Chapter News

Member Spotlight | Joaquin Diaz

How long have you worked in Occupational Safety & Health (OSH)?

I started working in EHS or OHS in 1999 after my discharge from the Marine Corps. 

When did you begin your safety career? What was your first job?

I was working as a project manager for a small painting contractor. My boss approached me about doing safety because we were getting into military construction. He knew my background in the Marines included being a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare specialist for my section. 

Where do you work now, what is your role? What do you like about it?

I am the EHS director for Skanska USA Building’s Oregon office. I enjoy the type of work we do. I enjoy the people I work with, including the awesome EHS staff. 

What motivates you to be a safety professional?

The service to the profession and the industry. I have been fortunate to have an influence on national and state regulations, consensus standards, and professional development. My career is about supporting people and helping them better their perspectives. 

Do you have any memorable experiences as an OSH professional you would like to share?

Serving as president of the BCSP I was invited by the Saudi Kingdom to present at their second safety conference. I met the head of the UK HSE (OSHA equivalent) and was wined and dined from the day we arrived to the day we left. It was a memorable experience because of the gracious people I met from all around the Middle East. 

Why are you a member of ASSP and what value have you found in being a member?

The people have been the greatest asset in the ASSP. It is the largest representative of our profession. The PDCs and conferences have helped me expand my knowledge and improve upon my career. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t doing safety stuff?

My wife and I have visited several countries, states, and cities. We love to eat and enjoy the finest things life offers. We enjoy smoking a great cigar and drinking the finest whiskey.

Construction Safety Summit | April Training Event

April 23, 2024 | 12pm-7pm

Join the Oregon Construction Safety Summit in partnership with Knife River for a full afternoon of training followed by dinner and networking opportunities.

Training Topics to Include:

“Innovations in Technology”

  • Anti-Vibration Seats
  • Exoskeletons
  • VR Based Training

Presented by:
Dr. Jay Kim
Oregon State University

“AI and Pre-task Planning

Presented by:
John Mavros

“Total Worker Health”

Presented by:
Liz Hill, MPH, CIH, CSP
Total Worker Health Adviser for SAIF 5yrs.
Occupational Health and Safety
Professional 25+yrs.

“Confined Space Training”

Presented by:
United Rentals Team
Rob Robertson and
Fred Norton

Registration Fee: $40
Register Here

2024 Chapter Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) Award

The Chapter Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) Award is a long-established annual award, intended to recognize a deserving Columbia-Willamette Chapter member for outstanding leadership and service in the Safety Profession.

Nominate a local superbly talented and amazing safety professional who rocks it every day!

Applications are now open! Completed applications are due March 29, 2024.


This page outlines the Chapter’s guidelines and procedure for nominating a chapter member for the 2024 Chapter SPY Award.

Nomination Guidelines and Procedure

Eligibility. To constitute nominee eligibility, all of the following apply.

  • Professional Member, Member, or Associate Member of the Society
  • Member of the Columbia-Willamette Chapter
  • Employed full time in the safety and health profession
  • Not a SPY award recipient in the past five years

Criteria. Nomination is based on the nominee’s past five years activity, with special emphasis on the more recent activity. In general, the professional deserving of recognition as a leader in safety will have contributed to the establishment, improvement, and/or advancement of the safety profession in the Columbia-Willamette Chapter geographical area including Mt. St. Helen’s and Santiam sections.

Professional achievement and contributions in the following main categories will be considered.

  • ASSP and or Chapter involvement
  • Professional employment
  • Community and public service
  • Educational institutions
  • Regulatory agency and technical organization
  • Other pertinent achievement and contribution

Achievement and contributions in the above categories include, but are not limited to, exemplary leadership, technical proficiency, professional mentoring, lectures/presentations, publications, program development, innovations and other related activities.


Member Spotlight | Peche Barteaux

How long have you worked in Occupational Safety & Health (OSH)?

I have eight years total working in the field of health and safety.

When did you begin your safety career? What was your first job?

I began my safety education in 1997 at Mt Hood Community College where I had an internship with Metro. I sorted hazardous waste at neighborhood household collection events, working maybe 16 hours every three months. I was a new mom and with school it was all I could handle honestly.

Where do you work now, what is your role? What do you like about it?

I have been with Portland Public Schools (PPS) since graduating from Mt. Hood Community College’s EHS program in 2017. What I like about working for such a large school district is collaborating with diverse stakeholders to solve a large variety of different health and safety issues.  It becomes a dance….seeing all the steps choreographed into a successful production that produces a desired result for all involved.

What motivates you to be a safety professional?

I am motivated to resolve health and safety issues that affect district teachers, custodians and maintenance staff and students. Children are extremely observant and they are curious to know what I am looking at in their classrooms. They also become my best resources. They are quick to share a broken table saw in the woodshop or indoor air quality in their classrooms. When they ask me about an instrument I’m using like an IAQ monitor, I joke with them that I’m looking for ghosts – they bust out in laughter. That’s my win, that’s my motivation.

Do you have any memorable experiences as an OSH professional you would like to share?

I recently led a project to replace the old carpet at the district administration building that was way past it’s life expectancy. I wrote a report to illustrate how indoor air quality can be negatively impacted by aging carpets – especially those that have been exposed to water leaks. I worked with an industrial hygienist to support the process. I never took no for an answer because I knew it was the right thing to do. Eventually project management took on the replacement and 6 months later we got new carpet!

Why are you a member of ASSP and what value have you found in being a member?

I am a member of ASSP because I enjoy connecting with other safey professionals and absorbing their knowledge like a sponge.  I bring back what I have learned and integrate it into my work.  At a meeting, someone may say something I may have heard before and for whatever reason this time I get what they are saying and I can make the connection. Even as adults we need things repeated to us – that isn’t a bad thing, it’s how everyone learns.

What do you like to do when you aren’t doing safety stuff?

I love hanging out and laughing with my children because they share my silly sense of humor. I love dragging them hiking, camping and to the beach; taking their picture where they are scowling, pretending they aren’t having fun or too cool for the photo. I can’t wait to show them how many pictures I have collected over the years with them making the same solemn face. I love going to concerts and listening to heavy metal bands at outdoor venues. I enjoy professional baseball and the Greenbay Packers! Go PACK! Go!