Rising Stars of Safety, Class of 2020

Extraordinary talent during an extraordinary time

NSC Rising Stars of Safety

View Rising Stars photos and bios



The challenges safety professionals have faced this year have been extraordinary. One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has served as a crucial reminder that safety is of the utmost importance, and prioritizing safety will be critical to recover our businesses, our health and our lives.

The NSC Rising Stars of Safety program showcases up-and-coming safety professionals who are making a difference, from the workplace to anyplace. The 32 men and women we recognize as the 2020 Rising Stars of Safety hail from 17 states and five nations. Each has demonstrated enthusiasm, skill and leadership that will undoubtedly inspire future safety leaders and colleagues, helping people live their best lives free of preventable death and injury.

They lead by example and take a hands-on approach to safety, like Brian S. Bailey, safety and environmental stewardship director for The American Waterways Operators in Arlington, VA, who was so eager to learn about fall-overboard prevention and recovery firsthand that he took a plunge into the Ohio River.

They make sure that everyone who shows up to a jobsite is able to work safely, like Joshua Hughes, area safety manager for Clark Construction in San Diego, who worked to ensure subcontractors and employees are protected by hard hats and chin straps, and piloted an ingenious way to combat heat stress and dehydration.

They engage employees to consider not only physical risks, but to approach safety with a holistic mindset, like Leah M. Becksworth, industrial safety culture lead at UCOR in Oak Ridge, TN, who challenges colleagues to determine whether they are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to safely complete work tasks.

Their contributions demonstrate a passion for developing and improving organizational safety culture, like Waqas Ashraf, a health and safety manager at CSCEC in Dubai, whose Behavioral Safety Star program not only rewarded workers for positive safety observations, but boosted unsafe condition reporting and decreased injuries.

Each Rising Star has an inspiring and encouraging story to tell about how to make safety personal, about how we connect with each other around what matters most and how we can get to that next level of safety excellence.

The global focus on safety during this pandemic once again reminds us of the crucial role that safety professionals play in helping us all work, travel and live safely. As our world faces new safety challenges, the energy and fresh perspective of our Rising Stars will be called on to help us meet those challenges head on.

Lorraine M. Martin
President and CEO
National Safety Council

Rising Stars profiles

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

Mohammed J. Al-Dossary

Waqas Ashraf

Brian S. Bailey

Kumar Basavaraju

Leah M. Beckworth

Teri Renee Boydo

Wyatt Bradbury

Kyle Carrier

Brett Curole

Jeff Fox

Brian Hanlon

Sheraz Hassan

Joshua Hughes

Rony Peterson Kirmse Jabour

Jessica M. Jannaman

Joseph Kafton

Syed Ali Haider Kazmi

Al Kikilas

Mathew Kurian

Asma Maqbool

Kyle Martin

Miranda M. McCarthy

Devon Molitor

Laynnea J. Myles

Lance Norris

Gina Ojeda

Amy Paolercio

Josh Schmitz

Nicholas Hugh Sexton

Senior Master Sgt. Lucas Shay

Richard Szymczyk

Ryan P. Wood

Join the Young Professionals Division

Are you a safety professional younger than 45? Would you like to connect with other “rising stars?” Develop your skills and advance your career in safety leadership by joining the NSC Young Professionals Division. All NSC member company employees are welcome to join this group to receive access to networking events, professional development opportunities and invitations to NSC Division meetings. Be on the cutting edge of safety and share your fresh ideas with your peers.

Learn more about how to get involved at nsc.org/ypd.

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