Be an EHS Hero | User Conference

October 1-2, 2019 | Chicago, USA

VelocityEHS is more than a company or a set of easy-to-use EHS solutions. It is first and foremost a community of like-minded people, your team and ours, working together to do that which we could not do alone. The Accelerate 2019 Conference is our chance to celebrate and lay the groundwork for future success. Together we are strong.


Accelerate 2019 provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with people who share your passions, challenges, and optimism when it comes to EHS. Connect with industry peers, fellow VelocityEHS customers, EHS experts and our leadership team.


We believe the most powerful learning is experiential and peer-to-peer. Join over 100 of your professional colleagues, in an intimate event, sharing best practices and VelocityEHS software secrets. It's time to accelerate your learning curve!


Break out of your personal or organizational ruts. Accelerate 2019 will open your horizons in two short, action packed days by sending you crashing into a world of new ideas. Profound growth comes quickly. One small spark, one new insight, can change everything.

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost." -- Arthur Ashe

Professional Skill Building

Accelerate 2019's agenda will include time to focus on the skills necessary for EHS professionals today, like how to be a change agent, influencing without authority, change management, and communicating your story to the C-Suite. If there is a topic that would be meaningful to you, drop us a note. Be on the lookout for our call for speakers in early 2019.


Chicago in the Fall

Chicago is beautiful all year round, but the fall is an especially great time to visit, and we'll take advantage of all the town has to offer. Your Accelerate 2019 registration includes delicious meals, unique networking receptions, time on our rooftop deck with a one of a kind view of the city, and other interactive events.

VelocityEHS World Headquarters

VelocityEHS is located in the historic Merchandise Mart building -- which happens to be at the center of Chicago's rapidly growing tech revolution. Come see where we work and play, and how easy it is to get caught up in the energy that drives the VelocityEHS experience.


Register Today

Discount for 3 or more members from the same company.
Standard: $850 | Group: $725/person

Once you've registered, don't forget to book your room.

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Accelerate 2019 Agenda

A day at Accelerate 2019 will include a mix of networking sessions, user case studies, and hands on learning. You'll discover how your peers are using VelocityEHS to improve their organizations, participate in professional skill building, and be the first to learn about exciting updates to VelocityEHS products and services.

Oct 1

Day 1 October 1, 2019

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on Oct. 1, and breakfast & lunch on Oct. 2 are included with your registration.

7:30 am


8:30 am

Welcome Address

8:45 am

Key Note Presentation: Bill Benjamin

We're thrilled to introduce our keynote speaker, Bill Benjamin — an emotional intelligence, performance and leadership expert.

Bill's message and engaging style will inspire you to drive positive change in your organization. He leverages his mathematics and technical background to take a practical and scientific approach to helping people understand how the brain responds under pressure and how that can help increase leadership and performance. 

We took our time looking for the right speaker and Bill knocked us off of our feet. He will help us set the stage for two days of connection, learning and growth at Accelerate 2019. Bill is a partner at the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) where his practical nature and scientific approach to leadership make him a great fit for analytical and discerning audiences like the U.S Marines and NASA engineers. 

You will leave the conference with tools to hit the ground running and make great things happen where you work.

10:15 am

Coffee Break

10:30 am

A Systematic Approach to New Employee Safety

Dustin Rusch, Chief Safety Officer & Kelci Berndt, Safety Coordinator

JF Ahern

Equating safety with the absence of injuries is a fallacy. This is especially true when it comes to new and short-service employees. Instead, ensuring these employees have the necessary support to perform their jobs safely is a business challenge that requires a systematic approach. In this session you’ll learn how injury data collected in VelocityEHS led JF Ahern to a examine its safety management system and put new measures in place, including targeted observations, competency building, and participation of the CEO.

11:30 am

Partners in Sustainability – A Long-Term Customer Talks New Goals

Marcus Fitzgerald, Global QEHS Director for CETCO Energy Services

Minerals Technologies Inc.

A partnership is a commitment to work together in pursuit of shared objectives. In the best of cases, as goals are met, new possibilities emerge, and the collaboration deepens. The MTI and VelocityEHS journey is well into its second decade, yet the focus is on the future. For MTI, a company with an executive-driven focus on sustainability, this means reducing its environmental footprint, becoming a safer place to work, and engaging its communities. VelocityEHS is helping by making it easier for MTI to collect and evaluate key environmental, safety, and operational metrics and to prioritize sustainability goals.

12:30 pm


1:30 pm

Understanding Outcomes One Company on a Data Driven Mission

Jennifer Criqui, Global Director of EHS at Emerson Automation Solutions

Emerson Electric

Measuring performance is a foundational tenet of EHS. However, establishing meaningful measures that go beyond recordable injury data is a tough challenge. Metrics that provide insight into trends, employee culture, and leadership execution are much more indicative of our EHS commitment, but they can be hard to capture. In this session, Emerson Electric discusses how the leap from spreadsheets to VelocityEHS opened opportunities to drive EHS conversations to a higher level, improve performance, heighten ownership, and reduce negative outcomes over time. With metrics for each of their locations rolling up into a global scorecard, Emerson now has direct insight into the success or failure of their activities related to prevention, culture, and leadership.

2:30 pm

Coffee Break

2:45 pm

Accelerating into the Future

VelocityEHS is thrilled to share exciting news about the products and services we are hard at work building for our customer community.  Prepare to be wowed! You will be the first to see the next generation of EHS software.

4:15 pm

Networking Event

Relax and connect with your peers in the VelocityEHS Community.

6:00 pm

Oct 2

Day 2 October 2, 2019

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on Oct. 1, and breakfast & lunch on Oct. 2 are included with your registration.

7:30 am


8:30 am

Opening Remarks

8:35 am

Be the Change You Wish to See – The Transformative Power of MOC

Phil Walsh, Regional Safety, Health & Env Manager & Dan Husnik, Lead Business Systems Analyst 

Ecolab Inc. 

Despite its business complexity, Ecolab was drawn to VelocityEHS’ simplicity and ease of implementation. VelocityEHS spread from division to division and then up to the enterprise level. With Ecolab initially not having anything in place at the top, no way to track data across all sites, no tools to capture trends or create reports, it had no way to look at information for its entire group – no standardization. It needed a way for its sites to easily manage data more efficiently. Coordinating with stakeholders across departments like IT and EHS, which for Ecolab, amounts to hundreds of people across 170 different countries, takes effort, but as sites come on board, excitement grows! This session will look at the coordinated effort by Ecolab to assure companywide alignment toward unified data management, with a special emphasis on the MOC product and Ecolab’s change management processes, as well as the value MOC provides to this world-class company and the career growth it provides to its champion.

9:25 am

When You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – The Road to Visibility & Efficiency

Marc Juaire, Corporate Director of Environment, Health and Safety

Liberty Diversified International.

LDI is a privately held, family owned company that has been in business for over 100 years — the first 96 without a central EHS function. Injuries were tracked, but compliance was difficult, especially when acquiring smaller businesses that were lacking dedicated EHS resources. A corporate Director of EHS role was created to standardize processes and increase visibility. An EHS compliance audit program was implemented to assess compliance between different locations and for same locations over time, and a common training calendar was set up to unite all sites. More recently, LDI implemented the DuPont STOP system and locations started to do their own inspections and self-assessments using VelocityEHS’ software. This session will showcase the efficiencies and culture-building achieved across LDI sites, in part through GAP assessments and shared compliance calendars.

10:15 am

Coffee Break

10:30 am

Finding the Right Fit for Ergonomics

Michael Mauro, Divisional Ergonomics & Error Proofing Process Champion

W.L. Gore & Associates

When Gore identified a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) incident rate that was higher than the industry benchmark, it embarked on a journey to reduce MSDs across its Medical Products Division. This session will discuss the steps Gore took, including: restructuring organizational accountability, managing complex change, creating standards for assessment and reporting, and engaging at all levels in the organization with the support of VelocityEHS’ Humantech software and consulting services. Learn how ergonomics can be a driver for culture change in your organization.

11:30 am

The Rest is Gravy How VelocityEHS Helps Solve Many Challenges

Gregory Downs, IT Project Manager - EHS

International Paper

International Paper originally turned to VelocityEHS for help managing incidents. That ending up being the tip of the iceberg. Today, IP’s solution set includes Audits & Inspections, Chemical Management, Compliance Management, and Actions. This session will zero in on chemical management, audits and actions, including how the mobile app is helping people keep up with their to-dos in real time. It will also provide an opportunity to learn how related services from VelocityEHS are helping streamline critical EHS activities for IP and deliver efficiencies not possible when done in-house. Needs change over time, but growth means turning those challenges into opportunities. For IP, those opportunities include turning data into better decisions and greater visibility for the whole team.

12:30 pm


1:30 pm

Beyond Compliance – How to Demystify Industrial Hygiene and Create a Sustainable Program 

Kristi Hames, CIH, CSP, Industrial Hygiene Program Manger

Ashland LLC

Industrial Hygiene is complex, but managing an effective, compliant IH program doesn’t have to be! Learn how Ashland simplified IH for its entire organization and how – with the help of the VelocityEHS solution – it demystified IH data for both IH- and EHS-professionals alike, and how you can too!

2:30 pm

One of the Safest Places to Work in America – Secrets from an Industry Leader

George Carlough, Director, Global Environment, Health & Safety

Komatsu Mining Corp.

Saddled with a homemade system that was not keeping pace with its needs, Komatsu turned to VelocityEHS for help getting more value out of the good work it was already doing. Not surprisingly, Komatsu was looking for simpler, faster, better; but more importantly, engaging and useful – it needed a way to help people be more proactive. Observations and Hazard IDs were a strong focus, with both top down and bottom up engagement grounded in the idea that safety is owned by everyone and that relationships with operations were important. Now, with greater program efficiencies, Komatsu is an EHS Today award winner as one of the safest places to work in America, with a focus on data quality over quantity and a shift from lagging to leading indicators. This session will showcase the dashboards and reports important to Komatsu.

3:30 pm

Closing Remarks

4:00 pm



Bill Benjamin

Emotional intelligence, performance & leadership expert

Keynote Speaker

Dustin Rusch

Chief Safety Officer

JF Ahern

Kelci Berndt

Safety Coordinator

JF Ahern

Marcus Fitzgerald

Global QEHS Director for CETCO Energy Services

Minerals Technologies

Jennifer Criqui

Global Director of EHS at Emerson Automation Solutions

Emerson Electric

Phil Walsh

Regional Safety, Health & Env Manager

Ecolab Inc.

Marc Juaire

Corporate Director, Environment, Health and Safety

Liberty Diversified International

Dan Husnik

Lead Business Systems Analyst

Ecolab Inc.

Michael Mauro

Divisional Ergonomics & Error Proofing Process Champion

W.L. Gore & Associates

Gregory Downs

IT Project Manager - EHS

International Paper

Kristi Hames, CIH, CSP

Industrial Hygiene Program Manger

Ashland LLC

George Carlough

Director, Global Environment, Health & Safety

Komatsu Mining Corp.

Glenn Trout



Matt Airhart

President & COO


Accelerate 2019 Hotel

To help make your visit memorable, VelocityEHS is partnering with
the Hyatt Regency Chicago, one of Chi-Town's premier hotels.


We've secured great prices with rooms starting at $229 + tax per night. Quantities are limited.

Located at 151 E. Wacker Drive, the hotel is a short walk from the Merchandise Mart. Experience one of the City's most popular and newest attractions, the Riverwalk, an uninterrupted walkway alongside the Chicago river that will take you between the Hyatt and the Mart, providing unforgettable views along the way.

The Hyatt Regency is also perfectly located in the heart of the city, steps away from Michigan Ave, Millennium Park, Museums, and Navy Pier -- plus hundreds of restaurants and other points of interest.

Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60601
Tel: +1 312 565 1234 | Fax: +1 312 239 4795

Things to Do

In his famous ode to Chicago, Carl Sandburg wrote about the City of Big Shoulders:

" I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning. Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities..."

Waiting for you in Chicago are a collection of world-class experiences that are second to none.
Come early or stay later to make the most of your time here.

Let's Talk

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