NEHA March 2024 Journal of Environmental Health



The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is governed by a corporate Board of Directors who oversee the aairs of our association. The board is made up of two groups: national ocers and regional vice-presidents. We elect our national ocers through a ballot that goes to all active and life members before the annual conference. Among other things, the ballot features the election for the position of NEHA second vice-president. The person elected to this position begins a 5-year commitment that involves advancing each year to a dierent national oce to eventually become our president. Election policy specifies that candidate profiles for the second vice-president be limited to 800 words in total length. If a candidate’s profile exceeds that limit, the policy requires that the profile be terminated at the last sentence before the 800-word limit is exceeded. In addition, the submitted profiles have not been grammatically edited, but presented as submitted and within the 800-word limitation. This year, we present one candidate for the oce of second vice-president.

Michele DiMaggio, REHS Michele DiMaggio believes Environmen- tal Health is a field of public service in all aspects of the public’s health and safety. Her current career as a Supervising Environ- mental Health Specialist and past experi- ences have made her realize the significant eects and important work conducted by Specialists every day; even when they are

Mosquito control. Working at CCMVCD also gave her the oppor- tunity to work with the District’s Entomologist and the California Department of Public Health’s Vector-Borne Disease Public Health Biologists (CDPH VBDS). Consequently, in college and working with CDFA, Michele was not aware of the Environmental Health field and its opportunities. While at CCMVCD, Contra Costa County, Environmental Health Specialists reached out to collaborate for rodent control at vari- ous food facilities. In 2001, she made the move to Contra Costa County, Environmental Health (CCH EH) where she found her passion for Environmental Health, became a California Registered Environmental Health Specialist, and began her 22-year career. In 2005, she followed a former aspiration as an Associate Public Health Biologist for CDPH VBDS, but soon realized she thrived with Environmental Health and returned to CCH EH. Currently, Michele is a Supervising Environmental Health Specialist manag- ing various programs such as Retail Food, Temporary Food Facili- ties, Certified Farmer’s Markets, Schools, New Employee Training and Standardization, and co-manages the division’s Foodborne Outbreak Response Team. From 2007 to 2013, Michele was a Food Safety Certified Man- ager instructor and proctor educating food facility operators. 2009 was a fortuitous year for Michele where she began teaching with CDC’s Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response expert instructors. As an active National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) member, Michele served as a Food Safety Sub- ject Matter Expert, Food and Emergencies Technical Adviser, and Temporary Food Establishments and Epi-Ready Course Instructor. From 2017 to 2023, she represented NEHA on CDC’s Board of Scientific Counselors, Food Safety Modernization Act Surveillance Working Group where she voiced the importance of local Envi- ronmental Health’s critical roles and responsibilities conducting foodborne illness and outbreak investigations. Additionally, she had the opportunity to share her passion and had the privilege of being part of NEHA/CDC’s team to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, training their Environmental Health Inspectors on Food Safety, Food Safety Inspections, and Emergency Response. Recently, as part of a grant to strengthen U.S. Public Health Infra- structure, Workforce, and Data Systems, Michele had the honor to travel to Guam and the Mariana Islands as a Risk Based Inspections and Epi-Ready instructor to Environmental Health Specialists.

not “on the clock.” As a NEHA Region 2 Vice-President, Michele knows the pathways yet to be opened to Environmental Health and realizes that continuing NEHA in a positive direction requires active participation for all of NEHA, One NEHA. To collaboratively promote NEHA’s mission and open pathways for Environmental Health, Michele visualizes: 1. Continued support for Environmental Health Specialists (Fed- eral, State, Local, Tribal, Territorial, Private) to elevate the work- force nationally. 2. Increasing NEHA membership to incorporate tribal and U.S. Ter- ritory Environmental Health jurisdictions and contractors. 3. Emphasizing to all members and non-members the importance of Environmental Health and the Specialists that conduct the work at all levels and areas. Michele grew up in Salinas, California, and started her food ser- vice experience working as a “bus girl,” server, and hostess in her mom’s restaurant called Don Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant. While attempting her degree in Business Administration at California State University at East Bay, she found her passion for science and changed her studies to Biology with a background in Entomol- ogy. After graduating with a B.S. in Biological Science she worked as a Seasonal Agricultural Biologist for the California Depart- ment of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Pest Detection/Emergency Projects. Working for CDFA encouraged Michele’s love for Ento- mology where she had new experiences of conducting Fruit Fly Quarantines, trapping of foreign pests, and educating the public of the costly eects of plant diseases. After moving to Contra Costa County, she continued to enjoy field work as a Vector Control Technician for Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District (CCMVCD). Michele calls her time at CCMVCD “fun times” of rodent control and trapping, rabies risk reduction, Tick and Lyme Disease surveillance, Bee and Bat Prevention consultation, and


Volume 86 • Number 7

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