|OSHA bids farewell to a long-time employee who left a lasting impression.
|When legendary musician Les Brown said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars," Anne Cyr must have been listening. After 23 years with OSHA, Anne recently decided to begin a new phase in her professional life-one devoted to her passion for the arts. But she left behind a rich legacy of products and resources that will long bear her mark.
Anne is best known in the agency for this magazine, JSHQ, which she revived in 1989. OSHA had stopped publishing a previous periodical a decade earlier. Anne convinced then-Acting Assistant Secretary Alan McMillan that a new magazine would well serve the agency's communications needs. She rejuvenated the periodical and, with the help of an art director, produced the first issue in just a few months. Interestingly, the front cover sported a story about ergonomics. The past issue of JSHQ (Spring 2002), and the last one overseen by Anne, featured a cover story on ergonomics as well. In between, Anne nurtured, steered, and nudged the magazine-much like a parent raising a child. Not surprisingly, JSHQ was often called "Anne's baby" around OSHA.
She put her twin passions-creativity and perfection-to work on many of OSHA's other products, too. Publications, flyers, web pages, CDs, audiovisuals, posters, and more bear her distinctive fingerprints. Anyone who worked closely with Anne knew she held everyone to her own high standards -writers, editors, designers, even supervisors knew that little escaped Anne's sharp, critical, professional eye. If you thought she was tough on others, she was even tougher on herself. The high quality of everything she touched proves it.
Anne was called upon more than once to direct the office, then known as Information and Consumer Affairs. She said her most challenging-and in some ways most satisfying- time at OSHA came during the government shutdowns of the early 1990s. With little and sometimes no help, she kept the office open for business. When members of the public called for information on the status of agency operations, the professional, reassuring voice they heard was Anne's. She served the public with the same passion for perfection that she did everything else.
Before she left, Anne set her sights on broadening the agency's span to include some of the hardest-toreach workers. Fluent in Spanish herself, she created a new Spanish website; oversaw the translation of numerous materials, including All About OSHA; and directed the production of new Spanish public service announcements to be released later this year.
Anne is now focusing her considerable talents on writing, art, and music. She is an accomplished artist and once even combined her interests to establish a college program for art students on the hazards of working with art materials and how to use them safely. She has won awards for her watercolor work and already sold several pieces.
Over the years Anne also managed to run a small floral design business; earn several degrees in the arts, linguistics, and Latin American studies; publish numerous articles in English and Spanish; and raise a daughter on her own. In addition to everything else, Anne is now a proud grandmother, too.
Her fingerprints remain at OSHA, now as Editor Emeritus of this magazine, on the many quality materials she produced for the agency, and in the memories of coworkers who learned from her commitment to perfection. Anne shot for the moon. Most often she landed. But even when she missed, her stars shone bright.
|Friedman is the Director of the OSHA Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC.