OPEX21 | EHS Operational Excellence Conference - March 10 - March 11, 2021 - Virtual Event, Join From Anywhere!
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2021 EHS Operational Excellence Conference Agenda

Meeting Operational Excellence During The Pandemic


The agenda below covers the full range of EHS management challenges.


Agenda Highlights Include:


  • Tools & Strategies for Leading in the New Normal
  • Benchmarking How Your Peers Are Reducing EHS Risk
  • Tips & Tricks on how to Communicate the Business Value of EHS

Attend when it fits your schedule. Sessions will be recorded and you can listen to them at your leisure for up to 2 weeks after the live event.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

11:00 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. (ET)

Opening Remarks


  • Carol Singer Neuvelt, Executive Director; NAEM
11:10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (ET)

Keynote: Meeting the Moment: What Does EHS Leadership Look Like One Year into the Pandemic?

When the pandemic hit, corporate executives turned to their EHS leaders to keep their employees, customers and other stakeholders safe and healthy. 2020 not only transformed everyday work and interactions, it also highlighted the EHS component of organization's strategies as they worked to ensure their businesses could re-open or stay open. Now that pandemic plans have been implemented and normalized, how can EHS leaders leverage the learnings of last year?


Come to this keynote session to hear how one EHS leader shares how he responded to new challenges, which leadership behaviors were most impactful, and the implications for the future of EHS leadership.


  • Kelvin Roth, Vice President, Environmental, Health, Safety and Quality; CF Industries Inc. - Bio
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (ET)


12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. (ET)

Advanced Technology & Strategies for Enabling & Managing Remote Work

When the pandemic hit, companies had to quickly shift processes, change to remote or staggered work, and pivot to essential operations all while facing economic uncertainty. This business environment created increased pressure to improve efficiency and maximize return on investment; all while meeting stakeholder expectations for continuing operations. This session will explore how companies can utilize and optimize established and emerging technologies to be more efficient and lead to lasting positive business impacts. Join this session to hear speakers discuss how with the right tools, companies can continue to work in a collaborative and safe manner, while saving time, improving peer-to-peer collaboration, reducing costs, increasing performance and continuing to meet compliance assurance expectations.


  • Aidan Zebertavage, Product Marketing Leader; Benchmark Digital Partners LLC - Bio
  • Barbara Jo Ruble, President; Specialty Technical Consultants Inc. - Bio
  • Dan Valleau, Environmental Engineer; Wakefern Food Corp. - Bio

Deep Dive: Driving EHS Performance While Focusing on Risk Prioritization and Reduction

This session will provide attendees a deeper exploration of a risk-based approach to EHS management. Topics will include:


  • Examples of Risk Assessment & Prioritization Tools
  • How to take a Risk Based Approach to Auditing
  • Additional Opportunities to Reduce Risk by Integrating EHS into Operations
  • Heather Ingraham, Manager, EHSQ Audit; CF Industries Inc.
  • Megan Lum, Director, Environmental Programs & Sustainability; Baxter International - Bio
  • Chris Ward, EHS Systems and Technology Manager; DuPont Center of Excellence
  • Steve Wish, Staff Safety Engineer; Lockheed Martin Corp. - Bio


1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (ET)


2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Case Study: Virtual Auditing Realities from Every Angle

Some EHS leaders had to quickly pivot their auditing programs to incorporate virtual elements. However other EHS leaders have gained significant experience conducting virtual audits, as a strategy for monitoring the environmental compliance status of remote facilities and at-sea operations when access is restricted. Come to this session to hear from experts about the opportunities and practical challenges of virtual compliance auditing and insights into considerations relating to audit process, completeness, and accuracy.


  • Dominic Masinelli, Environmental Compliance Specialist; Trident Seafoods Corp. - Bio
  • Joe Gallagher, Environmental Compliance Specialist; Trident Seafoods Corp. - Bio
  • Craig Schwartz, President; Aarcher Consulting - Bio
  • Gabrielle McDonald, Division Manager; Aarcher Consulting - Bio


Case Study: Digitizing Your Environmental Risk Management Program

This session will showcase how a large transportation company has digitized their risk prioritization effort and leveraged their EMS to deploy it across their business. Speakers will discuss how compliance and risk can be managed through this integrated approach. BNSF has built their risk digitization program on the Microsoft Power platform. Using these commonly available Microsoft tools, they have been able to realize new insights into their risk profile and have greater assurance that they are addressing the most critical risk areas. The session will also showcase the business drivers for undergoing a digital transformation of an existing EHS&S program and will illustrate how the transformation can successfully be achieved using your organization's existing investment in technologies.


  • Matt Graham, Director Environmental Operations; BNSF Railways - Bio
  • Brian C. Lesinski, Senior Vice President & Director; EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. (PBC) - Bio
  • Jason Samus, National Service Line Program Manager, Information Technology; EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. (PBC) - Bio


3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (ET)


3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Global, National and Local Regulatory Implications of the New Administration

Each administration has a different philosophy on how to drive corporate compliance and performance. This session will look at how the new administration will approach the use and prevalence of regulations, including OSHA guidance related to COVID-19 vaccine requirements and remote work, and EPA standards such as updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and continued focus on PFAS monitoring. The speakers will address the global impacts of the new administration in terms of climate change and what it means for the world now that the US has reentered the Paris Climate Agreement. Attendees will also hear discussion about enforcement plans and areas where discrepancies between local and federal approaches may require extra attention.


  • Taylor Murphy, Senior EHS Consultant; Enhesa - Bio
  • Gay van der Eerden; Global Head of Business Development; Enhesa - Bio

4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. (ET)

Day 1 Closing Remarks


  • Virginia Hoekenga, Deputy Director; NAEM



Thursday, March 11, 2021

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. (ET)

Opening Remarks


  • Virginia Hoekenga, Deputy Director; NAEM
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (ET)

Health, Safety & Other Considerations: Return-to-Workplace & Vaccination Policy Implementation

Come to this session and learn about the health and safety considerations for setting a vaccine policy, supporting the process for deciding if your employer will provide vaccines onsite and potentially supporting the implementation of a vaccine rollout. Business Health Group will discuss corporate vaccine policy trends and Pfizer will share details about their return to work strategies, pandemic response plans and corporate vaccine programs.


  • Brenna Shebel, Vice President, Center for Data-Driven Insights; Business Group on Health - Bio
  • Louise Proud, Vice President of Global EHS; Pfizer Inc. - Bio


12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. (ET)


12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. (ET)

Innovative Approaches to Auditing: Leveraging Collaboration & Partnership

This strategic session will explore shifting your mindset around auditing. Often times audits are primarily focused on providing the auditee with “issues” to be fixed. Auditees often dread audits and view them as a distraction from normal operations. A partnership auditing approach offers new opportunities to build trust and relationships while at the same time reducing risk. Attend this session to learn how The Mosaic Company transformed its global audit program using a collaborative approach that is providing a positive experience for all those involved.


  • Jeremy Hilderman, EHS Technology Solutions Manager; Mosaic Co. - Bio
  • Bob Feldmann, Senior Project Manager; AECOM - Bio


Peer Discussion: Preparing for and Managing Return to Onsite Work

Come join this peer-to-peer discussion to better understand what steps and tactics EHS leaders are taking to mitigate the risk of transmission when employees return to work. This session will explore questions around topics like masking policy, shift/schedule changes/limiting size of employees, social distancing, work configurations, innovations (communication practices, tools) and other policies and procedures.


  • David Ocamb, Director, Global Environmental Programs; Trane Technologies plc

1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (ET)


2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Peer Discussion: Retaining EHS Employees Amid the Stress of a Global Pandemic

This peer-to-peer discussion will explore how leaders are retaining their EHS teams amid the stress of the pandemic, working through staff changes and layoffs, addressing the stress of burnout and keeping people engaged even when working remotely.


  • Dennis Hu, Director, EHS, Security and System Safety Engineering; Ball Aerospace - Bio

Peer Discussion: Benchmarking the Critical Elements of Pandemic Response Plans

Come join this peer-to-peer discussion to learn from your peers the components to a strong and robust pandemic plan to keep employees healthy and safe.


  • Jason Johantges, Director, Environmental, Health and Safety; The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. - Bio

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (ET)


3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. (ET)

Keynote: After the COVID Vaccine: Futurist Scenarios of Risk and Opportunity for 2021 and Beyond & Closing Remarks

The impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented in many ways, but what could the future hold following widespread availability of a vaccine? In this talk, top-ranked forecaster and Chairman of The Futurist Institute, Jason Schenker, offers futurist perspectives on the opportunities, risks, challenges, and threats to businesses and organizations as their leaders weigh strategic options for embracing the new normal, reverting to the old normal, or finding a middle way forward. This talk will include a discussion of changes in the economy, the labor market, the way we consume, the future of work, travel, and implications for sustainability and environmental management.


  • Jason Schenker, President; Prestige Economics LLC - Chairman; The Futurist Institute - Bio


4:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Closing Remarks


  • Virginia Hoekenga, Deputy Director; NAEM



Contact Sonora Munks, NAEM Director of Programs.


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