Meet a CHESP - Sue Minnar

June 23, 2015 | Formats: Article | Content Areas: Administration | Tags: Career Development

Sue Minnar, CHESP, has been CHESP-certified for more than a decade, but her passion and enthusiasm for the program would suggest that she was certified yesterday. Minnar is Director of Environmental Services and Laundry Services, and Facility Emergency Response Coordinator at HCR-Manor Care in Palm Harbor, Florida. With 25 years of experience in the industry, she's accomplished a lot along the way.

How long have you been a member of AHE, and when did you become CHESP-certified?

I have been a proud member of AHE since 2003. That’s the same year I was certified as a CHESP; I took the test at the annual AHE conference in Philadelphia. It was tough to have to wait weeks to get the results!

What prompted or interested you in pursuing certification?

My supervisor at the time told me about this great organization that he wanted to be part of, and then received a save the date card in the mail for the conference in Philadelphia. I decided that day I wanted to attend the conference, and after doing research I also decided that I needed to become CHESP-certified.

How did you prepare for certification? What was the hardest aspect in preparing to take the exam?

I ordered the study guide from AHE and took the sample tests. I also signed up for a class that was offered at the conference prior to the test, which helped me tremendously. In 2003 we did not have the resources that are available today.

What was your experience like in taking the exam?

Sitting for a test was never one of my strong suits, so it was very nerve-racking. The late Jim Connors was the administrator of the testing that day, and he tried to make everyone feel at ease. It was a tough few hours.

How did you feel after passing the exam and learning about your newly acquired certification?

I was overjoyed and very proud of what I had accomplished. I was honored at my facility, which made me feel great that they were also appreciative of my accomplishments.

How has CHESP certification positively affected you and your role in your organization?

Being CHESP certified is very important to me. This is something that I achieved, and I make sure that I keep it no matter what. My certification has allowed me to grow with this industry. My administrator and corporate environmental services director were impressed that I had this certification prior to being hired.

How has CHESP certification affected your career and long-term career goals and path?

The CHESP certification has helped me gain employment after moving from Pennsylvania to Florida – it was a requirement for the first position that I got after moving. I feel the CHESP will help me achieve my long-term goals with distinguishing me from others who are not certified.

What would you tell others who are considering pursuing certification? How should they best prepare?

GET CERTIFIED – you will never regret it! It is the greatest feeling when you get that notification that you have passed and you receive the certificate and pin! And STUDY, STUDY, STUDY. AHE has provided the tools to help everyone become certified, so we need to use them. If you are a member of AHE, you need to get certified – you will not regret it.

What’s the very best thing about being a certified CHESP?

Being PROUD to have accomplished this certification and being honored to display my pin on my badge on a daily basis. People often ask, “What does CHESP mean?” I am very happy to tell them about the CHESP program and AHE, how important AHE is to environmental services departments, and how it, as an organization, has given us the tools we need to succeed in our jobs. And if you’re proud of your accomplishments at work, then that flows over to your personal life as well.