Author Archives: Ron Kohr

Fairfax County Utilizes Awariety

Incident Management Critical to Fairfax County’s Workplace Violence Program


Diversity Matter’s offers an innovative and cost-effective platform to connect the dots, eliminate embarrassing gaps and realize a better bottom line. In choosing Awareity’s ( Individual Awareness and Accountability Software as the best in class to help organizations prevent the preventable and transform the status quo. Awareity is reinventing the way organizations prevent regulatory failures, compliance fines, lawsuits, privacy breaches, safety disconnects, operational challenges, ethical lapses, incident reporting failures, workplace violence and more.


Article Published: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The Fairfax County Government recently launched Awareity’s TIPS prevention platform as part of their ongoing workplace violence prevention and safety efforts.

Safety officers within Fairfax County are required to report all security incidents, including alcohol/drugs, arson, bombs, burglary, disorderly conduct, extortion, fraud, property damage, suspicious activity, theft, threats and assaults, weapons violations and workplace violence. Prior to implementing the TIPS platform, officers would complete paper forms with all details of the initial report. These reports would then be filed with the central office. It was extremely difficult to keep track of what actions had been taken on a report, ensure appropriate follow-up was taking place and review past incidents.

With TIPS, all safety officers can now access an online report form, designate the type of incident they are reporting and provide all critical information including individuals involved, location of incident and all incident details. Once a report is submitted, all appropriate personnel are notified immediately and can login to the secure online platform to review the information.

Each incident type (i.e. workplace violence) is assigned to pre-defined personnel responsible for reviewing and addressing the concern. The team can work together to coordinate response efforts, plan appropriate intervention strategies and document all actions taken. The TIPS system provides an ongoing audit trail of investigation steps and ensures all team members are on the same page. With TIPS, team members can also set ongoing reminders and assign tasks to ensure no incident falls through the cracks.

“We needed a way to keep track of critical information and ensure the right people were aware of and responding to reports,” said Ron Erb, Workplace Violence Coordinator for Fairfax County Government. “So many times after an incident of workplace violence, companies claim they didn’t know about concerning behaviors or they weren’t capable of responding efficiently to a threat. TIPS is providing us with a tool to ensure we are taking appropriate steps towards intervention and providing a safe workplace for our employees.”

With TIPS safety officers can also document all actions taken during crisis response efforts and track all facilities and maintenance requests and repairs, as well as all safety claims – medical, slips/falls and OSHA violations. “We were really able to customize the TIPS platform to meet our agency’s needs. Awareity worked with us to ensure the system was set up in a way that our safety officers could use to save significant time and resources,” says Erb.

TIPS also provides organizations with an Awareness and Accountability Vault – a place to share and communicate all organizational policies, procedures, plans, training and more. Once a document is placed in the Vault, only those employees required to review and acknowledge the document will see it and provide their acknowledgement. Administrators can then view on-demand progress reports to track employee compliance and certifications.

Diversity CONFAB-What does it mean for your organization?

Definition :

1. a conversation or chat
verb -fabs, -fabbing, -fabbed
2. (intransitive) to converse

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for confab n. 1701, colloquial shortening of confabulation.

Your organization’s stakeholders will be led through the journey of Diversity and Inclusion curated conversation by the Diversity Matters’ team of subject matter experts.

The Diversity Confab is Diversity Matters’ curated conversation via an online multi-media library for Diversity and Inclusion education, that contains Diversity Matters training curriculum, recorded training sessions, aligned content and resources provided on demand access for use. Internet streaming connectivity may include: Video on Demand, audio, sound effects, speeches, images, articles, timelines, maps, diagrams, animations, fact sheets, designed for engaging and supplementing learning.

Resources available anywhere any time – learn, ask, add to this conversational journey.

Let us help you identify the leaders of Diversity and Inclusion conversations to embrace organizational ownership through individual awareness and contributions.

Raising Awareness : Yuma County Anti-Bullying and Violence Prevention Program Task Force


Diversity Matter’s offers an innovative and cost-effective platform to connect the dots, eliminate embarrassing gaps and realize a better bottom line.

In choosing Awareity’s ( Individual Awareness and Accountability Software as the best in class to help organizations prevent the preventable and transform the status quo.

Utilizing Awareity helps organization’s Stakeholders raise awareness to prevent, lawsuits, privacy breaches, safety disconnects, operational challenges, ethical lapses, incident reporting failures, workplace violence, regulatory failures, compliance fines and more.

Article: Friday, August 1st, 2014

TIPS Connects
Yuma County Anti‐Bullying and Violence Prevention Task Force
launching a community school safety effort

The Yuma County Anti‐Bullying Task Force was formed in 2008 in an effort to raise awareness regarding such a sensitive and difficult issue in rural Yuma County, Arizona. The Regional Center for Border Health, Inc. (RCBH), along with the Yuma County Task Force is launching a reporting website to help improve student safety efforts.

Through the use of Awareity’s TIPS, a web‐based incident management and prevention platform, the Community Action Group is encouraging students, parents, staff, and community members to report incidents of bullying, threats of violence, weapons, drugs/alcohol, vandalism, sexting, suicide and other risks.

If someone has information about activities that may warrant concern for the safety of students within Yuma County, the individual can simply access the TIPS REPORT INCIDENT button on the Regional Center’s website and anonymously or confidentially report the concern. Proper personnel from the school district selected, as well as counselors from RCBH and appropriate city/county law enforcement, are instantly notified. All prevention efforts and actions taken are documented as team members work together to assess the situation and formulate an effective intervention plan.

“We all have a common goal of protecting our youth ‐ we wanted a platform that would bring community resources together in one place – mental health, law enforcement, schools,” says RCBH President and CEO Amanda Aguirre. “The TIPS reporting tool is helping our community be more involved and become aware of concerning behaviors before they escalate, ensuring a safer and more secure environment for all Yuma County students.”

The most comprehensive incident management platform available today , TIPS is currently utilized by over 400 schools to identify, prevent and effectively intervene in threatening behaviors, while reducing costs for documentation and training and improving ongoing awareness and accountability.

“While many schools have anonymous incident reporting forms available to their students, we have found what most schools lack are the tools to ensure the right people were notified and the reports are being acted upon in an efficient and timely manner. Letting students report their concerns, and actually knowing how to effectively assess and respond to the situation in accordance to school policy are two different things. TIPS is helping schools take that next step and ensure prevention efforts are successful,” says Rick Shaw, CEO of Awareity. “We are especially impressed with the Regional Center for Border Health’s efforts to get the whole community involved. Without that connection and coordinated effort between school administration, mental health and law enforcement, at‐risk students will continue to fall through the cracks.”

The Community Action Group includes:

Regional Center for Border Health, Inc.
Yuma High School, Kofa High School, Cibola High School, San Luis High School, Alta Vista High School, Somerton School District, Somerton Middle School, City of Somerton

Yuma County Anti‐Bullying Task Force:

Regional Center for Border Health, Inc., Yuma Union High School Distric,, City of Yuma Police Department, City of San Luis Police Department, City of Somerton Police Department, Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, Yuma County Board of Supervisors, Cocopah Indian Tribe, Yuma County Attorney’s Office, Yuma County Superintendents Office

The program is available to ALL Yuma County Schools (Public or Private). For more information call 928‐627‐9222 or e‐mail

About Regional Center for Border Health, Inc.:
The Regional Center for Border Health, Inc. a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization whose primary mission is committed to improving the quality of life of the residents along the U.S.‐Mexico Border by increasing accessibility to quality training and affordable healthcare in the serving areas of Yuma, La Paz and Mohave Counties.

Overcoming Gender Barriers: Women Are Fighting Pirates and Firing Mortars Women are making inroads into formerly male-dominated occupations By Lisa Petrillo 3/21/2016

Overcoming Gender Barriers: Women Are Fighting Pirates and Firing Mortars
Women are making inroads into formerly male-dominated occupations
By Lisa Petrillo 3/21/2016

2015 was the year women broke into two of the most powerful boys’ clubs in the world: the National Football League (NFL) and the race for the U.S. presidency.
When the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter to be the first female coach in the NFL, a 96-year-old barrier fell.
And the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton—currently the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination—goes beyond politics, as she too now serves as a role model for young women making their way in formerly all-male domains.
“There will now be a whole generation of girls who believe they can become a female president,” said Carol Brown, division chief of training for Boulder Fire-Rescue in Boulder, Co.

Unfortunately, a female presidential candidate and Welter’s historic hiring do not mean bias against women in traditionally male jobs has disappeared.
Firefighting is a good example of a male-dominated occupation, one that has historically been considered a “nontraditional” job for women. A nontraditional occupation for women is one in which women make up 25 percent or less of total employment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Firefighting is one field which was initially very resistant to hiring women.
In 1993, Rosemary Bliss became the nation’s first female fire chief when she took the helm of the fire department for San Francisco suburb Tiburon, Calif.
Despite progress, there are still few female firefighters. In 2012, just 3.4 percent of all U.S. firefighters—about 10,000—were female, according to a National Fire Protection Association study.
One obstacle to building more diverse fire departments is that local governments control emergency services and oversee hiring and firing, said James Ridley, director of education, training and human resources for the International Association of Fire Fighters, an organization representing 300,000 U.S. and Canadian firefighters.
Women like Boulder Fire-Rescue’s Brown, who is also vice president of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services, are working to get more women interested in firefighting.
Speaking at school career days and summer camp programs are good ways to get young women interested, Brown said. “It doesn’t take much of your time or much investment, and it does require thinking long-term, but I can tell you after 25 years in the industry, it is effective.”
Nontraditional jobs for women generally have relatively high entry-level wages, paying $20 to $30 per hour while offering career paths leading to leadership positions—one of the reasons that Riki Lovejoy gravitated toward the construction trades 25 years ago.
Lovejoy now owns a construction business in San Antonio and is president of the National Association of Women in Construction. Women interested in breaking into nontraditional fields, she suggested, should consider acquiring skills through local educational institutions. Certifications and degrees—or other official documents of competency—can help women break into male-dominated fields, Lovejoy said.
Some occupations that were considered nontraditional for women in 1988 were no longer nontraditional by 2008, DOL research found, including purchasing managers, chemists, physicians, lawyers, athletes, mail carriers, court bailiffs, correctional officers and meat-processing workers.
Combat is no longer off-limits to women, either.
The U.S. Defense Department announced in December 2015 that women would be allowed in all military combat roles. Women can now serve as Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry women and Air Force paratroopers.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter pledged that women will be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat.
Women are already fighting pirates on the high seas. In February 2016, U.S. Navy Capt. Heidi Agle of the USNS Spearhead was commanding international anti-piracy training exercises off the west African coast when an oil tanker was hijacked. Agle coordinated the navies of Ghana, Togo and Nigeria in the successful recapture of the oil tanker.
Yet many jobs are still thought of as nontraditional for women. The list includes architects, computer programmers, software and hardware engineers, detectives, chefs, barbers, clergy, engineers, repair technicians, construction and building inspectors, railroad conductors, machinists, truck drivers, firefighters, pilots, and construction workers.
Changing the culture of male-dominated workplaces is difficult even in professions with high-profile efforts to recruit more women.
“Sometimes the talent management program itself is biased,” said Amelia Costigan, director of the New York City-based Catalyst Information Center, a nonprofit organization advocating progress for women through workplace inclusion.
For example, there is strong evidence that women working in science, technology, engineering and math fields are sometimes harassed out of their professions by male colleagues and supervisors, according to a 2014 report by the Center for Talent Innovation.
In these fields, “it’s a culture that makes women feel like an outsider,” Costigan said. Women sometimes report “feeling pushed out by the dominant culture, the price for not being one of the guys—[this happens in] the tech industry in particular.”
As the business case for hiring more women in nontraditional occupations gains traction, HR professionals and hiring managers can do their part to help women succeed in jobs where few have worked before.
Tapping into professional association mentoring programs and feeder programs from educational institutions are two approaches, Brown said. Hiring specialized consultants is another, according to Costigan.
Catalyst’s inclusion program is known by the acronym EACH, which stands for empowerment, accountability, courage and humility. The organization offers annual awards for businesses that meet certain criteria in improving gender diversity in their workplaces and in leadership positions.
“For some companies, boosting diversity is part of the business strategy,” Costigan said. “People in the C-suite won’t get their bonus if they don’t achieve milestones in [diversity] efforts. There is accountability.”
Lisa Petrillo is a freelance writer based in San Diego.