Every even-numbered year, when new officers are elected by ASTM International’s technical committees, staff conducts an Officers’ Conference at our headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. Newly elected committee leaders attend modules on subjects from preparing standards for ballot to publicizing committee activities (and yes, that’s a plug for my own department’s module).
We hold the conference at headquarters, even in this age of the virtual meeting and online learning, so officers can derive the benefits of networking with colleagues and having face-to-face interactions with staff. The conference is well-attended, but of course many officers can’t make it due to time or travel restrictions. In this issue, we thought we’d provide a mini Officers’ Conference in print, a workshop that will serve as a refresher for 2004 conference veterans and, for others, as a helpful guide to some of the practical aspects of ASTM standards development. (Certain modules are also available on the ASTM Web site.)
To compile this month’s feature section, a few members of the ASTM staff who gave presentations at the last conference graciously agreed to make articles of their modules. I’m grateful to each of them for expanding their raw PowerPoint material into readable discussions of some of the finer points of developing standards in ASTM. In “ASTM International’s Global Focus: What You Need to Know,” General Manager Katharine Morgan provides insight into the international context for the standards you develop, explaining why you might want to consider the standards issues behind global trade as you devise your committee strategy. If you lead a subcommittee, you will surely want to read Staff Manager Kevin Shanahan’s description of the duties and responsibilities of subcommittee chairs. Carolyn Sheahan, also a staff manager, discusses the finer points of balloting, including how to handle negative votes. Finally, Erin McElrone and Emilie Whealen, two experienced editors in the Editorial Services department, provide detailed descriptions of how to use ASTM’s electronic tools for writing and balloting revisions and new standards. Also look to the How To section this month for information from Corporate Communications Director Barbara Schindler on how to garner publicity for your committee’s activities.
I frequently end my editorials with invitations for you to turn to the feature section, but this time I mean it more than ever, especially for anyone in a leadership position from the task group to main committee level. There’s a wealth of good advice in this issue and I hope you’ll consider it a “keeper.”
Editor in Chief