2016 AHMP Conference Delegate Report Print

AHMP National Conference

2016 AHMP National Conference

August 28-31, 2016

Omni Shoreham Hotel of Washington D.C.

Report written by Chapter Delegate and NEACHMM Vice President: Amanda Wuoti, CHMM

Event photos: 

As Vice President of NEACHMM one of the perks of the job I got to experience this year was to represent NEACHMM as the official Chapter Delegate at the 2016 AHMP National Conference in Washington DC. NEACHMM covers all travel/room/board expenses up to $2500! I have never attended one of these conferences so I was certainly interested to see what it was all about. I would have to say I was pleasantly surprised to find that the event is very well organized, the presentations and trainings are relevant and there is plenty of opportunity to network as well as obtain a world of knowledge about growing local AHMP Chapters.

I flew in early Sunday morning because as the Delegate one of the few requirements is I had to attend the Delegate Training. The training takes place over an 8-hour day on Sunday (lunch is provided) and it’s actually a great opportunity for first-timers to get the “behind the scenes” scoop on the conference.  Most importantly, I learned the true difference between IHMM (owns the credential) and AHMP (guides and develops Chapters for professional development) and why we have to pay a fee to one organization and dues to the other. They are separate entities but mutually important in furthering the utilization of your CHMM/CHMP credential.  Did you know that Mike Maheux NEACHMM’s current Treasurer is going to be the President of AHMP in 2017? Be sure to congratulate Mike and wish him luck in this very important role!

A new feature under AHMP that we learned a ton about (I even attended a quaint BBQ at Chairperson Bruce Donato’s house) was that AHMP initiated a CyberChapter. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to stay involved with the development of their credential but just can’t seem to make their Local Chapter’s meetings either due to distance obstacles or time constraints. Check out the CyberChapter here:

The Awards Committee presented on the importance of proactively working toward receiving an award either as an individual or as a Chapter. NEACHMM’s Award Committee successfully submitted the application for Distinguished Chapter and was selected as a recipient at the 2016 Conference! Check out our certificate here: Our Chapter is already reviewing the criteria for Chapter of the Year and we are setting our sights on winning in Fort Worth, TX 2017! All award details are on AHMP:

During the Delegate training there was a brief presentation by a consulting group who coordinates free remediation workshops across the country. They’ve been getting a lot of traction and their workshops get great reviews. Their next local workshop will be in Waltham, MA and it’s worth 4 LSP credits. Click here for details!

There is always new information the AHMP and IHMM are putting out. It is imperative that each member of these organizations as well as of NEACHMM keep all of their contact info up to date.  Always provide a personal contact (phone/email) so they can reach you if your professional contact info is outdated. If you haven’t been getting emails from these organizations they wanted us Delegates to let you know “They want you back!”

Quick recap of the rest of the week:

Monday all first-timers attended the “First Timer Breakfast” hosted by current AHMP President Joe Jenkins who welcomed us all and gave us the conference low down. He also introduced us to the new Executive Director Leslie Edsall. From there we all headed to the first keynote speaker of the week, Frank Hearl of NIOSH. Frank presented on how to “Make Hazardous Materials Safe Again!!” (a little Trump humor). He stressed the importance of focusing on research to improve incident prevention. He then reviewed some specific scenarios including nanotube use, robotics, hydraulic fracing and Ebola emergency response.

Over the course of the three days I sat in on several presentations, my favorites were Hot Topics in RCRA, Red to Green biohazardous waste recycling, and “Listen!...Do you Smell That?” As the Delegate I had to proctor one presentation about LDAR programs with which I, unfortunately, had no experience. It was a little nerve wracking but AHMP did a great job prepping us for these introductions during the Delegate training.

The closing presentation was done by Lt. Jason Baker of the Howard County Maryland Police Department who was one of the initial responders to the active shooter situation at the Columbia Mall. It was an excellent presentation loaded with life-saving tips. He stressed that we should all keep a survival mindset and adapt a Run, Hide, Fight mentality. He offered this video which I recommend you and everyone you know take a few minutes to watch:

The close of the conference was the much anticipated Emergency Response scenario hosted at the Omni Hotel parking lot and coordinated by our own Board of Directors Member, Kevin Coulon. I, personally, didn’t get to attend due to an early flight out but I heard it got great reviews. If you do attend, be sure to participate at the next AHMP Conference!

Attending this conference opened my eyes to what this credential truly means and I can now see its value. My suggestion to anyone on the fence about attending a conference is this:

Join NEACHMM and nominate yourself for office! As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, NEACHMM will cover all expenses and you really get to be a part of the whole production. It’s a neat experience and you will learn a lot about hazardous materials as well as Chapter membership and development. I look forward to seeing you at a conference soon! 

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