Orlando Here We Come…

Less than two weeks to go!  I am excited to see the year of planning finally come to fruition.  The ICPHSO 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium is shaping up to be one of the best.

Imagine the planning and the execution that goes into running an event this size. With nearly 700 registered attendees, there has to be ample hotel rooms, meeting space, and food and beverage to keep everyone well nourished and up for the week’s intense schedule.  We have nearly 120 speakers from many different backgrounds in product safety, ready to impart their knowledge to you.  But it’s not a way one street.  We always encourage active attendee participation so when you need more information, don’t hesitate to ask.  We have lined up four keynote speakers and you won’t want to miss any of them.  Keynote speakers include a Senior Vice President from Westchester, a Chubb Company, a leader in providing recall insurance to companies as well as part two of the panel discussion that debuted in Washington, D.C., between newly elected U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Vice Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle and  Commissioner Marietta Robinson, again moderated by Eric Rubel.  We will also hear from the President of the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) from Japan as well as a Senior Vice President from Samsung Electronics America, who will share relevant information pertaining to identifying risk and managing it once identified.

We have 37 exhibitors that will be at the Symposium with a wide array of resources to assist in our common goal of product safety. Over 50 sponsors make it all possible to meet and have the dialogue we have planned for the week. Through our Scholarship Sponsor Program and the generosity of seven Scholarship contributors, 14 stakeholders will be able to participate during the symposium that might not have been able to without such assistance.  The voices these small businesses, first time attendees, students, academia, health professionals, global regulators and others share with us during the Symposium will benefit us all.  Please be sure to send a special thanks to our seven Scholarship Sponsors.

We have an exciting program ready to roll out on Monday, February 20, 2017, with lunch at noon.  You don’t want to miss it.  Registration on line ends February 8, 2017 so we can finalize everything before we get to Orlando. The good news is if you can find your way to Orlando and find a room to stay, we will still register attendees on site at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel.  Bring your completed registration form with you.

We continue to add speakers and update the agenda, so check back on line for the latest Symposium information.  If you check the Schedule out on your smartphone, the event mobile app by Sched should  download (with your permission) the weeks schedule directly onto your phone.  This is a convenient and easy way to be kept up to date on the latest schedule of events taking place during the Symposium.

See you in Orlando!


Visit these Exhibitors at the ICPHSO 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium!


Thanks to all exhibitors and sponsors for your continued support of ICPHSO:

 ADK Information Services/Saint Louis University Amazon Amber Road Applied Technical Services AsiaInspection (AI ANSECO) BRC Global Standards Bureau Veritas Case Forensics ClearTrack Compliance & Risks CSA Group CTI U.S. Inc. DEKRA Deloitte Eurofins Health Canada ICIX ICPHSO Scholarship Contributors Innercell Intertek Met Labs Norton Rose Fulbright Product Safety Letter (PSL) Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) Recall Results SGS Society of Product Safety Professionals STC Stericycle Solutions Texbase TUV Rheinland TUV SUD UL Unitec Laboratory Services XOS Actus Analytical



30 Days to ICPHSO Symposium…

LICPHSO’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium is fast approaching.  The early registration to receive a discounted rate ends February 3, 2017.  Don’t delay any longer to register.  Take part in the Annual Symposium where over 100 speakers are scheduled to present on Evaluating and Managing Risk in Product Safety.  Hotel rooms are limited so don’t delay.

In addition to expert speakers, we have many sponsors and exhibitors who will be present not only to show their support for ICPHSO but to provide you with tools and expertise as we all work towards keeping consumer products safe.  Thanks to the following sponsors for their continued support of ICPHSO.

BRC Global Standards Amazon AI ANSECO ASTM International ADK/St. Louis University ClearTrack
ICIX Intertek Bureau Veritas Recall Results Gradient Law Office of Alan H. Schoem LLC
CSA Group Crowell & Moring The LEGO Group Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, Co—Founders Kids In Danger
SGS Deloitte CMA Testing and Certification Laboratories Mattel, Inc.  Callet Law
Stericycle Dentons  Mintz Levin Met Labs  Insight Quality Services
IKEA  Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP Product Safety Letter (PSL)  Law Offices of Quin D. Dodd, LLC
Norton Rose Fulbright  Exponent  Amber Road
Procter & Gamble
Hong Kong STC
Toy Industry Association, Inc.
TUV Rheinland
Bic Graphic



Happy 2017…..

We are well underway with our plans for the 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium.  With assistance by the 2017 Planning Committee, Planning Chairman (and incoming President) Rick Brenner, the sessions are just about finalized for the Symposium.  Updates to the schedule are being made daily as information becomes available.  Please be sure to check here for the latest  Symposium Agenda.  A full listing of Symposium sponsors and exhibitors is also on-line with additional sponsors being added daily.  We appreciate the support of all sponsors and exhibitors.  ICPHSO prides itself on being an inclusive forum for all voices.  There’s still time for you to contribute to this inclusiveness by becoming one of our Scholarship sponsors.    Your contribution to this fund assures we will continue to have the most diverse attendance possible.  If you are interested in becoming a Scholarship Sponsor, we have added new benefits to make sure the product safety community knows of your contribution and desire to assure all voices are heard.

If you haven’t already made your hotel reservations, you may find that room availability on certain days of the Symposium may be limited.  We have identified additional hotels and that information has now been posted on the events page at: Hotel Information, but don’t delay since room availability will continue to be limited as we approach registration and hotel deadlines.

The 2017 Symposium is shaping up to be one of our best.  You don’t want to miss out so sign up today to take part in our Annual Meeting and Training Symposium.  See you in Orlando!

In the Beginning…

As we look ahead to 2017 and our upcoming Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, I wanted to take a step back and look at how ICPHSO began.  Many members and attendees to the Symposium only know us as the organization with the hard to pronounce name (Ick-Fa-So).

It all began in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 18, 1993.  Twenty-four individuals from across the United States, Canada and Europe gathered to organize what would eventually become the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

ICPHSO grew out of the Association of Food and Drug Officials’ (AFDO) Product Safety Committee.  AFDO is comprised of federal, state, and local Food and Drug Officials and related industry.  In 1993, AFDO’s existing Consumer Product Safety Committee wanted to address product safety issues both nationwide and within individual states.  The Committee had modest success, but was never able to reach its full potential because very few Food and Drug Officials were involved in consumer product safety programs.  Food issues dominated the AFDO’s mandate, not consumer product safety.

So, some members of the AFDO along with other state and industry representatives, decided to see if it was the right time to make a change.  The purpose of the West Palm Beach meeting was to determine the feasibility of starting an organization dedicated solely to product safety.

The twenty-four individuals who attended that first meeting represented regulators (among them David Schmeltzer and Ross Koeser from CPSC as well as Elizabeth Nielsen from Canada’s Office of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, whose functions are now within Health Canada), the regulated industry (among them, Toy Manufacturers of America – now TIA, Coca Cola, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, DC Attorney Michael Brown and the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association) , regulators representing eight states, consumer representatives and two international representatives from the United Kingdom and Canada.

The meeting set the wheels in motion for a new organization.  During the two-day discussion, it became apparent to the attendees that for ICPHSO to be independently successful, it would have to adapt to reflect less polarizing issues such as education, networking, and professional growth.  Out of that meeting a letter describing the new organization was issued that defined ICPHSO.  It read:

“A forum for international, federal, state and local regulators, members of regulated industry, and members of public interest groups to meet to discuss their various perspectives and concerns.  In short, a setting to “network” for the discussion of ideas, approaches and problems with other product safety professionals.”

The first Annual Symposium was held in Orlando, Florida in 1994 and was attended by 137 people from around the globe.  Over the following two years, an average of 150 people regularly attended.

Following the fourth symposium in 1997, it was time for ICPHSO to go on its own after being dropped by AFDO.   Ross Koeser, then President, was determined to bolster the young organization and hired a part time Executive Assistant, incorporated ICPHSO as a 501(c)3) non-profit organization and set up an office in Maryland.

And away ICPHSO went without ever looking back.  Several significant changes occurred at the 1998 Symposium.  For the first time, with the support of David Schmeltzer, then Director of Compliance at CPSC, a “Compliance Workshop” was held one day prior to the 1998 Annual Meeting and Symposium.  Over 90 people attended the successful half-day session, including manufacturers, importers, retailers, trade associations, international, state and local government, media, consumer advocates, and special interest groups.  The half day CPSC Compliance Workshop focused on the CPSC Compliance Program, and featured discussions around the industry’s reporting obligations, CPSC expectations for voluntary recalls, and how compliance activities relate to voluntary product safety standards. (All sound familiar?)  Then-Chairman Ann Brown, introduced the tradition of having the sitting CPSC Chairman present the keynote speech as part of the CPSC Compliance Program.

During the symposium, time was put aside to bring state contacts of CPSC to hold their annual meeting in conjunction with the ICPHSO meeting, thanks to then ICPHSO President Ross Koeser, who was the Director of State and Local Programs at CPSC.

This Symposium also saw the creation of an International Caucus which helped draw an increased global audience thanks to Elizabeth Nielsen (Canada) and Michael Drewry (Scotland). The following year several members of the Product Safety Enforcement Forum of Europe (PROSAFE) attended the Symposium which boosted international focus, interest, and attendance.

Finally, the format of the Annual Symposium was changed to a workshop style that encouraged more interaction between the audience and the presenters.

From there – ICPHSO continued to grow and added the American Bar Association’s Consumer Product Safety Law Seminar to the Annual Symposium, following in the footsteps of the CPSC Compliance Program to provide legal training and guidance on various consumer product safety issues.

In 1999, former President Ross Koeser, started as part time Executive Director.  In October 2015, I became ICPHSO’s first full time Executive Director.

As you can see, what began as a small undertaking by twenty-four dedicated volunteers, became an organization boasting over 450 members and holding three conferences every year. None of this could have been done without the dedicated health and safety professionals from all segments of product safety volunteering their time, and in many cases their organization’s and own resources to assure that ICPHSO is truly a global organization that remains a neutral forum for all stakeholders.  This commitment keeps consumer product safety on top of everyone’s agenda and provides safer consumer products globally.  It’s a true testament to the hard work and passion for product safety by the ICPHSO Founding Members that many of the original supporting organizations remain active today.  Among them –  JPMA, CFA, CPSC, Health Canada, PROSAFE, TIA, Fisher-Price/Mattel, McDonalds, Disney, Coca Cola, and many others.

We expect even more good things in 2017!

Next Orlando….66 Days To Go!

I am happy to report that Registration is now open for the 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, February 20-23, at the Hyatt Grand Cypress Hotel in Orlando, Florida.  We held our 2015 Symposium at the Grand Cypress and the facilities they offer are exceptional.  We should have sufficient space for the tutorial, plenary and breakout sessions that are all being planned as well as great accommodations for our exhibitors who will be in the foyer area just near the entrance to the Grand Cypress Ballroom where most of our week’s activities take place.   We also just posted our Preliminary Agenda for the week and as you will see, our focus on “Identifying and Managing Risk” is prevalent through most of the planned sessions.  We are also starting to focus on Sponsorships and Exhibitors.  If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Heather Konya, our Association Manager for Sponsorships and Exhibits, at Heather Konya and she will be happy to work with you and your organization.  Heather will work with you on sponsorship to give your organization maximum exposure to the over 700 attendees we expect to register over the next eight weeks.   It seems like just yesterday we were planning our International Symposium. Time doesn’t stop and we all march forward!

Speaking of sponsors, we are always looking for contributions to our Scholarship Fund (see page 11).  This fund has been a part of every ICPHSO Symposium and provides financial assistance to those organizations and individuals who may not otherwise be able to attend.  Our scholarship program is critical to ensure that all stakeholder voices are present and heard during our Symposium.  It makes it possible for consumer representatives, academia, and global regulators to attend by assisting them with registration and other costs.   This strengthens our commitment to product safety and allows all voices to be heard during critical discussions. Without support through contributions, it wouldn’t be possible.  We have added some exciting benefits for those who contribute to the scholarship fund.  Please look at the Sponsorship Opportunities we have posted and make your company or organization’s presence known to the safety community. Thank you in advance for your support.