Only 113 days to Seattle!

Can you believe it?  Here we are only a few days out of our 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium and only 113 days to go (June 19, 2018)  until our Northwest Regional Product Safety Training Workshop at Amazon in Seattle, Washington.  Board Members DE Fenton and Renee Chiang are actively working on the Northwest Regional Meeting.  We hope to roll out our theme, call for presentations and hotel information in the next couple of weeks.  At the same time, Board Member Rod Freeman is working with the European Commission (EC) to further develop ICPHSO’s 2018 International Symposium November 12-13, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.  The EC’s International Product Safety Week takes place November 12-15, 2018.  As details become available, I will report on them.   We are also working again with ASTM to develop a one-day workshop on April 13, 2018 at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. on age label guidelines.  You will want to save the date and not miss this unique one day workshop which will include experts in this area.

2018 Symposium Highlights:

From Tutorials to our Key Note speakers on Block Chain Technology and the CPSC, we think we offered something for everyone last week during the kick-off of our 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary Year.   Belinda May, as Symposium Planning Chair and now President,  really put on a  great training meeting. It will certainly be hard to top what we did, although I am confident we certainly will try!  We are working hard to upload all the final presentations and provide an updated final Symposium attendee list as soon as we can.  We had over 825 attendees from 18 countries in attendance and I want to thank each of you for the choice you made to attend our Annual Symposium.  The support you provide allows us to bring you the type of content filled Symposia you have come to expect from us.  Incoming President Matt Howsare is already working on our 2019 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium which will be held Monday, February 25 through Thursday, February 28, 2019 at the Marriott Renaissance Downtown, Washington, DC.  We were last at this hotel in 2016 and we are looking forward to our return next year.

I wanted to reference a few highlights from our 2018 Annual Symposium.

Tutorials included, CPSC Compliance Beginners and Refresher course; sessions on the regulation of Drones; Lithium Ion Batteries; Ethics and Product Safety; Leveraging the Reach of Health and Human Service Providers to Enhance Consumer Product Safety and How to Make Retailers Happy among others.

New ICPHSO Executive Committee Officers include:  President:  Belinda May, Dentons LLC; President Elect and 2019 Symposium Planning Chairman: Matt Howsare, Mintz Levin; and Vice President:  Rick Rosati, Bureau Veritas. New ICPHSO Board Members include: Tabatha Bauer, Staples; Andy Church, Insight Quality Services; Don Huber, Consumer Reports; and Matt Smith, ICIX.  Read the Press Release Here

Also,we want to welcome to the Board as Ex-Officio Members, Geoff Barrett, Health Canada and Carol Cave, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

We were honored to be able to provide Health Canada, PROFECO and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the opportunity to sign a trilateral memo of understanding at our Symposium which will promote consumer product safety in North America.  We were all  witness to something quite historic as a result. Read the Press Release Here

We also announced that Carol-Pollack Nelson was the recipient of the 2018 Ross Koeser Achievement Award.  The award, named after one of our Founders and First Executive Director annually recognizes a member for their significant contributions to ICPHSO.  Carol indeed exemplifies this through her work as a volunteer, former Board Member and President.  Carol also was the coordinator of our very successful 25th Anniversary Splitsville Bowling event, attended by some 350 of our attendees.  The food, drinks, bowling, games, deserts,  and company was outstanding.   ICPHSO also announced a special service award that was given to long-term member Bruce Farquhar for his continued outstanding in assuring ICPHSO has a global presence especially with international regulators.

And finally, who can forget our 25th anniversary year kick off fireworks event held Tuesday evening after our welcome reception.  Over ten minutes of up close and personal fireworks celebrating ICPHSO and its anniversary.  Our thanks again to John Rogers, Executive Director, AFSL and PYROTECNICO for a show we won’t soon forget.  It was a great way to kick off our anniversary year.

Thanks again to all attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, gift card and gift bag sponsors and a special thanks to Association Manager, Kimber Nation;  Association Administrator, Tara Reddy ; and to Yvette Duron and Emma Celeste for assisting us during the Symposium.  Without the continued support and assistance from Kimber and Tara, this meeting would never have taken place.   I hope to provide more updates on specific sessions in the future as well as update you on upcoming events.  Follow my blog for updates.






ICPHSO 2018 Annual Symposium: This is going to be BIG!

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2018 ICPHSO Annual Meeting and Training Symposium
25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee

February 20 – 23, 2018
Orlando, Florida
“Accelerated Change in the Exponential Age:
Learning from History to Make Safer Products in the Future”

Highlights of this year’s Symposium include:
• Kick-off the ICPHSO 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee Year with special ICPHSO gifts for all attendees
Anniversary event at Splitsville, Disney Springs: Wednesday, February 21 (nominal charge to attend; free bus transportation provided; games and refreshments included; limited space available). Register during Symposium registration
CPSC beginner (and refresher) compliance course during lunch on Tues., Feb.  20
• CPSC Morning – Thursday, February 22
Historic Tri-Lateral MOU signing by Health Canada, PROFECO, and CPSC
First Timer Breakfast featuring special prizes
• Attendee poling, surveys, and engagement during selected sessions
• Interactive lunch event: Friday, February 23
• 25th Anniversary trivia and prizes throughout the Symposium
Learn from the experts: More than 100 product safety professionals share their expertise during plenary and breakout sessions
• More than 30 exhibitors displaying services and goods
Check the Symposium Schedule for the latest updates. Take advantage of early bird registration rates and Register today. Don’t delay-reserve your hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

Register online or complete this Registration Form and submit it to

Interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor? Contact for all the details. Scholarship contributions are needed to assist safety and health professionals who may not otherwise be able to attend. To assure all stakeholders are represented at our meetings, please consider making a scholarship donation.

This is a must-attend event for all global health and safety professionals to get the latest information, education, and training involving product safety issues. We can’t wait to see you in Orlando!


Marc Schoem                                               Belinda May
Executive Director                                     President Elect/Symposium Planning Chair








Historic Tri-Lateral Memorandum Of Understanding to be Signed at 2018 ICPHSO Annual Symposium….

ICPHSO BREAKING NEWS- December 15, 2017:

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ICPHSO’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium in Orlando, Florida, February 20-23, 2018, will be the location for the signing of a historic Tri-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Product Safety by representatives from Health Canada, PROFECO and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This MOU between Canada, Mexico, and the United States further establishes the ongoing relationship between the three North America agencies that are responsible for product safety.

Be a witness to history! Don’t miss the historic MOU signing  on Thursday afternoon, February 22, 2018,  during “International Day” activities at for the Symposium. Register today at: Annual Symposium Registration.



3 Days to Tokyo!

ICPHSO’s first symposium in Tokyo is only three days away!  As I get ready to fly to our first International Symposium in Japan, I want to again thank our Symposium Planning Chairman, Rod Freeman and his team from Cooley, especially, Alex Radcliffe, Sara-Jane Dobson, Carol Roberts and Fergal Duggan and any others who I have missed, who have worked nearly around the clock it seems with the time differences between Washington, D.C., London and Tokyo, to make sure we will again have another successful Symposium.  Over 150 attendees are registered from 15 different countries, along with strong regulator participation and support from Japan,  South Korea, United States, Canada, the European Commission and the OECD.  This is truly an International Symposium and I look forward to the panels and speakers we have lined up to discuss safety in the product life cycle.

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The ICPHSO team including our Association Manager, Kimber Nation; Association Administrator, Tara Reddy; Sponsorship Manager, Heather Konya (who will be staying back at ICPHSO headquarters); President Rick Brenner;  President Elect and 2018 Symposium Planning Chair, Belinda May; Vice President Matt Howsare;  Past President Nancy Cowles; and Board Member Renee Chiang are already in Tokyo or will soon be joining me.  I appreciate the support they provide to me and ICPHSO everyday.  I am also looking forward to again seeing Ross Koeser, ICPHSO Founding Member and former Executive Director who is also attending the Symposium.

Registration for Tokyo will remain open and if you still want to join us there is still time to register both on-line or at the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba where the Symposium is being held.

Safe travels for those of you attending and for those who are unable to join us in Tokyo, remembers its never too early to start making reservations and registering for the 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium in Orlando, Florida, February 20-23, 2018!  Our 25th Anniversary and Silver Jubilee Year.




ICPHSO Update on Regulators and 2018 Annual Symposium…

The support ICPHSO receives from all segments of the product safety community contributes to the success we have had over the last 24 years in bringing together safety and health professionals from the broad spectrum of the safety community.  Among these safety and health professionals we include regulators whose significant contributions at our three yearly conferences provide the opportunities for stakeholders to hear directly from and interact with global regulators.

During my previous life as a regulator, it became very clear to me how important it was for regulators to be able to attend ICPHSO conferences and talk and interact with the regulated industry in a non-adversarial manner.  Of course, my dealings with industry when I was at CPSC were always non-adversarial, but in that environment there was always some lingering doubts about everyone’s intentions.  Participation in ICPHSO broke down those walls and allowed the CPSC staff the opportunity to talk with industry in a neutral forum in a more casual and relaxed manner.   A mutual trust could be developed especially when there wasn’t a “pending case” to discuss.  Of course, over the years a lot of business was conducted during ICPHSO, which I think worked out to everyone’s benefit.

It was with this in mind, that ICPHSO realized early on the collaboration it established with  product safety regulators was a key aspect of our mission to bring everyone together.

CPSC and more recently Health Canada have been important members of the ICPHSO Board of Directors providing advice and guidance to the ICPHSO Executive Committee and Board on regulatory issues affecting our membership.

I am pleased to announce two new appointments as Ex-Officio members of the ICPHSO Board of Directors from Health Canada and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Geoff Barrett, Ex-Officio Board Member from Health Canada

Geoff is currently the Acting Director General of the Consumer Product Safety Directorate (CPSD) of Health Canada.  In this role, Geoff is responsible for the assessment, management, and communication of health and safety risks for all consumer products and cosmetics in Canada.  As Director of CPSD’s Risk Management Bureau, Geoff is also responsible for the development and implementation of risk management approaches for Health Canada.

Carol Cave, Ex-Officio Board Member from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Carol has been the Deputy Director for the Office of Compliance and Field Operations since October 2015. In this senior leadership position, Carol oversees and coordinates all Compliance and Enforcement activities for the Commission.  These activities include working with Commission staff, other federal agencies and industry on the identification of consumer product defects, negotiation of voluntary recalls and efforts to reduce the risk of injury from consumer products through safe design.

ICPHSO is very appreciative to both Health Canada and the CPSC for allowing Geoff and Carol to participate at ICPHSO and represent these key regulators with our membership.  I encourage everyone to get to know both Carol and Geoff and visit with them at a future Symposium.

2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium Update

I am also happy to announce that our 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium scheduled for February 20-23, 2018 in Orlando, Florida is proceeding at a rapid pace. Registration, Hotel, Sponsorship, Exhibitor, and Scholarship information can be found on our website.  We also just posted the  preliminary schedule for the Annual Symposium and, as you will see, we have a full schedule beginning with a CPSC Lunch and Learn Tutorial on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 11:30 am and ending with Roundtable discussions on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm.  The roundtable discussions start at lunch on Friday with leaders from product safety and other fields brainstorming both process and new products to further safety.  After lunch, we will further the discussion on new technology to assist industry and consumers to identify recalled products and improve the effectiveness of recalls;  and then conclude the Symposium with a roundtable discussion about the practical use of data mining including new technology, in an effort to identify emerging hazards and trends before they can do harm.

As you can see, we have filled the Symposium to the core, from beginning to end with important safety information that every safety and health professional will need to assist them in their jobs.  We hope you will be a part of the conversation and make your plans to participate during the entire Symposium.  You won’t be sorry!

Check back on our website frequently for updates on the agenda as we will post new information as it becomes available.

Regards and for those traveling with us to Tokyo – safe travels,