Given annually in honor of NSF International’s co-founder and first executive director Walter F. Snyder for outstanding contributions to the advancement of environmental health

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF International and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) are pleased to announce that Ron Grimes, RS, MPH, DAAS, is the 2015 recipient of the distinguished Walter F. Snyder Environmental Health Award. Mr. Grimes will receive the award on July 13 at the NEHA Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition in Orlando in recognition of more than 40 years of significant and lasting contributions to environmental and public health through his work on consensus national standards, education, leadership and public service.

The Snyder Award honors NSF International’s co-founder and first executive director, Walter F. Snyder, who himself provided outstanding contributions to the advancement of environmental and public health.

“Ron Grimes’ achievements reflect the principles expressed by Walter F. Snyder and the public health mission of NSF International,” says Kevan P. Lawlor, NSF International President and CEO. “His extensive knowledge of environmental health and his commitment to educating regulators and environmental health professionals demonstrate his strong commitment to the promotion of environmental health. Ron played a key role in expanding NSF International’s regulatory outreach programs as well as educating sanitarians and health officials about the details and importance of NSF International standards, inspections and certification programs.”

“Ron’s leadership at the two health departments he directed, as well as his NEHA leadership and his role at NSF International, establish him as a highly regarded and respected leader in the environmental health community. He believes deeply in the mission of protecting public health and has earned the trust of colleagues he has worked with, which is fundamental to true leadership,” says David T. Dyjack, Dr.PH, CIH, Executive Director and CEO of NEHA.

Mr. Grimes retired earlier this year after 45 years in environmental health roles in industry and health departments. He most recently served as manager of environmental health programs at NSF International where he established, managed and expanded support programs for state and local health departments by providing technical support on NSF standards, certifications and general environmental health code compliance issues. He presented seminars to national, state and local audiences and supported NSF International programs through webinars and training classes. He served as the “man with the answers” for regulatory officials and inspectors seeking standards interpretation and the myriad of findings during health department inspections. Mr. Grimes supported the NSF Council of Public Health Consultants in overseeing the public health ratification of the many standards committees at NSF.

Prior to joining NSF International, Mr. Grimes served as the health officer for the Jackson County Health Department in Michigan for four years. In this role, he managed the implementation and direction of environmental health services, health education, nursing, clinics and other community health programs. He also was a member of the Drinking Water Additives Joint Committee that oversaw the development and maintenance of the standards NSF/ANSI 60 and NSF/ANSI 61.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Grimes spent 33 years working for the Oakland County Health Division in various leadership roles. As a sanitarian, he developed a systematic review procedure for plans submitted for approval to the Environmental Health Services division, which was the first program of its kind in Michigan. As a supervising sanitarian, he oversaw the response to the first declared toxic emergency in Michigan when 8,000 drums of hazardous waste were discovered at an unauthorized waste disposal site. As a water quality and land protection supervisor, he organized the first collection day for household hazardous waste and initiated the procedure of inspecting businesses that generate hazardous waste. He also served as administrator of environmental health services, overseeing all aspects of environmental health at the county.

Mr. Grimes has been active in multiple national and state environmental and public health organizations. He has held leadership positions in NEHA, including a five-year role on the executive board culminating in president. He also served as president of the Michigan Environmental Health Association, president of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health’s Environmental Health Forum, and trustee and chair of the National Conference of Local Environmental Health Administrators. He received a Michigan Environmental Health Association Special Recognition Award and has been a Diplomate of the American Academy of Sanitarians for 25 years.

Mr. Grimes viewed the future of environmental health as dependent on the students that eventually make up the workforce at health departments. As such, he took an active role in the NSF International Summer Scholarship for Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP) students. He helped supervise the students’ projects, explained how NSF International standards support various public health codes and encouraged collaboration with health departments to provide a motivating real-world experience.

Snyder Award nominations are open to the public, and a juror panel of environmental health leaders selects the winners. For more information about the Walter F. Snyder Award or to nominate a colleague for next year’s award, visit NSF International’s website.

About NSF International:  NSF International is a non-profit global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer products industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944 at the University of Michigan-School of Public Health, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. Additional NSF services include education and training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, sustainability solutions, organic certifications provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).

About NEHA: The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a professional organization with more than 4,500 members in the public and private sectors as well as in universities and uniformed services. It publishes the peer-reviewed Journal of Environmental Health (JEH) ten times per year providing a valuable resource for the complete spectrum of environmental health topics. NEHA's mission, "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all" is fulfilled in the products and services offered by NEHA through training, education, networking, professional development and policy involvement. Learn more about NEHA at www.neha.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
NSF International
Phone: +1 734 214 6242
Email: media@nsf.org

Clare Sinacori
National Environmental Health Association
Phone: +1 303-756-9090, ext. 319
Email: csinacori@neha.org