When Karen Murphy joined the Associated Asphalt team in March of 2022, she brought with her an extensive amount of expertise and knowledge in the Environmental, Health, and Safety field. As the new Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Manager, Karen is eager to apply her knowledge and passion for safety to ensure that everyone can go home safe at the end of the day.
Not only has she been working in the EH&S field for nearly 18 years, but Karen also has a Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Columbia Southern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mary Baldwin University. She also holds the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential and is an OSHA General Industry Trainer. “The EH&S field is so broad that I take any opportunity I can to learn.” Karen mentions. “I think it’s important to have a broad and comprehensive background in EH&S in order to support the workers and the business.”
Safety is ingrained in Karen’s DNA, and she’s used her natural safety skills in all her previous careers. “I worked in education and taught elementary school,” she says. “I would be that person who would walk around the playground and make sure everyone was playing safely.”
Even though she’s new to the team, Karen is very familiar with Associated Asphalt. “As a former consultant who’s worked with Associated Asphalt, I became very well-acquainted with the company,” she says. “So when I arrived at Associated Asphalt, I felt like I was already home.”
The transition to Associated Asphalt was smooth for Karen. “The team is very supportive and helpful,” she mentions. “It takes time to learn the people and the processes, but the support I’ve been receiving really helps.” Coming from the manufacturing and consulting field, Karen understands the value of teamwork. She noted that “Associated Asphalt terminals are spread across several states, making it a balance of proactively reaching out to support our team members.”
Karen enjoys being out in the field and working with the team members. She likes the opportunity to learn about the job at hand and how Associated Asphalt can make the job better and safer for the employees. “The people in the field are the ones doing the hard work. It’s a great place to learn more about the business and what we do, but also it’s a good opportunity to build relationships and trust,” Karen mentions. “I strongly believe in the importance of including workers in the decision-making process, and opening up the lines of communication whereby we can continue to improve our safety culture, be excellent environmental stewards, and maintain vital partnerships with our customers and the community.”
Outside the office, Karen loves spending time with family and friends. Being a Roanoke native, she enjoys traveling to see family and friends out of state and quiet vacations on the beach. When she’s not traveling for work or pleasure, she enjoys doing small home projects and reading.
We are glad to have Karen join our team and can’t wait to see her journey at Associated Asphalt.