As we commemorate a century of saving lives and preventing injuries, we have chosen to delve into the chronicles of our Annual Conference and explore the transformations witnessed over the past three decades.
Back in 1989, when our organization was still recognized as “The Safety Council of Maryland,” we made a pivotal decision to pivot and initiate our very own Annual Conference. The primary objective of this conference was to unite professionals from various industries and foster the exchange of innovative ideas. In the spring of 1990, we successfully launched the inaugural event under the name “First Annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference.” Our collaboration with the Governor’s office and numerous supportive agencies played a crucial role in its realization. Martin’s West in Woodlawn, MD served as the venue for this milestone event, featuring a distinguished Keynote speaker, 12 educational sessions, and an impressive lineup of more than 30 exhibitors.
After successfully hosting the Annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference for eight consecutive years, in the spring of 1997 it was renamed as the “Annual Governor’s Conference on Safety, Health, and Environment.” This new title better encompassed the diverse array of courses offered across our eight safety divisions, and expanded the scope of topics covered during our educational sessions at our conference. This also reflected our council’s commitment to addressing a broader audience concerned with safety, health, and environmental matters.
In the year 2000, a decision was made by the council to independently organize the Annual Conference, relinquishing support from the Governor’s Office. This shift occurred during the conference’s eleventh year, prompting a change in its title to acknowledge the absence of the Governor’s Office affiliation. Thus, it was renamed as the “Annual Maryland Conference on Safety, Health, and Environment.” This title remained intact until 2005 when another transformation took place.
In 2005, to align with the council’s new organizational name, “Chesapeake Region Safety Council,” implemented in late 2004, the conference title was modified to the “Annual Chesapeake Region Conference on Safety, Health, and Environment.” This adjustment aimed to reflect the expanding territorial reach of the council’s safety and health initiatives.
In 2007, the conference underwent another significant transformation. The conference committee of the Chesapeake Region Safety Council decided to shift the event from its usual spring timeframe to the fall season. This strategic change aimed to enhance the conference experience and accommodate the evolving needs of the attendees.
Subsequently, in 2008, a further adjustment took place by relocating the conference from Martin’s West to the esteemed Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD. This new venue served as the conference location from 2008 until 2019, providing a conducive environment for knowledge-sharing and networking.
In 2009, the conference committee took a step towards streamlining the conference title for greater clarity and simplicity. The result was the renaming of the event as the “Annual Chesapeake Region Safety Council’s Conference & Expo.” This revised title aimed to encompass the essence of the conference while conveying the comprehensive nature of the content and the inclusion of an expo component.
Since then, the council has made minor adjustments to the title, primarily by incorporating the words “safety & health.” However, the core essence of the title has largely remained consistent since the significant change in 2009.
A notable historical incident that greatly impacted our conference was the cancellation of our event in 2020. Unfortunately, in 2020, the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our plans, and we were unable to hold the conference as scheduled, prioritizing the safety and well-being of all participants.
Following the pandemic, we were determined to make the subsequent conferences even more engaging and inclusive. To accommodate increased attendance, we returned to Martin’s West, which offered additional space and amenities. In 2022, we held the conference at Martin’s West, elevating the experience with a wide array of new and improved breakout room topics, interactive activities – like the donut machine and skee ball, and the introduction of exciting raffle baskets. The consensus among the Chesapeake Region Safety Council was that the 2022 conference was our finest yet.
As we celebrate the momentous occasion of our 100-year anniversary, our expectations for this year’s conference are even higher. We have planned several inaugural features, including a two-day conference, an evening social event, and an engaging forklift relay, among other surprises. We are thrilled to invite you to be a part of this extraordinary event as we commemorate this remarkable milestone.