2020 40 Under 40: Josh Rizzo, 39

Director of Jobsite Safety and Security, WernerCo, Bend, Ore.; BS, System Engineering, U.S. Military Academy at West Point

By Chris Vavra and Amara Rozgus May 14, 2020

As the director of jobsite safety and security at WernerCo, Rizzo is responsible for leading a team of 40 safety specialists across North America. His main responsibilities include leading, training and developing subordinate leaders while converting business across five major product lines and brands. He believes diversity helps organizations thrive and success is built upon three equal pillars: preparation, communication and fun. His exceptional abilities to lead teams and push the company’s efforts to its limits likely stem from his time in the military. He is a decorated combat veteran and served in the U.S. Army for nine years. In 2006, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, an honor bestowed to members of the U.S. Armed Forces for meritorious service and heroic achievement in a combat zone. These leadership skills have helped his employer increase revenue, improve safety and enhance training programs. Rizzo has spearheaded multiple safety initiatives, including the annual Occupational Safety and Health Administration Safety Stand-Down, a voluntary event hosted each May to reinforce the importance of fall prevention in the construction industry. In 2015, Rizzo received the Invisible Disabilities Association’s Invisible Heroes Award for his work as the founder of PTSD United, an organization that creates a safe space for those going through similar experiences. As the award recipient, Rizzo was granted the opportunity to moderate a panel of brain health experts at the 2015 Brain IDEAS Symposium. Along with all his professional and community service, Rizzo finds time to be with his wife and two dogs; they enjoy spending time outside on nature hikes and playing outdoor sports.

Author Bio: Chris Vavra, Associate Editor, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief