The National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) is the largest professional association for corporate environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. We are dedicated to empowering our members to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces, and promote global sustainability.
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Key Practice Area - Compliance Excellence - NAEM’s 2014 Advancing Compliance Assurance and EHS Manag
Key Practice Area: Compliance Excellence

2014 Advancing Compliance Assurance and EHS Management Systems Conference

May 4-5, 2014

EHS Management systems remain a cornerstone of how you fulfill your obligations to employees, the environment, stakeholders and communities. This compliance conference help EHS Managers identify risks, strengthen their systems and effectively manage these transitions.

This is the only compliance conference designed for, and presented by, professionals with the same needs and responsibilities as you. Learn from their goals, accomplishments, and hard-won lessons, as they share inside knowledge compliance efforts, consultant relations, and regulatory challenges. Walk away with an update on constantly evolving domestic and international regulations, new best practices in auditing, insight on managing global operations, blueprints for succession planning, talent development, and maintaining organizational knowledge, tips on evaluating, selecting, and managing outside consultants.


Download the presentations from NAEM's 2014 Advancing Compliance Assurance and EHS Management Systems Conference. This content is available to NAEM members only; you must be logged in as a member to view it. If you are not an NAEM member and wish to join the Association, please contact NAEM at


Managing Global EHS in a Complex World

Managing global operations with its variety of regulatory requirements, presents a steady stream of challenges. Gain insight from case studies of organizations who have addressed permitting issues, talent recruitment and development, navigating cultural norms and complying with local regulations.

  • Deborah Briggs, Director Environmental Compliance and EHS Systems; Cargill Inc.
  • Mark Cates, Director, Environmental Control; Corning Inc.
  • Robert Edinger, Corporate O&M Director of the Americas; Goldwind USA Inc.

Prioritizing Material Risk

EHS managers are charged with identifying the risks critical to the organization, and then securing appropriate resources to manage those risks. This session will examine the thought-processes used to narrow focus on key areas and communications strategies to deliver these findings throughout the organization.

  • Kevin Johnson, Director Global EHS Systems; Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
  • Amanda Moses, Chemical Controls Program Manager; Ashland Inc.
  • Chhevi V. Sharma, Manager, Process Improvement & Compliance Systems; Ashland Inc.

Training Your Workforce to Create a Culture of Compliance

Compliance efforts are won or lost by the employees on the front lines, at all levels of an organization. This session will examine effective training strategies to ensure compliance at all levels. This session will also address how your peers are implementing succession planning to retain the institutional knowledge of their EHS workforce.

  • Tom Hawkinson, Manager, Environment, Health and Safety; The Toro Co.
  • Vint Johnson, Manager, Environmental Health, Safety, & Insurance; Thomson Reuters Corp.
  • Paul Orlowski, Environmental, Health and Safety Director, Universal Recyclers

Domestic and International Regulatory Update

Regulatory requirements are constantly evolving and it's becoming more & more challenging for EHS managers to understand which regulatory changes may impact their business. This update will address the key areas of regulatory change over the past year and that companies should anticipate in the future.

  • Kami Blake, Solutions Engineer; 3E Co.
  • Meghan White, Business Development Manager Canada & US; Enhesa

Peer-to-Peer Compliance Benchmarking Discussion

How does your compliance strategy match up to your peers? NAEM Corporate Members and conference attendees will be given a survey to complete ahead of the conference. This short survey and facilitated discussion will examine key trends in compliance and EHS management systems. Attendees will be encouraged to contribute their own experiences as well pose questions to the group. All conference attendees will receive a copy of the results.

  • Taylor Gelsinger, Research Analyst; NAEM
  • Greg Rose, Director, Corporate Sustainability & Environmental; Chrysler Group LLC

EHS Auditing Innovations

When it comes to advancing your company's EHS compliance program, the journey never ends. This session will examine auditing best practices and techniques companies use to clearly communicate expectations, set ambitious goals, promote strong culture development, and properly manage software.

  • Gregory Bopp, Director, HSE&F Compliance Assurance; Honeywell Aerospace
  • Linda Kurtz, Corporate Environmental Manager; The William Wrigley Jr. Co.
  • Gary Spies, Director/Team Leader EHS & Site Services, Pfizer Global Supply

Case Studies on Leveraging EHS Management Systems

Learn how organizations are leveraging their EHS Management Systems to collect incident, inspection, and day-to-day tracking data. What challenges did they face from a technical, environmental, and connectivity stand point? This session will answer these questions and share stories about the solutions were proposed.

  • Ian Cohen, Environmental Specialist II; Florida Power & Light
  • Sidney Degarmo, Global EHS Director; Almatis Inc
  • W. Kirby McCalister, EHSMS Manager; Tyson Foods Inc.

Pursuing Consultant Excellence

The increasing complexity of global compliance has led many organizations to pursue partnerships with outside consultants. This session will examine strategies used in evaluating, choosing, and properly managing outside consultants who may or may not understand the core business.

  • Kelly Hamilton, Environmental Supervisor, NRG Energy Inc.
  • Kelvin Roth, Director EHS Team; AMCOL International Corp.

Speaker Bios

Kami Blake, Solutions Engineer; 3E Co.
Kami Blake is a Supply Chain Solution Engineer with 3E Co. In this role, she is responsible for assessing global material compliance obligations to identify the data, systems and expertise required to manage supply chain risk and achieve the desired levels of compliance.

During her 12 years with 3E, Ms. Blake has managed outreach activities to obtain supplier-provided compliance data. She has also served as a technical subject matter expert to clients and colleagues on a host of regulatory topics such as GHS, TSCA, REACH, chemical compliance management, transportation of dangerous goods and hazardous waste management.

Prior to joining the company, she worked in a variety of roles within the biotech and medical device manufacturing industries. These positions included Quality Assurance, Supply Chain Management and Process Engineering. Ms. Blake also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as Computer Programmer and Systems Analyst and is a time Navy Achievement Medal recipient for small systems implementation and training.

Mark Cates, Director of Environmental Control; Corning Inc.
Mark Cates is the Director Global Environmental Compliance for Operations and Products at Corning Inc., one of the world's leading innovators in materials science. In this role he is responsible for fundamental environmental activities including regulatory compliance of operations and products, facility permitting, due diligence, site remediation, and sustainability initiatives.

He has more than 33 years of experience with Corning, including the last six years in the environmental function.

Mr. Cates joined the environmental effort after a variety of positions in operations and engineering. His broad understanding of Corning's diverse technology set and operations is instrumental to his current role.

He is a graduate of Virginia Tech University with Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.

Ian Cohen, Environmental Specialist II; Florida Power & Light
Ian Cohen is an Environmental Specialist with Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla. Together with its affiliated entities, NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun. Florida Power & Light serves approximately 4.7 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States.
As the project and program manager for NextEra's enterprise-wide EMIS, Mr. Cohen has managed all facets of the implementation and is keenly aware of how his colleagues are using the tools in IEA regAction to enhance compliance management. In addition to being the project and program manager for the environmental data management system, he also handles sustainability strategy development and reporting and cultivates relationships with non-governmental organizations.

Prior to joining FPL, Mr. Cohen began his career in the utility industry as a graduate student intern and contractor with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). While with TVA, his responsibilities included environmental benchmarking, sustainability analytics, government reporting and data management.

He holds a Masters in Environmental Science and Bachelors in Biology, both from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. During his academic career, Mr. Cohen earned several honors, including being named the 2010 Sigma Xi Graduate Student of the Year, worked under three National Science Foundation grants, and published his work in the peer-reviewed journals Zoological Scripta and The Annals of Botany.

Ian lives in Martin County, Fla. with his wife and six year old daughter where they enjoy the sun and fun that South Florida offers.

Sidney Degarmo, Global EHS Director; Almatis Inc.
Sid Degarmo is the Global Director of Environment, Health and Safety for Almatis Inc., the global leader in the manufacture of specialty alumina chemicals used by the refractory, ceramic, automotive, and glass industries. Beginning in 2009 Almatis implemented a global, integrated management system, the “AMS”, which incorporates all business processes within the scope of ISO 9001 and 14001, and OHSAS 18001.

Mr. Degarmo's primary focus includes global EHS strategy and compliance, the IMPACT EHS Incident and Customer Complaint system, development of the Almatis Management System, management system audits, commercial product EHS stewardship and REACH. He was the Editor- in-Chief of the AMS system procedures, lead implementation and training, and developed and implemented cross-location audits of the management system and the global EHS business process.

A graduate of the University of Missouri at St. Louis with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, Mr. Degarmo also holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, and is interested in leadership, organizational development, action inquiry and action logics, system thinking, and systems development and implementation.

Robert Edinger, Corporate O&M Director of the Americas; Goldwind USA Inc.
Rob Edinger is the Corporate Director of O&M of the Americas at Goldwind, where he is focused on establishing a world-class operations team model that could be used for future business. Goldwind is the second-largest turbine manufacturer in the world.

Mr. Edinger joined Goldwind in 2011 as Director of EHS and took a promotion last year to his current role. He continues to chair the company's global EHS program committee, and has facilitated EHS conventions in North America, Europe and Asia. He has also coordinated the annual global EHS wind conferences and awards and facilitated global training on various EHS topics.

Prior to joining Goldwind, Rob worked for Vestas, CH2M Hill, and Ford Motor Co., where he developed other global programs for corporate safety. He began his career in the United States Marine Corps and is combat veteran. He is a graduate of Purdue University and holds a bachelor's degree in Business.

Taylor Gelsinger, Research Analyst; NAEM
Taylor Gelsinger is a Research Analyst at NAEM. In this position she oversees NAEM's research program, facilitating and analyzing industry-wide benchmarking of the EHS and sustainability profession, NAEM Corporate member benchmarking and research reports on emerging issues.

Prior to joining NAEM, Ms. Gelsinger worked with Trinity Consultants, where she assisted with Life Cycle Assessments for Trinity clients, developed new client markets and strengthened Trinity's internal sustainability doctrine.

She received her Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, focusing on Environmental Economics and Policy. As part of her master's project, Ms. Gelsinger assessed sustainability standards, certifications and regulations of the freight trucking industry in order develop an online help desk for Green Plus clients. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Oklahoma State University.

Kelly Hamilton, Environmental Supervisor; NRG Energy Inc.
Kelly Hamilton is an Environmental Supervisor at NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Company and one of the country's largest power generation and retail electricity businesses. She has 15 years of diversified industry experience, during which her responsibilities have included: multi-media permitting, project management, risk management, auditing, site remediation and supporting internal initiatives. She has represented the environmental department on internal charter teams focused on developing supplier pre-qualification requirements and contractor management policies.

Ms. Hamilton's core responsibilities include: supporting the development, roll out and on-going maintenance of the Environmental Management Information System and Incident Management System; implementing NRG's Environmental Key Performance Indicator Program; analyzing incident data for trends and developing improvement programs; and implementing Policies and Risk Reviews. Prior to joining NRG in 2006, she worked for seven years at Weavertown Environmental Group as an engineering department supervisor and a project manager. She provided consulting services such as audits, due diligence activities, facility plan preparation, and permitting and compliance reporting.

She is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geo-Environmental Engineering and is a member of the College of Earth and Mineral Science, Environmental Systems Engineering Industrial and Professional Advisory Council.

Tom Hawkinson, Manager, Environment, Health and Safety; The Toro Co.
Tom Hawkinson is the Global Manager of EHS for The Toro Company in Bloomington, Minn. He has worked in various environmental, health and safety assignments for Medtronic, Seagate and General Mills.

Additionally, he has served in leadership roles in the local and national American Industrial Hygiene Association and on the executive committee of the Upper Midwest Chapter of NAEM. He also chairs the Upper Midwest section of the Auditing Roundtable, and has served as a member of the Board of the Minnesota Safety Council. He holds a Six Sigma Black Belt and has served as adjunct faculty in the graduate and undergraduate programs teaching mathematics and statistics. He has presented research results at both local and national conferences, and is on the faculty of the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

Mr. Hawkinson has a Master's of Science in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. He is certified in the Comprehensive practice of Industrial Hygiene and is a Certified Safety Professional in Comprehensive Practice.

Linda Kurtz, Corporate Environmental Manager; The William Wrigley Jr. Co.
Linda Kurtz is the Corporate Environmental Manager for the Wrigley Company, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. Wrigley produces gum and confections including brands such as Extra™, Orbit™, and Skittles™. Ms. Kurtz focuses on the environmental performance of global manufacturing operations including sustainable water use and Zero Waste to Landfill goals.

She has more than 20 years of ESH experience in both manufacturing and academia. In her current role, she has led efforts to implement uniform management systems across a broad network, ensure global environmental governance, and champion sustainability goals related to water, waste, and energy.

She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a Master's degree in environmental engineering from Northwestern University. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, ASSE, NAEM, and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.

In addition to her work with Wrigley, Linda also serves as a member on her local community's Environmental and Energy Commission.

Kirby McCalister, EHSMS Manager; Tyson Foods Inc.
Kirby McCalister serves as the Senior Manager for EHS Management Systems at Tyson Foods Inc., which produces, distributes and markets chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods worldwide and employees over 110,000 Team Members. Tyson Foods was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.
In a very “hands on fashion” Mr. McCalister developed and implemented Tyson Foods' first ISO-14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). The initial EMS was required under the terms of a federal Consent Decree at the Sedalia, Missouri Complex. This location processes roughly 1 million birds each week, has over 1,500 employees and includes a 1,000 acre farm, a Poultry Processing Plant, a Feed Mill, a Hatchery, a Rendering Plant, a Truck Shop, and a 2.5 MGD direct discharge Wastewater Treatment Plant. In two years and with the support of countless individuals, the Sedalia EMS was deemed fully functioning and approved by Region 7 USEPA.

Following the achievement at Sedalia, Mr. McCalister was responsible for developing a company-wide EHS Management System based on ISO-14001 and OHSAS-18001 and for assisting with implementation at Tyson facilities across the United States and Mexico. Implementation of the company-wide EHS Management System was purely voluntary and designed to support business and sustainability goals. During the last five years, he has been responsible for maintaining the EHS Management System from a corporate level and for providing continuing facility support.

Mr. McCalister lives in Fayetteville, Ark., has a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Arkansas.

Kevin Johnson, Director Global EHS Systems; Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
Kevin Johnson is Director of Global Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Systems for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, the global leader for in vitro diagnostics medical devices. In this role, he is responsible for leading efforts in a variety of areas such as Product Stewardship/Environmental Sustainability, EHS Management Systems, Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery and Dangerous Goods transportation.

He has been an EH&S professional for more than 20 years working for a broad mix of companies such as in vitro-diagnostic, semiconductor and specialty chemical manufacturers. Mr. Johnson has also consulted for numerous companies in a variety of industry sectors.

Mr. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from East Stroudsburg University, completed several masters' level courses in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and is both a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional.

Vint Johnson, Manager of Environmental Health, Safety, & Insurance; Thomson Reuters Corp.
Vint Johnson is the Manager of Environmental, Health & Safety and Insurance for Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Thomson Reuters serves four core customer groups: Legal, IP & Science, Tax & Accounting, and Financial & Risk. Mr. Johnson manages EH&S and Work Comp Claims Management for print, data center, and office business environments, focusing on how EH&S and Loss Prevention can help the business.

His job responsibilities include leading a team working on EH&S compliance, workers compensation case management, safety, industrial hygiene, environmental, property loss prevention, and ergonomics. He has worked on projects including global compliance assessment, minnesota VPP (MN-STAR) for a printing facility, work comp case management for HR, ergonomics software/assessments, combustible dust, on-site medical clinic, loading dock safety, indoor air quality, green teams, and communicable diseases.

Mr. Johnson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with a Bachelor of Science degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. He is a past President of the AIHA-UMS and past President of the ASSE NW chapter.

Kelvin Roth, Director EHS Team; AMCOL International Corp.
Kelvin E. Roth is the ex-officio (immediate past president) of NAEM, the premier association for Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) management, and Director of the EHS Group at AMCOL International Inc (a Minerals Technologies company). He also serves as the chair of NAEM's Governance Council, a committee responsible for leadership development, as well as recruitment for and evaluation of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Roth served as president of NAEM in 2009 and 2010from 2009 to 2012. Under his leadership, NAEM worked toward the goal of meeting current economic challenges while continuing to provide high-quality professional opportunities. He was responsible for developing innovative programming, enhancing NAEM's networking community, and establishing NAEM as the “go to” organization for EHS and sustainability resources.

He has more than 25 years of experience in the EHS management field, along with expertise in implementation of EHS management systems, auditing and compliance services, compliance risk management, product stewardship, and community relations. He brought his record of successfully developing and leading “best in class” EHS programs to his role at NAEM, working with the organization to better position it to meet the challenges of the future.

Mr. Roth is also a member of NAEM's Board of Directors and Board of Regents, a leadership body that provides strategic direction to the organization. He served as NAEM's first vice president from 2007 to 2008, has chaired the Forum Committee, and served on the Affiliates Council.

He has a Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Andrews University. He also currently serves as Environmental Committee chairman for the Industrial Minerals Association – North America.

Gary Spies, Director/Team Leader EHS & Site Services; Pfizer Global Supply
Gary Spies is the Environment, Health & Safety leader of Pfizer's largest and most complex manufacturing operation located in Kalamazoo, Mich. Pfizer is a biopharmaceutical company that applies science and its global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life.

In this role, Mr. Spies leads the team that is responsible for all EHS compliance and risk management activities at a major manufacturing site. He also leads the team and is responsible for the utilities, facilities, and site services functions. The Pfizer Kalamazoo site has maintained the Michigan OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star for more than six years (one of only about 20 in all of Michigan), maintains a spotless compliance history with local, State and Federal regulatory authorities and is frequently recognized by the Pfizer Global EHS function for innovative and best in class practices.

Mr. Spies holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH), is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Industrial Hygienist (CIH), and is a member of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), Biological Monitoring Index (BEI) Committee.

Meghan White, Business Development Manager Canada & US; Enhesa
Meghan White is a Business Development Manager with Enhesa, and is based in Chicago. She has eight years of experience with assisting multinational companies find solutions to ensure environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance. Ms. White is responsible for client acquisition, development and management. She has extensive knowledge and consulting experience regarding EHS policy, regulatory, and management issues for several countries.

She holds a degree in International Affairs from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as a law degree from the University of Bristol, UK and an L.L.M. in Energy and Environmental Law from K.U. Leuven in Belgium.

Thanks to our sponsors

The 2014 Advancing Compliance Assurance and EHS Management Systems was presented with special support from our sponsors.

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