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2017 Rising Stars of Safety: 'Eliminating preventable deaths'

The National Safety Council presents the Rising Stars of Safety, Class of 2017

2017 Rising Stars of Safety
NSC Rising Stars of Safety

View Rising Stars photos and bios

Deborah A. P. Hersman
President and CEO
National Safety Council

Every year, we lose as many as 146,000 people to incidents we know how to prevent. Americans are injured or killed at work, in their homes and communities, and on the road in avoidable ways. Sadly, our society has remained numb to the crisis and slow to respond.

The National Safety Council Rising Stars are the exceptions. The young professionals being inducted into our 2017 class are finding new solutions to age-old problems. They consistently look beyond the data because they understand that “Why?” is not the only question. When faced with preventable deaths, the most critical response is: “What more can we do?”

It’s that kind of initiative that we are proud to recognize, and it’s what makes this year’s Rising Stars safety champions.

Last year, NSC announced a “moonshot” goal: To eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime. An endeavor of this magnitude requires a seismic shift in our safety culture, and we will lean on creative and innovative thinkers to help us achieve our mission. We are challenging the Rising Stars to be part of this task.

Tech. Sgt. Biagi Borrero took on safety challenges at the U.S. Air Force that affected bases around the world. Chris Osterhout, from Crowley Petroleum Services, addressed engineering challenges to keep workers safe. Ichaya Dhungel, at Eaton Corp., dealt with the challenges of an aging workforce by developing a multifaceted ergonomics program. Each created a campaign, coached fellow colleagues and engaged others to help eliminate preventable deaths and injuries.

Effectively changing safety culture doesn’t happen overnight. Change occurs when leaders step forward. In evaluating nominees for the Rising Stars Class of 2017, we were humbled to find so many young safety professionals having a positive effect on their colleagues and their organizations. These individuals bring energy, enthusiasm and excellence to their workplaces. They have embraced zero as the only acceptable number when it comes to injuries and deaths.

Most importantly, the Rising Stars embrace the challenge of eliminating preventable deaths – recognizing that it’s not impossible – it just hasn’t been done ... yet.

As NSC pursues our moonshot goal on the national level, these safety champions will play a key role, driving advancements and keeping those around them safe. We look forward to formally honoring the Rising Stars not only for their accomplishments, but for their vision to make the world a safer place.


Deborah A. P. Hersman
President and CEO, National Safety Council

Rising Stars profiles

Use these links to visit Rising Stars profile pages, or browse profiles using the navigation arrows at the top of each page.

Alisha Adams

Tyler Asher

Kara Barger

Derek Bell

Biagi Borrero

Meredith Bruick

Danielle Cappello

Cynthia Champion

Audrey Chennault

Miranda Conrad

Michael Dardar

Brian Desiderio

Ichaya Dhungel

Lorenzo Drummond

Umar Farooq

Awadh Fazal

Nathan Flowers

Bassma Hegazy

Azuré Hills-Wilson

Jonathon Holt

Amber Johnson

Lacey Kastel

Joseph Kauffman

Travis Keeney

Mahmood Khamis

Jacob Krzystowczyk

Jennifer Mabry

Nerisha Madrazo

Kelly Mikkelson

Ben Miller

Ashley Mitchell

Jarred O’Dell

Chris Osterhout

Travis Parker

Zeeshan Qureshi

Faiq Rabbani

Chad Rasmussen

Meghan Shambach

Nathan Slavin

David Smith

Jeremiah Wallace

Jeff Winter

Randel Wright

View Rising Stars profiles as they appear in the print edition of Safety+Health.

Join the Young Professionals Division

Are you a safety professional younger than 45? Don’t miss your chance to further develop your skills and advance your career in safety leadership at the 2017 NSC Congress & Expo. Members of this group receive access to networking events, professional development opprotunities and exclusive invitations to leadership meetings. Be on the cuttting edge of safety and share your fresh ideas with your peers.

Learn more about how to get involved at

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