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A message from our new SeminarFest Ambassador: Mario Hidalgo

Mario HidalgoHi everyone! My name is Mario and I recently registered to attend my first ASSE SeminarFest! I look forward to sharing with you my preparation leading up to the event, my experience while I’m there and how I put into practice what I learn after I return home. Follow me on my journey! I’ll be posting interviews with SeminarFest instructors, some of my favorite articles from industry thought leaders, tips on preparing for a successful SeminarFest and live coverage of the event. You can find links to my social media profiles below – follow, like, comment, and (most importantly) join the conversation!

Mario's family

About me

I’m 30 years old and live in Albuquerque, NM with my beautiful wife, Lauren and our three dogs. I’m the Corporate Safety Manager at Souder, Miller & Associates and have been in my position for the past 2 years.

When I’m not working; I enjoy reading, traveling, lifting weights and being outdoors.

How I got into safety

I first knew I wanted to be a safety professional when I was working as an on-site EMT during the construction of a hotel in Albuquerque. I shared an office with the safety manager and gained a small insight to his day-to-day activities. This obviously sparked an interest. Coincidently my uncle Zef Banda, a well-known safety professional at Banda Group International, asked if this was a career field I would want to pursue. During my last semester of college, I began interning with the company and so began my career in 2008.

While I shadowed numerous safety professionals on various projects throughout the country, my first assignment was at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Where I worked as a contractor for several years. Here I met and worked with some extraordinary individuals who really taught me about the safety profession.

I first learned of ASSE as I was taking a construction safety course in college, where the students were encouraged to join under the student section. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 2014 when I became an ASSE member. I can’t explain as to why it took so long, but I certainly regret not having done this sooner. The opportunities for learning and attending various conferences, like the Annual PDC and SeminarFest, are extremely invaluable. I’m constantly checking the ASSE website to learn of upcoming courses or current events.

I am also a member of my local ASSE New Mexico Chapter, where I serve as Treasurer. Since getting involved with my Chapter, I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing individuals, who truly care about promoting safety. I highly encourage others to get involved in their local Chapters and explore the opportunities of networking and getting to know likeminded individuals.

What I hope to get out of SeminarFest

What drew me to SeminarFest was the variety of full-day seminars to choose from and the quality of instructors. Which means, I’ll receive in-depth training and can implement these new skills immediately when I get back to work. In addition, I’ll receive CEUs by attending SeminarFest. This was obviously an added bonus, as I look to maintain my CSP status through recertification.

After looking through the schedule, I had a difficult time deciding which seminars I wanted to attend. However, I felt the Advanced Safety Management Methods seminar was one I couldn’t pass up. The instructors are James “Skipper” Kendrick and Tom Cecich. I felt the three-day seminar would give me a greater understanding of aligning OSH with business operations. Plus, this seminar is part of ASSE’s Executive Program, which was recently revised.

Thank You!

I appreciate you taking to time to learn more about me. Hopefully we’ll cross paths at future events. Until then, please be sure to check out my social media accounts.

Be Safe,
Mario Hidalgo


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