NAEM’s Annual Forum to Showcase Latest Strategies for Building Safety Culture, Reducing Environmental Risks and Natural Resource Management

October 7, 2016 — Each year NAEM's annual conference convenes more than 550 attendees for a three-day showcase of the latest strategies corporate environment, health, safety and sustainability (EHS&S) leaders are using to keep employees safe, minimize their company's environmental footprint and deliver business value through sustainability programs.

But NAEM Deputy Director Virginia Hoekenga said this look behind the scenes is more than just a peer-to-peer conference; it's also among the keys to solving some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing businesses today.

"For more than 20 years, the Forum has been the annual touchpoint for those leading change from within their organizations," said Ms. Hoekenga, who oversees the program development. "The Forum agenda demonstrates extraordinary achievements of the individuals who together are transforming business culture across industries."

This year NAEM will be in Denver on Oct. 26-28 for a program that includes 75 peer case studies from companies such as: Intel Corp., General Mills Inc., The Estee Lauder Co.'s Inc., Biogen Inc., Whitewave Foods, Ingersoll Rand and General Electric Co. The conference will also feature keynote presentations by ecologist Eric Berlow and Wayne Balta, Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety for IBM Corp.

And because effective communication skills are key to advancing EHS&S programs, the agenda also includes a series of five-minute, 'IGNITE'-style presentations. The idea behind the session Ms. Hoekenga said, is to introduce attendees to a compelling format for engaging audiences with their message.

"Leadership is about so much more than just having a great idea. You need to be able to engage others in your vision," she said. "We are dedicated to helping EHS&S professionals make an impact."

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the conference will kick off with a relaxed day of networking that includes a golf scramble sponsored by Woodard & Curran, and a volunteer clean up of the Platte River, hosted by the Greenway Foundation and sponsored by Antea Group.

The conference will wrap up on Friday, Oct. 28 with a number of segmented networking activities, which will include a Women's Leadership breakfast featuring a keynote address by L. Hunter Lovins.

Ms. Hoekenga said Ms. Lovins' journey from early environmental advocate to sustainability thought-leader is fitting way to conclude the conference.

"Every professional who comes to the Forum has had to overcome their own challenges on their journey to introduce new solutions for environment, health and safety management. A conference like this is a chance for attendees to share those experiences and the wisdom they gained along the way."

About the Forum
NAEM's EHS & Sustainability Management Forum is the largest annual gathering of EHS and sustainability managers, directors and vice presidents. With two days of peer-led interactive sessions and keynote presentations, this is the premier event dedicated to showcasing best practices in EHS and sustainability management. To learn more or to register, please visit


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