Los Angeles Chapter ASSE History.

The end of the Second World War brought a surge of population and industry to supply the new residents to the Southern California Area. With the conversion from military production to civilian goods and services came a need for greater safety and the personnel to provide it.

The Safety Engineers who were here with the war effort and the newcomers gathered at the Roger Young Auditorium for the first meeting of the newly chartered Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. This was in 1946. The Charter Certificate was delivered in 1948 and is so dated.

Only one of the founding members was still regularly active in the Chapter in 2010. This was Joe Kaplan, Retired President and CEO of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the National Safety Council. Joe was recognized for his over 60 years of work in the Safety Profession as he was made a fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering in Los Angeles. Joe received his ASSE 25 year certificate back in 1982. Joe had been serving ASSELA as the Public Relations Chair. Joe was awarded the J. Wesley Gebb Memorial Award in 2005. The Chapter celebrated his 95th birthday with him at the June, 2009 meeting. We had booked Joe to be a keynote speaker for a meeting once he turned 100, but he didn’t make it.

The Los Angeles Chapter has spun off a number of Chapters as the population of Safety Professionals has grown in Southern California. The first of these was the San Diego Chapter (San Diego and Imperisl Counties). This was followed by the Tri-County Chapter (Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties) in the 1970’s. The Valley Coastal Chapter (Ventura and Westernmost Los Angeles Counties) in the early 1980’s. The Tri-County Chapter split off most of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to form the Arrowhead Chapter, which subsequently reverted to the Los Angeles Chapter. The Long Beach Chapter was formed from portion of Los Angeles and Orange County.

Recent years have seen many changes in the Los Angeles Area that have affected Chapter activities. The auto industry and many of its suppliers have shut down. The aerospace industry has consolidated and moved out of town. Insurance has dispersed from the Wilshire district with Loss Prevention functions being further dispersed and decentralized out of Los Angeles, and banking has been bought out and moved out of Downtown. Heavy industry like metal producers have vanished from the near east side, as have many food companies, as lower shipping costs and environmental regulations have forced them to close or relocate. High taxes and punitive regulations are driving more and more businesses out of the State and particularly the metropolitan territory of the Los Angeles Chapter.

One ray of sunshine has been the development and success of the Inland Empire Section. This is thriving in the territory of the Arrowhead Chapter which had been disbanded. Don Kramer and Bob D’Amato were instrumental in getting the section going. See the section web site at www.asseie.org.



Tradition among many organizations has it that a gavel is passed to an incoming President. Sometimes gavels are perpetual and become a part of an organization’s regalia, sometimes they become gifts to the Presidents as they complete their terms. The Los Angeles Chapter ASSE has a perpetual gavel which is passed from President to President.

T. D. “Lynn” Masters, Los Angeles Chapter President for the 1955-1956 fiscal year was a woodworker. At the close of his term, he presented a unique gift, that he had designed and built, to the Chapter. This took the form of a perpetual gavel for the Chapter President.

The gavel is a marvelous creation that exemplifies ASSELA concerns with safety. It also reminds us to relax a bit and never take ourselves too seriously. Lynn’s gift is identified by a brass plate which reads as follows:

THE MASTERS tayl-ham






The gavel is cleverly designed so that Chapter Presidents need not fear having their fingers under the point of operation as they gavel a meeting to order.

Chapter General Chairmen and Presidents:

[ Note: Designations (CSP, PE, etc) reflect those held during their active tenure with ASSELA. They may not reflect current status. ]

  • 1946 – B. F. McDonald (General Chairman)
  • no-photo1947 – Jack Hutton
  • 1948 – A. W. Turner
  • NR-COPELAND 1949 – Norman R. Copeland
  • LB-JOHNSON 1950 – Lee B. Johnson, PME
  • 1951 – Carl E. Johnson, PME
  • 1952 – John Juli (Society President 1958-59)
  • 1953 – Charles A. Bonner, PE, CSP, PME
  • 1954 – Mal Naughten
  • 1955 – T. D. (Lynn) Masters (Builder of the GAVEL)
  • AM-NOYES 1956-57 – Alfred M. Noyes
  • PARSONS 1957-58 – Stanley W. Parsons, CSP, PM (Cadell Award Year) (d)
  • D-LINN 1958-59 – Donald A. Linn, PE, CSP, PM
  • CL-PARHAM 1959-60 – Carl M. Parham, PME
  • TH-JAY 1960-61 – Thomas H. Jay
  • HI-HEMPHILL 1961-62 – Harold I. Hemphill
  • JOHN-OVER 1962-63 – John J. Over, PE, CSP, PME
  • HAMMOND 1963-64 – Frank O. Haymond, Jr.
  •  1964-65 – Paul R. Joefener, CSP
  • 1965-66 – William W. Donnelly, CSP, PM
  • 1966-67 – William K. Bennett, PE, CSP, PM
  • 1967-68 – Edwin E. Wade, CSP, PM
  • 1968-69 – James H. Skitt, CSP, PM (ASSE Region II V.P.)
  • 1969-70 – Kingsland M. Frost, CSP, PM
  • 1970-71 – Peter Ellis, PE, CSP, PM
  • 1971-72 – Phillip G. McKellar, PE, CSP, PM (d)
  • 1972-73 – Sam M. Monson, PE, CSP, PM
  • 1973-74 – John L. Rheinheimer, PE, CSP, PM
  • MMARINO.bmp (22990 bytes) 1974-75 – Martin A. Marino, PE, CSP (Retired), PM, (ASSE Region II V.P. 78-82, Divisions V.P., Membership V.P., Trustee-ASSE Foundation) (d)
  • 1975-76 – James T. Hamilton, PM (d)
  • 1976-77 – Ray Chace, PE, CSP, PM
  • 1977-78 – Herald J. (Jim) Koonz, PE, CSP, PM (d)
  • HOLLIDAY.bmp (31326 bytes) 1978-79 – Lloyd Holliday, PE, CSP, PM (d)
  • 1979-80 – John S. Lukas, PE, CSP, PM
  • ORMSBY.bmp (23366 bytes) 1980-81 – Louis Ormsby, PE, CSP, PM
  • THOMPSON.bmp (31630 bytes) 1981-82 – Donn Thompson, PE, CSP, PM (d)
  • PRESTOBW.bmp (8374 bytes) 1982-83 – Jay W. Preston, PE, CSP, PM (ASSE Division V.P. 87-88).
  • Future Chapter President, Hector Escarcega, joins ASSE. Joe Kaplan receives 25-year Certificate. Past presidents Ed Wade and Bill Bennett receive 25-year certificates.
  • Title act protection for Safety Engineers affirmed after challenge.
  • WALLACE.bmp (22990 bytes) 1983-84 – Tom Wallace, PE, CSP, PM ASSELA works with Red Cross for Olympics Safety
  • PORT.bmp (31630 bytes) 1984-85 – Gene Port, PE, CSP, CIH, PM
  • MACENSKI.bmp (96782 bytes) 1985-86 – Allen G. Macenski, CSP, JD, PM (Society President 90-91)
  • 1986-87 – John O’Toole, PE, CSP, PM
  • HUBER.bmp (24374 bytes) 1987-88 – Eugene Huber, PE, CSP, PM
  • HOLEHOUSE.bmp (24374 bytes) 1988-89 – Paul Holehouse, CSP, PM
  • 1989-90 – Raymond Roth, PM (d)
  • COWDEN.bmp (24374 bytes) 1990-91 – Peter Couden, PM
  • 1991-92 – John Phillips, CSS, CM, PM
  • MCNAMERA.bmp (23234 bytes) 1992-93 – Dave McNamera, PM
  • WONG.bmp (21714 bytes) 1993-94 – Bill Wong, PE, CSP, PM
  • BLANTON 1994-95 – Carlton Blanton,, PE, CSP, PM (d)
  • RAY.bmp (23234 bytes) 1995-96 – Robert Ray, PE, CSP, PM
  • 1996-97 – Gloria Teper, MA, CIAQM, CSP, PM ASSELA Celebrates Golden Anniversary
  • GRIMALDI.bmp (32542 bytes) 1997-98 – Barbara Grimaldi, PM
  • 1998-99 – Robert Sautter, PE, CSP, PM
  • GRIEB.bmp (8222 bytes) 1999-2000 – Bill Grieb, CSP, PM (d)
  • 2000-2001 – Hector Escarcega, CSP, PM
  • 2001-2002 – Bill Taylor, CSP, PM. Chapter Achievement Award Year
  • 2002-2003 – Robert D’Amato, CSP, PM (d)
  • 2003-2004 – Don Kramer, CHCM, ARM, PM. SPALW Begins at Las Vegas PDC
  • 2004-2005 – Patrick Williams SPALW goes nationwide. ASSELA hosts 2 SPALW events
  • 2005-2006 – Faye Wannlund
  • 2006-2007 – Louis Therrien, CSP, ARM, PM Chapter Achievement Award Year (Bright Star)
  • 2007-2008 – John Edward “Ed” Becker, CIH, CSP, PhD, PM
  • 2008-2009 – Enrique G. “Rick” Garcia, PM Chapter Achievement Award Year (Chapter Star)
  • 2009-2010 – Jane Bartlett, CSP, PM
  • no-photo2010-2011 – Scott Boim
  • Cruse 2011-2012 – Melonee Cruse
  • no-photo 2012-2013 – Ed Aschoff
  • Hector Escarcega 2013-2014 – Hector Escarcega, CSP, ARM, PM
  • Byron-Small 2014-2015 – Byron Small, OHST, CHST
  • maria brunel 2015-2016 – Maria E. Brunel, CSP

Past Presidents at our Chapter’s 60th Anniversary Dinner in January of 2006

ASSE Past Presidents

Ormsby, Preston, Teper, Williams, Holehouse, O’Toole, Taylor, Wong, Marino, D’Amato, Kramer, Sautter.