The International Safety Equipment Association

ISEA logo

President and Chief Executive Officer

The Opportunity 

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is conducting a search for its next President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Founded in 1933, ISEA is a 501(c)(6) membership association that represents personal protective equipment (PPE) and personal protective technologies (PPT) manufacturers, distributers, suppliers, and test labs. Its mission is to support and promote the common business interests of its member companies, which are united in the goal of protecting the health and safety of people who work in dangerous and potentially harmful environments.

ISEA fulfills this commitment to its membership by recommending and setting standards, providing training and workforce programs and offering a forum for knowledge access and exchange. ISEA runs market intelligence programs, meetings, and conferences, and links its members with other associations and professional societies. ISEA sets industry standards and practices and sponsors a training course for industry sales and marketing personnel, the Qualified Safety Sales Professional certification. The organization is the voice of the industry before Congress and regulatory agencies, and a source of information on government issues and activities.

The President and CEO recommends and participates in the formulation of the association’s goals, objectives, and related policies established by the Board of Trustees (Board). The President and CEO plans, organizes, coordinates, and directs the staff, programs, and activities of the association and is the primary face for the association. They are responsible for developing member and strategic partner relationships and raising funds for the organization.

The position is based at the organization’s Arlington, VA headquarters in the Washington, DC area. Regular travel is required.

About ISEA

ISEA sets the standards for equipment that protects people doing work in hazardous environments. Its member companies are primarily manufacturers. Other, associate members include distributors, suppliers, and test labs. With annual revenues approaching $2 million and an 11-member governing Board, the organization’s work is supported by eight staff members. The association was established in 1933, and since 1974 has been headquartered in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, Virginia, directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.

ISEA is a standards developer accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), holding the secretariat for some of the most important product standards in the industry and participating in standardization activities of other private and government organizations. ISEA members, management, and staff are experienced in the process of standardization, including development of standards, management of the consensus process, publication, and distribution, interpreting standards for users, and advocating their use. In addition to the standards managed by ISEA, the association is officially represented on other national, multinational, and international standards committees for safety equipment.

The association’s product groups draft standards that achieve consensus either through a formal review by a panel of all interested parties or by submission to an accredited standards committee. With either method, the standards undergo rigorous public review before they are approved as American National Standards.

The association represents nearly 100 member and associate member companies that manufacture, test, or distribute safety equipment such as high-visibility clothing, eye protection, PPE, hard hats, chemical and dust protection, hard hats, hand protection and more. The association is organized into 12 product groups, giving companies the opportunity to focus on issues surrounding their specific products while sharing the benefits of association-wide programs.

In addition to its training course for industry sales and marketing personnel, the Qualified Safety Sales Professional certification, ISEA offers education to its members on a variety of safety topics through a variety of formats, which include individual company trainings, conferences, meetings, and online sessions. ISEA’s largest meeting, the Annual Meeting, is the safety equipment industry’s premier forum for safety professionals interested in innovation, policy, and business intelligence information.

The organization is the voice of the safety equipment industry before Congress and regulatory agencies and maintains and provides an online Knowledge Center of information on government issues and activities for members. The Knowledge Center also keeps members informed and connected on a variety of issues, standards, and industry news.

Overall association policy and direction is set by an 11-member Board of Trustees. The Board is led by a four-member Executive Committee which is comprised of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, and Immediate Past Chairman. Board members are elected by the entire membership and serve staggered three-year terms. Member committees include the Standards and Planning Policy Committee, the Government Relations Committee, the Education Committee, and the Marketing Committee.

The President and CEO Role 

The President and CEO serves as the chief staff officer of ISEA, responsible to the Board and Executive Committee for the effective conduct of the association, providing leadership and overall direction for the organization in compliance with all pertinent laws and regulations, Bylaws, policies, and procedures. The President and CEO is responsible for the management of all technical, financial, operational, and personnel measures, as well as resource development and strategic planning.

Strategic Priorities for the President and CEO

The President and CEO is tasked with addressing the following priorities: 

Promote the Organization and its Mission

  • Enhance the visibility of ISEA and maintain ISEA’s reputation as a well-respected leader in business, education, and government.
  • Promote the association to ensure membership growth, retention, and engagement.
  • Create an atmosphere where employees and members want to participate in association plans, goals, and events.

Plan and Lead Strategic Growth

  • Lead a four-year strategic planning process with the Board, reflecting the evolving industry landscape and the organization’s core values.
  • Devise an annual operating plan.
  • Identify and secure new and continued funding sources and revenue streams for ISEA.
  • Maintains strict budget discipline and manages reserves for both growth and rainy days.

Contribute to the Success of Members

  • Navigate changing membership needs and value proposition.
  • Advocate for issues that impact the profession and its members.
  • Provide value and engagement for diverse constituents and stakeholders.
  • Explore, develop, and maximize partnerships that are in ISEA’s best interest and support its members.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Governance and Board Relations

  • Work closely with the Board to develop, oversee, monitor, and fulfill ISEA’s mission, strategic issues, and planning.
  • Make recommendations and implement decisions related to ISEA’s strategic priorities.
  • Ensure ISEA’s compliance with standards and federal and state regulations.
  • Inform the Board and committees about industry trends, issues, and activities to facilitate policymaking, and recommend policy positions.

Organizational and Personnel Management

  • Effectively and efficiently manage the operations of ISEA.
  • Manage, at a high level and through delegation, ISEA’s use of vendors and external consultants, which may include personnel in market data, marketing communications, legal, training, and other functions.
  • Delegate responsibilities where appropriate to executive team members.
  • Maintain fair and equitable compensation levels.
  • Adhere to all federal and state laws, regulations, and other rules concerning personnel management.
  • Manage and empower employees to ensure all programs, services, and strategic priorities are implemented efficiently, effectively, and professionally.
  • Hire, train, develop, and evaluate team members. Manage and lead succession planning.

Public Relations

  • Maintain an effective relationship with members and other organizations (governmental, public, and private).
  • Ensure ISEA is positively positioned and effectively represented in the safety industry, as well as within appropriate legislative and regulatory circles.
  • Act as ISEA’s spokesperson with the public and media, in conformity with Board policies.
  • Act as the “face of ISEA” for client and public relations purposes, and in meetings with other organizations and their leadership.
  • Facilitate the integration of ISEA into the fabric of the community by using effective and innovative marketing and communication techniques.

Member Relations

  • Advocate, within the public and private sectors, for issues relevant to ISEA, its services, and constituents.
  • Create and maintain active dialogue with members, partners, volunteers, and donors to expand services and involvement. Ensure member awareness of ISEA’s response to community needs.
  • Ensure proper communication and representation of ISEA to members, partners, volunteers, and donors.
  • Initiate, develop, and maintain cooperative relationships with key constituents.


  • Engage appropriate resources to advocate on behalf of ISEA’s mission with governmental bodies.
  • Apprise the Board and members of legislative and regulatory activity that affects ISEA’s mission and its members.
  • Work with legislators, regulatory agencies, volunteers, and representatives of the association sector to promote legislative and regulatory policies that advocate for and address the issues of ISEA’s members.

Candidate Profile

Professional Qualifications

ISEA’s next leader will possess the following professional knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Extensive work experience as an organizational leader in a senior management position.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Experience working with diverse styles of corporate executives.
  • Knowledge of and experience in trade association operations, policies, advocacy, and management.
  • Knowledge of and experience with legislative and regulatory procedures, operations, and functions.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated financial acumen and expertise with budgeting and financial management.
  • Creative, forward-thinking marketing skills.
  • Strong, collaborative team-building and strategic management skills.
  • Familiarity with association management software.
  • Ability to travel to events, meetings, and conferences as needed.

Personal Characteristics 

In addition to the qualities listed above, the President and CEO must possess these characteristics:

  • Strategic and visionary; takes an innovative approach to managing resources and opportunities.
  • Engaged in the long-term success of the industry.
  • Dependable, emotionally intelligent, and self-aware.
  • Member-focused servant leader with a commitment to teamwork.
  • Open-minded and inclusive, seeking and considering ideas and suggestions from others before making decisions.
  • Manages change using a transparent, creative approach that boosts staff morale and enhances programs.
  • Personable, approachable, and available to staff, Board, members, and other stakeholders.
  • Positive attitude and inspirational personality to navigate uncertainty and rally the team.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity in a rapidly changing environment; resilient and adaptable.
  • Demonstrates commitment to continued professional growth and development.
  • Ability to handle multiple, complex issues in an effective manner.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

To Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) here, or send an email to David Martin, CEO and Managing Partner, at [email protected] or Sharon Beatty, Senior Executive Recruiter at [email protected]. The cover letter should outline how your experience fits the requirements of the position as this will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.

ISEA is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer committed to inclusion and cultural diversity in the workplace. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other protected class.