Awards & Honors

Awards and honors are an acknowledgment of hard work and the importance of the recipients to the Safety Profession. Recipients deserve to be recognized as leaders in our field with no doubt that their work will protect others now and in the future.

The awards and honors we bestow each year are far-reaching and cover a number of categories. Of particular importance is awarding scholarships to those working their way towards a career in safety. Many companies including Bank of America, Monsanto, Liberty Mutual and Marriott have found such scholarships extremely valuable in encouraging the recipients in their careers.

Below is listing of the awards, their basis, and recipients.

  • Scholarships. The Chapter awards scholarships to full-time students who are pursuing occupational safety and health or similar degrees.
  • JWesleyGebbThe J. Wesley Gebb Award. The Chapter’s highest honor is given for consistent, significant contributions  to the Safety Profession and/or the ASSE and the Los Angeles Chapter over an extended period or career. Given annually at the discretion of the Awards and Honors Committee for “DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN SAFETY.”  The J. Wesley Gebb memorial award was established in July, 1948. The esteemed J. Wesley Gebb, was honored for his very early leadership in the California Safety movement and his influence as Chief of the Southern California Headquarters of the California State Industrial Commission (renamed the Division of Industrial Safety and currently CAL/OSHA). Among Gebb’s contributions to safety was his role in the founding of SCISS (Southern California Industrial Safety Society).  He began his career as a mining engineer in Alaska and wrote articles on safety of oil derricks, rotary rigs, safety hooks, and traveling blocks for the California Safety News in the 1920’s. In 1923, he was responsible for the safety-related closure of the George Getty #3 well in Southern  California. Gebb’s son, Sheldon has written a book chronicling his career (In the Footsteps of my Father…).
  • somerfelThe Harold Somerfeld Award. The Chapter’s honor for significant contributions to the professional development of Chapter Members exemplifying the teaching spirit of Harold Somerfeld. Given annually at the discretion of the Awards and Honors Committee. Begun in 1983, this award commemorates the contributions of Harold Somerfeld to the professional development of the Membership. Harold was a tireless teacher of safety subjects, CSP prep courses, and PE prep courses to the Membership, as well as being a highly regarded instructor at local colleges and for the National Safety Council’s Greater Los Angeles Chapter.
  • KAPLANJoseph M. Kaplan Safety Professional of the Year (SPY). The Chapter’s SPY is given for the most significant contributions to the Safety Profession and/or the ASSE and the Los Angeles Chapter during the award year. Given annually at the discretion of the Awards and Honors Committee. The SPY was named in February, 2008, to honor Joe Kaplan, the Chapter’s longest surviving and active Charter Member.
  • Chapter Professional Paper of the Year. The Chapter’s Executive Board from time to time will authorize a competition for best professional paper. Finalists are presented at a membership meeting. The competition is administered by the Professional Development Committee.
  • Chapter WISE Service Award: Awarded to those who have made significant contributions to the Women In Safety Engineering interest group.
  • ASSE Society Fellow: ASSE Society Fellow is a national honor to recognize contributions to safety and the Society on a national scale. Nominations are made and sponsored by the Chapter. The Society awards the honor at the Professional Development Conference each year.
J. Wesley Gebb Award Recipients
  • Lee B. Johnson May 22,1950
  • Charles A Bonner June 12,1953
  • Jack F Hatton April 26,1954
  • Carl E Johnson
  • B.F. McDonald
  • Mal J. Naughten
  • Hugh M. Wolflin June 27,1955
  • Robert E Benshoof June 25,1962
  • Robert A. Calhoun April 24,1967
  • T. D. Lynn Masters June 24, 1968
  • Edward C. Hickey June 25,1973
  • Harold Somerfeld June 25, 1973
  • Martin A. Marino June 13,1983
  • Allen Macenski 1991
  • John O’Toole 1994
  • Marge Musser 1995  (Ms. Musser was Awards Chair)
  • Joseph M. Kaplan September 7, 2005
  •  Robert D’Amato January 18, 2006
  •  Jay W. Preston January 18, 2006
  • Natalie “Lee” Klein March 15, 2006
  • Robert Sautter January 11, 2007
  • Guiermo “Bill” Taylor February 20, 2008
Harold Somerfeld Award Recipients
  • Doug Weber 1983
  • Ted Ferry (ASSE Fellow) 1989
  • Jay W. Preston 1990
  • Tom Butler 1991
  • Robert D’Amato 2004
  • Charles Yun February 20, 2008
Joseph M. Kaplan Safety Professional of the Year Recipients
  • Mike Marshall January 18, 2006 (Unnamed SPY)
  • Don Kramer February 20, 2008 (JMKaplan-SPY)
  • Ed Becker June 24, 2010 (JMKaplan-SPY)
Chapter Professional Paper of the Year Winners
  • H. J. “Jim” Koonz 1975 “Scaffolds in Refineries”
  • Harold Somerfeld 1976 “Angle of Repose in Trench Safety”
  • Jay W. Preston 1977 “Cold Flow in Automatic Sprinkler Heads”
Chapter WISE Service Award Recipients
  • Natalie “Lee” Klein 2006
  • Kelly Bernish 2007
  • Donna Earley 2008
  • Terrie Norris 2009
  • Nola Kennedy 2010
  • Jane Bartlett 2011
ASSE Society Fellows

These Society Fellows have been LA Chapter Members at some time in their careers

  • John V. Grimaldi
  • Ted Ferry
  • Edwin P. Granberry, Jr.