Key Note Speakers


Dale Murphy


Former MLB Player, 2XMVP, 7X All-Star 


Dale (or “Murph” as he is known by teammates and fans) is the youngest player in MLB history to win back-to-back MVP awards (1982 and 1983). He won 2 consecutive NL Player of the Year Awards (The Sporting News, 1982, 1983) and was named to the National League All-Star Team 7 times, 5 as a starter. He won the Gillette Trophy for the highest number of All-Star votes submitted by fans in the National League in 1985.

Murph won 5 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and 4 Silver Slugger Awards. He was named National League Player of the Month a record 6 times and was named the most feared hitter in the NL in a survey of pitchers in 1985. In 1991, he won the Bart Giamatti Caring Award and was presented in 1985 with the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, recognizing him as the player who best fit the image and character of Lou Gehrig. He also received the Roberto Clemente Award in honor of his character and charitable contributions on and off the field.

His streak of 740 consecutive games (1981-1986) is one of the longest in baseball history.

In 1983, he became only the sixth player in Major League history to have at least 30 homeruns (36) and 30 stolen bases (30) in one season. This elite group is sometimes referred to as the “30-30 Club.”

During the decade spanning 1981-1990, he led the major leagues in home runs and RBI’s. He also led the National League in games, at bats, runs scored, hits, extra base hits, runs created, total bases and plate appearances.

He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated 3 times. In 1987 he was named one of Sports Illustrated’s 5 Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year, representing Major League Baseball as the athlete “Who Cared the Most.” He was honored with this award by President Ronald Regan in the Oval Office of the White House.

Known as one of the true gentlemen of the game, Dale leads by example. He has given his time and his name to numerous charities through the years. After his retirement, he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

Dale was one of the most beloved athletes to ever play in Atlanta. He retired from baseball in 1993 after a long and very successful career.

His number (#3) was the fourth in the history of the Atlanta Braves’ organization to be retired. It hung for a time in Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium and Turner Field, and now takes its place in SunTrust Park.

Dale is a sought after business, collegiate, and motivational speaker and travels the country sharing his messages about leadership, resilience, integrity, and more. He is the author of Ask Dale Murphy, The Scouting Report: Professional Athletics, and The Scouting Report: Youth Athletics.

But that’s not all. What he did on the field is actually not the most important part of Murph’s life—as amazing as those things are. Dale and his wife of 40 years—Nancy—are the parents of 8 children (7 sons and 1 daughter) and grandparents to 12. His family, friends, and faith as well as his other accomplishments off the field are the things in life he treasures most.

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Curtis Weber


Internationally known Safety and Motivational Speaker 


On July 29th, 1999, a seventeen year old Curtis Weber was working on his third day of a new job, as a labourer on a construction site in Saskatchewan, Canada. He was to spend one last Summer at home following his graduation, before moving away from home to play Jr A hockey. Instead, he quickly found himself in a battle for his life, after a near fatal workplace incident nearly ended his young, promising life.

After a long and trying day for Curtis Weber and his co-workers, they found themselves much further behind in the progress they were hoping for that day, and felt some pressure to pick up the pace. The next task they faced, proved to be the last one they would attempt that day. Curtis Weber and his crew were attempting to transport a steel structure under an overhead power line with a crane. Prior to the maneuver they had a brief discussion around how they would complete the task along with the associated risks. “But we had a job to get done. We were already behind. We identified the hazard. We assessed the risk. What more could we have done?”

Without a documented plan, a discussion around who was going to do what, when and where, they attempted their task, like so many other times they had, like so many others have before them.

Curtis Weber grabbed hold of the steel structure, steadying it from the wind as they approached the overhead line. Then the predictable happened. The preventable happened. Curtis Weber became the ground point as over 40,000 volts of electricity surged through his young body. His body engulfed in a large ball of fire, thrown violently back and forth, 4-5 feet off the ground, accounts one of his co-workers. Curtis Weber lye motionless, unresponsive and not breathing. After arriving at hospital, doctors gave his family no hope for survival. But Curtis Weber wasn’t done fighting.

Let Curtis Weber share his emotional journey and influence change at your workplace, conference, event or school and tell you how and why he was lucky that day.


Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo


President Donald J. Trump nominated David G. Zatezalo to be the 9th Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.  He was sworn in on November 30, 2017.

Assistant Secretary Zatezalo is a native of West Virginia and has spent a lifetime working in mining.  He began his career as a union miner and since then has held positions at a number of companies as shift foreman, engineering superintendent, mine manager, vice president of operations and chief executive officer.  Assistant Secretary Zatezalo has worked in mining all across the U.S. and internationally in Australia. 

Assistant Secretary Zatezalo has a degree in mining engineering from West Virginia University and is a registered professional engineer in Ohio and West Virginia. He also has an MBA from Ohio University. He is the past chairman of the Kentucky Coal Association and the Ohio Coal Association.  He’s also been a member of the Mine Rescue Veterans of the Pittsburgh District.



Dr. Emanuele Caude


Company: NIOSH Mining program
Title: Senior Service Fellow 


Dr. Emanuele Cauda is a Senior Research Engineer at the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Dr. Cauda joined NIOSH in 2007 and his research focuses on monitoring, characterization, and control of aerosols present in occupational environments and specifically dust, silica, and diesel particulate matter. Dr. Cauda is also the Deputy Director of the NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies (NCDRST). In the frame of the center, Dr. Cauda is involved in the performance verification of real-time monitors and in the use of innovative tools for occupational health and safety.  

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Robin Dahlman


Company: TRJV

Title: Senior Data Analyst 


  • BS in Computer Science from MT Tech
  • 25+ Years in data analytics and programming
  • 11 years in mining industry
  • 7 years with Barrick Gold
  • Formally working with the Mining Information Technology group with Barrick Gold
  • Moving to TRJV early 2017

Kathryn K. Dehn


Company: NIOSH 

Title: Rock Mechanics Engineer 


Kathryn is a Rock Mechanics Engineer with NIOSH at the Spokane Mining Research Division and has a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Montana State University and a master’s degree in Geological Engineering from Montana Tech. She spent 13 years working in industry at a number of underground mines in the U.S. and Canada before joining NIOSH. Her fields of research include ground support, mining with cemented and un-cemented backfill, induced mine seismicity, and the relationship of geological structure with mine stability. 


Erik Dullea, Esq.


Company: Husch Blackwell LLP

Title: Partner 


Erik Dullea is a Denver-based partner with Husch Blackwell’s Technology Manufacturing and Transportation group. His areas of practice include workplace safety in heavily regulated industries (mining, energy, aviation and healthcare) and cybersecurity compliance. Erik has significant experience representing employers during agency enforcement actions; industrial accident response; rulemaking and public policy.

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Mike Edgell


Company: Nevada Department of Public Safety – Highway Patrol

Title: Lieutenant


Mike Edgell is a 20 year veteran with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, currently a lieutenant with the Highway Patrol. He has been active in Impaired Driving enforcement and education his entire career. He has been a Certified Drug Recognition Expert since 2002, a Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor since 2005, and an Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Instructor since 2010, educating officers and prosecuting attorneys across the State. He is an adjunct instructor at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, teaching “Impaired driving case essentials” to judges from across the Nation. He has developed and instructed several classes for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office “Prosecuting the drug impaired driver” for both prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement officers. Mike Edgell continues to educate the public about Impaired Driving through community outreach and seminars.


Dr. Brianna Eiter



Title: Research Behavioral Scientist


Dr. Eiter is a Research Behavioral Scientist working on the Mine Emergency and Organizational Systems Team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD) located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the six years that Brianna has worked at PMRD, she has been involved in research projects focusing on hazard recognition and risk perception, informational needs of the underground coal miner, and fatigue risk management for small surface mines.  Brianna has over 15 years of experience in her research area of expertise which is human cognition and the use of eye-tracking to measure human behavior.  Brianna graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and then went to Binghamton University where she earned both her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Cognitive Psychology.


Elise Frandsen


Company: 515 Wellness 

Title: Wellness Consultant


Elise Frandsen earned a B.S. Degree from the University of Utah in Exercise Sports Science and has worked in the fitness field for 14 years. She is the founder of 515 Wellness, a wellness consulting company. She is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer and a certified Holistic Nutritionist and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). During her career, she has worked as a Wellness Coach for Premise Health, consulting at mine sites throughout Northern Nevada.  She has worked as an Exercise Specialist at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. and as a personal trainer at the University of Utah.  She has taught aerobics at the University of Utah, and 24-Hour Fitness and at a local gym in Elko, NV.  She has also worked in the public-school system as a Physical Education Specialist, and in higher education as a personal trainer instructor for Eagle Gate College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Dr. Peter P. Greaney


Company: WorkCare, Inc 

Title: President, C.E.O. and Medical Director


Peter P. Greaney, M.D., is the President, C.E.O. and Medical Director of WorkCare, Inc., an occupational health services company based in Anaheim, Calif. Dr. Greaney is board-certified in occupational medicine and a specialist in toxicology. He has many years of experience in work-related injury and illness prevention and management. Dr. Greaney attended medical school in Ireland and trained in occupational medicine at the University of California, Irvine. He successfully operated his own occupational health clinic in Southern California and, in response to client requests, established WorkCare as a medical consulting practice in 1984. Dr. Greaney serves as an adviser and consulting corporate medical director in industries including mining, engineering, geotechnical, chemical and hazardous materials, utilities, manufacturing, major retail, and restaurants/food services. Dr. Greaney oversees WorkCare’s team of occupational physicians and allied subject matter experts. He travels widely and speaks frequently at industry conferences. Under Dr. Greaney’s leadership, WorkCare annually protects and promotes the health of more than 1 million workers at client companies in the U.S. and abroad.


Dr. Emily Haas


Company: NIOSH/PMRD 

Title: Lead Research Behavioral Scientist


Dr. Haas is a Lead Research Behavioral Scientist on the Human Factors Branch at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD) located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Haas studies issues related to health, safety, and risk management in the mining industry. Leading research efforts with mineworkers and mine management across mines of various commodities, she has helped facilitate safer work behaviors and reduce barriers to sustaining those behaviors. Specifically, her research studies risk by way of integrating work practices around mine technologies including proximity detection systems, Helmet-CAM assessment technology, and continuous personal dust monitors. Dr. Haas has more than 25 papers published in public health, occupational safety, and mining journals. Emily has a PhD in Health Communication from Purdue University, Indiana, and an MA/BA from the University of Dayton, Ohio.

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Kelly Hess


Company: Newmont Mining Corp. 

Title: Sr. HSS Rep Industrial Hygienist 


Kelly Hess has been in the mining industry over 22 years; 13 years in Safety & Health and Industrial Hygiene roles. Kelly is the current Nevada Mining Association Industrial Hygiene Subcommittee Chair Person and Vice Chair Person for the Safety and Health Committee. He is currently the Sr. Industrial Hygienist at Newmont’s Twin Creeks Operation.  

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Dr. Cassandra Hoebbel


Company: NIOSH/PMRD 

Title: Research Behavioral Scientist  


D r. Hoebbel is a Research Behavioral Scientist for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD). As a member of the Mine Emergency and Organizational Systems team, Dr. Hoebbel’s research focuses on the characterization and improvement of the mine emergency escape system. Of specific interest to Cassandra is how mineworker self-escape competence might be improved through continuous performance assessment and remediation. Trained in psychology and school counseling, Cassandra received her B.A. (Psychology) from the State University College at Buffalo, her Ed.M. and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  

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Jim Lopey


Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) 


 Jim Lopey is a native Nevadan who currently serves as the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Coordinator for 16 of 17 Nevada Counties.  Lopey works out of the Nevada Threat Analysis Center (NTAC). The NTAC serves as the state fusion center in Carson City, under authority of the Nevada Department of Public Safety.  Lopey, coordinates information sharing amongst 1,300+ TLOs in 140 different agencies and organizations throughout the state.  He is an accomplished instructor having formally taught or presented over 350 domestic and transnational terrorism related courses and or  presentations during the past several years. He is also an accomplished Active Shooter trainer who had conducted over 60 training sessions throughout the State of Nevada. He is a part-time instructor at Truckee Meadows Community College. 

Lopey earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from University of Nevada, Reno and has a master’s degree in Emergency Crisis Management from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.  He is an FBI National Academy graduate and has attended the Senior Management Institute for Police, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  He has over 148 other formal schools and training courses that he has attended during his long career.

Lopey began his career in law enforcement with Washoe County (NV) Juvenile Probation in 1976. At the same time he served as a Reserve Sparks Police Officer but in 1978 was hired by the Washoe County (NV) Sheriff’s Office (WCSO). Lopey served as a Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain in numerous assignments prior to being appointed Acting Undersheriff in 1998. He has almost 20 years of supervisory experience with the Sheriff’s Office and served as a deputy sheriff for an additional 8+ years. Most of his early career was spent in Detention, Patrol and Detectives. While a line detective he personally investigated nearly 700 felony cases—with the majority of cases being crimes against persons. He also served on SWAT for nearly 16 years. Lopey was later appointed the Assistant Sheriff of Operations. From 1998-2007, where Lopey led the agency’s Homeland Security activities, Patrol, Detectives, Training, Records, Civil, Backgrounds, Search and Rescue and Aviation units.  He organized and developed and served as the first Internal Affairs Section Commander with WCSO.  He was instrumental in obtaining funding and creating the Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center in Reno. He acquired funding and later helped train and organize the Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT) which was later judged the best CERT team in the United States by FEMA commensurate with Washoe County’s population.

At 17 years of age Lopey joined the U.S. Army and served with distinction oversees, serving as a paratrooper with the 509th Airborne. He was also the recipient of German and British jump wings and attended Italian Alpine Ski School. He has been the recipient of numerous law enforcement awards, including the WCSO Sheriff’s Star and a Transportation Security Administration Commendation when he subdued a suspect who attempted to break into the cockpit of an airliner during a flight from Africa to the United States.  He arrested an armed subject during a SWAT raid and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and earned the Distinguished Service Medal for Valor for his involvement in a shootout with a murder suspect. He was awarded a life-saving commendation from Judge Peter Breen for saving the life of a young woman while employed by juvenile probation. Lopey’s twin brother Jon is currently the Sheriff of Siskiyou County, California. 

Lopey’s two oldest sons served in combat in the Middle East. His youngest son is a member of the 82nd Airborne and has recently completed a combat tour in Afghanistan.


Margo Lopez, Esq


Company: Ogletree Deakins  

Title: Attorney


Margo Lopez is the Managing Shareholder of the Washington, D.C. office of Ogletree Deakins and the co-leader of the mine safety and health practice. She represents companies nationwide in all segments of the mining industry in cases contesting enforcement actions under the Mine Act and has argued precedential mine safety cases before U.S. Courts of Appeals. She also advises companies concerning regulatory compliance and provides training on safety and health law. She handles legal representation in complex accident investigations, special investigations and safety discrimination cases. Margo Lopez is a frequent speaker and author on mine safety topics and is a co-author of the Occupational Safety and Health Law Handbook published by Bernan Press.

Joe Mallea

Joe Mallea


Company: Newmont Mining Corp 

Title: HSS Regional Contractor Management Senior Rep. 


Joe Mallea is the Regional HSS Contractor Management Senior Representative for Newmont North America. Joe started his career with Newmont in 2012 as an underground communications technician after returning from a combat deployment in Iraq with the Idaho Army National Guard.  A few years into his career, Joe was nominated as the Portal Mines Vital Behaviors Coordinator that lead into a full time Health and Safety representative position for the Carlin Portal Mines.  Joe accepted his current position in June of 2016 and organized the past three Newmont Contractor Safety Summits.  His favorite part of the summit is to bring everyone together and share ideas to progress everyone along in the Safety Journey.  


Gwendolyn Nightengale, Esq


Company: Ogletree Deakins  

Title: Attorney 


Gwen Nightengale is an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Ogletree, Deakins where she specializes in mine safety and health law. She represents companies nationwide in all segments of the mining industry in cases contesting enforcement actions under the Mine Act before Administrative Law Judges of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. Gwen also advises companies on regulatory compliance, assists mine operators with government accident investigations, special investigations, discrimination investigations, and inspections. She also represents mine operators in conferences with regulatory officials. Gwen speaks and writes regularly on a variety of occupational safety topics and recently co-authored the “Voluntary Safety and Health Self-Audits” chapter of the third edition of the Occupational Safety and Health Law Handbook published by Bernan Press.


Sara Nichols


Company: Newmont Mining Corp. 

Title: HSLP Specialist Carlin Surface 


Sara Nichols has been in Safety and Health for the mining industry for 14 years.  Sara worked at Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. for 8 ½ years in many Safety and Health roles including Compliance, Contractor Management, and Industrial Hygiene.  She is currently the HSS Specialist for the Mine Division at Newmont Mining Corp. Sara held the Chair position for the Nevada Mining Association Safety and Health Committee from 2012 to 2014 as well as the IH Subcommittee Chair for four years.


Jason Nutzman, Esq.


Company: Dinsmore & Shoal LLP 

Title: Partner 


Jason Nutzman is a Partner and member of the Labor & Employment Department and Mine Safety & Health Practice Group. Jason represents both coal and metal/non-metal clients before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission in accident investigations, special investigations, and discrimination investigations conducted by the Department of Labor with respect to the Mine Safety and Health Act.

In his practice, he works with human resource managers and in-house counsel providing employment advice and litigation support to employers. Jason also provides employment counseling to employers from the beginning of the employment relationship through termination and employment advice covering all types of discrimination and wrongful discharge, FMLA, ADA, ADEA and FLSA issues, and non-compete agreements. In addition, he is experienced in representing clients regarding labor issues, including dealing with unions during a labor campaign and assisting management with a unionized workforce.


Tim Orr


Company: NIOSH/PMRD 

Title: Lead Computer Engineer 


Mr. Orr is a Lead Computer Engineer in the NIOSH Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD), and has conducted research relating to the health and safety of miners for 28 years. He began his career with the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Spokane, WA focusing on modeling and visualization of deep underground structures for stability while he was completing a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gonzaga University. In 2011 he moved to the Pittsburgh, PA to work at PMRD and lead the development of the Mine Emergency Escape Training (MEET) virtual reality program. He also maintains PMRD’s Virtual Immersion and Simulation Laboratory (VISLab).

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Shane Owen


Company: Newmont Mining Corp. North America 

Title: Sr. Manager Occupational Health and Hygiene 


Shane Owen has been working in the mining industry for 35 years; 24 of which has been in Health and Safety. Shane is the Senior Manager of Occupational Health and Hygiene for Newmont Mining Corp. North America. He has a B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health, and a B.A.S in Management. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, a Certified Safety Professional and a Certified Mine Safety Professional. Shane was the first Chairman of the Nevada Mining Association’s (NvMA) IH Subcommittee, a position that he held for 10-years. He then went on to Vice Chair & Chair the NvMA Safety and Health Committee for a total of 8-years.

David Parks

David Parks


Company: NIOSH/PMRD 

Title: Mechanical Engineer  


Mechanical engineer with a background in physics and an interest in many things.  Living in Loon Lake Washington and working at the Spokane Mining Research Division of NIOSH.  Wish to improve safety of mine workers in any I am able. 

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John Pereza


Company: Mine Safety & Health Administration 

Title: Assistant District Manager 


John received his degree in Mine Safety from Marshall University and has served in a variety of capacities within MSHA including time as an electrical inspector and accident investigator. He has been involved in regulatory, training and policy development for MSHA. John served for many years as the Conference and Litigation Representative for the Western District prior to taking on his current position as MSHA’s Assistant District Manager for Administrative and Technical Services. John is a current SME member, a former ISMSP member and is a past member of the National Association of Electrical Inspectors. Prior to coming to work for MSHA John worked in the mining industry in Arizona for 18 years and has a variety of mining experience including underground and open pit mining, milling operations, in-situ and solvent extraction processes and performing safety audits.  


Chris Peterson, Esq.


Company: Jackson Kelly PLLC 


Christopher G. Peterson is a Member in the Coal, Manufacturing, and Mining Law industry groups, focusing primarily on coal, commercial litigation, and workplace safety and health. He practices out of the Firm’s office in Denver, Colorado.

Christopher’s practice centers on representing general industry, mining, coal, oil and gas, energy, and construction clients in a variety of matters under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. He also handles matters under other state and federal health statutes regarding compliance issues, policy, legislative and regulatory issues, civil and criminal enforcement issues, and accident investigations.

Christopher is a highly skilled professional in his practice areas, and routinely handles issues from pre-trial discovery to post-trial appeals. He devotes his time to learning new legal and legislative issues in order to keep his clients in the know.

Not only is he an excellent attorney, he also uses his knowledge of the mining industry to aid safety professionals. He frequently presents on mine safety and health topics and routinely provides innovative training to safety professionals and supervisors under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. His work actively supports the safety of those involved in mining operations, showing his dedication to actively creating a better workplace.

Christopher believes in his work and understands the importance of thoroughly understanding the regulations put in place to try and ensure safety. He’s an asset to the Firm by giving exceptional representation and counsel.


Dr. Xander Phoenix


Company: Ogletree Deakins


Dr. Phoenix completed his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Counterterrorism at American Military University while on active duty. Following his release from the US Navy, Dr. Phoenix completed a Master’s in Forensic Science at National University in San Diego; and both a Master and a Doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego, CA. Alongside his studies, Dr. Phoenix specializes in critical incident stress debriefing and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, as well as Psychoneurophysiology and Neurofeedback.

Dr. Xander Phoenix enlisted in the United States Navy in 2001 and completed 3 overseas tours, one in Japan, one in Diego Garcia, and one in Iraq, alongside the U.S. Army. His accomplishments earned him the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Iraqi Campaign Medal, as well as an Army Achievement Medal.

Dr. Phoenix has experience as a clinical forensic psychologist, and proudly assists fellow military and veterans, law enforcement and emergency services, and their families. Special focus is given in Trauma and PTSD, Post-Concussion Symptoms, Grief, Substance Abuse Treatment, Psychotherapy, and Psychological Assessments including: Disability, Diagnostic, Pre-hire, Fitness for Duty, Bariatric pre-surgical assessments, and Custody evaluations.


Dr. Gerald Poplin


Company: NIOSH Spokane Mining Research Division 

Title: Epidemiologist, Team Lead


Gerald Poplin, PhD, is an epidemiologist who has been conducting prevention and occupational health research for the last decade. He is currently a Senior Service Fellow at the CDC/NIOSH Spokane Mining Research Division and Team Lead for a new effort devoted to developing an integrated health and exposure assessment program for miner population.  Dr. Poplin’s research has focused most notably on applying risk management strategies in the prevention of injuries in high-risk occupations.  Other research efforts have explored a wide range of applied and interdisciplinary methodologies including experimental and computational design in biomechanics, survey data analyses, clinical and community health, and industrial hygiene, among others. Overall, his research goals are to enable a healthy and safe work environment so that we can all retire with function. 


Donna Pryor, Esq.


Company: Husch Blackwell 

Title: Partner 


Donna Pryor, a member of Husch Blackwell’s Energy & Natural Resources group, focuses on commercial and administrative litigation related to mine safety and occupational safety and health. She also assists clients in crisis management and strategic communications related to workplace health and safety issues.  Donna has extensive experience in the production of precious metals, aggregates, cement, industrial minerals, coal, salt, potash, phosphate, granite, limestone, and oil and gas. 


Michelle Reiher


Company: Colorado School Mines EMCIS Program

Title: Health and Safety Program Manager 


Michelle Reiher is a certified industrial hygienist and certified safety professional with over 19 years of safety and health experience in general industry and mining.  She holds the MSHA IS, IU and IN certifications and has develop and conducted safety and health training within the MSHA Part 48 New Miner, Annual Refresher and Instructor Training courses.  She has a passion for health and safety training and believes everyone should be given the knowledge to make choices that will keep them safe.

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Craig Ross


Company: Ross S&H Consulting 


33 years mining experience of which 27 years a leader in the safety and health risk management. 7 years as Vice President of Safety & Health for Barrick Gold.  Responsibilities included management of Global, Regional and Mine Site safety, health and risk management systems and governance. Successful in the implementation of safety professional leadership and development, risk assessment (including Enterprise Risk Management), management of change, industrial hygiene, accident investigation, training, crisis management / emergency response, formal and informal performance measurement and governance, technology research, procedure development and professional development of safety and security staff. 

- Recognized as Safety Professional of the year award in 1995 from the Nevada State Council for the Holmes Safety Association. 

-Received the Highest Degree of Safety – International Award in 2010 from the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals. This award is presented annually to the safety professional who has contributed significantly to the reduction of injury and illness in the international community. 


Dr. John Sammarco


Company: NIOSH/PMRD 

Title: Principle Research Engineer 


Dr. Sammarco is a Principal Research Engineer with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. During his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 68 publications in mine safety research covering a wide variety of areas including machine safety, machine control systems, and sensor technologies. His early research concerned mining machine guidance and control for mining automation and he led the establishment of best practice safety recommendations for programmable electronic mining systems. His recent research areas concern the human factors of lighting and mine illumination to improve safety and miner self-escape. Dr. Sammarco has the following degrees: Ph.D. Computer Engineering, West Virginia University; M.S. Computer Engineering, National Technical University; M.S. Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh; B.S. Electrical Engineering Technology, Pennsylvania State University.

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Marie Sandoval


Company: SMD 

Title: Safety Manager 


I started my mining career in 2007 as an Administrative Assistant in the Exploration department at Barrick Cortez.  I eventually worked my way into a safety position and joined the Surface Mine Rescue Team.  When a position opened to become a Surface Mine Rescue Coordinator I applied and received the job.  The next few years were spent developing the mine rescue program and building a team.  I cross trained with the Underground Mine Rescue Coordinator and when he resigned I moved into his position and continued along my career path in the mine rescue/safety department. I was promoted to Senior Emergency Response Coordinator in 2013 where I was overseeing both the UG and Surface ERT program.  In 2015 I was given an opportunity to join the Small Mine Development team as a Corporate Safety Manger and I have been working with them ever since.  Along the way I managed to graduate from college with a Masters of Occupational Safety and Health degree and now enjoy some much needed free time with my seven grandchildren.  

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Mark Savit, Esq.


Company: Husch Blackwell 

Title: Counsel 


Mark Savit is a member of Husch Blackwell’s Energy & Natural Resources group.  Mark has built a successful career representing clients in the Energy and Natural Resources industry, specifically in regards to mining safety and environmental issues.  Mark represents clients in government investigations and regulatory matters and litigates improper enforcement actions and whistleblower cases. He has extensive experience in mining; health, safety and environmental law; industrial disaster response; and regulatory and legislative services.

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Dr. Peter Swann


Company: WorkCare 



Dr. Peter Swann is Vice President and Associate Medical Director at WorkCare, Inc., a national, physician-driven occupational health company. Dr. Swann is a valued member of WorkCare’s leadership and clinical teams. He provides medical direction and business development insights for WorkCare and its client companies. 

Dr. Swann has served as consulting Medical Director for the Freeport-McMoran Sierrita Mine, Tucson, AZ, and Newmont Mining Corporation, USA Operations. These engagements have required periodic visits to mine sites. Dr. Swann has consulted on mine health and safety-related matters including employee injury management, disability cases, causation, medical surveillance (e.g., lead and chemical exposures) and hearing loss occupational determinations. At Newmont his role includes working directly with the Mine Rescue Team on safety issues and teaching EMTs occupational medicine principles. 

Dr. Swann’s training and experience in medicine and business operations allows him to balance regulatory requirements, best clinical practices, and company objectives in support of positive employee health outcomes and business sustainability. His portfolio includes clinic management, designing medical information management systems, training and mentoring physicians, and serving on institutional administrative boards. He has participated as a presenter at conferences sponsored by the University of California, the Western Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association and the National Safety Council, to name a few.

Dr. Swann earned his Medical Doctorate at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is licensed to practice in numerous states and is a fellow in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and American Academy of Family Physicians. He is also a certified Medical Review Officer.


Mike Tromble


Company: MSHA-EFSMS 

Title: Mine Safety and Health Specialist 


Mike Tromble, Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Specialist, Salt Lake City, UT.   I have been an EFSMS training specialist since January of 2017. Prior to the current position I was a Metal/Non-Metal inspector since 2008 in Salt Lake City. I was an accident investigator for MSHA’s Rocky Mountain District from 2010 to 21017.  I started my mining career 1996 in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. Where I work for Dyno Nobel doing blasting and explosives at surface coal mines. I later left the coal mines and continued to work with Dyno Nobel and Buckley Powder at various Metal/ Non-Metal mines in Idaho, Colorado, Arizona  and Utah. 


Korky Vault


Company: Colorado School Mines EMCIS Program 

Title: Part 48 Instructor 


Korky Vault has more than 25 years of health and safety training experience in both the environmental laboratory and mining industries.  She holds the MSHA IS, IU and IN certifications and has developed and conducted training for MSHA Part 48 courses and OSHA courses on Fall Protection, Confined Space Entry and Hazard Communication.  In addition to believing that proper training will help prevent injuries and fatalities, she has a passion for understanding how our individual brain make-up can impact our daily lives, including safety in the workplace.

Jon Wickizer

Jon Wickizer


Company: Acknowlogy 

Title: CTO/Safety Director 


Jon has 20+ years of health, safety and environmental experience in the heavy construction industry with underground utilities, chemical plants, refineries, soda ash mines, cement plants, surface mines, underground mines, pits and power plants. For the past twenty years Jon has been actively involved with training and safety programs on multiple construction and mine sites. He has worked on numerous manufacturing projects in the heavy construction industry as a Corporate Safety Manager and was responsible for contractor/owner relationships, project safety management, safety implementation, safety audits and safety training of craft personnel. He has an unmatched passion for safety and health improvement which has led him to his most recent endeavors. The creation of a technology platform that allows employers, employees, customers, and regulators to work in synergy with one another in safety and health.  Creating this positive relationship, with real time leading indicator data collection, enhances the pursuit of a work environment free of hazards and a work experience of continual improvement.  

diane watson

Diane Watson


Company: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 

Title: Supervisory Responsibility Under the Mine Act 


Diane Watson is the Supervisory Special Investigator for MSHA’s Western District. She has a total of 26 years of mining experience starting at Homestake’s McLaughlin Mine; a surface gold operation in Lake, Napa and Yolo Counties, California. Diane has been with MSHA for 20 years where she specializes in Miner’s Rights, Law Regulation and Policy and applicable standards. Diane heads a team of dedicated special investigators who investigate falsification of records allegations, egregious violations and discrimination complaints by mine workers. Diane was one of the first women on the National Mine Rescue Team and traveled to China in 2006 to compete and train rescuers. Diane provides specialized training to the mine industry and oversees the district’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program. Diane believes transparency in government is paramount.


Laurie Wilson


Company: University of Arizona 

Title: Director of Training 


Laurie Wilson is a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources.  She has over 10 years of experience in designing, deploying, and evaluating training across the mining industry.  Over the last four years her focus has been to improve training, assist in standardization among New Miner and Annual Refresher trainings industry-wide.  She works to incorporate a modular approach to active learning, all while measuring effectiveness of the training approach.  Along with working with industry, she has interfaced with pre-industry potential over the past year to develop a program for improving students workplace preparedness utilizing a competency-based approach, this is called the Student Interactive Mining (SIM) Program, which is hosted at the University of Arizona’s San Xavier Underground Mining Laboratory.   

Kristin Yeoman

Kristin Yoeman


Company: CDC/NIOSH 

Title: MD, MPH 


Kristin Yeoman completed her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, her medical degree from the George Washington University, and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver and has performed clinical work for the Indian Health Service, community health centers, Veterans Affairs clinics, and overseas for Doctors Without Borders. She joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 and has worked at CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) since 2013. She currently works in the Mining Program on epidemiology studies to understand mine worker health.