2019: Our Year In Review

Gina Kesler Employment Screening

As we close up another year and say goodbye to 2019, it’s not without celebrating our successes, learning from our mistakes, and sharing gratitude for a prosperous year, supportive clients and a hard working IES team.

IES is proud to be members of the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA), and I’m blessed to be a founding Board member. Much progress has been made towards our mission of safe communities and workplaces and preserving employers’ rights to have and maintain a safe and drug free workplace.

Our passion for the industry and the employer struck the interest of the Honorable William Bennett, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under former President George H. W. Bush. Dr. Bennett invited a few of the Board members to meet in D.C. to discuss addiction issues plaguing our society and our workplaces. Dr. Bennett shared his insight over his long career and clear strategies began to form regarding how to manage laws pushing to legalize drugs.

NDASA Conference 2019 William Bennett

William Bennett (2nd from right)

2019 NDASA Annual Conference

The following month brought our annual conference, held in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Bennett and his colleague, Seth (a friend of mine) delivered the conference keynote and dined with some of our members during a VIP event held in Dr. Bennett’s honor.

William Bennet and Gina Kesler

The NDASA conference was wildly successful and our Board did a fantastic job creating lasting memories for all who attended.

Changes in Nevada laws were announced on all of the major news networks that gravely concerned Nevada employers and their insurance underwriters. IES was called out to discuss the Nevada law, implications it may have on workplace testing policies and to share industry practices.

We also had a packed house at the Nevada Brown and Brown Insurances training room where Supervisors from over 40 companies attended our Reasonable Suspicion training and certification course. It was humbling to be in a room filled with people that took a day out to train because they care about their workforce.

Other Conferences We Attended in 2019

2019 SHRM conference

August in Phoenix sees temperatures in the 110’s, but that didn’t stop us from delivering a sizzling performance at the Arizona SHRM conference in Glendale, AZ.

Several hundred Human Resource professionals attended to learn about new industry solutions surrounding drug free workplace policies and programs. Many shared stories of success, many looking to add to their programs. SHRM members are some of the best and brightest which inspires IES to strive for current solutions and thought leadership.

The Arizona chapter National Safety Council hosted their full day Safety Congress for 2019. IES was selected to participate and delivered an hour packed with statistics, industry facts and solutions to safety professionals that witness the challenges drug use brings to the workplace every day.

With a variety of federal regulatory changes by the Department of Transportation at the helm, NDASA partnered with the FMCSA to help deliver live regional round table events to educate motor carrier and service agents on their duties and requirements for compliance under the new FMCSA Clearinghouse database. NDASA, IES and PFA Transportation Insurance hosted a regional Clearinghouse event in Phoenix, AZ in November. We packed the auditorium for a morning and afternoon session while representatives from both ODAPC and FMCSA flew from D.C. to speak. Registration for both sessions filled in just 4 days!

IES also partnered with the Arizona Trucking Association to bring to the membership live onsite Reasonable Suspicion training for Supervisors of trucking companies. The demand for this training had IES out for 2 days of training in early December. Our students left class, certificate in hand, and donning a new level of professionalism to incorporate into their daily safety programs. Another couple of moments to be surrounded by those that care about their employees and workforce that I cherished.

Video Webinars and Interviews in 2019

Over the course of the year, IES was approached by various organizations asking if we’d host educational webinars on different topics ranging from Workplace Challenges and Substance Abuse, the FMCSA Clearinghouse, and Legal Pitfalls Surrounding the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Gina Kesler YouTube interview

I was honored to participate in these webinars with national associations such as the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation (MCIEF), Marsh McLennan Insurance, Transportation division, and NDASA. Myself and our EVP, Jay Hughes, made our first Youtube TV debut on the weekly Auto Transport Intel show with Jay Wertzberger.

Initially a one-on-one interview between Jay W. and myself, we were later joined by Jay Hughes and Rich Bren, Vice President, PFA Transportation Insurance, to discuss the FMCSA Clearinghouse ruling, road safety, expectations, etc. as a panel.

It’s easy to fall victim to tunnel vision of my own mission and goals within my industry, and truly an awakening to surround myself with other industry experts in different fields tackling safety issues from other angles. Overcoming safety challenges could become so much easier by working together across different industries rather than working in our industry silos. The experience was truly a pleasure.

2020: A New Year, A New Decade

2020 is set to be a very eventful and important year for IES, our clients, and the industry as a whole. Legislation such as the FMCSA Clearinghouse is sure to have an impact on how employers monitor, test, train, and address drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace.

May I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year.

~ Gina