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For McNelly, proving value to members is the main goal

Head of American Society of Safety Professionals wants Chicago-area group to rethink how it delivers content to customers


Jan. 7, 2019
By Walt Williams

Jennifer McNelly was used to getting calls from executive recruiters. As the former president of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute, she was a good source of recommendations for people to fill job openings.

“It is not unusual as a woman in the industry space who has done a lot of work for the advancement of women to be called by recruiters saying, ‘Do you know somebody?’” she told CEO Update. “A call a month would not be unusual.”

However, earlier this year, one such call ended with the recruiter asking McNelly if she would be interested in applying for the top position at the American Society of Safety Professionals, a $17 million-revenue professional society based near Chicago. McNelly said she was.

“That’s the first time I have ever done that, actually,” she said.