Safely Speaking

The Disaster After the Disaster

By Betsey Kulakowski, CSHO, COSS

Executive Director of Oklahoma Safety Council

The Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) announced Betsey Kulakowski has been named executive director of the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the adoption of safety practices and procedures at home, on the road and in the workplace. Dave Koeneke, who has served as the OSC Executive Director since 2007, will retire on July 1.

“It is important to have a leader that provides strategic guidance and support to the Council,” OSC Board chairperson Charles Hightower, Jr. said. “Betsey provides strong leadership, as well as a vast knowledge in regard to health and safety.”

Kulakowski joined the OSC staff as the Training & Development Manager in 2016 after serving 27 ½ years with the Oklahoma Department of Labor; prior to serving as the Assistant Director of the Public Employees Occupational Safety & Health Division (PEOSH), she worked as a Safety Consultant in the OSHA Consultation Division and Asbestos Abatement Inspector.

In 2018, she was named Student of the Year for the Business Division at Rose State College and was one of the first to graduate from the new Emergency Management degree program. In her career with the State, she served on several disaster response teams including the Murrah Bombing, the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina/Rita and several other local disasters, assigned the task of keeping workers safe during clean up and recovery operations.

She serves as the co-chair for the Women in Safety Excellence (WISE), a branch of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). She holds several professional certificates and certifications in both safety and emergency management.

Kulakowski is the first woman to lead the Oklahoma Safety Council in its 70+ year history.  Dave Koeneke will be honored with a celebration in late June and plans to spend his time continuing his volunteer work with the Children’s Hospital, Teen Empower and Special Olympics.