Outstanding Southeastern Alumni Profiles

Scott Coleman

“Global Safety”

            by Rachael Watson, student writing intern

Sometimes it’s the path we never considered that turns out to be the right one. This is certainly the case with Southeastern alumnus, Scott Coleman.  He came to Southeastern from Roeland Park, Kansas, in 1999 to join the Aviation Sciences Institute upon transitioning into the Oklahoma National Guard after serving in the United States Navy for three years. However, his career path quickly changed when airlines began laying off pilots after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Shifting gears, he joined the growing Occupational Safety and Health Department at Southeastern and earned a bachelor’s degree in 2002.

Coleman landed a job with Reliable Reports in north Texas, where he was eager to apply his skills and keep moving up the corporate ladder in the safety industry. After two years in this position, he joined MHC Kenworth in Kansas City as a corporate risk manager. During his tenure at MHC Kenworth, Coleman learned about the online graduate program at Southeastern and was able to earn his master’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health.

Seven years later, Coleman married, and looking to advance professionally, had an eye toward moving to the West Coast. After interviewing with several companies in California, Coleman was intrigued by the opportunity to run a global safety program for Gap, Inc. and eventually was offered a position with the global clothing company.

“As corporate global senior safety and health manager, I run the entire safety program,” Coleman said.  “I develop the policies and practices for all the different countries where we have stores and distribution centers.”

With the company’s presence abroad, his job allows for many opportunities to travel. He regularly travels to countries such as Germany, England, Mexico, China, Japan, and Canada, and enjoys the opportunity to work around the globe.

“Last trip, to Germany and London, I was presenting to our insurance agency on what we are doing now to protect our distribution centers,” Coleman said. Going back to his days at Southeastern, Coleman cites his public speaking class as an experience he draws from when giving presentations.  Enjoying the ability to add new skills and experiences to his resume, Coleman is excited about his current project on fire protection throughout the distribution centers, which is something he has not done before.

When he began work with the Gap corporation, which includes the Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands, Coleman admitted he was a bit intimidated, but was quickly able to learn and adapt to the new environment.

“You learn your way through. I utilize a lot of different departments so relationship building is important,” he said.  “It’s an exciting opportunity, always evolving and changing.”

Coleman resides in California with his wife Terri and sons Charlie and Sam.