Utah Safety Council,
President, Robert F. Parenti Sets Retirement Date of July 31, 2012
After many years of service as President of the Utah Safety Council, Mr. Robert F. Parenti recently announced his intent to retire effective July 31, 2012. Mr. Parenti was hired as President of the Utah Safety Council on July 1, 1984. His retirement will mark the conclusion of 28 years in his current position and a career consisting of 38 years as a safety professional.
Mr. Parenti was born in Ogden, Utah and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Weber State College in 1972. He attended Utah State University, and in 1973, he received a Master of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics. He met his wife, Kris, in 1973 and they were later married in 1974. In 1973/74, he was employed by the Social Services Coordinating Council in Weber County. He was hired as a Program Development Coordinator for the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) within the Utah Department of Public Safety on July 1, 1974. ASAP was the first major national program focused on developing and implementing countermeasures to fight the frequency of alcohol related traffic crashes. After one year with ASAP, he was transferred to the department’s Highway Safety Division where he worked on a project to develop a statewide motorcycle traffic safety program that included operator training, a comprehensive licensing program based on driving skills, and programs that emphasized the importance of helmet usage. In 1977, he was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant for then Public Safety Commissioner, Larry Lunnen. He was extensively involved in tracking and monitoring safety legislation and in organizing and planning physical space requirements for the construction of the Calvin Rampton Complex, the current headquarters facility for the Department of Public Safety. In 1979, he was appointed as Director of the Highway Safety Division with responsibilities for managing the Utah Driver License Division, the Utah Highway Safety Office and the Safety Promotion Program (Utah Safety Council). He served in that position until 1984 when he was selected as the President of the Utah Safety Council.
During his career, he has received many awards and recognitions for his work in the safety arena. In 2002, he received the “Public Safety Star” from the Utah Department of Public Safety for his service in safety to the citizens of the state of Utah. In both 1994 and 2008, he was recognized as the Safety Professional of the Year by the Utah Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. He is one of very few, if any, Utah safety professionals to have received that recognition twice in their career. He received his Advanced Safety Certificate from the National Safety Council in 1986. He served as Chairman of the National Safety Council’s Chapter and Affiliate Division in 1988/89 and served as a member of the National Safety Council’s Board of Directors from 1987 through 1998. He also served on the Advisory Board for the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah. Early in his career, he served on various committees and boards with the National Association of Governors’ Highway Safety Representatives and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.
During his tenure with the Utah Safety Council, he has managed the continual growth of the organization. The council currently operates on a $1.6 million budget, up from approximately $90,000 when he began. The Utah Safety Council is also one of a small number of local, not-for-profit organizations that own a 10,000 square foot facility that includes administrative offices and nearly 2,000 square feet of classroom space. Under his direction, the Utah Safety Council has evolved from an organization that provided a handful of traffic and occupational safety programs to a full service safety resource that provides a broad range of services. Under Mr. Parenti’s direction, the Utah Safety Council has maintained its designation as Utah’s exclusive “Public Training Agency” for the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Program. In 1986, the Utah Safety Council was designated as an “Occupational Training Agency” within the National Safety Council’s Safety Training Institute. In 1987, the Utah Safety Council was awarded a grant by the Utah Industrial Commission (Utah Labor Commission) to manage and maintain a Safety Video Library and, thereby, provide training resources to Utah employers. Today, the library contains over 950 presentations, making it the one of the largest safety education resources of its kind in the western United States. In 1994, the Utah Safety Council was authorized as the exclusive agency to provide Contractor Orientation Training for Utah’s petrochemical industry. Over an 18 year period, thousands of contractors have been trained in the essential safety procedures and practices prior to working on refinery properties.
His plans for retirement are to devote a great deal more time to his family and his outdoor interests, including hunting and fishing and to volunteer his time and talents to his church and privately administered elementary/junior high school. Beyond that, he plans to do as he puts it, whatever else “comes naturally.”