This was an important year for ASTM. It was a year marked by events
at home and abroad that gave us pause, events that required us,
as a nation and as a standards organization, to revisit our values
and state them clearly. It was during this year, for instance,
that ASTM was actively involved in the development of the nations
first National Standards Strategy. And it was during this year
that ASTM joined the dialogue on the Triennial Review of the WTO/
TBT(1) Agreement and the ISO/ CEN(2) Vienna Agreement.
It was a year for putting things into perspective, for sorting
out, for determining what was important and what was not. And
now, in this last article of this important year, is the most
important issue of all: a tribute to the people of ASTM.
ASTMs greatest assets are its technical experts. They are intrepid
pioneers, tenacious, and independent. They are people who like
to shape their own worlds, mold their own destinies, define their
own problems, and invent their own solutions. They are here because
ASTM offers people like them an opportunity to participate directly
in standards development. This is so powerful an attraction that
they come from all over the world to seize it, to be a part of
it. This direct participation has given ASTMs technical experts
a sense of ownership about standards development that generates
a great passion and commitment around their work. It is a palpable
force, as any visitor to a technical committee meeting can attest.
Small wonder, then, that ASTM standards are the best in the world.
Then there is the ASTM staff. ASTM staff are more than business
managers, balloters, editors, publishers, and distributors, although
they are all that. They are the custodians of openness and fair
play; they are the embodiment of a management philosophy that
entails far more than superior service and quality administration.
They are partners in the process.
It is because of you, our technical experts and our staff, that
we got back to basics this year, that we tried to remember how
we got to this new millennium intact and still developing the
best standards in the world. Thats why we revisited our values
and were unapologetic about them. It was the least we could do.
You did everything else.
And so, to the technical experts, the staff, the Board of Directors,
to all the people whose extraordinary work, whose belief in true
consensus principles, whose pride of ownership, and whose spirit,
energy, and dedication has made ASTM standards known and valued
around the world, I extend my deep appreciation and thanks.
Best wishes for a happy, safe holiday season.
(1) World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade
(2) International Organization for Standardization/European Commission
Copyright 2000, ASTM