NEHA 2022 Annual Report

“You are what your record says you are.” The reflection of head coach Bill Parcells on the performance of his football team is instructive for those of us in the NEHA orbit. And what a year it was. Your association shrugged off the comfortable and familiar dogma of the past to embark on the next phase of its journey. Our navigational compass was tethered to the bootstraps of the emerging generation of practitioners, a workforce increasingly comprised and led by women. Our new association logo conveys a fresh, clean image, one that reflects the maternal instinct of protection and offers shelter to a workforce under stress. The logo is escorted by thoughtfully crafted updates to our mission, vision, and values statements. Considered in aggregate, these embody the nurturing character of our association as we deliver continuing education and opportunities to connect with others within the profession—two things you told us you value in this year’s membership needs assessment. In honor of Coach Parcells’ sentiments, we delivered value to the profession by investing in you: For every $1 we received in dues we returned $19 in the form of investments in capacity building—leadership, training, and education. By the way, those are real dollars, not wishful thinking or outlandish estimates. We stand by our record. The year ahead will challenge each of us in unique and possibly unanticipated ways. At the national level we will endeavor to tell the story of environmental health in a manner that resonates with influencers. This effort seeks to address the recalcitrant wound that haunts me whenever I’m with our members—“No one sees or appreciates the valuable work I do.” We also plan to provide you tools and resources to tell your story locally because our profession is anchored in local support. As we tell our story we will share affirming data. In illustration, we will release findings from the highly successful retail food training needs assessment. We will advocate for you in our Nation’s Capital because you took the time to tell us your needs. That’s us working with you for you. That’s a record we stand by. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The quote from Dr. Seuss describes our members, the environmental health professionals who are the unsung heroes, caring an awful lot by protecting the public every day ensuring clean air, food, and water along with a safe and healthy place to live, work, and play. It has been my honor and privilege to represent my fellow environmental health professionals this past year. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, we are working for “those means which will give the greatest good to the greatest number.” We are proud to have supported this good work through our collaborations with CDC and FDA to provide investments directly to state, local, tribal, and territorial environmental health programs, along with providing upto-date science and opportunities for the environmental health workforce. We further expanded our educational offerings, including written materials, online and in-person trainings, courses and certificates, e-learning, scholarships, internships, and the Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition. This year, our staff and board also took a lesson from another leader, Thomas Jefferson, when he said, “To learn, you have to listen. To improve, you have to try.” We listened closely including through our member survey, learning more about what our members need most. We improved by launching our new mission and vision, our new logo and brand, and our new website and online Community. In the coming year, we will continue to focus on providing resources and education to empower our members and support our affiliates to spread the word about the wonderful world of environmental health. We will lead an advertising campaign to help communities and lawmakers understand the importance of the workforce while continuing to advocate and support legislation that improves environmental public health. Together, we will raise the profile of the environmental health profession for the greatest good! As Buzz Lightyear says, “To infinity and beyond!” Letter From the Director Letter From the President