July Member of the Month: Jimmy Jacquez
VPPPA: Do you have any special hobbies/interests? If so, what are they?
Jimmy Jacquez: I enjoy hunting, fishing and spending time with my wife and 3 boys.
VPPPA: What is/was your position and how long have you been in the position?
JJ: I have been involved with the Region V Board for 9 years and currently am in the position as Ex-Officio.
VPPPA: What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
JJ: Working at a Non-VPP site. I was fortunate to start my career with Morton Salt at our Long Beach, CA facility a VPP Star site. I spent approximately 2 years there and joined our team in Grantsville, UT. By the time I arrived they were VPP merit site, aiming to achieve star status. In 2006 the team made that goal a reality. It was incredible! I was lucky enough to take a position with our Corporate Safety Division in 2008 and in 2010 we became the 6th Company to achieve VPP Corporate certification. In 2011 I decided to take on a role at one of Morton Salt’s underground salt mines in Cleveland, Ohio. Not being at a VPP facility or any involvement with OSHA it was challenging as I shifted from cooperation to compliance with the regulator. While I found this very difficult… if I had to do it all over again I would not change it for anything in the world.
VPPPA: What is your most recent accomplishment?
JJ: I worked on a cross functional global team with our parent company K+S to bring awareness to Health, Safety and Environmental. It was a successful project and we were able to implement many of the VPP Elements and Sub-elements into our strategy.
VPPPA: How did you get involved in the Safety & Health world?
JJ: I come from a long line of coal miners from West Virginia. My father worked extremely hard in dangerous conditions and as all parents do, he wanted better for me. I wanted to work in a profession within industry where I could make a difference. Working in Health & Safety has allowed me that opportunity. While safety systems, programs, rules and compliance are foundational to a safe work environment, their primary value is in undergirding the people and the culture through which real safety lives and breathes.
VPPPA: What makes you passionate about the VPPPA?
JJ: Two things. When you are working towards a VPP certification at a facility there is nothing better than working together to improve safety & health of our employees. Additionally, working with OSHA in a cooperative setting is incredible. The knowledge and experience gained does not compare to anything else in the field of EHS.
VPPPA: What has been your favorite aspect of the Association?
JJ: Best Practice sharing with other companies with the same values and beliefs.
VPPPA: What advice would you give to someone interested in the VPP or the VPPPA?
JJ: If you are looking to step out of your comfort zone and become a leader in Health & Safety excellence then this is where you belong. Working with the VPPPA has been the single best thing for my career, but I am truly privileged for the friendships I have made over the years.