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2023 Safety Conference Speakers

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Danny W Smith, SMS, CIT

Senior Safety Consultant at SafeStart


Danny, distinguished for his thought leadership in human factors management for SafeStart, regularly speaks at state, regional and national conferences on a variety of topics related to injury reduction, engagement and culture. He has the ability to make the concepts being taught relatable and valuable to every participant.


Much of this practical application stems from Danny having over 25 years of EHS experience and working with industries including aerospace, oil & gas, construction, iron and steel, chemical processing, automotive, and pharmaceutical.


Danny represents SafeStart as a member of the National Safety Council’s Exhibitor Advisory Board and is a long-standing member of the Alabama Governor's Safety and Health Conference Planning Committee. He is also the co-founder and co-host of the SafeTalk with SafeStart podcast.

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John Young - ND Safety Council

John Young is a Safety Consultant for the North Dakota Safety Council (NDSC). Before coming to work for the NDSC, Young spent 20 years with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) and then the Assistant Area Director for the Bismarck Area Office. During his 20 years with OSHA conducting and reviewing investigations and inspections, his primary focus areas were in general industry manufacturing, construction, and oil and gas activities. Before coming to work for OSHA, Young spent over eight years in private industry working on safety in manufacturing environments, from coordinator through corporate manager with responsibility for multiple manufacturing plants nationally and internationally. He has a Master of Science in Industrial Management from the College of Engineering at South Dakota State University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Pennsylvania.

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Travis Jacobson

Travis Jacobson is a 24-year Law Enforcement Veteran and also currently serves as the Physical Security Administrator for Minnkota Power Cooperative since 2017.  Officer Jacobson began his career in 1999 as a Deputy Sheriff for Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department.  In 2001, Officer Jacobson was hired on at the Grand Forks Police Department where he served for the next 16 years.  He served in the capacity as a patrol officer, field training officer, crisis negotiator, Detective and Patrol Sergeant, but where he really found his passion is when he sought out training to become a DRE.  Over the course of his career, Officer Jacobson has become an expert in detecting drug-impaired drivers, using his knowledge of drug use and its effects to quickly identify those who pose a danger on the roads. He has helped to train countless other officers in drug recognition and has worked closely with other agencies to develop effective strategies for combating drug-impaired driving.  Travis served as a DRE from 2004-2008 and then became a DRE Instructor and in 2010-2014 served as the State of ND DRE Course Manager, where he would help train the new DRE’s in North Dakota.  Travis spends a lot of his time traveling around the region presenting his knowledge on how drugs affect the human body, helping employers, schools, judges, police officers, etc. recognize signs and symptoms of drug use. 
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