General Sessions

Monday General Session with Polly LaBarre: A Maverick Manual for Success

Sponsored by CLMI Safety Training

If we want originality, invention and game-changing disruption – we need people who ignore rules, flout convention, defy the gravity of the status quo, question constantly, and experiment fearlessly. In a world of non-stop competition and rampant commodification, mavericks are the people who invent the future and create the most value. You don’t have to be a born maverick – or a disruptive startup – to push your organization, your industry, or the world into the future. You just have to think (and act) differently. Polly LaBarre’s “maverick manual” shows how to replace rules with values, hack the status quo, embrace and connect misfits and troublemakers and make a system-wide impact – even when you don’t own the system.

Tuesday General Session with Mike Walsh: Reinventing Leadership for the Age of Machine Intelligence

Sponsored by SafeStart

We live in an age of wonder—cars that drive themselves, platforms that anticipate our needs, and robots capable of everything from advanced manufacturing to complex surgery. Automation, algorithms and AI are transforming not only business, but every facet of daily life. While many fear that robots will take their jobs, the rise of machine intelligence begs a more important question: what is the true potential of human intelligence in the 21st century?

In this inspiring keynote, Mike Walsh, futurist and author of ‘The Dictionary Of Dangerous Ideas’ will present a vivid portrait of a brave new world orchestrated by machines that think, and how tomorrow’s leaders can upgrade their capabilities to survive and thrive in an age of accelerating technology.

Walk away with an insight into the companies, technologies and global forces shaping the age of machine intelligence, as well as a set of tailored next actions on how to redesign your organization, reimagine your role and reinvent the way you make decisions.

Plenary Town Hall Debate Part II – Operationalizing It!

Last year’s discussion with Tom Krause, Scott Geller, and Todd Conklin was an eye opening debate into the history of BBS, its evolution, and our profession’s shift into new methods for managing safety.

At Safety 2018 in San Antonio, Tom Krause will once again be joined by Scott Geller and Todd Conklin to continue the spirited discussion. While last year’s debate focused on the “what”, this year they’ll focus on the “how” – how do we operationalize all the talk and put it into action!

This year, Tom and his guests will be joined by a "Power Panel" of safety executives:

  • Laurie Shelby, VP of EHS at Tesla Motors
  • Al Johnson, Cargill
  • Ellis Jones, Senior Director, Global EHS&S, Goodyear

Our panelists will discuss serious injury and fatality prevention, moving from BBS to HOP, and how safety leaders engage senior executives in the most effective way.

Wednesday Luncheon Program with Chris Helder: The Power of Influence... Mastering the Customer Experience

BCSP Awards of Excellence Luncheon

Prepare for a high energy presentation that will leave you with tools to persuade and influence. Chris Helder, our luncheon speaker, has a fresh approach that concentrates on understanding those you are trying to influence to create a stronger connection and ultimately results.

This presentation will help you:
  • Discover the greatest communication, persuasion and influencing tools that are practical and can be used immediately
  • Gather a list of "1%" behaviors that significantly improve your results
  • Increase your persuasion skills to get others to take action
  • Build Relationships that matter in business
  • Understand the power of coding success and replicating winning behavior

Don't miss this lively presentation!

Wednesday General Session - The Before and After Summit: A Safety Professional’s Guide to Prepare For, React to, and Address Workplace Violence Events

Active shooter situations are reaching an epidemic level in this country and employers are struggling to get ahead of this problem. Based on data from 1982 to 2016, no industry or location is safe. These shootings have occurred in night clubs, schools, military bases, government offices, college campuses, manufacturing plants, churches, apartment complexes, restaurants, political rallies, nursing homes, malls, city council meetings, and many others. The problem with this epidemic is there are usually very few clues as to when it is going to happen or who the perpetrator is going to be. As safety professionals, we have to prepare for what could happen to the best of our ability. Along with a safety professional, this panel will bring experts from the FBI, local law enforcement, and employee assistance to help you prepare, react, and provide assistance in the aftermath. This panel discussion will be told from the perspective of the safety professional. What can we do to mitigate the risks and how do we provide assistance if and when the situation occurs?

Wednesday Closing Session with Ryan Estis: Unleash Your Inner Superhero: Keys to Achieving Breakthrough Performance

Our closing speaker will tap into your deep reservoir of potential and demonstrate techniques that remove the barriers of fear, doubt and uncertainty that threaten to inhibit performance.

Ryan Estis will introduce key insights about productivity and performance, and you will learn how to embrace change and achieve more meaning, mastery and momentum in your work life. He introduces several real-life superheroes, examples of the incredible results you can expect when you embrace your own potential.

  • Learn how to leverage change as a catalyst for growth and success.
  • Discover transformation techniques designed to unleash peak performance and become your very best.
  • Find out the keys to building high-trust, high-value relationships.
  • Explore the superhero ethos: "Be humble. Stay hungry. Always hustle."

Are you looking for fulfillment from your work and are determined to achieve your full potential? Hear how to become your very best and achieve your next big, breakthrough moment.

ASSP Thanks Its Sponsors


  • Safestart - Diamond Sponsor
  • CLMI - Diamond Sponsor
  • BCSP - Diamond Sponsor


  • Grainger - Centennial Sponsor
  • Cintas - Centennial Sponsor
  • Clicksafety - Diamond Sponsor

For more than 50 years, the ASSP’s Professional Development Conference has been and will continue to be the direct reflection of what is taking place in the occupational, safety and health industry.

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For general information about the event/expo/conference, including registration, please contact us at:
  +1 847 699.2929
  +1 847 768.3434
  520 N Northwest Hwy, Park Ridge, IL