May 30, 2019 / Gouhar Nayeem

​“Please Cancel My Membership, I’ve Just Retired”

Photo: Steven Eversmeyer, AIHA Member

“Having worked my whole life and paid for membership for years, why would I want to continue paying when I’m retired?”

This seems to be a common sentiment among our retiring members. As AIHA’s membership marketing specialist, I’m here to tell you that even though you are not working anymore, there is still so much to gain, learn, and achieve from continuing as an AIHA member and furthering our mission to protect workers' health and safety. This goal doesn’t end after retirement. ​

Here are four additional reasons why you should stay an AIHA member:

1. Staying Connected

You’ve been with AIHA long enough to know what you’ll be missing if you are no longer a member: you won’t have monthly access to The Synergist and the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) or be able to network on Catalyst. Being retired doesn’t mean you have cut yourself off from the latest research and developments in the profession that you invested so much of your life practicing. Being on top of what’s going on in the industry keeps you connected and active with the issues that will continue to matter to you. Also, maintaining your network and voice on Catalyst ensures you have a say in the industry. Those with less experience look to your knowledge to help them pave a path within the profession.

2. Giving Back and Leaving a Legacy

Having worked most of your life, you have the experience and industry know-how that make you a vital part of this association and the profession. AIHA’s multitude of volunteer opportunities—such as joining professional and technical committees, volunteer groups, and local sections, or being a distinguished lecturer—are excellent ways for you to continue to be active in positions of leadership, advocacy, and research.

Another great way to make a lasting impact on the industry is by supporting deserving IH/OEHS students through scholarships distributed by the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation. These donations ensure the profession doesn’t run dry of talented students.

Retirement is a great time to give back to the career that has nurtured you throughout most of your professional life.

3. Supporting the Industry’s Future

AIHA promotes innovative programs designed to encourage its members to teach students about the IH/OEHS profession, such as the #IAMIH Leadership Challenge, a friendly competition challenging local sections to go to schools, career fairs, and other events and give presentations about what IHs do. The IH Heroes comic book series is also an excellent way of communicating what industrial hygienists do at varying career stages. Without such programs and the members who promote them, we wouldn’t be able to fill the career pipeline, thus resulting in fewer IHs, especially with so many of you retiring.

Mentoring is also a great way of supporting others in the profession who rely on your experience and knowledge for guidance. Many mentoring relationships develop into lasting, meaningful friendships cultivated in the time spent within the program.

4. Opportunity to Be a Fellow as a Full Member

If you’ve been a full member in good standing for a minimum of 15 consecutive years and have made recognized contributions to industrial hygiene or related disciplines, you can be nominated by a local section, committee, special interest group, or other formal AIHA entity for recognition as an AIHA Fellow. Fellows are ultimately selected by the AIHA Board of Directors after recommendations by the Awards Committee. No more than 5 percent of the membership are able to achieve this honor.

It’s worth hanging on to your membership if you only have a few years left to complete this 15-consecutive-year requirement so you can qualify. Find out more about the requirements for being nominated as an AIHA Fellow.

Retirement doesn’t have to mean shutting yourself off from the profession that has mattered to you for so many years. You can continue having a voice in the profession through emeritus membership. This membership costs less than half of what you were paying as a full member.

Steve Eversmeyer, CIH, CSP, an AIHA member since 1986, had this to say about the importance of retaining your membership: “I’ve been an AIHA member for 35 or more years, and it’s an organization that’s in business to support us. If I’m not a member, I can’t expect the organization to exist. I can’t expect the organization to assist in educating other people on what we do or get the word out on the value of industrial hygiene and safety as well as making the workplace safer for workers. Everybody has to work together.”

We hope you stay with us because we appreciate your experience, leadership abilities, and contributions. Visit our emeritus membership page to find out how to join or renew. Give us a call at (703) 849-8888 or email infonet@aiha.org if you have any questions.

Enjoy this nostalgic video​ from 1939 through 2019 with images taken from the association archives, celebrating AIHA and its members during the last 80 years.

Gouhar Nayeem

Gouhar Nayeem is AIHA’s membership marketing specialist.

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