Catherine (Kitty) H. Pilarz is senior director of Mattel/Fisher-Price product safety in East Aurora, N.Y., which designs, manufactures and markets toys and family products sold in more than 150 nations around the world.
In 1980, Pilarz graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, and that same year she started working for Fisher-Price as an engineer-in-training. While a project engineer in international operations and conducting analysis and planning for international production, she received her MBA from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1983. She additionally held positions as a manufacturing engineer and as a quality control engineer before becoming manager of product safety and reliability in 1987. She assumed her current role in 2001.
In ASTM International, Pilarz is vice chairman of new projects for Committee F15 on Consumer Products, co-chairman of Subcommittee F15.18 Cribs, Toddler Beds, Play Yards, Bassinets, Cradles and Changing Tables, and works on many other F15 subcommittees. She was honored with the 2006 ASTM Award of Merit and accompanying title of fellow for her contributions to F15. She has served on the ASTM board of directors since 2006 and was chairman of the board in 2011.
Outside ASTM International, Pilarz is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society for Quality. Through ASQ, she has earned the designations of certified reliability engineer and certified quality engineer.
Pilarz has served as symposium chair for the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, and as president and board member of that group, which works to promote product safety through education and communication. She received a 40 under 40 Award in 1998 from Business First magazine.