button in the move section and select “Create Rule” from the drop down menu. You will then be presented with a form to set the conditions to file your email. In the example below all e-mails from Selwin Gray will be automatically moved to the RCB folder.

To change or delete a rule simple click the Rules Button and select “Manage Rules and Alerts.” You will be presented with a list of rules to edit or delete.




Categorize (Color Code) Your Calendar

Categorizing or color coding allows you to organize events and quickly scan your calendar for upcoming events.  It also gives you feedback on how much time you are spending on a particular project or focus area, which allows you to re target your priorities.  Outlook allows you to categorize appointments and meetings when creating your event. The “Categorize” button is located in the meeting tab of the ribbon bar of the new event.


Once you click “Categorize” Outlook will open a preset list of color coded choices. Click the last option “All Categorize…” at the bottom to make edits to the categories and colors. Outlook will open a menu that will allow you to change the names of categories and colors.



Emails to Action

Plain emails can be turned in to meetings or tasks in just the click of the mouse. To create a task from an email simply click the little flag outline. This will make the flag turn red and place that task on your to do list for the day, which you can see via the Calendar or the Tasks section of Outlook. Once you complete that task click the red flag again, this will turn in to a check mark and strike that ask from your list.

You can also create meetings or appointments from emails by dragging and dropping  the email from you email list to the date on the right hand calendar. This will automatically open a new appointment window  where you can enter the date and time of the event. The body of the email will be transferred to the body of the event.

Don’t have outlook, no problem, Gmail offers many of the same tools and features (for free!) that will also sync with your Android device.