Chapter History

Three Rivers Chapter started as a Section of Greater Chicago Chapter to better service Safety and Health Professionals in the West and Southwest suburbs of metropolitan Chicago.  In reality, this was a second attempt to do this.  The first effort was a group founded in the Will county area on the late ‘80’s which met for several years but never became Chartered by ASSE.

Harry Getslaff, CSP of Greater Chicago, assumed the task of mentoring our group; meeting in the Western burbs versus farther South to draw larger numbers.  This new group began meeting in 1994.  At some point, our meeting place became Sharko’s Restaurant in Lisle, IL.  Between 12 and 15 people became regulars at this location.  Much of our stability in the earliest days came from Jim Carnahan and his staff at CITGO.   Jim believed in the need for a Chapter in our area and strongly encouraged his staff to participate.

During this period our group began formulating plans to formally apply to become a Chapter.  Directions on the process were not always clear and several items had to be redone.  Meetings were held with Harry and headquarters to determine boundaries and membership realignment (not all existing members in the geographic region we would eventually call home were as excited about the change as we were).   At some point during our 2nd year Sharko’s decided to put our group in the main dining room versus the banquet room.  This was not conducive to business or educational activities.  Speakers were not only addressing our group but found themselves educating anyone attempting to eat a quiet meal with their families as well as our members.  Our attendance started to decline.  We moved from Sharko’s to several other venues attempting to maximize attendance at monthly meetings.  We found a home at another restaurant in Lisle for a short period, and then moved to Brandmores in Bolingbrook before settling on the Public Landing in Romeoville with dinner meetings.  Those from the North began to attend, we would like to think because of the excellent topics covered during our meetings, but I think it was more because of the good will provided by our Attitude Adjustment Coordinator “Vic” at the pre-meeting conferences’ held religiously prior to dinner and the excellent food and service provided by the restaurant.

In 1996 the group decided we needed to offer our membership more than monthly meetings and good food to generate greater interest in the group and help grow our bank account.   Starting small we planned our 1st educational program.  It was a ½ day seminar on Fall Protection held at Servicemaster in Downers Grove.  It was overwhelmingly successful.  It allowed us to donate money to several safety related activities and begin a tradition that remains active still today.  This concept lead us to join other Chicago area chapters and organizations to offer annually a one week Professional Development Conference that has drawn over 600 attendees from several states.

We encouraged our membership to enjoy the Christmas dinner meeting with their spouse and children (on the chapter).  This meeting for years was presided over by Santa, our own Joe Lasky, who eventually became Chapter President. At these Christmas parties membership was entertained by groups containing member’s children.

Early in 1997 the Chapter was formally chartered by the ASSE with or first President Ed Gorman.  To celebrate we decided to put on our second conference.  This was a full day on Behavior Safety at Mooseheart, IL.  Like the first it was very successful allowing the chapter membership to grow and continue providing good educational programs and an excellent platform for networking.  We partnered with Illinois Public Risk Management Association for this seminar.

The 1998-1999 year found the Chapter being recognized by ASSE National for our membership growth.  We also worked with the National Society of Professional Engineers and had a booth at Eweek at IIT in Wheaton.

During 1999-2000 the meetings were on the move again to Brandon’s Steak House in Naperville.  This was at the request of members to make the meetings more centralized.

In 2009 a demographic analysis was done of our membership and subsequently a hotel near Naperville Rd. and I-88 was found to be the most centrally located for our membership meetings. With the demands of our families affecting dinner meeting attendance we switched to luncheon meetings and have also experimented with breakfast meetings to gauge which received the most attendance.

Chapter Timeline

1994  Began as a section of Greater Chicago to better serve EH&S Professionals in the West and Southwest Suburbs of metropolitan Chicago. Mentored by Harry Getslaff of Greater Chicago.

1994 Began monthly breakfast or luncheon meetings with invited speakers continues today.

1996  Planned 1st PDC which was ½ day, over whemingly successful allowing us to donate money to several safety related activities and began a tradition still active today where we annually co-sponsor a 4 day Chicagoland Safety Conference held at Northern Il Univ.

1997  Chapter formally charted by ASSE with 44 chapter members on February 10, 1997.

1998-1999  Chapter recognized by the Society for its membership growth to 127 members.

2002  The first chapter Safety Professional of the Year was awarded to former President Amy Gibson

2004  Received first ASSE Chapter Recognition award

2007 Exceeded 200 chapter members.

2009  First Chicagoland EHS Golf Outing was hosted by Three Rivers.

2010  Started offering CEU’s to chapter members and our membership exceeded 300 members

2012  Held first chapter technical meeting with NEIL on the topic of volunteerism at the Nothern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, IL.

2014  Chapter has first students enrolled as members.

2016  Chapter received their first Platinum Level Chapter award

2017  Chapter hosted first half-day workshop focused on Machine Guarding and LOTO